We Saved Swains Lockhouse: The Rehabilitation of Lockhouse 21

Book Your Stay at Swains Lockhouse

Guests can now book their stays at Swains Lockhouse! As part of the Canal Quarters program, Swains Lockhouse sleeps 8 guests, who have the unique opportunity to step back in time and live like the lock keepers once did!

Book Swains Now

About the Rehabilitation

Swains Lockhouse, the popular C&O Canal access spot in Potomac, had fallen into disrepair and had suffered from several run-ins with vandals. The C&O Canal Trust and the C&O Canal National Historical Park recognized that if we did not act, this iconic property would be lost forever!

Over the past three years, we have rehabilitated the lockhouse. It will be used as one of our Canal Quarters lockhouses, where guests can stay overnight and experience life along the canal. It will also be used as a multi-use space for interpretive programs like Canal Classrooms.

Bert Swain, who grew up in Lockhouse 21, has shared some of his family stories in three of our most popular blog posts:

We encourage you to follow along on our blog as we detail our work to bring this historic lockhouse back to life, and to visit our photo album to see pictures of Swains then and now.

Read WAMU’s feature story on Swains Lockhouse here.

Rehabilitation Blog

Newly-Renovated Swains Lockhouse Provides Glimpse Into 1916 America

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.


Bringing 1916 Alive at Swains Lockhouse

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.


See all blog posts

Spend a Night in a Historic Lockhouse


When Swains Lockhouse is finished, it will join the Canal Quarters program, which features historic lockhouses available for overnight stays. Learn more and book your stay here.

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Thank You Sponsors

France-Merrick Foundation
Maryland Heritage Areas Authority – Heritage Montgomery
Eastern National
C&O Canal Association
The Friends of the Historic Great Falls Tavern
Robert A. Pascal

Knight and Ann Kiplinger
The Kiplinger Foundation
A.R. Landsman Foundation
C&O Canal Association
Steve and June Chaudet
Paul and Gail Chod
Preservation Maryland

Maryland State Questers – Captain John Chapter
John and April Delaney
Ashby and Katie Chamberlin
John Guttmann and Holly Cannon
Traci Hoffman
Ted and Grace Anne Koppel
Mike and Sue Mitchell

Bud and Dell Cline
Becky Curtis
Kettner and Dana Griswold
Mary Kenzie
John and Rachel King
Keith McConnell
Michael and Kathie Williams