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 C&O Canal Association

Oral History

Recollections from those who worked on the C&O Canal

Joseph Perry Mose

Joseph Perry Mose at age 21

Joseph Perry Mose

Mose was born November 27, 1898 in Sharpsburg, MD. As a baby, he used to go on the canal with his mother. When he was 10 he was driving mules. At age 12 or 13 he was steering the boat.

“There was 13 in his family, and of course when the boys got old enough, they got a job on the C&O Canal, It didn’t pay much, but they ate a lot of bean soup,” explained Jerome Mose, son of J.P. Mose, at a 2010 Canal Family Reunion.

Jerome reported that J.P. Mose continued working on the canal until he got married at age 21. So, J.P. Mose had experience working during the canal's final years prior to shutdown in 1924.

Some of J.P. Mose's recollections were captured in audio recordings. He died August 31, 1991.

You might need to download these files to listen to them. Your browser may not be able to play them. To download a file (on a Windows machine), right click on the link and choose "Save Link As..."

In his later years, Joseph Perry Mose built this model of a canal boat

Joseph Perry Mose


     C & O Canal Association     P.O Box 366      Glen Echo, MD 20812-0366     Phone: 301-983-0825      Email: inquiries@candocanal.org