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Great Dismal Swamp Canal MegaSite  is dedicated to the enslaved and free men that built the oldest  made waterway in America.  Now recognized as part of the National Underground Railroad, this historic waterway is a national treasure and the basis of thi

The Great Dismal Swamp Canal, which has been in service for nearly 200 years, was about shut down in 2005.  Your letters and phone calls have helped prevent this action!   Now we need your help for 2006!




Sailboats Navigating the Canal


Dismal Swamp Canal




For the 2nd year in a row, money was appropriated in the 2006 fiscal year budget for water control only ~  but none for operation of the locks & waterway for boating.



On a recent visit to Washington, we were told over and over the "squeaky wheel gets heard."  Therefore, we have to repeat what we successfully did last year … mount a “grass roots” campaign.




ACTION:     Your letters and phone calls have made a difference.  The budget was increased enough to keep the canal open for 2005.  Now the same is needed for 2006!



ACTION:  Continue to show your support for this waterway and keep in touch with your representatives for the year 2006.    Click HERE to determine your representative and call, write or mail them now.  If you use Email,  be sure you receive confirmation as some emails seem to be unanswered.




Old Supervisors Shack

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Boaters Take NOTICE!

The ICW is suffering from EXTENSIVE budget cuts that will substantially harm the waterway.  Some areas, such as the Dismal Swamp Canal will actually be abandoned and of course, closed to all boat traffic.  I urge you to  contact your govt. reps now and demand they preserve this historical treasure!



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Arbuckle Landing—Dismal Swamp Canal



March 11, 2004

Congressman Randy Forbes (VA-04) on the President’s Budget Proposal for the Great Dismal Swamp Canal

Since its construction, the Great Dismal Swamp Canal has required regular dredging and maintenance expenses as well as routine operation costs.  The President’s FY2005 budget includes $435,000 for this important project.  This amount, however, may be inadequate to ensure the canal’s yearly operation.

This unique waterway has supplied access to the remote wetlands of the Great Dismal Swamp for over 200 years, earning its inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and its designation as a National Civil Engineering Landmark.  Obtaining the necessary funding for the continued operation of our nation’s oldest man-made canal is an important priority both for residents as well as visitors to the region.

While it is early in the appropriations process, I look forward to working to see that the Army Corps of Engineers obtains sufficient funding for the maintenance of this very important historical and ecological landmark.

Good News/Bad News

Congress OKs funds for the 2005 budget.

Now we fight for 2006!  Please join us!



The Great Dismal Swamp was the lure of many men seeking fortune from the vast land and abundant natural supply of valuable lumber. One of the first and most famous  business supporters of the Great Dismal Swamp was George Washington himself.   It was his suggestion to build the actual Canal which was begun in 1793.  There is  now a system of Canals and Ditches including a feeder ditch from Lake Drummond (approximate center of the swamp) which keeps the system supplied with water.  The Dismal Swamp Canal’s  first vessel was a shingle flat which christened the canal with the first  voyage in 1805.   The steamship Thomas Newton  was one of many steam vessels to carry freight and passengers through the Great Dismal Swamp.   At one time the swamp was fully commercialized and included a number of Railroads to move the valuable timber to Norfolk and Suffolk and points South. The  historic canal is now recognized as  part of the National Underground Railroad and noted as a former sanctuary for runaway slaves seeking freedom.


Our Historical Review of the Great Dismal Swamp will captivate you.


Be sure to Visit the Dismal Swamp Visitor Center (see links).



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