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Lock 28 - Fulton's Lock

Mile 48.9 - Historical notes from Gary Pyles: 

My grandfather, William Henry Fulton, was the last lock keeper at lock 28 at Point-of-Rocks, Maryland. The Fultons were originally from Loudoun county, Virginia, just across the Potomac from Point-of-Rocks, Maryland, where they had a farm since the late 1700's. In 1864 the Union army had purposely devastated Loudoun county and ruined the economy there for many years to come. Under orders from Grant to raze the area, Gen. Phillip H. Sherman burned fields and farms, drove off all livestock and took all slaves and white men under the age of 51,regardless of political leanings, in order to deny forage, comfort and manpower to Confederate Mosby and his raiders which had been a thorn in the Union army's side in the area. Ruined farmers and artisans were forced to leave their homes and relocate across the river in Point-of-Rocks where many of them found jobs on the canal and railroad.

William Henry Fulton eventually married Emma Florence Oden of Point-of-Rocks and they raised 10 children including my mother, Lula Fulton Pyles, in the tiny lock house where he had become the lock keeper. William Henry died on Christmas morning in 1933 and his wake and funeral took place at the lock house 28. His wife Emma died January 14, 1940 and they are both buried in a corner of the St. Paul's cemetery near Point-of-Rocks. Their children are buried in different locations in the the cemetery. A son who is also buried there, Ollie Fulton, was found dead on the railroad tracks across from the lock house in 1913, allegedly killed by a train but thought by most to have been murdered. A daughter Esther, who was said to have been strikingly beautiful, died at a young age in the great flu epidemic which swept the area around 1918 and is buried near her father.

Two sons, Willie and Walter lived for many years until their deaths, along the side of Catoctin mountain near the lock house and were familiar sights near the Potomac as they were both avid bass fishermen. Walter died in 1968 at age 78 and Willie died in 1964 at age 79. Willie had worked at times on the family farm of Pepper Scotto of this forum. I believe one or both of them had met Bobby Kennedy and Justice Douglas when they hiked the canal.  I'd like to hear about any families from this area and stories of the canal era and the railroad there. 

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Lockhouse 28.jpg (104072 bytes)

Mile 48.9 - The lock house is 18 x 30, made of whitewashed brick and 1 1/2 stories high with a basement.  Notice the clump of bamboo to the right.

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