Like the singular inclined plane at Georgetown, at Mile 174.2 are the remnants of the only steam pumping station along the canal. The original steam pumping station was constructed in Oldtown and used for about 20 years. It was inefficient and aging, so a new steam pumping station was built here in 1872. The steam pumping station pumped water up from the Potomac and directly into the canal ditch. As Dam Number 7 was never built and Dam 8 at Cumberland had to water the canal for 50 miles, canal engineers thought this would help keep canal levels deep enough for boats to safely pass through the canal's waters.
Photo Credit: C&O Canal National Historical Park