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)
 

Great Falls Tavern

 

—Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park —

 
Great Falls Tavern Marker Panel 1 image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 25, 2011
1. Great Falls Tavern Marker Panel 1
Inscription.
Panel 1 - plaque on the C&O tow path:

Life was very different around the Great Falls Tavern during the canal era. The building before you began as a small lockhouse and was added onto twice until it became what you see today. The area around the tavern bustled with a community of over 100 people including a post office. Passenger boats left here taking tourists on a leisurely overnight trip to Harpers Ferry, 50 miles up canal. After the great flood of 1889 the Great Falls Tavern became a private club until the National Park Service acquired it in 1938.

[Illustration caption:]
Great Falls Tavern – 1889: Passengers boarded boats at Great Falls for overnight trips to Harpers Ferry.

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park - National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior

Panel 2 - plaque on exterior wall at main entrance to the Visitors Center:

Great Falls Tavern
Built between 1828 and 1831
by the C & O Canal Company,
the tavern provided meals
and lodging for
canal travelers and boatmen
for nearly a century.
National Capital Sesquicentennial Commission
1950

 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior/National
Great Falls Tavern Marker Panel 2 image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 25, 2011
2. Great Falls Tavern Marker Panel 2
Capital Sesquicentennial Commission.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal marker series.
 
Location. 39° 0.016′ N, 77° 14.91′ W. Marker is in Potomac, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker is on C&O Canal Tow Path west of MacArthur Blvd./Great Falls Road Climb. Touch for map. Marker Panel 1 is on the opposite side of the tow path, southeast of the Great Falls Tavern-Visitors Center. Marker Panel 2 is on the exterior wall at the main entrance to the Tavern-Visitors Center. 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); Boats Passing By (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 (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 . . .  Great Falls Tavern Vistior Center. (Submitted on November 26, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Great Falls Tavern - Marker Panel 1 visible at end of canal boardwalk railing, left middle image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 25, 2011
3. Great Falls Tavern - Marker Panel 1 visible at end of canal boardwalk railing, left middle

 
Additional keywords. Henry Williams, canal boat captain; Washington Aqueduct.
 
Categories. African AmericansIndustry & CommerceNotable BuildingsWaterways & Vessels
 
Great Falls Tavern/Visitor Center - Marker Panel 2 visible, right side of doorway image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 25, 2011
4. Great Falls Tavern/Visitor Center - Marker Panel 2 visible, right side of doorway
Great Falls Tavern with Washington Aqueduct pumping station (National Historical Landmark) at left image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 25, 2011
5. Great Falls Tavern with Washington Aqueduct pumping station (National Historical Landmark) at left
Great Falls Tavern viewed from the east image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 25, 2011
6. Great Falls Tavern viewed from the east
Great Falls Tavern Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2017
7. Great Falls Tavern Marker
Packet Boat image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2017
8. Packet Boat
Passengers boarded boats at Great Falls for overnight trips to Harpers Ferry.
Close-up of photo on marker
Packet Boat<br>Charles F. Mercer image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, April 26, 2017
9. Packet Boat
Charles F. Mercer
One of several historical photos on display inside the Great Falls Tavern Museum image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 1, 2012
10. One of several historical photos on display inside the Great Falls Tavern Museum
A canal boat run by Henry Williams, an African American captain, awaits to unload above Georgetown. During the canal's heyday in the 1870s, four African Americans were listed as captains. Though African Americans worked as deckhands on canal boats during the early days, they were banned from owning a boat until after the Civil War.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 2, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 26, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 583 times since then and 66 times this year. Last updated on February 5, 2014, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 26, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   7, 8, 9. submitted on April 27, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   10. submitted on February 5, 2014, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement