Georgetown Time Machine: Canal Lounging

This week’s Georgetown Time Machine comes courtesy of the Library of Congress. It’s a photo of a boy relaxing on the canal gate paddle at what I believe to be Lock 3 of the C&O Canal.

The listing gives the photo a data of 1909. If that date is correct, then this photo would depict a time when the canal was in steep decline but nonetheless still functional. Operations on the canal did not come to an absolute end until a flood in 1924. It was effectively abandoned at that point.

The reason I believe the bridge depicted is the Thomas Jefferson St. bridge is the fence on the left advertising wood (and I believe coal). That would match up with the large lumberyard that was once on Thomas Jefferson St. seen in this more recent photo:

I could be wrong about the location, though, as this could also just as easily by Lock 4 with the bridge being 31st St. The only clear buildings are the rowhouses on the left, which are long gone from either street. Which do you think it is?


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One response to “Georgetown Time Machine: Canal Lounging

  1. Tom Mitchell

    I think you are correct. If the date 1909 is correct I think it would be too early for our building, but the later photograph clearly shows the Allen-Mitchell building next to the warehouse just south of the bridge. across the canal is the upsloping pathway to the 31st bridge. I could not match the windows on the gray building just beyond the boy which i thought at first could have been ours. the runup to the TJ bridge is shorter i believe and matches the earlier photo compared to the 31st street path. great fun trying to figure this out.

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