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Point of Rocks
At Point of Rocks (canal milepost 42), the C&O Canal meets the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which originates in Baltimore. The thin ledge along the Potomac provides barely enough room for the C&O Canal and the railroad. And therein lies an enormous struggle. Both companies fought for the right-of-way along the river. The legal battle began in 1830, and lasted for several years. The canal won the right to use the Potomac shoreline, but construction was halted for four years while the dispute was raging. Combined with other construction and management problems, the canal lost the race to Cumberland by several years. At Point of Rocks, the railroad was forced to build a tunnel under Catoctin Mountain. The Point of Rocks railroad station is one of the best examples of railroad architecture in the eastern U.S. It is a colorful High Victorian Gothic building, built in 1875 to celebrate the joining of the Metropolitan Branch of the B&O with the railroad's main stem. The railway station is on the National Register of Historic Places.