The C&O Canal was conceived to be an affordable artery of transportation between the Chesapeake Bay and Ohio. Construction began in the 1830’s with the canal opening to barge traffic in 1850. Goods were moved by barges pulled by mule teams. The canal spans 184 miles and roughly follows the Potomac River. Seventy five locks were built to raise and lower the barges.
In retrospect the canal’s builders and investors had overlooked one very important competitor, a competitor who would keep the C&O from becoming the profitable investment they intended it to be, a competitor who would along with the rampaging Potomac River eventually become it's downfall, the B&O railroad.
Today the C&O is a National Historic Park. The tow path that mules once trod is now a hiking and biking path. Remnants of the canal are still visible.
I captured this image from inside of lock 47.