C&O Canal - Lock #7
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member ParrotRob
N 38° 57.882 W 077° 08.350
18S E 314664 N 4315035
Quick Description: Lock #7 (of 74) on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal - Chataqua Lock - Mile 7.00
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 5/17/2006 2:23:14 PM
Waymark Code: WMCW6
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member ParrotRob
Views: 54

Long Description:
Chataqua Lock

This is the seventh lock, heading west, in the Chesapeake and Ohio canal system. It is located in Montgomery County, Maryland, in the Cabin John/Glen Echo area. This lock is reached from the southbound Clara Barton Parkway. It is located at milepost 7.0 on the canal. This is the first lock in the canal system to utilize the "drop gate" instead of the "swing gate". The drop gate opened by turning a metal wheel as opposed to swinging the very large doors on hinges. The drop gate could be raised and lowered much faster than the swing gate, as it was completely controlled from one side of the canal. The first picture in this waymark shows the machinery of the drop gate. The drop gate was only used on the upstream side of the lock as the downstream side gate was too large.

To visit Lock #7, you can park right at the lock itself by following the signs on the Clara Barton Parkway and taking a very short walk down the hill. The towpath in this area is excellent for biking or hiking and is usually pretty crowded due to it's proximity to Washington, DC and the Maryland suburbs.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal runs 184.5 miles from Georgetown in Washington, DC to Cumberland, Maryland, paralleling the largely unnavigable Potomac River. Originally conceived by George Washington, the intent of the canal was to open shipping to the coal-rich area of Western Maryland, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania, with the original intention of linking to the Ohio River in Pittsburgh.

Construction of the canal began on July 4, 1828, the same day that ground was broken for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in Baltimore, Maryland. By the time the canal reached Cumberland in 1850 it was many years behind schedule and tens of millions of dollars over budget. Although profitable for a brief period during the mid-19th century, as a commercial venture, the canal was doomed by the success of the railroad and operation of the canal was discontinued in 1924 following a catastrophic flood.

In 1938, the federal government acquired the canal land from the then-owner, the B&O Railroad with the intention of converting the canal and towpath into a highway, an idea that persisted well into the 1950's. Supreme Court Justice William Douglas campaigned for the preservation of the land and garnered much publicity by walking the entire towpath in March of 1954 eventually leading to the abandonment of the highway plan. The entire 184.5 miles of canal land were made into a National Historical Park by President Nixon in 1971.

For more information on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, visit www.candocanal.org

Waterway Name: Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

Connected Points:
Georgetown, DC to Cumberland, Maryland

Type: Lock

Date Opened: 09/01/1831

Date Closed (if applicable): 03/29/1924

Elevation Difference (meters): 3.00

Site Status: Inactive

Web Site: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
cameramoose visited C&O Canal - Lock #7 12/14/2013 cameramoose visited it
akern.geo visited C&O Canal - Lock #7 1/1/2010 akern.geo visited it
Searcher28 visited C&O Canal - Lock #7 10/21/2009 Searcher28 visited it

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