Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Potomac in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Boats Passing By

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Historical Park

 
 
Boats Passing by Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2017
1. Boats Passing by Marker
Inscription. In days past, while standing on the edge of the canal one would see a variety of boats float by. During the peak operating years of the C&O canal in the 1870's, as many as 550 freight boats were in use on the canal carrying tons of coal from Cumberland to Georgetown. These were the most common boats associated with the canal. Mule freighters were only part of the story, a story can be told in boats.
 
Location. 39° 0.003′ N, 77° 14.905′ W. Marker is in Potomac, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from MacArthur Blvd. Touch for map. Marker is near the vistors Center at Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 11710 MacArthur Blvd, Potomac MD 20854, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Lift Lock (a few steps from this marker); Great Falls Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); Washington Aqueduct (within shouting distance of this marker); Creating a National Park (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Olmsted Island (approx. 0.3 miles away); People and the Potomac
Boats Passing by Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2017
2. Boats Passing by Marker
(approx. 0.4 miles away in Virginia); River of Change (approx. 0.4 miles away in Virginia); A Globally Rare Environment (approx. 0.4 miles away in Virginia). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Potomac.
 
Also see . . .  The Packet Boat Charles F. Mercer. Friends of Great Falls Tavern (Submitted on April 27, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
Work Boats image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2017
3. Work Boats
Maintenance boats helped maintain the waterway by removing aquatic growth and debris, and responding to breaches and flood damage.
Close-up of photo on marker
Launches image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2017
4. Launches
At the turn of the 20th century small engine-powered boats called launches or crusiers were used to explore and conduct canal business.
Close-up of photo on marker
Packet Boats image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2017
5. Packet Boats
Horse drawn packet boats provided commercial excursions and passenger transportation.
Close-up of photo on marker
Packet Boat<br>Charles F. Mercer image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2017
6. Packet Boat
Charles F. Mercer
Packet Boats image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2017
7. Packet Boats
Packet Boats were boats for carrying people. Some of them were excursion boats — going to tourist sites like the Great Falls. Others were like mass transit — carrying passengers for a fee along the entire canal. Cramped and often crowded, but they were better than walking.
Model in Great Falls Tavern Museum
Work Scows image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2017
8. Work Scows
Work Scows moved up and down the canal so that maintenance crews could make repairs. If a boatman saw a work scow, he knew that something was wrong with the canal that might delay his trip — he hoped that the crew fixed the problem so that he could be on his way.
Model in Great Falls Tavern Museum
Cargo Boats image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2017
9. Cargo Boats
Cargo Boats were the essence of the C&O Canal. Designed to carry as much cargo as possible, these 90 foot long boats carried lumber stone, and coal — the most common cargo. Most of the boats were operated by families. The parents steered and operated the boat, and the children led the mules. It would take about a week to go the entire canal with a cargo boat.
Model in Great Falls Tavern Museum
Two Certificates<br>on the Packet Boat Charles F. Mercer image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2017
10. Two Certificates
on the Packet Boat Charles F. Mercer
Two Certificates<br>on the Packet Boat Charles F. Mercer image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2017
11. Two Certificates
on the Packet Boat Charles F. Mercer

Certificate of Authenticity
The American Canal Society certifies that this canal boat
Charles F. Mercer
has met our design criteria as a reasonably authentic historic replica of a canal boat or type of canal boat that operated in this vicinity in the nineteenth century.
2011
www.americancanals.org
This is a replica of the original certificate

Dedication Certificate
On September 9, 2006
Friends of the Historic Great Falls Tavern
Donated the Charles F. Mercer to the National Park Service
so that all may enjoy the experience of mule-powered transportation
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 4, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 27, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 88 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 27, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   7, 8, 9. submitted on April 28, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   10, 11. submitted on May 2, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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