Patricia Temples Photography

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Paw Paw Tunnel

On my trip to western Maryland in early November, I had a chance to photograph the Paw Paw Tunnel. Located near the town of Paw Paw, West Virginia, it is parallel to the Potomac River, which is the boundary between West Virginia and Maryland. The tunnel was constructed through the mountain as the most direct way to route the C&O Canal, which runs from Washington, DC to Cumberland, Maryland. The tunnel is 3,118 feet long with a walking path, or a bike path, if you are brave.  The signs on site indicated that if the tunnel had not been cut through the mountain, there would have been an arduous task of creating six additional miles of canal, crossing difficult terrain, the river, and many other obstacles.  It took fourteen years to complete the tunnel, 1836-1850, and it’s lined with six million bricks.  I cannot imagine the hardship.

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One thought on “Paw Paw Tunnel

  1. Herb Fickes on said:

    and by the time they finished, railroads were taking the business from the canals. They had planned to continue the canal to the Ohio river and thus link to the Mississippi. I think the canal stayed in business a while longer though so the right-of-way could be kept.

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