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Hebb's boat #6 - Big Slackwater ( more details)

Hebb's boat #6 Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Hebb's boat #6 in Big Slackwater.

Pictured above is Augustus Asbury Hebb’s canal boat # 6 in Big Slackwater. Captain Gus (1871-1936) was from Sharpsburg and rented mules and boated on the C&O Canal as did his father Richard. Captain Gus sold water melons from his boat for ten cents to people along the canal although his main freight was coal from the Cushwa and Steffey & Findlay Coal dealers in Williamsport. After the canal closed in 1924, Hebb worked at the Pinesburg quarries and at Nestles Quarry at Marlowe, WV from 1924 – 1926 (Norris, 40; U.S. Census). Note from the position of the mules the length of the tow rope which was generally about 35 yards (Hooper).

Big Slackwater is the pool formed by Dam 4. Because of a rocky ridge that created a formidable barrier to the canal, it is actually ended at Inlet (or Guard) Lock 4. Here the boats would pass into the river’s relatively calm or “slack water” stretch behind the dam. Where the boats were in the river, the towpath was built along the river bank. The stretch of river navigation in Big Slackwater is two and a half miles long and ends where the canal resumes with lock 41 and lock 42. Slackwater navigation was also used in the pool behind Dam 5, but that stretch is only half a mile long and is therefore known as Little Slackwater.


Public domain

Mile 85.62

Norris, F. S.; The Hebbs of Washington County, Maryland : the descendants of Richard Hebb and Ann Thomas, [Knoxville, MD (1752 Rohrersville Road, Knoxville, MD 21758)] : F.S. Norris, 1998.


Collection Location:
C&O National Historic Park

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (Md.); Washington County (Md.), History

Maryland, 1824-1938

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

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