C&O Canal - Lock #5
Posted by: ParrotRob
N 38° 56.390 W 077° 07.312
18S E 316099 N 4312240
Quick Description: Lock #5 (of 74) on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal - Brookmont Lock - Mile 5.02
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 5/16/2006 7:06:24 PM
Waymark Code: WMCT4
Long Description:Brookmont Lock
This is the fifth lock, heading west, in the Chesapeake and Ohio canal system. It is located in Montgomery County, Maryland, just outside the DC line in an area known as Brookmont. This lock is reached from the southbound Clara Barton Parkway. It is the first lock in Maryland, at approximately milepost 5.1 on the canal. There is also a feeder gate here connecting the canal to the Potomac River above Little Falls and used to regulate the water level between here and Georgetown.
To visit Lock #5, you can park right at the lock itself, but only if your vehicle has good ground clearance as there is a rather large bump to climb over to get to the parking area. Otherwise, you could park 0.2 miles farther up the road at Lock #6 and walk down the towpath.
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal runs 184.5 miles from Georgetown in Washington, DC to Cumberland, Maryland, paralleling the largely unnavigable Potomac River. Originally conceived by George Washington, the intent of the canal was to open shipping to the coal-rich area of Western Maryland, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania, with the original intention of linking to the Ohio River in Pittsburgh.
Construction of the canal began on July 4, 1828, the same day that ground was broken for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in Baltimore, Maryland. By the time the canal reached Cumberland in 1850 it was many years behind schedule and tens of millions of dollars over budget. Although profitable for a brief period during the mid-19th century, as a commercial venture, the canal was doomed by the success of the railroad and operation of the canal was discontinued in 1924 following a catastrophic flood.
In 1938, the federal government acquired the canal land from the then-owner, the B&O Railroad with the intention of converting the canal and towpath into a highway, an idea that persisted well into the 1950's. Supreme Court Justice William Douglas campaigned for the preservation of the land and garnered much publicity by walking the entire towpath in March of 1954 eventually leading to the abandonment of the highway plan. The entire 184.5 miles of canal land were made into a National Historical Park by President Nixon in 1971.
For more information on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, visit www.candocanal.org
Waterway Name: Chesapeake & Ohio Canal
Georgetown, DC to Cumberland, Maryland
Date Opened: 09/01/1831
Date Closed (if applicable): 03/29/1924
Elevation Difference (meters): 3.00
Site Status: Inactive
Web Site: [Web Link]
Logs marked as “visits” should be made after physically visiting the waymark location. Include a picture taken during the visit. Notes may be logged by individuals who have visited the web site or looked at the online information and would like to provide comments or feedback on the waymark.