Save Swains Lockhouse: Rehabilitation of Lockhouse 21

Swains Lockhouse, the popular C&O Canal access spot in Potomac, has fallen into disrepair and has suffered from several run-ins with vandals. The C&O Canal Trust and the C&O Canal National Historical Park recognized that if we did not act, this iconic property would be lost forever!

Therefore, we have decided to rehabilitate the lockhouse, so it can be used as one of our Canal Quarters lockhouses, where guests can stay overnight and experience life along the canal. It will also be used as a multi-use space for interpretive programs like Canal Classrooms.

We encourage you to follow along on our blog as we detail our work to bring this historic lockhouse back to life, and to visit our photo album to see pictures of Swains then and now.

Photo Album

Spend a Night in a Historic Lockhouse


When Swains Lockhouse is finished, it will join the Canal Quarters program, which features historic lockhouses available for overnight stays. Learn more and book your stay here.

Book Now

Make a Gift to Save Swains Lockhouse

Funding for the Rehabilitation of Swains Lockhouse has been raised from private donors by the C&O Canal Trust in the amount of $75,000. Money is also being provided by the C&O Canal National Historical Park, Friends of Historic Great Falls Tavern, and the C&O Canal Association. We are now raising an additional $25,000 for furnishings for Swains Lockhouse.

We welcome your financial support. Click the “Give Now” button and select “Swains Lockhouse” on the Gift Designation dropdown menu.

Give Now

Rehabilitation Blog

Furnishing Lockhouse 21

Canal Quarters Program

The Canal Quarters program hosts visitors for overnight stays in lockhouses to deepen their appreciation for the Canal’s history. Each lockhouse has been furnished to represent a time period in American history, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience life as a lock keeper once lived. Swains Lockhouse is currently being rehabilitated and will be furnished as it could have appeared in 1916, with some creative liberties in the amenities and an ADA-accessible first floor. (more…)

A few photos from the Swains rehab

Here are some recent shots of the progress being made at Swains Lockhouse! The contractor is 40% finished. They have completed the electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work on the first floor and have moved to the second floor. (more…)

Funding for this project was provided in part by Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historical Trust.