C&O Canal lockhouse set for renovation

Lockhouse 21 on the C&O Canal, in Potomac, locally known as Swains Lockhouse, will undergo a renovation, the Canal Quarters program announced Saturday. (Photo courtesy of the C&O Canal Trust)

WASHINGTON — Another lockhouse along the C & O Canal will undergo a renovation.

Lockhouse 21, in Potomac, Maryland, more generally known as Swains Lockhouse after the family who lived there for years, will be the seventh lockhouse along the canal to be renovated under the Canal Quarters program, the C & O Canal Trust announced Saturday.

The lockhouse was built in 1832. Generations of the Swain family lived in and operated the lockhouse, beginning in the early 20th century, the trust says in a statement. After the canal was closed to boats in 1924, the family ran a refreshment stand and boat rental out of the lockhouse. It closed in 2006; the trust says it’s “in dire need of structural and architectural repairs.”

The trust has begun raising money for the renovation, and says construction will begin once money is available.

The other lockhouses renovated under the program depict a period between 1830 and 1854, the trust says, and allow visitors to spend up to three nights there. More than 10,000 guests from 37 states have stayed in the houses, according to the trust.

The theme and time period for Swains hasn’t been determined, but the trust says the lockhouse, bigger than the other ones in the Canal Quarters program, will host up to eight guests as well as space for the Canal Classrooms program, which would host field trips from area schools.

Canal Quarters is a partnership between the C & O Canal Trust and the C & O Canal National Historical Park. Swains will be the first lockhouse to be renovated since 2011.

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