Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, Lock 33 Complex, Mile 60.7, Sharpsburg, Washington County, MD
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Mile 60.7, Sharpsburg vicinity, MD
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Documentation compiled after 1968.
Survey number HAER MD-27
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-18).
Building/structure dates: 1833 initial construction
Significance: Soon after the settled frontier was extended beyond the Allegheny Mountains, plans were developed to provide transportation between east and west by way of the Potomac River. Initial efforts by George Washington's Potowmack Company failed, and in 1828 the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company was organized. Navigation commenced as sections were completed and the final link between the Great Cacapon and Cumberland, Maryland began operation on October 10, 1850. Seventy-four lift locks raised the level of the canal from Tidewater at Georgetown in the District of Columbia to 605 feet at Cumberland, 184.5 miles away. Canal boats carrying coal, flour, grain and lumber were used on the canal until 1924, when major flood caused so much damage that it was not feasible to repair the waterway. While the canal never achieved national prominence, it played a significant role in the social and economic development of western Maryland and the Potomac Valley.
Locks (hydraulic Facilities)
Littlejohn,Thompson & Company
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
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