As its number might lead one to expect, Lock 13 on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal is an unusual structure. Built circa 1830, it is composed of granite from the quarry near Glen Echo, MD, with coping from the Seneca Quarry, Montgomery County, MD. Its design is different from adjacent locks. During the construction of the Canal, the earliest locks (#1-27) were designed to be filled with water by culverts in the lock walls. Lock 13 was an exception, based upon a plan from 1830, that used bypass flumes around the lock and eliminated the culverts.
Lock 13 is now located underneath the Capital Beltway (Interstate 485). As seen in the historic photograph, a lockkeeper’s house was originally situated nearby. It was torn down in 1961 during the construction of the Capital Beltway. The stones seen under the bridge at the top of photograph may be the remains of this house.