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Lockhouse open houses scheduled

October 11, 2009

The C&O Canal Trust, in partnership with the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, has scheduled open houses at three lockhouses that will be available to the public for the first time for overnight stays as part of the new Canal Quarters Interpretive Program.

Lockhouses were the residences of the men and their families who operated the lock gates.

The lockhouses and open house dates are:

  • Lockhouse 49 at Four Locks near Clear Spring, Saturday, Oct. 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Lockhouse 22 at Pennyfield Lock near Potomac, Md., Sunday, Nov. 1, from noon to 4 p.m.

  • Lockhouse 6 near the Brookmont community off Clara Barton Parkway, Sunday, Nov. 8, from noon to 4 p.m.

    The public is invited to the free open houses. Seasonal refreshments will be provided.

    During the open houses, visitors will be able to see the inside of the restored lockhouses, learn local lore from park rangers and find out more about the interpretive program. 

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The Canal Quarters lockhouses have been rehabilitated and furnished to evoke different eras in the canal's history, according to a press release from canal officials. The furnishings in Lockhouse 49 reflect the period of the early 20th century, toward the end of the canal's operation, the release said.

Lockhouse 22 will show what life was like during the establishment and construction of the canal in the 1830s. Lockhouse 6 is furnished as it might have been in the 1950s to tell the story of the campaign to preserve the canal led by Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.

Immediately following the open houses, the public will be able to make online reservations on the C&O Canal Trust's Web site at www.canaltrust.org to schedule their stay.

"Nothing quite like this has ever been offered to the public in a national park," C&O Canal Trust President Matthew Logan said in the release. "We are excited to provide a new way for people of all ages to experience this world-class resource."

Kevin Brandt, superintendent of the C&O Canal National Historic Park, said in the release: "Our lockhouses are over 170 years old and we know that the best way to save these invaluable buildings is to use them in an appropriate manner. This program allows us to accomplish two key goals: protecting our historic structures while offering an extraordinary interpretive experience."

There are 26 lockhouses in the C&O Canal National Historic Park. All are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The C&O Canal has more than 1,300 historic structures, more than any other park in the country, the release says.

Founded in 2007, the C&O Canal Trust is an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect, restore and promote the C&O Canal National Historical Park. As the official "friends" organization for the park, the Trust seeks to ensure that the C&O Canal's natural, historical, and recreational potential is fully realized.

For more information, go to www.nps.gov/choh.

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