The canal’s history stretches all the way back to George Washington, who dreamed of a canal along the Potomac all the way to the Ohio River Valley. Washington didn’t live to see his dream completed, and even though the dream lived on in the canal’s name (Chesapeake & Ohio), the canal never did make it all the way to actually connect the Chesapeake Bay & Ohio River.
Today, one of Georgetown’s best loved attractions is currently under an extensive renovation. When the locks of the canal were built between 1829 and 1831, they were an integral part of facilitating the commerce and trade happening up and down the canal. The project is well underway and has become a fascinating study in urban revitalization and historic preservation.