• Historic Shot of Canal Boat on the Canal

    Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

    National Historical Park DC,MD,WV

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  • Road to Big Slackwater Boat Ramp Closed

    For 60 days contractors will be replacing the bridge on the road to the the boat ramp. The road will be closed for non-offical traffic. More »

  • 15 Mile Creek Campground closed Evening of May 9

    Attention Campers: Fifteenmile Creek Campground will be closed for repairs May 9th, 5pm to May 10th, 1pm. **The nearest alternative car-camping sites are Paw Paw Tunnel located on Mile 156.1 or McCoys Ferry on Mile 110.4. Thank you for your cooperation.

  • Howard Street Parking Lot Closed in Cumberland

    Starting Mon. April 21, 2014, the paved lot under the I-68 Bridge at Howard St. used for long-term trail parking for the towpath and GAP will be closed for continued bridge repair. Use the gravel lot adjacent to the Footer Dye Works Building instead.

  • Howard Street Parking Lot Closed in Cumberland

    Starting Mon. April 21, 2014, the paved lot under the I-68 Bridge at Howard St. used for long-term trail parking for the towpath and GAP will be closed for continued bridge repair. Use the gravel lot adjacent to the Footer Dye Works Building instead.

Classroom Links

Primary Source Material

Here are three excellent websites with on-line primary source materials about the canal:

1) C&O Canal Association collection includes newspaper reports, payroll records, compilations of canal boat mortgages, family histories, and canal boat registers and logs.

2) The Library of Congress holds an amazing array of primary source materials about the canal including photographs, maps, drawings, and the Edison video "Down the Old Potomac." Just enter "Chesapeake & Ohio Canal" to search the catalog.

3) Western Maryland's Historical Library site hosts historic photographs, maps, and Civil War era documents related to the canal in Allegany and Washington Counties. One document that may be of interest is the Department of Labor report on the working conditions of Canal Boat children, written in 1921.

Videos

The National Park Service created educational videos for your classroom. These and more videos by our park partners are available on our You Tube channel.

Virtual Tour - Canal Discoveries
Read and listen to nearly fifty stories about the Canal at the C&O Canal Trust website. Canal Discoveries are organized by towpath mile and include audio, short stories, and photographs about the park's natural and historic places. What canal site is near your school?

Teaching with Historic Places
The National Park Service provides dozens of standards-based lesson plans about the nation's historic places, including one about theconstruction of the C&O Canal. You can search by location, theme, skill, time period, and even primary source material type. Visit theTeaching with Historic Places website to see why "real historic places generate excitement and curiosity."

Other North American Canals
The C&O Canal is just one of many canals built in the United States. Learn more about our nation's commerce and transportation history by visiting the National Canal Museum website or the North American Canals website.

Did You Know?

Photo of park rangers interpreting building the canal.

Canal historians estimate approximately 35,000 laborers helped dig the canal as well as build aqueducts, culverts, locks, lock houses, etc. It took 22 years to build the canal from Georgetown, DC to Cumberland, MD. Much of the workforce were immigrants from Ireland and western Europe. More...