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 C&O Canal Association


2nd Edition Of Historical Work Available Online

Navigation on the Upper Potomac and Its Tributaries

by Dan Guzy

Front cover of book
Front cover image is copyright Dan Guzy,
all rights reserved
The first edition is available for $13
to members, or $15 to non-members.
It may be ordered by printing and mailing
the form on the association store page.
June 2014

Dan Guzy has published a second edition of his book, Navigation on the Upper Potomac and Its Tributaries. Western Maryland Regional Library has made this edition available online on their website.

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Association published the first edition in 2008. This edition adds additional information and color photographs of navigational features along the Potomac River. Hard copies of the first edition are still available from the association store.

During the late eighteen and early nineteenth centuries, boats up to 75 feet in length regularly plied the Potomac, carrying cargos that included flour, whiskey, iron, tobacco, and lumber. To establish and expand this trade, George Washington and other leaders engaged in a series of improvements that reduced the considerable hazards of navigating the river. They also built sluices and bypass canals, the most elaborate of which was the series of locks that allowed boats to proceed around Great Falls.

These projects, which set the stage for the eventual construction of the C&O Canal, are carefully described in Dan Guzy’s book. The work also examines the nature of the riverine commerce and the craft used for it. The many photographs will be of special interest to those who wish to know more about features of the river and intriguing early structures that are within the canal park, or visible from it. The illustrations also include historical maps, and three appendices provide useful original documents.

An engineer by profession, Guzy is an avid canoeist who has explored the upper Potomac and its tributaries over the past 15 years. His interest in these waterways led him to archival research and to publication of a series of articles on aspects of their history. The ultimate result is Navigation on the Upper Potomac and Its Tributaries. The first edition is a six-by-nine-inch,166-page paperbound book that includes endnotes and a useful index. Guzy's book is a handy reference for anyone interested in the history of the Potomac Valley – in either format, printed or online.

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