Havre de Grace in Harford County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
How a Lock Works
At the boatman approached a lock, he would sound an alarm a half to a quarter of a mile away, alerting the locktender. Entering the lock was the most demanding part of canalling. Canal boats were usually designed to fill as much of the lock as possible. Thus a boat would enter the lock with only inches to spare. If the helmsman allowed the boat to hit the lock walls, he could damage the lock walls or even sink the boat. Nevertheless, the boat had to be moving fast enough to go all the way in the lock, yet still had to be stopped before it hit the gate at the other end of the lock. Crashes of this sort were a major cause of damage to the canal, as boatmen would often race each other to get to the lock first.
As the boat entered the lock, a crewmember jumped ashore and wrapped a rope around a snubbing post anchored next to the lock. The rope stopped the boat in the lock.
Once the boat was snubbed into the lock, the locking process could begin. Generally, the whole process of locking a boat through the gates took about ten minutes.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal marker series.
Location. 39° 33.363′ N, 76° 5.597′ W. Marker is in Havre de Grace, Maryland, in Harford County. Marker can be reached from Conesto Street 0.2 miles from Erie Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Havre de Grace MD 21078, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal (here, next to this marker); Nineteenth Century Travel (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lock House (approx. ¼ mile away); Susquehanna River Crossing (approx. ¼ mile away); Under Attack (approx. ¼ mile away); Susquehanna Lower Ferry (approx. 0.3 miles away); Old Post Road: Susquehanna Lower Ferry (approx. 0.3 miles away); Matilda O'Neill Home (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Havre de Grace.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 1, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,572 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on July 1, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. 2. submitted on October 10, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 3. submitted on July 1, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. 4, 5. submitted on October 10, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.