Large crowd of people on a canal boat
People crowded on canal boat with hats and parasols

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The story of the canal is a story of people. Visionaries looked forward to a developed nation and saw a gateway west. Immigrants performed back-breaking labor constructing the manmade waterway in search of prosperity and a new beginning in America.

From the beginnings of the Patowmack Canal, predecessor to the C&O Canal, to the making of a national historical park, thousands of people have driven and shaped the canal's story and its course in our nation's history.

Notable people associated with the canal include:

Families and workers have stories to tell, as well. Read interviews, find information about family life, and explore the extensive list of canal workers' names. The Civilian Conservation Corps also worked on the canal.

To learn more about the C&O Canal's unique history search the links and if you can't find what you are looking for contact us for additional information.

Last updated: December 15, 2020

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