Offering a the unique experience of staying overnight in an historic lockhouse, the C&O Canal Trust runs the popular and acclaimed Canal Quarters program dedicated volunteers known as the Quartermasters. A team of 35 have provided over 2000 hours of service, and that’s why they are taking home the Harrison Volunteer Award at our Best of Maryland award celebration this May. Learn more below:


The Canal Quartermasters, a volunteer corps of the C&O Canal Trust, are the reason that the wildly popular and nationally acclaimed Canal Quarters overnight interpretive experience is a success. The corps is a group of 35 dedicated volunteers who serve the seven historic lockhouses. These volunteers have provided nearly 15,000 hours of service wearing a multitude of hats, including caretaker, host, interpreter, protector, and more.

Without the Quartermasters’ enormous in-kind service, the Canal Quarters program could not be financially viable. The C&O Canal Trust operates as a lean non-profit organization, with only one full-time staff and one intern to operate it’s portfolio of programs. Without making the program too expensive for the average Park visitor, the Trust couldn’t possibly employee the person-power it needs to keep all of our Lockhouses in good repair and condition.

As the front-lines, the Quartermasters, are the people with the responsibility to care for our historic lockhouses; and they do it with honor and pride, as if these historic properties were their own. The Canal Trust receives critical reports from the volunteers in the field that help plan for building maintenance and guest relations and marketing strategies.

Stay in a canal quarter

Attend the awards