Sign at the beginning of the towpath: "One of the best preserved and least of old American canals, the Chesapeake and Ohio grew from Washington's vision of linking valleys of the early West with the East by "ties of communication." The Potomac Company fostered by Washingtonto improve navigation of the Potomac transferred its rights in 1828 to the Chesapeake and Ohioo Company organized to connect the Ohio at Pittsburgh with Georgetown by a continuous canal. In October 1850 after 185 miles were built the construction ceased at Cumberland. Until 1924 trade continued on the old canal. Today, it is a memorial to national progress and the Canal Era."