BY RACHEL KURZIUS IN NEWS
The oldest structure on the National Mall made some moves on Thursday as part of the ongoing Constitution Gardens revitalization project.
The Historic Lockkeeper's House was built in the 1830s as the residence for the person who collected tolls and kept records at the lock connecting the Washington branch of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal to the Washington City Canal.
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The Lockkeeper, a C&O canal employee, lived at the house from 1835 to 1855, and he or one of his 13 children was expected to man the station 24/7, according to Atlas Obscura.
That canal extension ran parallel to the modern Mall, before railroads became the favored mode for moving goods and the canal company went out of business in 1855. The canal itself remained until it was filled in at the orders of Alexander "Boss" Shepard in1871, creating what we now know as Constitution Ave.
A more modest presence on the Mall than the marble memorials and monuments, the house has served as a jail cell for Park Police and a public restroom, though it's sat vacant for the past 40 years and fallen into disrepair.