Side A: On this site the Ohio & Erie Canal flowed south and down-level under the Market Street Bridge. Nearby Pawpaw Creek and the canal culturally divided the Swiss settlers to the west in Basil and the Virginia pioneers to the east in New Market (Baltimore by 1833). In March 1825, the “Twin Cities” were “dedicated” one day apart and energized a feud that often erupted at the bridge where “the boys of one village entered the other at their peril and where the worst of the intervillage fights were held.” The rivalry stretched well into the twentieth century and was arguably terminated with an uneasy consolidation of the two towns in 1947.
Side B: In October 1831, the first boats “locked through” eight numbered locks nearby and in New Market (Baltimore by 1833) and Basil. One half mile to the northeast is the famous Dry Dock Lock (Lock No. Five) described as “the most important lock in the county and considered the best dry dock between Cleveland and Portsmouth.” This year ’round dry dock consisted of a basin with an outlet into the canal so that all water could be drained from it. Water ran into the dock from the “recess” back of the lock. The outlet gates were opened, the water was drained, and the boats were lowered onto trestles where they were repaired. Many new boats were also built.
Sponsors: Baltimore Chamber of Commerce/Baltimore Festival Association, Baltimore Community Improvement Corporation/Baltimore Lions Club, and The Ohio Historical Society