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”
Cabin John in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

At All Hours

 
 
At All Hours Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 3, 2017
1. At All Hours Marker
Inscription. It Shall be the duty, at all hours, by night as well as day, to pass all boats and floats presenting themselves at their locks. — Charles Mercer, President, C&O Canal Company

Every time his boat passed through a lock, a boat captain put his life and livelihood in the hands of the locktender. The wooden lock gates were a delicate balance between safety and efficiency. They had to be light enough to allow one man to move them, yet strong enough to hold back 140,000 gallons of water. A skilled locktender could judge and adjust the flow of water in or out of the lock to minimize the risk to boat and lock.

Locktenders were responsible for the safe operation and maintenance of liftlocks. Neglect or carelessness could mean disaster. In exchange for a small monthly salary, an acre of land and a house, locktenders heeded the horn blast of boatmen even at 2 a.m. or on Sunday. After all, time was money.
 
Location. 38° 58.334′ N, 77° 10.111′ W. Marker is in Cabin John, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Clara Barton Parkway. Touch for map. At Lock 10 in the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Marker is in this post office area: Cabin John MD 20818, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles
At All Hours Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 3, 2017
2. At All Hours Marker
of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Drop Gate Locks (a few steps from this marker); Lockhouse 10 (within shouting distance of this marker); Cabin John (approx. one mile away); Early Blacksmith Shop (approx. 1.5 miles away); A Life of Service (approx. 1.5 miles away); Clara Barton House (approx. 1.5 miles away); A Heroine's Home (approx. 1.5 miles away); “A riotous country jumble” (approx. 1.5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cabin John.
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
How a Lock Works — Boat Heading Downstream image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 3, 2017
3. How a Lock Works — Boat Heading Downstream
Lift locks raised and lowered boats to overcome changes in elevation.

A boat heading downstream enters the lock. Mules can be unhitched and the locktender closes the upstream gates.
Close-up of image on marker
How a Lock Works — Lowering the Boat image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 3, 2017
4. How a Lock Works — Lowering the Boat
The locktender opens the downstream paddles. Water flows out and the boat is lowered.
Close-up of image on marker
How a Lock Works — Boat Moves On image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 3, 2017
5. How a Lock Works — Boat Moves On
With water levels equal, the locktender opens the downstream gates. The mules are hitched and the boat moves on.
Close-up of image on marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 8, 2017. This page originally submitted on May 5, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 59 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 5, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement