C&O Canal - Lock #21
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member ParrotRob
N 39° 01.898 W 077° 14.622
18S E 305790 N 4322682
Quick Description: Lock #21 (of 74) on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal - Swain's Lock - Mile 16.64
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 6/3/2006 11:42:59 AM
Waymark Code: WME4W
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member ParrotRob
Views: 55

Long Description:
Swain's Lock

This is the twenty-first lock, heading west, in the Chesapeake and Ohio canal system. It is located in Montgomery County, Maryland, just north of Potomac Village. It is located at canal milepost 16.64

Swain's Lock is reached by turning off of River Road onto Swains Lock road and following it to the end. There is river access on the far side of the canal. Fishing, canoeing and kayaking are very popular here. Unfortunately, the Swain family, which operated a concession stand on site here that sold refreshments and fishing gear, and rented bikes and boats, has now closed shop indefinately after nearly 100 years of operation.

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  
Searcher28 visited C&O Canal - Lock #21 6/3/2012 Searcher28 visited it
Toastpwnz visited C&O Canal - Lock #21 2/25/2009 Toastpwnz visited it

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