08 September 2009

Scenes from the C&O Canal in Georgetown

Last Friday's hike along the C&O Canal thru Georgetown in Washington, D.C. started near a sign revealing the area's polluted past.

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The bygone industries included a tannery, a soap factory and several water mills. In addition, there must have been docks for the canal boats and the goods they carried, including, coal, wood and grain.

Most of those buildings are probably gone now, but some surviving and undoubtedly renovated ones bear the traces of their former lives. The said sign explained:
Evidence of water outlets, bricked up chutes, smokestacks, and block and tackle still remain on many buildings.

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These bricked over former openings may once have been windows or entrances providing direct access to the canal in the foreground, which is now a muddy shallow depression with only puddles of shallow water.

I thought the most interesting structure along the canal was this old, irregular stone wall that had been built right on top of the bedrock.

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The present Georgetown seems to be occupying a level way above its past ground.

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