Swains Lockhouse is officially open! After an intensive rehabilitation, Swains Lockhouse has joined the award-winning Canal Quarters program and is available to guests for overnight stays.
National Park Service Ranger Carl Lennartson, usually on duty at Great Falls and occasionally at Georgetown, provided insights into the historical interpretation of Swains Lockhouse for this post.
After three years of fundraising, planning, and construction, the C&O Canal Trust, the nonprofit partner of the C&O Canal National Historical Park, today cut the ribbon at the newly-rehabilitated Swains Lockhouse. This historic lockhouse, located at a popular entrance point to the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) at Lock 21 in Potomac, Maryland, will join the C&O Canal Trust’s award-winning Canal Quarters program as the seventh lockhouse available to guests for overnight stays. Read More
After three years of fundraising, planning, and construction, the doors to the newly-rehabilitated Swains Lockhouse will swing open to guests this summer. This historic lockhouse, located at a popular entrance point to the C&O Canal National Historical Park at Lock 21 in Potomac, Maryland, will join the C&O Canal Trust’s award-winning Canal Quarters program as the seventh lockhouse available to guests for overnight stays. Read More
The C&O Canal Trust is rehabilitating Swains Lockhouse to prepare it to join the Canal Quarters program. Former residents of this lockhouse, the Swain family, have decades of memories from their life in the house, when they endured several floods and crafted methods for protecting their home through necessity. Visitors can see the metal high water markers on the side of the house placed by family and various official entities. Bert Swain, who lived at Lock 21 from 1957-1980, generously shared his family memories and photos for this post.
The C&O Canal Trust is rehabilitating Swains Lockhouse at Lock 21 to become the newest addition to the Canal Quarters program. Bert Swain, who lived at Lock 21 from 1957-1980, generously shared his family memories and photos for this post about changes to the lockhouse and the family business over the years. Read More
The C&O Canal Trust is rehabilitating Swains Lockhouse at Lock 21 to become the newest addition to the Canal Quarters program. Bert Swain, who lived at Lock 21 from 1957-1980, generously shared his family memories and photos for this post. Read More
With its location along the Potomac River, it’s not a matter of if the C&O Canal and its lockhouses will be flooded but when. The Canal has experienced flooding ranging from inconvenient to destructive throughout its history. In early June of this year, the Potomac reached its highest level in 8 years as rehabilitation work continued at Swains Lockhouse. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
The C&O Canal Trust and the C&O Canal National Historical Park broke ground on the Swains Lockhouse rehabilitation project on March 17, 2018. Read More
Two years ago, we announced the rehabilitation of Swains Lockhouse and successfully raised $75,000 for the project. Well, the wheels of historic preservation sometime turn slowly, and we encountered several delays while we looked for a contractor who could restore Swains to its former glory in a fiscally-responsible manner. We persevered and are thrilled that construction began last week on the rehab! Read More
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
The C&O Canal Trust will be hosting an Open House with free hardhat tours of Swains Lockhouse in Potomac, MD on Saturday, November 5 from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Read More
The Swains Lockhouse rehabilitation will be special for many reasons: Its beautiful setting, rich history, access for the disabled, and perfect timing—as a tribute to the National Park’s 100th birthday. But there’s another feature of Swains that could have a positive impact for many years to come… Read More
This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. That’s huge because of what the national parks mean to us, and how many millions of people have marveled at the natural and historic wonders that are protected within park boundaries. Read More
Swains Lockhouse, soon to be the seventh Canal Quarters residence, sits in a picturesque location along the C&O Canal. The Potomac River, just yards away, provides wonderful views, radiant sunsets, cool breezes, and outdoor recreation. Read More
If you’re researching the lives of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, or Martin Luther King, your Google search shouldn’t pose any problems. But what if you had to profile Mary Virginia Swain, a woman who lived an unassuming life in a lockhouse on the C&O Canal in the early 1900s? Read More
The C&O Canal Trust is fortunate to have Robert Mertz as its friend and volunteer — Robert has furnished all six lockhouses in period style, and he is on board to bring the year 1916 to life in Lockhouse 21. Read More
How did the rundown lockhouses along the Canal turn into Canal Quarters, an award-winning program that over 10,000 people have experienced? This week, we will take a look at the development of the program, which the Swains lockhouse will join after its rehab is complete. Read More
In its heyday, the C&O Canal was a 185-mile linear community. At any given time, as many as 530 or more Canal boats worked their way back and forth between Georgetown and Cumberland and points in between. Read More
“From inside our lockhouse, I could hear the children laughing out by the firepit—a corny joke from their father, no doubt. As the last glow of sun shimmered off the Canal upstream, the low light of the lantern began to illuminate the wood floor planks, simple furnishings, and a pitcher of cider still sitting on the table from dinner. Life is good here.” Read More
Swains Lockhouse showcases the Historic Preservation Training Center’s passion for history and craftsmanship
There’s a lot of love going into the Swains Lockhouse rehabilitation. It comes from the C&O Canal Trust that chose the Swains home for their newest Canal Quarters guest house, and it comes from the National Park Service (NPS) that is pouring its resources into interpreting the home as it appeared in 1916. The result will be an experience that Canal Quarters guests will cherish forever. Read More
For now Swains Lockhouse is a stone shell, sealed for the winter. But an amazing transformation is about to take place adjacent to Lock 21. Read More
The Canal Quarters each interpret a different period of Canal history. What period will Swains Lockhouse interpret? Read on! Read More
History is all around us.
The mid-Atlantic is rich with reminders of America’s great heritage, from battlefields and monuments to buildings and structures that help to tell our young nation’s story. Read More
Do you believe in time travel? Over the coming months, a two-story stone home in Potomac, MD will transported back to the early 1900s. Read More
Lockhouse 21, locally known as “Swains Lockhouse” after the family who inhabited it for years, will be the seventh lockhouse rehabilitated as part of the award-winning Canal Quarters program, the C&O Canal Trust and the C&O Canal National Historical Park announced Saturday evening. Read More