Search Potomac Sites
Washington Historic Site
During the canal era, boats entered Rock Creek from the C&O Canal about a half-mile upstream (near the present day Four Seasons Hotel) and then through Tide Lock into the bustling world of the Potomac waterfront. Coal, building stones, and other cargo were unloaded at busy wharves or transferred to schooners and steamships. A skirting canal along the river bank led to the Washington City Canal which followed what is now Constitution Avenue to wharves on the Anacostia River.
The Tide Lock is one of the few signs on the waterfront of the canal era. It allowed boats to enter the river despite the Potomac's tidal fluctuations.