South End, C&O Canal, Paw Paw Tunnel, MD
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member garmin_geek
N 39° 33.040 W 078° 27.782
17S E 717981 N 4380961
Quick Description: Southern end of 3,118 foot long manmade tunnel for the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal and tow path.
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 7/18/2012 6:40:21 AM
Waymark Code: WMEXG7
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member veritas vita
Views: 23

Long Description:
The C&O Canal began as a dream of passage to Western wealth. Operating for nearly 100 years the canal was a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River as coal, lumber and agricultural products floated down the waterway to market.

The Paw Paw Tunnel is a 3,118 feet (950 m) long canal tunnel in Maryland on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which was built to bypass the Paw-Paw bends, a six-mile stretch of the Potomac River containing five horseshoe bends. Construction on the tunnel began in 1836, and the tunnel was not completed until 1850. Although it was originally planned to be completed in two years, there were many difficulties in the process of construction. The construction company seriously underestimated the difficulty of the job. Violence frequently broke out between various gangs of immigrant laborers of different ethnicities, and wages were often unpaid due to the company's financial problems. The tunnel was finally completed with a cost overrun of 500%. Though surpassed by many tunnels today, it remains one of the world's longest canal tunnels and was one of the greatest engineering feats of its day. (Wikipeda)

The 184.5 mile long C&O tow path is a popular bicycle trail and it runs though the tunnel.

Canal Boat Registers 1851-1880, Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal

Canal boats operating on the C&O Canal were registered by the Canal Company through the years. Upon the completion of the canal to Cumberland in 1851 the Board of Directors of the company issued a new set of regulations to govern the classification and equipment of the boats plying the waterway. These rules were largely a confirmation of the existing regulations, modified and brought up to date by the lessons of the first revisions. The new rules went into effect on April 1, 1851. Throughout the first year of operation on the completed waterway, a total of 223 boats were registered under the new regulations.

During the years 1873–74, the C&O Canal Company surveyed the condition of the boats on the waterway and registered them on a new list. These were the peak years for the canal coal trade. Most of the boats were registered in 1873 and 1874, but this list also includes four boats registered in 1875 and 1876.

The register lists 539 boats operating on the canal. Some boats are listed twice as they were sold in this time period and re-entered with a new name and owner. For example the boat named A. Cownton Gruber, owned by Steffey and Findley, became Arthur Gruber when E.P. Steffey bought out Mr. Findley.

The boats were divided into the following classifications as established by the 1851 regulations: The dimensions of the various classes of craft were as follows:

Class A—length (minimum of 89 feet; maximum of 92 feet); width (minimum of 14 feet; maximum of 14 feet, 6 inches); draft when empty (minimum of 11 inches; maximum of 18 inches); draft when loaded (minimum of 4 feet, 6 inches; maximum of 4 feet, 9 inches).
Class B—length (minimum of 50 feet; maximum of 90 feet); width (minimum of 13 feet, 4 inches; maximum of 14 feet, 6 inches); draft when empty (minimum of 10 inches; maximum of 18 inches); draft when loaded (minimum of 2 feet, 6 inches; maximum of 4 feet, 9 inches).
Class C—length (minimum of 88 feet; maximum of 96 feet); width (minimum of 14 feet; maximum of 14 feet, 6 inches); draft when empty (minimum of 10 inches; maximum of 18 inches); draft when loaded (minimum of 4 feet, 6 inches; maximum of 4 feet, 9 inches).
Class D—length (minimum of 75 feet; maximum of 90 feet); width (minimum of 14 feet; maximum of 14 feet, 6 inches); draft when empty (minimum of 8 inches; maximum of 14 inches); draft when loaded (minimum of 3 feet; maximum of 4 feet, 6 inches).
(Western Maryland Historical Library)
Is the Tunnel in Use?: In Use

Which End is this Entrance?: South West

Date Constructed: 1/1/1850

Length of Tunnel: 3,118

Construction Material: brick/stone block

Associated Website: [Web Link]

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