The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Washington D.C. / Maryland

John Cowgill: Stories of the Railroad

The Ruins of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in Georgetown in Washington D.C.

In the early days of the continent of North America, settlers came to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, and they began to migrate west. Towns were established across the land. The only access to these towns were by horse or by horse and buggy. The further they went inland, the less access they had to a navigable waterway. Many canals were built to give boat access to these towns to navigable waterways and to the ocean. One of these canals was the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. With the Potomac River unnavigable north of Washington D.C., the canal was built along the north side (Maryland side) of the Potomac River. It was going to allow boats to go from the Chesapeake Bay to the Ohio River in what is now Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The Ruins of a Canal…

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