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Brunswick Heritage Museum Highlight

By | History, Landmarks, Things to Do, Towns and Communities, Uncategorized

The Brunswick Heritage Museum, previously the Brunswick Railroad Museum, tells the story of Brunswick, Maryland, the B&O Railroad, and the C&O Canal. Whether you are a canal buff, model train enthusiast, baseball fan, or just want to learn more about the area, the Brunswick Heritage Museum has something for you. The first floor of the museum traces the history of the C&O Canal, from its groundbreaking in 1828 to the land becoming a National Historical Park in 1971. Visitors can learn how canal locks work and compare what it was like to work for the C&O versus the B&O.

Model of a B&O train (left) Model of a C&O Canal lock (right)

 

African Americans at work in Brunswick railroad freight yards. Painting by Carl Butler.

The second floor of the museum depicts how people in Brunswick lived and worked over the years. Carl Butler, whose grandfather was the first black fireman in Brunswick, created a painting of African Americans in Brunswick working in the railroad freight yards, which hangs in the museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Original photos of buildings in Brunswick from the Myer Kapton photograph collection, of over 2,200 photographs taken between 1940 and 1978. The “now” photos were taken by museum volunteers.

Photos of Brunswick “then” and “now” show how the town has changed. The train yard is now the commuter parking lot; a gas station is now the Brunswick Citizen; a bank is now town hall. Just a few feet away from the museum, you can see some of these buildings and picture them as a gas station, bank, and train yard.

 

 

 

 

 

Part of the baseball exhibit.

Baseball has been — and continues to be — important to the Brunswick community. The Brunswick Railroaders Little League statistics from 1986 hang next to current pictures of the Brunswick team in the Little League World Series.  In 1986, when the Railroaders made it to the world series, over half the town travelled to see it, leaving a ghost town. Although the team ultimately lost, they put Brunswick on the map.

 

 

 

 

 

The third floor is the pinnacle of the museum. A model train set depicting the line between Brunswick and Union Station during the 1960s takes up the entire room. The Brunswick train yard is the largest part of the set, which was an accurate depiction of Brunswick until the 1980s when most of the trains moved to Cumberland. Before it was a museum, this room was used as a dance hall for the Lions Club. The museum boasts of having had country music star Patsy Cline as a performer in the 1960s.

Model train depiction of the Brunswick train yard c. 1960

 

The characters on the set are depicted in activities like repairing a roof, putting out a fire, going to the fair, or kayaking. No matter how many times you have been to the museum, it would be almost impossible not to see something new in the train set. If you live near any of the stops on the B&O, like Gaithersburg, Rockville, or Silver Spring, you can compare the 1960s depiction on the train model to your city now.

Model train depiction of the Point of Rocks train station (left) Barnesville (center) and Gaithersburg (right) c. 1960

Because the museum is run by volunteers and donations, it has limited hours. Visit the museum Thursday and Friday 10am-2pm, Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday 1pm-4pm. Learn more about the museum here.

Brunswick is part of the Canal Towns Partnership, a partnership made up of nine communities along the C&O Canal National Historical Park working to give visitors the best experience possible. Learn more about the Canal Towns Partnership here and Brunswick here.

C&O Canal Park Updates: July 2019

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Resurfaced Towpath- C&O Canal Trust

Towpath Resurfacing

The first 5-mile section of towpath resurfacing between Edwards Ferry and Whites Ferry is complete and work is now underway on the stretch between Brunswick and Harpers Ferry. The Park anticipates completing rehabilitation of the towpath all the way to Packhorse Ford near the Shepherdstown Bridge this year. Horseback riders are asked to stay off the newly-resurfaced sections for about three weeks to give the new stone dust surface time to harden.

 

 

 

Locks 3 & 4 Project (Georgetown)

Fletchers Cove- Carole Lewis Anderson

Re-watering of the canal between Georgetown and Fletchers Cove is imminent! A small section of the canal will remain dry to facilitate replacement of the 31st Street bridge by the District of Columbia. Water will be channeled through the dry area via a pipe.

 

 

Locks 5-22 Project

Lockhouse 22 by Denise Schleckser

Work is close to complete on the water management structures between Lock 5 (Fletchers Cove) to Lock 22 (Violettes Lock/Inlet Lock 2). The Park has re-watered the canal from Pennyfield to Violettes Lock, and will re-watering from Great Falls to Pennyfield once work is finished on Lock 19 in July, at which time the Charles F. Mercer boat operation will resume.

 

Conococheague Aqueduct

Monocacy Aqueduct- C&O Canal Trust

Construction on the rehabilitated aqueduct is complete. Contractors are currently waiting for the newly-poured concrete to cure before applying brown stain to the inner wall, built to look like wood to replicate the “fix” to the aqueduct following the collapse of the wall of the aqueduct in 1922. Following water testing, the aqueduct will be officially re-watered, hopefully in July. The ribbon-cutting for the project is expected to take place sometime in August.

 

 

 

Paw Paw Tunnel Rock Scaling Project

Paw Paw Tunnel by Greg Wilson

Rock scaling of the cliff above the towpath on the upriver end of the tunnel will begin as soon as the final engineering design is complete. Hikers and bikers will be able to continue to use the tunnel once the work begins, with flaggers controlling tunnel traffic when necessary.

An Owl Rescue at the C&O Canal

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You may have seen this on our Facebook page:

A baby barred owl, sitting in water.

Photographer- Sandy Rosenblatt

 

We received this adorable photo and the accompanying story through our Facebook photo contest and we are so happy that Sandy thought to share her experience with us!

Now that the contest is over and the winner is announced (this photo in fact! Congrats Sandy Rosenblatt!), we can share all the details!

Sandy was walking along the towpath by Lock 8 in Cabin John, MD and turned to take a dirt trail down to the river. Along the way, she came upon a woman asking for help and she was led to where this barred owlet was sitting in the water. The woman explained that she didn’t know how to help but knew that something needed to be done. Together, they gently took the owlet out of the water and began to warm it up in Sandy’s jacket. After calling animal control, they sat with the owl, keeping it warm and comforting it. The owlet was taken to Owl Moon Raptor Center where they confirmed that although it was uninjured, it was still too young to be able to fly and would likely not have survived the night in the chilly waters. They guessed that he fell into the water and washed downstream.

Go to our Facebook page to see a video with more adorable images and footage provided to us by Sandy Rosenblatt https://www.facebook.com/CanalFriends/videos/447900339104646/

 

Remember, don’t touch wildlife unless you have spoken with a licensed wildlife rehabilitation specialist. Many times, the baby animal is fine and the parents are close by or are returning soon! Fawns can be left for hours while their mothers go out and forage. Fledgling birds (those that have feathers), may be found out of their nest and look lost, but their parents are normally within earshot and are feeding them throughout the day. For more information about specific species, check out this website 

free background music from https://www.fesliyanstudios.com

Thank You Canal Pride Volunteers!

By | News, Uncategorized
We had a great showing of support at our first Canal Pride Day of 2019 at the Paw Paw Campground, held Saturday, April 27. Forty volunteers tackled many tasks during the three hour event. The volunteers removed invasive plant species like garlic mustard and Japanese barberry, beautified the campground, and resurfaced the towpath inside the Paw Paw tunnel.

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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 [email protected] 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