Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park is located in the District of Columbia and the states of Maryland and West Virginia. The park was established in 1961 as a National Monument by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to preserve the neglected remains of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and many of its original structures; the canal and towpath trail extends along the Potomac River from Georgetown, Washington, D. C. to Cumberland, Maryland, a distance of 184.5 miles. In 2013, the path was designated as the first section of U. S. Bicycle Route 50. Construction on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal began in 1828 and ended in 1850 when the canal reached Cumberland, far short of its intended destination of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There was talk of extending the 184.5-mile canal: for example, an 1874 proposal to dig an 8.4-mile tunnel through the Allegheny Mountains, there was a tunnel built to connect with the Pennsylvania canal. Though the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad beat the canal to Cumberland by eight years, the canal was not obsolete.
Only in the mid-1870s did larger locomotives and the adoption of air brakes allow the railroad to set rates lower than the canal, sealing its fate. The C&O Canal operated from 1831 to 1924 and served to transport coal from the Allegheny Mountains to Washington D. C; the canal was closed in 1924, in part due to several severe floods that devastated the canal's financial condition. In 1938, the abandoned canal was obtained from the B&O Railroad by the United States in exchange for a loan from the federal Reconstruction Finance Corporation; the government planned to restore it as a recreation area. Additionally, it was viewed as a project for employment for the jobless during the Great Depression. By 1940, the first 22 miles of the canal were repaired and rewatered, from Georgetown to Violettes lock and returned to operating condition by African-American enrollees with the Civilian Conservation Corps; the first Canal Clipper boat, giving mule driven rides, began in 1941. It was replaced by the John Quincy Adams in the 1960s.
The project was halted when the United States entered World War II and resources were needed elsewhere. In 1941, Harry Athey suggested to President Franklin Roosevelt that the canal could be converted into an underground highway or a bomb shelter with its roof for landing airplanes; the whole idea was deemed impractical due to the river's periodic flooding. In 1942, freshets destroyed the rewatered sections of the canal. National Park Service official Arthur E. Demaray pressed that the canal from Dam #1 be restored, to supply water to the Dalecarlia Reservoir in case sabotage or bombing destroyed the normal conduits of water. Since this transformed the canal into a concern of national security, in 1942, the War Production Board approved the work. By 1943, Congress had funded the work, repairs were done, the Park Service resumed boat trips in October 1943; the Congress expressed interest in developing the towpath as a parkway. Because of the flooding from the 1920s to the 1940s, the Army Corps of Engineers proposed building 14 dams, that would have permanently inundated 74 miles of towpath, as well as the Monocacy and Antietam aqueducts.
Around 1945, the Corps wanted to remove Dam #8, which would destroy any hope of rewatering the canal above Dam #5, as well as put a levee around in the Cumberland area. Much of this was done, with the NPS cooperating with the Corps, since maintaining an operating canal all the way to Cumberland was too expensive, as well as wanting to preserve the western parts of the canal; the idea of turning the canal over to automobiles was opposed by some, including United States Supreme Court Associate Justice William O. Douglas. In March 1954, Douglas led an eight-day hike of the towpath from Cumberland to D. C. Although 58 people participated in one part of the hike or another, only nine men, including Douglas, hiked the full 184.5 miles. Following this hike, Justice Douglas formed a committee to be known as the C&O Canal Association in 1957, which would draft plans to preserve and protect the Canal. Serving as the chairman of this group, his commitment to the park proved successful. In 1958, a bicycle trail was built on the 12 miles of the towpath, from Georgetown's Mule Bridge at 34th Street in Washington, DC to Widewater, MD.
The trail was built by laying crushed blue stone over the muddy towpath. It opened on November 22, 1958. In 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower made the canal a National Monument under the Antiquities Act, but that hardened the opposition to making the canal a national park. There was some support for making the Potomac River a national river instead. Within ten years, the political climate had changed, realizing that the national river plan was unsupportable, the idea of turning the canal into a historic park had little opposition; the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Act established the canal as a National Historical Park and President Richard Nixon signed it into law on January 8, 1971. The winter and summer of 1996 saw two separate floods. Following a blizzard in January, heavy rains washed away the snow and caused extreme flooding and run-off; this major winter flood swept across 80 to 90 percent of the canal and towpath, causing high waters, along with the adjacent Potomac River.
Erosion due to the floods lead to heavy damages to the towpath and much of the infrastructure of the canal and park. Following the winter flood, there was an overwhelming need for volunteers in response to the damages caused. In September, Hurricane Fran caused more damage to the canal in multiple parts, requiring workers and volunteers to restore and reconstruct the towpath and re-water the canal, sever
Glen Echo Park, Maryland
Glen Echo Park is an arts and cultural center located in Glen Echo, Maryland that, in its former incarnation, was a popular Washington, D. C.-area amusement park that operated for several decades from the early 1900s to the 1960s. The arts and cultural center takes its name from the amusement park. Located nine miles northwest from downtown Washington, D. C. the site of Glen Echo Park was conceived and developed as a National Chautauqua Assembly in 1891. Following the foreclosure and sale of the Chautauqua grounds in 1903, leisure facilities were developed for the growing population of Washington, D. C. In 1911, the site was expanded to become Glen Echo Amusement Park, which operated continuously until its closure in 1968. Today Glen Echo Park is one of the more important cultural resources in the Washington, D. C. area, offering hundreds of classes and performances in the visual and performing arts. The facility is well known for its Art Deco architecture, an antique Dentzel carousel, a historic Spanish Ballroom, as well as its children's theaters, social dance programs, many public festivals, including Family Day and the Washington Folk Festival.
Each year more than 400,000 people attend events and participate in instructional activities at the park. The National Park Service offers park history tours and maintains a visitors area. Edwin and Edward Baltzley, inventors and real estate developers, hoped to build upon the banks of the Potomac River a suburban community free of the urban pollution of late-nineteenth century Washington. In order to compete with other suburban developments, the Baltzley brothers planned a series of opulent attractions for their would-be community. On February 24, 1891, the Baltzley brothers incorporated the National Chautauqua of Glen Echo, the 53rd such assembly, set to building a stone citadel of culture to complement their real estate and resort enterprises. Opened on June 16, 1891, their arts and culture program included lectures and concerts in a six-thousand-seat amphitheater. Hundreds flocked to the site to picnic, attend lectures on American history by Jane Meade Welch, courses on ancient Egypt by Lysander Dickerman, concerts by John Philip Sousa and his band.
Clara Barton, encouraged by the Baltzleys, not only located her home and the American Red Cross headquarters at Glen Echo, but she presided over the Women's Executive Committee for the Chautauqua itself. The inaugural season's success warranted an extension well into August. By the spring of 1892 the various Baltzley enterprises were gravely in debt. On April 7, 1892, the Glen Echo Sand and Building Company, a Baltzley subsidiary, borrowed a large sum of money giving the Chautauqua site as collateral; this was one of many Baltzley mortgages on the site. The financial difficulties spread to the Glen Echo Railroad Company, yet another Baltzley enterprise, because of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and the adjacent Washington Aqueduct system, had failed to bring the much anticipated street car service to the Chautauqua site and Glen Echo Village. Compounding their overextended credit, the Baltzley brothers found themselves the victim of common rumor. At the beginning of the 1892 season, rumor had spread throughout Washington that Glen Echo was rampant with malaria.
Regardless of the validity of these accusations, when combined with the brother's precarious finances, the Chautauqua site fell into disuse. In the early 20th century the Chautauqua site was turned into an amusement park named Glen Echo Park; the amusement park was one of the larger establishments of its type in the Washington, D. C. area, was popular well into the late 1940s. By the mid-1950s, attendance began to decline due to the growing popularity of larger regional theme parks, such as Disneyland. Another blow to the park occurred in 1960 when the trolley line from Washington, D. C. ceased operation. The amusement park managed to continue operations for a few more years, but was closed after the 1968 season. Like many public facilities in and around the Washington area, Glen Echo Park was restricted to whites for 63 out of the first 70 years of its history. On June 30, 1960, to draw attention to the continuing segregation, a group of college students staged a sit-in protest on the carousel.
Five African American students were subsequently arrested for trespassing. The arrests were appealed to the Supreme Court four years and the convictions were reversed in Griffin v. Maryland on the grounds that the state had unconstitutionally used its police power to help a private business enforce its racial discrimination policy; this led to an eleven-week civil rights campaign against Park policies with students and residents of the nearby Bannockburn community joining together to demand change. As a result, the park opened its doors to all races for the 1961 season; the last operating park ride, one of the highlights of the park today, is a 1921 Dentzel menagerie carousel with 38 horses, 2 chariots, 4 rabbits, 4 ostriches, a lion, a tiger, a giraffe, a prancing deer. A Wurlitzer style 165 Band Organ, provides the carousel's music. In its heyday the carousel sported an operating brass ring, in which daring riders could reach out and pull a ring out of a holder next to the carousel. Grabbing a brass ring would win the lucky rider a free ride.
The brass ring arm is still visible today. The face of the carousel had changed since 1921, with the animals, rounding boards, inner drum panels, band organ receiving several new coats of paint over the years. An installation photograph
Fort McHenry is a historical American coastal pentagonal bastion fort located in the Locust Point neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. It is best known for its role in the War of 1812, when it defended Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British navy from the Chesapeake Bay on September 13–14, 1814, it was first built in 1798 and was used continuously by the U. S. armed forces through World War I and by the Coast Guard in World War II. It was designated a national park in 1925, in 1939 was redesignated a "National Monument and Historic Shrine". During the War of 1812 an American storm flag, 17 by 25 feet, was flown over Fort McHenry during the bombardment, it was replaced early on the morning of September 14, 1814 with a larger American garrison flag, 30 by 42 feet. The larger flag signaled American victory over the British in the Battle of Baltimore; the sight of the ensign inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem "Defence of Fort M'Henry", set to the tune "To Anacreon in Heaven" and became known as "The Star Spangled Banner", the national anthem of the United States.
Fort McHenry was built on the site of the former Fort Whetstone, which had defended Baltimore from 1776 to 1797. Fort Whetstone stood on Whetstone Point peninsula, which juts into the opening of Baltimore Harbor between the Basin and Northwest branch on the north side and the Middle and Ferry branches of the Patapsco River on the south side; the Frenchman Jean Foncin designed the fort in 1798, it was built between 1798 and 1800. The new fort's purpose was to improve the defenses of the important Port of Baltimore from future enemy attacks; the new fort was a bastioned pentagon, surrounded by a dry moat -- a broad trench. The moat would serve as a shelter. In case of such an attack on this first line of defense, each point, or bastion could provide a crossfire of cannon and small arms fire. Fort McHenry was named after early American statesman James McHenry, a Scots-Irish immigrant and surgeon-soldier, he was a delegate to the Continental Congress from Maryland and a signer of the United States Constitution.
Afterwards, he was appointed United States Secretary of War, serving under Presidents George Washington and John Adams. Beginning at 6:00 a.m. on September 13, 1814, British warships under the command of Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane continuously bombarded Fort McHenry for 25 hours. The American defenders had 24 - and 32-pounder cannons; the British guns had a range of 2 miles, the British rockets had a 1.75-mile range, but neither guns nor rockets were accurate. The British ships were unable to pass Fort McHenry and penetrate Baltimore Harbor because of its defenses, including a chain of 22 sunken ships, the American cannons; the British vessels were only able to fire their rockets and mortars at the fort at the weapons' maximum range. The poor accuracy on both sides resulted in little damage to either side before the British, having depleted their ammunition, ceased their attack on the morning of September 14, thus the naval part of the British invasion of Baltimore had been repulsed. Only one British warship, a bomb vessel, received a direct hit from the fort's return fire, which wounded one crewman.
The Americans, under the command of Major George Armistead, lost four killed—including one African-American soldier, Private William Williams, a woman, cut in half by a bomb as she carried supplies to the troops—and 24 wounded. At one point during the bombardment, a bomb crashed through the fort's powder magazine. However, either the rain extinguished the bomb was a dud. Francis Scott Key, a Washington lawyer who had come to Baltimore to negotiate the release of Dr. William Beanes, a civilian prisoner of war, witnessed the bombardment from a nearby truce ship. An oversized American flag had been sewn by Mary Pickersgill for $405.90 in anticipation of the British attack on the fort. When Key saw the flag emerge intact in the dawn of September 14, he was so moved that he began that morning to compose the poem "Defence of Fort M'Henry", set to the tune "To Anacreon in Heaven" which would be renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner" and become the United States' national anthem. During the American Civil War the area where Fort McHenry sits served as a military prison, confining both Confederate soldiers, as well as a large number of Maryland political figures who were suspected of being Confederate sympathizers.
The imprisoned included newly elected Baltimore Mayor George William Brown, the city council, the new police commissioner, George P. Kane, members of the Maryland General Assembly along with several newspaper editors and owners. Francis Scott Key's grandson, Francis Key Howard, was one of these political detainees; some of the cells used still can be visited at the fort. A drama beginning the famous Supreme Court case involving the night arrest in Baltimore County and imprisonment here of John Merryman and the upholding of his demand for a writ of habeas corpus for release by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney occurred at the gates between Court and Federal Marshals and the commander of Union troops occupying the Fort under orders from President Abraham Lincoln in 1861. Fort McHenry served to train artillery at this time. During World War I, an additional hundred-odd buildings were built on the land surrounding the fort in order to convert the entire facility into an enormous U. S. Army hospital for the treatment of troops returning
Assateague Island National Seashore
Assateague Island National Seashore is a unit of the National Park Service system of the U. S. Department of the Interior. Located on the East Coast along the Atlantic Ocean in Maryland and Virginia, Assateague Island is the largest natural barrier island ecosystem in the Middle Atlantic states region that remains predominantly unaffected by human development. Located within a three-hour drive to the east and south of the Richmond, Baltimore, Philadelphia major metropolitan areas plus north of the several clustered smaller cities around Hampton Roads harbor of Virginia with Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach; the National Seashore offers a setting in which to experience a dynamic barrier island and to pursue a multitude of recreational opportunities. The stated mission of the park is to preserve and protect “unique coastal resources and the natural ecosystem conditions and processes upon which they depend, provide high-quality resource-based recreational opportunities compatible with resource protection and educate the public as to the values and significance of the area”.
Assateague Island encompasses a 37-mile-long barrier island, adjacent marsh islands and waters in Maryland and Virginia, the Assateague Island Visitor Center on the Maryland mainland. 41,346 acres of land and water are within the seashore’s boundaries. The island consists of three public areas; the park is located on a barrier island shaped by the stormy seas and gentle winds along the coast of the Delmarva Peninsula. The island is 37 miles long, yet never more than a mile wide; the park is divided into the Virginia District in the south. It is not possible to drive down the island from one district to the other. All automobile traffic must travel through the mainland to access one end of the island from the other; the Maryland District of Assateague Island extends from the Ocean City Inlet to the Virginia state line. The Assateague Island National Seashore visitor center, three nature trails, lifeguarded beach, park headquarters and the smaller Assateague State Park sits within the borders of this district.
The only access to the Maryland District is via the Verrazano Bridge on Maryland Route 611. The Virginia District of Assateague Island extends from the Maryland state line south to the Chincoteague Inlet; this area of the island is designated as the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. However, the National Park Service operates with a recreational beach, lifeguarded area and visitor center within a one-mile parking and visitor use section; this collaboration between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service is defined in an agreement or Memorandum of Understanding. The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on the southern end of Assateague Island should not be confused with Chincoteague Island, the neighboring island to the west with a residential community on it. One must drive through Chincoteague Island. Assateague Island is part of a chain of barrier islands; the island is built from sand moving south via longshore drift building the island's length.
The source of the sand is run-off from the Appalachian Mountains. The island is moving westward as a result of natural barrier processes during storms. Water washes over the island; this barrier island “rollover” is accelerated as the climate changes and the sea level rises. This condition is most pronounced at the northern end of the island, where Ocean City's jetties have stabilized the islands north of the Ocean City Inlet and have starved Assateague of new sand; as a result, Assateague's beach is shifted several hundred meters westwards compared to Ocean City's. The inlet was formed during the 1933 Chesapeake–Potomac hurricane, separating Fenwick and Assateague islands, a jetty was constructed to stabilize the inlet. After severe nor'easters in 1998, a sand replenishment program was undertaken to restore a sand supply to the north end of Assateague and to ensure a continuing supply. Before the national seashore was created in 1965, the island was going to be turned into a private resort community called Ocean Beach, Maryland.
Some 5,000 private lots comprising what is now NPS property were zoned and sold for resort development in the 1950s. However, the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 halted the plans for development; the nor'easter destroyed the few existing structures on the island, built and ripped the roads apart. Realizing that the island was too unstable to build upon, the housing development firm sold all of its land to the federal government. To this day, it is not possible to drive the entire length of the island. Since the park's creation, several improvements have been made to aid the public in recreation; the park maintains a 2-mile stretch of road on the island that travels through the state park in order for visitors to reach the National Seashore. A new visitor center was built in 2010, located on the mainland before visitors cross over the bridge to get to the island; the visitor center exhibits for the public. Many ranger-led programs are available in the fall; the park service opened a new visitor contact station
Monocacy National Battlefield
Monocacy National Battlefield is a unit of the National Park Service, the site of the Battle of Monocacy in the American Civil War fought on July 9, 1864. The battlefield straddles the Monocacy River southeast of the city of Maryland; the battle, labeled "The Battle That Saved Washington," was one of the last the Confederates would carry out in Union territory. The two opposing leaders were General Jubal Early, fighting for the South, General Lew Wallace, fighting for the North. Monacacy National Battlefield is located in the center of a region with a number of other Civil War battlefields and sites, it is located on Maryland State Highway 355 a few miles southeast of the city of Frederick. Nearby Interstate 70 leads westward to Antietam National Battlefield and U. S. Route 15 leads northward to the Gettysburg Battlefield. To the south on U. S. 15 is the battlefield of Balls Bluff. Monacacy National Battlefield is 50 miles west of Baltimore and 44 miles northwest of Washington D. C.. Much of the Monocacy battlefield remained in private hands for over 100 years after the Civil War.
In 1928, Glenn Worthington, the owner of a large portion of the northern segment of the battlefield, petitioned Congress to create a National Military Park at Monocacy. Though the bill passed in 1934, the battlefield languished for nearly 50 years before Congress appropriated funds for land acquisition. Once funds were secured, 1,587 acres of the battlefield were acquired in the late 1970s and turned over to the National Park Service for maintenance and interpretation; the historic Thomas Farm, scene of some of the most intense fighting, was acquired by the National Park Service in 2001. Preservationists lost fights in the 1960s and 1980s when Interstate 270 was constructed and widened, bisecting a portion of the battlefield. In the decades following the battle, a few veterans organizations placed commemorative markers to specific units on the battlefield, including the 14th New Jersey, 87th Pennsylvania Infantry, Vermont markers. In the years that have followed, other monuments have been added, including the Confederate Monument and Maryland Centennial Monument near the Best farm.
The National Park Service has since added wayside interpretive markers throughout the park. The visitor center has been relocated from the historic Gambrill Mill to a new facility on the west side of the Monocacy River, it offers an electric map orientation program, an interactive computer program, interpretive displays, artifacts of the battle. The visitor center is the starting point for a self-guided four-mile auto tour and 1/2 mile loop walking trail. National Park Service rangers and volunteers host battle walks, special programs, an auto tour and special events throughout the summer season; the interpretive Worthington Farm Trail, a pair of loops on the northern portion of the battlefield, allows the visitor to walk parts of the battlefield and explore the native flora of the region. The National Park Service has established a General Management Plan to further interpret the area and acquire additional land if funding can be secured. In 2013, Preservation Maryland placed the Monocacy National Battlefield on its list of threatened historic properties.
L'Hermitage Slave Village Archeological Site at the Best Farm, a pre-Civil War plantation founded by immigrants from Haiti 14th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry monument Official park website Photographs of Monacacy National Battlefield General Management Plan Monocacy Battlefield Slave Quarters, Joy Beasley, National Cable Satellite Corporation, November 18, 2010
Smithsonian Institution Building
For similar uses and terms, see Smithsonian. The Smithsonian Institution Building, located near the National Mall in Washington, D. C. behind the National Museum of African Art and the Sackler Gallery, houses the Smithsonian Institution's administrative offices and information center. The building is constructed of Seneca red sandstone in the faux Norman style and is nicknamed The Castle, it was completed in 1855 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965. The Castle was the first Smithsonian building, designed by architect James Renwick, Jr. whose other works include St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City and the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery in Washington D. C; the building committee held a nationwide design competition in 1846 and selected Renwick's design by a unanimous vote. A cardboard model of Renwick's winning design is on display in the Castle. Renwick was assisted by Robert Mills in the internal arrangement of the building. Intended to be built in white marble in yellow sandstone, the architect and building committee settled on Seneca red sandstone from the Seneca Quarry in Montgomery County, Maryland.
The redstone was less expensive than granite or marble, while easy to work, was found to harden to a satisfactory degree on exposure to the elements. Scholarly evidence indicates it is that slaves were employed at Seneca in quarrying stone for the Castle, though no evidence has surfaced that slaves were involved in the actual Castle construction; the building committee selected Gilbert Cameron as the general contractor, construction began in 1847. The East Wing occupied by Secretary Joseph Henry and his family; the West Wing was completed the same year. A structural collapse in 1850 of completed work raised questions of workmanship and resulted in a change to fireproof construction; the Castle's exterior was completed in 1852. Cameron continued the interior work, which he completed in 1855. Construction funds came from "accrued interest on the Smithson bequest."Despite the upgraded fireproof construction, a fire in 1865 caused extensive damage to the upper floor of the building, destroying the correspondence of James Smithson, Henry's papers, two hundred oil paintings of American Indians by John Mix Stanley, the Regent's Room and the lecture hall, the contents of the public libraries of Alexandria and Beaufort, South Carolina, confiscated by Union forces during the American Civil War.
The ensuing renovation was undertaken by local Washington architect Adolf Cluss in 1865-67. Further fireproofing work ensued in 1883 by Cluss, who by this time had designed the neighboring Arts and Industries Building. A third and fourth floor were added to the East Wing, a third floor to the West Wing. Electric lighting was installed in 1895. Around 1900 the wooden floor of the Great Hall was replaced with terrazzo and a Children's Museum was installed near the south entrance. A tunnel connected to the Industries Building. A general renovation took place in 1968-70 to install modern electrical systems and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; the Enid A. Haupt Garden was dedicated in 1987, along with the Renwick Gate facing Independence Avenue, built from Seneca redstone retrieved from the demolished D. C. Jail. James Renwick designed the Castle as the focal point of a picturesque landscape on the Mall, using elements from Georg Moller's Denkmäler der deutschen Baukunst. Renwick intended to detail the building with American sculptural flora in the manner of Benjamin Henry Latrobe's work at the United States Capitol, but the final work used conventional pattern-book designs.
The building is completed in the Gothic Revival style with Romanesque motifs. This style was chosen to evoke the Collegiate Gothic in England and the ideas of knowledge and wisdom; the façade is built with red sandstone from the Seneca quarry in Seneca, Maryland in contrast to the granite and yellow sandstone from the other major buildings in Washington, D. C; the building comprises a central section, two extensions or ranges, two wings. Four towers contain occupiable space, while five smaller towers are decorative, although some contain stairs; as constructed, the central section contained the main entry and museum space, with a basement beneath and a large lecture room above. Two galleries on the second floor were used to display artifacts and art; this area is now Associates' Reception area. The East Range contained laboratory space on the first research space on the second; the East Wing contained storage space on the first floor and a suite of rooms on the second as an apartment for the Secretary of the Smithsonian.
This space is used as administrative offices and archives. The West Range was one story and used as a reading room; the West Wing, known as the chapel, was used as a library. The West Wing and Range are now used as a quiet room for visitors to go. On the exterior, the principal tower on the south side is 37 feet square. On the north side there are the taller on 145 feet tall. A campanile at the northeast corner is 117 feet tall; the plan allowed for expansion at either end, a major reason for the informal medievally-inspired design, which would not suffer if asymmetrically developed. The Smithsonian Castle houses the administrative offices of the Smithsonian; the main Smithsonian visitor center is located here, w
Seneca Creek (Potomac River tributary)
Seneca Creek is a 5.8-mile-long stream in Montgomery County, Maryland, USA 16 miles northwest of Washington, D. C, it drains into the Potomac River. The creek begins with two main tributaries: Great Seneca Creek, 21.5 miles long, begins in Damascus and flows south past Montgomery Village, Germantown and Seneca Creek State Park. Little Seneca Creek, 14.0 miles long, rises in the Clarksburg area, flows south through Little Seneca Lake and Black Hill Regional Park, the community of Boyds. These tributaries converge near Darnestown. Another major tributary, Dry Seneca Creek, empties into Seneca Creek west of Darnestown; the creek continues south and passes under Seneca Aqueduct/Riley's Lock of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal before it flows into the Potomac River. There is about a 600 feet change in elevation from the stream's upper sources to its mouth at the Potomac. Seneca Creek has a watershed area of 121 square miles. Depending on conditions, parts of the creek are navigable by light watercraft, such as kayaks or canoes.
Near Riley's Lock there is a boat ramp into the creek. An area of about 6,300 acres along 14.75 miles of the creek has been set aside as Seneca Creek State Park. It has trails including the 16.5 miles Seneca Creek Greenway Trail, the 10 miles Schaeffer Farm Trail, many shorter and easier trails. Parking and picnic areas are provided at various locations in the park. Long Draught Creek, a small tributary north of Gaithersburg has been dammed to form the 90 acres Clopper Lake, the centerpiece of the park's day use area; this area includes multiple picnic areas, a disc golf course, boat rentals for the lake, restroom facilities. Just west of the creek's mouth is the Seneca Quarry, the quarry that provided the red sandstone for the Smithsonian Castle and locks 8 - 27 of the C&O Canal; the remains of the 1837 stone cutting mill are still intact, though unmarked. Both are within state park lands. During the 1920s and 1930s Seneca was a popular vacation spot for people from lower Montgomery County and Washington who came to Seneca for the cooler temperatures, boating and fishing.
There was a hotel near the canal and cottages lined the creek until they were washed away or destroyed by the several floods that have affected this area. Seneca has been the site of many drownings and boating accidents over the years. Today the area is a popular local recreation area. List of Maryland rivers Locks on the C&O Canal Real-time Water Flow Data for Seneca Creek - US Geological Survey Seneca Creek State Park - official site "The Great Seneca Creek Watershed." Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection. WAMU 88.5 FM Metro Connection, "From Stone to Bright Red Structure: A Tour of the Seneca Quarry," March 30, 2012