• 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.

Names Associated with the Canal

Canal boat

Many famous people were associated with the C&O Canal. Their names are easily recognized. However, most people involved with the canal were common laborers and families. Many of their names are now lost to history, but their legacy continues to live in the form of NPS interpretive living history programs and the historic structures of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.

The diversity of people and jobs on the canal was significant. The canal became a new home for people looking for work and a chance at a new way of life. Employment opportunities for different ethnic groups would have been available. They might include:

Women on the Canal


Native Americans

Construction Laborers

Whether you were man or woman, boy or girl, the canal was not a respector of persons. Everyone had to work the same jobs to allow a family to make a living and survive.

Did You Know?

Many mules work and have worked at the canal through the years.

A mule is a hybrid animal, a mix of a female horse (a mare) and a male donkey (a jack). Remember, "M" for mom, "M" for mare and "D" for dad, "D" for donkey. Switching the parents will produce a hinny. The mule is the superior work animal, preferred by canal boat captains on the C&O Canal. More...