Last summer, visitors to Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park got a peek into 1916 when Swains Lockhouse reopened after extensive rehabilitation. Thanks to a $10,000 grant from Eastern National, the parent company of America’s National Parks™, the lockhouse has been furnished with period furniture that reflects life along the canal in the year of the National Park Service’s founding, when Woodrow Wilson was president and the women’s and civil rights movements were gathering steam. In a unique twist to this interpretive resource, visitors can stay in the lockhouse overnight for a fully immersive park experience.
Since reopening to the public in June 2019, Swains Lockhouse has hosted hundreds of overnight visitors, with many more anticipated during the upcoming 2020 season. Day visitors and school field trip groups will also learn about Swains this year, as the park incorporates the lockhouse into its school tours. More than 1,700 students are expected to participate in the program each school year.
Overnight stays in Swains Lockhouse are facilitated by the C&O Canal Trust and can be arranged at CanalQuarters.org.
Image: Before and after photos of the kitchen (top) and living areas (bottom) at Swains Lockhouse. Photos: C&O Canal Trust.