Swains Lockhouse. Photo from Friends of the Historic Great Falls Tavern.

Heritage Fund Highlight: Swains Lockhouse on the C&O Canal

By Margaret De Arcangelis

In October 2015, Preservation Maryland presented the C&O Canal Trust with a Heritage Fund grant to assist in creative marketing and fundraising strategies in support of the rehabilitation of the Swains Lockhouse in Potomoc, MD. As part of that grant, you can follow along with detailed and interesting accounts of the restoration, and on Saturday, November 5, 2016 take a hard hat tour:

See it for Yourself: The C&O Canal Trust will be hosting an open house with free hard hat tours of Swains Lockhouse in Potomac, MD on Saturday, November 5 from 12pm-4pm. This open house is free to the public and will enable visitors to tour the lockhouse, while learning more about the program and the history of the C&O Canal. Visitors can also enter a contest to win a stay in a Canal Quarters lockhouse.



Swains Lockhouse is currently being rehabilitated by the C&O Canal Trust and the C&O Canal National Historical Park as a National Park Service Centennial project to join the award-winning Canal Quarters program. This open house is a unique opportunity for the public to see the inside of this lockhouse, which is currently stripped of all non-historic material, with the historic structure visible for the first time in years. The National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center in Frederick, MD is responsible for the architectural planning and construction work.

When the rehabilitation is finished, Swains Lockhouse, will interpret the 1916 time period of the Canal’s history, when the canal was nearing the end of its commercial life and the area was becoming a tourism destination for hikers, boaters, and nature lovers. The Swain family lived in the lockhouse during the canal period until 2006, operating a concession stand after the canal closed to boat traffic in 1924.

Additional funding for the rehabilitation project is being provided by the C&O Canal National Historical Park, the C&O Canal Trust, the C&O Canal Association, and the Friends of the Historic Great Falls Tavern.

Margaret De Arcangelis · Preservation Services Director

Margaret De Arcangelis is a former Preservation Services Director at Preservation Maryland.

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