Dating back to 1832, Potomac, Maryland’s Swains Lockhouse is in need of a lot of work.
Over the past few years, the structure, otherwise known as Lockhouse 21, has fallen into disrepair and suffered from run-ins with vandals, according to the C&O Canal Trust. Because of the property’s historicity and potential for multiple uses, the National Park Service Centennial Challenge Program has provided a $100,000 grant to support the rehabilitation of the property.
The grant is also matched by $108,160, which was raised by the C&O Canal Trust, the Friends of Historic Great Falls Tavern, and the C&O Canal Association and also supported by Maryland Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen. $75,000 of those funds were raised by individual donors and a grant from the France-Merrick Foundation.
So far, the National Park Service Centennial Challenge Program has rehabilitated six historic lockhouses along the C&O Canal. Once fully rehabilitated, Swains Lockhouse will become one of the Canal Quarters lockhouses where guests can stay overnight with accommodations for up to eight guests. It will also house a multi-use space for interpretive programs like Canal Classrooms. There have also been discussions to create a space for artists-in-residence during the off-season.
In the Canal Quarters, each of the lockhouses represent a specific time in the C&O Canal’s history, between 1830 and 1954. Swains Lockhouse will interpret the year 1916, when the National Park Service was created, with furnishings to match.
• Save Swains Lockhouse: Rehabilitation of Lockhouse 21 [C&O Canal Trust]
• Swains Lockhouse in Potomac to Be Renovated With National Park Service Grant [Bethesda Magazine]