C&O Canal Quarters Program – Lockhouse 21 “Swains”

Lockhouse 21 “Swains” in the C&O Canal National Historical Park | C&O Canal Trust

Lockhouse 21, locally known as “Swains” after the family who lived there for over a century, is the newest lockhouse to join the Canal Quarters program. Opened in July 2019, this lockhouse is located in Montgomery County, Maryland, and has been completely modernized and is ADA-accessible with a bathroom and Murphy bed on the first floor, ramps into the house, and hallways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair.

The house interprets 1916, the year the National Park Service was formed and the date when the C&O Canal was beginning to transition from a working canal to a recreational space. Unique period furnishings transport visitors to the early twentieth century, and scrapbooks tell stories of a time when Woodrow Wilson was President, the United States had not yet entered World War I, and the women’s and civil rights movements were gathering steam.

Lockhouse 21 features accessible parking, accessible ramps to the front door and within the first floor of the building (upon request during booking), accessible bathroom, kitchen, and picnic area facilities, and single-sized Murphy bed located on the first floor. The second floor is only accessible via stairs.

“We took advantage of the accessibility features and found them to be so well-considered and implemented—the first floor of the house was totally accessible to my spouse, who uses a power chair. Thank you so much! Great location, of course, and perfect, close, getaway spot.” – Canal Quarters Guest

Seven historic lockhouses along the C&O Canal are available for overnight stays through the award-winning Canal Quarters program, managed by the C&O Canal Trust. Each lockhouse has been rehabilitated and features historic furnishings, décor, and interpretive materials that tell stories from various periods in the C&O Canal’s history. Your stay in a Canal Quarters lockhouse will transport you back in time and let you live like a lockkeeper along the C&O Canal — a unique experience that you can’t get anywhere else!

C&O Canal Quarters Program

The Canal Quarters Lockhouse program, managed by the C&O Canal Trust, provides guests the opportunity to step back in time and live like a lockkeeper in the C&O Canal National Historical Park for the night… or three! Each of the seven historic lockhouses – with five in Montgomery County, Maryland – are restored and furnished to reflect the time period in which they are built, and each location tells a different story about the development of the C&O Canal.

Enjoy scenic views while kayaking down the C&O Canal in Montgomery County, MD.
Kayaking along the C&O Canal | Credit: Paul Graunke

C&O Canal National Historical Park

For nearly 100 years, The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal (C&O) National Historical Park was a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River. Today, it endures as a pathway for discovering historical and recreational treasures.