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Seneca%252525252Bvicinity

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Stone Cutting Building, Tschiffeley Mill Road, Seneca, Montgomery County, MD



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Item Title


Location
Tschiffeley Mill Road, Seneca%252525252Bvicinity, MD

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Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS MD-299
Building/structure dates: 1830 initial construction
Significance: The Senaca quarries and cutting building are located along the banks of the Potomac River 25 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., near the town of Senaca, Maryland. In the 1780's the freestone from the quarries was used in the construction of the skirting canals around the Great Falls of the Potomac on the Virginia side of the river; in the 1820's and 1830's various sections of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal were lined up with Senaca stone; and in 1847 the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., was constructed of red Senaca freestone. The cutting and dressing building for the quarried stone was probably built in the 1830's, when water from the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was available as a source of power. A divisionary stream from the canal supplied a turbine which drove a shaft located in a trench in the building. From the shaft the stone saws and polishers were driven by a system of pulleys and flat belts. Stones from the quarries were brought to the building in mule-drawn gondolas over a narrow gauge railroad track; finished stone could be shipped easily to the Washington area.

Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

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