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Cumberland, Maryland (C&O Canal)

C&O Canal Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


United States President John Quincy Adams turned the first shovel of dirt on July 4, 1828, at Georgetown, Maryland, thus starting the building of the C&O Canal. George Washington thought of building a canal two years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence and was the first president of the Canal Company. He resigned this office to become the first president of the United States.

The C&O Canal was completed to Cumberland in October, 1850. It was 184 1/2 miles long, 60 to 70 feet wide, and six feet deep. The towpath was 12 feet wide. There were 74 locks, 11 aqueducts, one tunnel which was 3,080 feet long, and the total cost of construction was $27,000,000.

At Cumberland there were coal loading wharves, boatyards to build and repair canal boats, mule sheds to house the mules that towed the boats, and the local office of the Canal Company.

5. What important events connected with the C&O Canal occurred in Cumberland?

On October 23, 1869, it was announced that on and after November 1, 1869, no trade or traffic would be allowed on the C&O Canal on the Sabbath Day.

On August 18, 1871, President Clark of the Canal Company countermanded the order of October 23, 1869 prohibiting boating on Sundays.

On Thursday, August 18, 1870, Captain Henry Miller of the canal boat "Thomas H. Faile" was murdered and found on the deck of his boat at Oldtown. Before death came to Captain Miller, he named one John Howard as being the one that committed the crime. Howard was later arrested and on October 27, 1870 was found guilty and was sentenced to be hanged. On Friday


Page #:

Miller, Herman J.

Mayor and Council, City of Cumberland


Collection Location:

Original Size:
27 x 20 cms

Stegmaier, Harry

Cumberland (Md.), history

Cumberland (Md.), 1700-1976

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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