I went to my favorite seafood restaurant at Canal Place in Cumberland, Maryland for my favorite baked crabs and this was what I found.
an empty crab cage with some crab shells. There was no live crabs. The season starts again in April 2008.
After my lunch, I visited some sovenir stores, bought some coin albums, visited other galleries and walked around the C & O Canal National Historical Park.
These are the site maps and historical information:
Apparently, the C & O Canal was once a very important form of transportation which was in service from 1836 through 1924. At that time, some falls on the Potomac River made water transportation on the river impossible so a canal with 74 locks was constructed parallel to the Potomac River. Washington D.C. and Alexandria were major ports for distribution of tobacco, grains, whiskey, furs, timber and other items. Cumberland, Maryland was the main producer of these items (information source). Later, it stopped operation because the competition from B & O Railroad put it out of business. I think using animals would need a man to walk along with it to make sure that everything works right. I just wonder how many man would be required to walk 184.5 miles with the work animals.
Here are the pictures of a boat used at that time. Notice that it had no engine and thus had no power to move on the canal. I told my husband it's so ancient.
That is why a towpath was built along the 184.5 mile canal. See picture of the towpath. Notice that animals were used to pull the boat along the canal. I was told that horses were used. But this picture shows buffaloes.
Today the flat towpath is ideally turned into a bicycle trail which not only preserves its history, but also enables cyclists to enjoy the pleasant path and ride.
Following is the picture of the end of the canal in Cumberland. The red brick tiles mark the end of the canal.