“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Big Spring in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Four Locks

Four Locks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Robert H. Moore, II, September 25, 2010
1. Four Locks Marker
Inscription. Four Locks – locks 47 through 50 – were built between 1836 and 1838, all within a half-mile stretch of the canal. Nestled amongst these four locks, a close-knit community thrived while the canal was in operation. Businesses prospered, meeting the needs of locals and boatmen.

In its heyday the busy town of Four Locks included two general stores, two warehouses, a dry dock, mule barn, post office, school, farms, and many houses. Families like the Hassetts, the Myers, and the Flynns worked and lived together here, and called this place home.

After the canal closed in 1924, the community declined and has all but disappeared. The legacy of Four Locks stands in the buildings seen today and lives in the memories of a community long gone.

1) The Four Locks community from just below Lock 48
2) Children at a community celebration
3) Couple sitting above the flume at Lock 48

Sidebar text:
Experience history… spend the night in a lockhouse!

Ever wonder what it was like to live in a lockhouse? Spend the night in one of several lockhouses along the canal. Step back in time and immerse yourself in history. If you listen closely, you may hear voices from the past whispering their stories. For more information visit
Erected 2010 by Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal marker series.
Location. 39° 36.924′ N, 77° 56.903′ W. Marker is in Big Spring, Maryland, in Washington County. Touch for map. Located along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath, at mile 108.6. Marker is in this post office area: Big Pool MD 21711, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Four Locks (a few steps from this marker); Mule Power (a few steps from this marker); McCoy's Ferry (approx. 1.2 miles away); Lancelot Jacques (approx. 1˝ miles away); Dam No. 5 (approx. 1˝ miles away); Stonewall Jackson at Dam 5 (approx. 1˝ miles away); Protecting Cultural Resources (approx. 1˝ miles away); The Federal Signal Station (approx. 2.4 miles away).
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .  Walking in the shadow of Cyrus. First in a series of posts from Robert Moore written while staying overnight in the lockhouse overnight (see sidebar text on marker). (Submitted on October 8, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 8, 2010, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. This page has been viewed 777 times since then and 38 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on October 8, 2010, by Robert H. Moore, II of Winchester, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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