Chesapeake and Ohio Canal – 19th Century Engineering Feat Transf…


Operating West from Rock Creek Park along the Potomac River, the Chesapeake and Ohio (C & O) Canal life on as a shining case in point of the American canal-setting up period. Engineering feats contain the 11 stone aqueducts spanning key Potomac tribulations, the seven dams supplying h2o to the canal as well as 74 diverse canal locks to accommodate the elevation alter of 605 feet.

Concluded in 1850, the Canal&#39s 185 miles are basically unbroken and unchanged from its initial constitution. When the C & O Company formed in 1825, the canal was built to provide an financial trade route in between the eastern seaboard and western Pennsylvania. The C & O Company originally experimented with to make on the Potomac but hold up right after the river&#39s flow proved far too robust and that targeted initiatives on building a individual canal paralleling the river.

Development began in 1828 but was plagued with difficulties from the start. Landowners vigorously preserved efforts to provide their proper-of-means, resulting in a quantity of disputes that believed construction to a standstill for virtually 5 yrs. In 1850, the closing spade of grime was concluded, with the job coming in at a charge of a lot more than $ 11 million. The canal flourished in the a long time pursuing the Civil War, carrying 850,000 tons of coal to fulfill the rapidly developing coal trade.

The fortunes of the canal declined in the late 1870s when the B & O Railroad successfully competed for a lot of the coal shipments. The depression in the mid-1870s coupled with important floods in 1877 and 1886 strained the C & O Business&#39s already precarious funds. The flood of 1889 pressured the organization into individual bankruptcy with the B & O Railroad buying up lots of of the Company&#39s bonds. By the time the canal confronted another crippling flood in 1924, the railroads owned considerably of the trade small business, shutting down the canal for good. The railroad sold the full canal to the US governing administration during the Despair, inserting it under the administration of the Countrywide Park DC escort service.

Designated as a nationwide monument in 1961, the canal was afterwards turned into the C & O Canal Nationwide Historical Park, with the addition of additional land. These days the canal not only serves as a tribute to 19th century engineering but also serves as a well-known getaway for DC inhabitants. With 20,000 acres of land, the park attracts in additional than 3 million people and is a favored place for bikers and joggers. The Funds Crescent Trail, which parallels the C & O Canal in Georgetown, is one particular of the most seriously applied bicycle paths in the nation.


Supply by Mark M. Washburn