Side Quest: Investigate the ruins of Lock 12


Lock 12 is one of the most well-preserved locks of the old Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal. It paralleled the Susquehanna River for 43 miles between Wrightsville and Havre de Grace, Maryland. It was built between 1836 and 1839 and opened in 1840 for commerce between the greater Harrisburg area and the Chesapeake Bay. The canal carried lumber, coal, iron, and grain bound for Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York until it was abandoned in 1895.

Lock 12 is 17 feet wide, and 170 feet long with a lift capability of 8.8 feet. It was one of 28 lift locks built to overcome a 233-foot elevation difference between terminal points. While the Conestoga Navigation Company, a slackwater canal between Lancaster and Safe Harbor, was in operation, a person could board a ship in Lancaster, PA, and depart in Paris, France. However, there’s no evidence that anyone actually ever did that.


Click here for the location of Lock 12

Lock 12 Historic Area

I recently came into possession of an out-of-print booklet published by Holtwood LLC detailing the Lock 12 Historic Area. Being a firm believer that “information wants to be free,” I have transcribed the document’s text and scanned the images. Both are included here with additional information and pictures.

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3 thoughts on “Side Quest: Investigate the ruins of Lock 12

  1. we had a trailer at the edge of lock 12 20some years ago. The power Co made us move it for a park too be made there we moved to peach bottom and there ever since

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