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Recreation After Restoration: CCC Life Along the Canal

By History, Stories

William Allen lived and worked at Camp NP-2 in Cabin John, and was well known to his fellow enrollees as the “camp jitterbug No. 1” for his dancing all about the camp. In June 1938, the camp welcomed a new batch of enrollees from Baltimore. Not long after that, Allen stopped dancing – those “Baltimore boys” were experienced visitors to jazz clubs, and Allen was essentially shamed into early dancing retirement by his friends. Read More

The CCC and the C&O

By History, Stories

The C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) traces its existence as a recreational site to hundreds of young black men. These men, all of whom were out-of-work and between 18 and 25 years old, lived and worked at two camps (Camp NP-1 and Camp NP-2) operated by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), located along the canal near present-day Carderock Recreation Area from 1938-1942. Read More

Canal Town Spotlight: Sharpsburg, MD

By Towns and Communities

History
Sharpsburg has arguably one of the most colorful histories of any of our Canal Towns. In 1763, a man named Joseph Chapline founded Sharpsburg (then called Sharps Burgh) in honor of his friend, Governor Horatio Sharpe. Chapline chose this tract of land because of its easy access to water. The “Great Spring” of Sharpsburg can still be seen in the large pool that sits in the middle of the block behind Town Hall. Read More

Historian to present free lecture on the C&O Canal’s African American Civilian Conservation Corps

By News, Uncategorized

Please note: The 12 p.m. lecture has sold out. Please email whitman@canaltrust.org if you would like to be placed on a waiting list. We hope you will join us at the open house, which does not require an RSVP.

Free open house at Lockhouse 10 to follow.
Potomac, MD – The C&O Canal Trust and the C&O Canal National Historical Park will host a lecture on Sunday, February 25 from 12-1 p.m. by historian Dr. Josh Howard about two African American Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps that existed along the C&O Canal from 1938-1942. Located near Cabin John and Carderock, Maryland, the camps were established as a part of the New Deal program and are a unique lens to examine the African American experience in the CCC, as most of the CCC’s history has been based on its white enrollees. Howard will present his research as a part of Black History Month.  Read More

Snapshots of 2017 on the C&O Canal

By Photography

January getting you down? Look back at 2017 in the C&O Canal National Historical Park with each month’s photo contest winner! These photos capture the beauty of the park, which cannot be rivaled anywhere else. Next time you visit the park, make sure you bring your camera and submit a photo to our monthly contest. For more information on the contest and how to enter, visit our website. Read More

C&O Canal Trust to Host Clean Up Event in C&O Canal National Historical Park to Mark MLK Day of Service January 15

By News

The C&O Canal Trust will be hosting a clean-up event at Lock 8 in the C&O Canal National Historical Park to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Monday, January 15. Approximately 30 volunteers from the local area will be removing invasive winter plants and picking up trash around Lock 8, located off Clara Barton Parkway in Cabin John, Montgomery County, MD. Read More

Daofeng & Angela Foundation Donates 15 Benches to the C&O Canal National Historical Park

By News

The C&O Canal Trust will be installing 15 new benches in 2018 in the C&O Canal National Historical Park at popular access points between Swains Lock and Cumberland, thanks to philanthropists Daofeng He and his wife Angela Yang Cui. The couple is making the donation in appreciation for the Park and to provide a much-needed amenity for visitors upriver from Great Falls. Read More

The Beautiful Fall Foliage of the C&O Canal

By Photography

We are in the peak fall foliage season here in Maryland, and we have collected some of our favorite photos of the canal bursting with color!

Where possible, we have linked the photos’ descriptions to their locations in the C&O Canal National Historical Park so you can go out and see the beautiful fall color for yourself! Read More

C&O Canal’s Swains Lockhouse Rehabilitation Awarded $100,000 Centennial Challenge Grant

By News, Swains

The C&O Canal Trust announced today that the National Park Service Centennial Challenge Program has provided a $100,000 matching grant to support the rehabilitation of Swains Lockhouse in Potomac. The grant, supported by Maryland Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, will be matched by $108,160 raised by the C&O Canal Trust, the Friends of Historic Great Falls Tavern, and the C&O Canal Association. It will be used to fund deferred maintenance on a critically-endangered lockhouse. Read More

Mercer Canal Boat at Great Falls

Experience History: Mule-Pulled Boat Rides on the Charles F. Mercer

By History, Things to Do
Charles F. Mercer Canal Boat by John Gensor

Charles F. Mercer Canal Boat by John Gensor

The 1870s are alive and well in the C&O Canal National Historical Park. Experience a history lesson, a unique boat ride, and the famous C&O Canal mules when you take a trip on the Charles F. Mercer canal boat at the historic Great Falls Tavern.  It’s a great way to see how folks lived and worked along the canal during its heyday. 

The Charles F. Mercer is a replica packet Canal boat, named after Charles Fenton Mercer who was the first president of the C&O Canal Company from 1828-1833. Packet boats like the Mercer operated regularly and carried visitors back and forth between Georgetown and the Great Falls area. Your ride on the Mercer will begin at the Tavern and take you upstream through a historic operating lock as your boat is raised eight feet to meet the height of the canal waters. The boat, fully loaded with passengers, will then be pulled upstream by the famous C&O Canal mules while park rangers in period clothing describe what life was like for people who lived and worked on the canal during the 1800s. 

Take a look at Visit Montgomery’s video to see what it’s like to experience a ride on the Mercer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDG_7nsUpnE. 

Tickets can be purchased at the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center in the park at 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, MD.  The Charles F. Mercer boat capacity is 65 people and boat programs last approximately one hour. Rides are offered weekends, including some Fridays, during the spring and summer. Check if the boat is operating before setting out at https://www.nps.gov/choh/planyourvisit/great-falls-canal-boat-rides.htm.

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C&O Canal Trust Named ‘One of the Best’ Nonprofits by the Catalogue for Philanthropy

By News

Following a competitive review, the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington has named the C&O Canal Trust one of the best nonprofits in the Washington, DC, area. To be included in the Class of 2017-18, the C&O Canal Trust underwent extensive vetting and was judged to have met the Catalogue’s high standards. Potential donors can be confident that the nonprofits in the Catalogue are worthy of their support. This is the first time the Trust has been included in the Catalogue. Read More

Canal Town Spotlight: Brunswick, MD

By Towns and Communities

History

Brunswick should really be called a “Railroad Town”, but we like them, so they are a Canal Town anyway!  Unlike any of the other towns, the B&O Railroad built Brunswick far more than the canal ever did. While the Canal came through in the 1830’s, it was the decision by the B&O Railroad in the late 1800’s, to relocate their rail yard here that truly made the City of Brunswick.  For a time, the six-mile long railroad yard at Brunswick was the largest in the world. Read More

National Historic Preservation Month

By History

May is National Historic Preservation Month! Historic preservation is very important to us here at the C&O Canal Trust, and much of our work involves partnering with the National Park Service staff to preserve the historic structures in the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP). Read on to learn more! Read More

A Look Through the Lens at 2016 on the C&O Canal

By Photography

Take a look back at 2016 in the C&O Canal National Historical Park with each month’s photo contest winner! Each of these photos represents something that makes the C&O Canal National Historical Park great! Next time you visit the park be sure to capture some of the beauty you encounter and submit it to our photo contest. For information on how you can enter the photo contest visit our webpage at https://www.canaltrust.org/news/photo-contest/. Read More

10th Annual Canal Pride Events Announced

By News

The C&O Canal Trust, in partnership with the C&O Canal National Historical Park, has announced the dates of their 10th annual C&O Canal Pride Days, the single largest volunteer event to take place in the Park each year. An estimated 300-400 volunteers from around the community are expected to attend and will spend the morning working on projects to restore and revitalize the C&O Canal National Historical Park.

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