An Ideal Day for Visiting Interesting Spots Along the C & D Canal

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The Bethel Cross at the site of the Bethel Methodist Church

On this beautiful Sunday in August the thermometer leveled off at 77 degrees and a steady breeze made things unusually comfortable on a brilliant, mid-summer day on the Chesapeake.  These were ideal conditions for one of my favorite activities, getting out and visiting interesting spots on the Delmarva Peninsula so I checked out the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

My first stop was the lost Cecil County village of Bethel or Pivot Bridge.  About all that remains at this quiet spot is the old Methodist burial ground, but at one time it was a lively place with a church, homes, post office, school and merchants.  Once the Federal government acquired the waterway and started widening it structures on both sides quickly disappeared as the steam shovel efficiently finished the work, producing a sea-level canal.

There isn’t much in the way of modern distractions at this tranquil spot now, but as I walked past centuries old tombstones, a sharp, loud blast from a ship’s horn jolted me from my thoughts.  Soon an ocean-going vessel drifted slowly past, heading toward the Chesapeake Bay.  By the time I finished my stroll and reached the Army Corps of Engineer’s basin in Chesapeake City, the vessel neared that point.

Chesapeake City and the basin were alive with summer time activities, but it won’t be too long before we feel the gentle, tentative nudge of autumn, and in time these warming days will pass as a winter quiet settles once again on the C & D Canal.

An ocean going vessel glides under the Chesapeake City Bridge.

An ocean going vessel glides under the Chesapeake City Bridge.

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The old C & D Canal pumphouse



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