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Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, page 2

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


While everyone is in general agreement that this interesting relic of the past should be preserved, there are sharp differences of opinion as to how the job should be done. One group—and it includes many people in the tristate area adjacent to Cumberland—sees the canal property as a beautified parkway that would exclude trucks and busses, and with the old locks, lock houses and part of the canal itself restored. Over 95 percent of all Americans who visit parks do so by auto, this group points out. Furthermore, it is usually easier to raise funds for such projects when gasoline, oil, rubber tires and shiny new automobiles are involved, they add.

The National Park Service, custodian of the canal, is in general agreement with the parkway proposals. It knows how downright difficult it is to raise funds for projects purely of a restoration nature. And until fairly recently there has been no great clamor from the public for restoration of the canal. Studies made for the Congress show that parkway plans are entirely feasible, the Park Service points out. Then too, a through highway would greatly facilitate its policing and maintenance problems.

Another group, and a decidedly vocal one, contends that Maryland has no need for an "express highway." Existing highways are entirely adequate, they contend. The answer in the judgment of this group—and it includes hunters, fishermen and bird and nature enthusiasts—would be a 186-mile "country lane" along the present towpath of the canal that would include campsites and other recreation facilities. Autos would be given access to but not permitted on this country lane. This access would be created by means of spur roads from existing highways at strategic points. With the


Editor Craig

Covered Bridge with trellised sides over Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, perhaps the bridge used by the mules going back and forth between the canal basin and the river bank where produce was transferred from one place to the other. The towpath is in the right background. From the Herman J. Miller Collection of historical pictures.


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Editor: Felix G. Robinson

Maryland, History


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

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