Victory was nearly in sight! The path then turned west in a long loop through “Mexico Farms” before rejoining the Western Maryland Railroad grade again near milepost 178.3. A little further on at milepost 180.7 I came to the Evitts Creek Aqueduct. This is the last of 11 canal aqueducts and its single arch was completed in 1850. It was built from stone quarried along Evitts Creek and brought to the site by a 1.5 mile long wooden railroad. Milepost 182.6; the trail crosses Ford Avenue near the Ford Avenue Bridge. Before the bridge this was the site of Wileys Ford. The bridges over the canal and the Potomac are relatively recent improvements. After capturing Union generals George Crook and Benjamin Kelley on the night February 21, 1865, the Confederate McNeill and his partisan rangers rode down the towpath to the ford, where they crossed back into West Virginia.
At milepost 183.4 I had entered to city of Cumberland and was passing by the building for Queen City Glassworks. Glassmaking was big business in Cumberland in the 1889s, when the Warren Glass Works were founded at this location and the Cumberland Glassworks were founded at the end of North Mechanic Street. The source of the glass sand for these operations was Berekley Springs, West Virginia (opposite Hancock, Milepost 124.7) and both glassworks were conveniently located adjacent to the canal and railroad. Unfortunately the glassworks were vulnerable to frequent fires and a shortage of skilled workers, so this industry tapered off after the early 1920s.
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