The canal is associated in most people's minds with coal and perhaps grain and flour, fuel for industry and working families, but it has been the source of fine architecture and grand monuments as well. Red sandstone from Seneca went into the Smithsonian "Castle" on the National Mall, and this campsite marks the birthplace of some of our capitol's monumental grandeur. Before the canal was built, famous architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe visited here to find stone for the Capitol building's columns, to be rebuilt following its burning by the British in 1814. Choice of this stone was controversial, and no less a personage than President Monroe came to inspect the quarry as well. Today visitors may not cart off stone, or float it down the river, but they can enjoy a very nice campsite by the Potomac.
Photo Credit: C&O Canal National Historical Park