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WHILBR - Western Maryland's Historical Library

About this collection

This collection of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal items was made available by Michael and Linda Marmer of Maryland. Particularly of interest are: 

  • Canal boat registrations from 1857, early in the canal's history for coal transporting. The boat, built in Williamsport and owned by Owen Ardinger of Williamsport, was 92 feet long and weighed 70 tons. Both the federal and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company certificates are available.
  • A payment slip for an assistant clerk of the company, signed by Alfred Spates, president of the Canal Company. Spates, from Montgomery and later Allegany County, was arrested during the Civil War for communicating with the Confederate Army. He was imprisoned at Fort McHenry and later Fort Lafayette in New York harbor for five months (Unrau, Harlan D. and Karen M. Gray. Historic Resource Study: Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. Hagerstown, Md: U.S. Dept. of Interior, National Park Service, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, 2007.)

Western Maryland Regional Library is most grateful to Mike and Linda for sharing their documents, and also to William and Rita Bauman who suggested the Washington County Free Library would be interested to see them. Through his transcription of canal documents, William has provided much more information about Owen Ardinger than we might otherwise have known, and background on the day to day workings of the canal.  More of these documents can be found at C&O Canal Association, Historical documents. Thanks also to Faye Stauch for transcribing the Marmer documents. 

 
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