Boat Rides at Great Falls
Due to low water levels in the Great Falls area, please call the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center (301-767-3714) in advance of your trip to confirm the mule-drawn boat tour schedule.
Canal President Charles Fenton Mercer
Charles Fenton Mercer, visionary, entrepreneur, businessman and politician spearheaded the construction of the C&O Canal. In 1823, he led a canal convention that included investors like Francis Scott Key. Five years later, he watched President John Quincy Adams break ground for the canal at Little Falls on July 4, 1828.
Although John Eaton became president of the canal company in 1833, Mercer continued to serve as an advocate of federally funded internal improvements, such as the canal, while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. One of his dreams was to construct a great canal across the Isthmus of Panama to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Did You Know?
The C&O Canal begins in Georgetown. The canal made extra money by selling water to numerous factories in Georgetown to power water driven machinery such as water wheels, etc. Many factories were located next to canal property.