Save Swains Lockhouse: Rehabilitation of Lockhouse 21

Swains Lockhouse, the popular C&O Canal access spot in Potomac, has fallen into disrepair and has 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!

Therefore, we have decided to rehabilitate the lockhouse, so it can 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.

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.

Photo Album

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.

Book Now

Make a Gift to Save Swains Lockhouse

Funding for the Rehabilitation of Swains Lockhouse is being raised from private donors by the C&O Canal Trust in the amount of $75,000. Money is also being provided by the C&O Canal National Historical Park, Friends of Historic Great Falls Tavern, and the C&O Canal Association.

We welcome your financial support. Click the “Give Now” button and select “Swains Lockhouse” on the Gift Designation dropdown menu.

Give Now

Rehabilitation Blog

Work at Swains is finally beginning!

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! (more…)

C&O Canal’s Swains Lockhouse Rehabilitation Awarded $100,000 Centennial Challenge Grant

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. (more…)

Swains Lockhouse Open for Free Hardhat Tours November 5

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. (more…)

Funding for this project was provided in part by Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historical Trust.