In the continuing series of ‘My Virginia’ my photographer son, Joseph O’Donnell IV, and I recently took a trip to Great Falls and Mather Gorge. The Great Falls Park is run by the National Park Service and is located in Northern Virginia along the Potomac River. The river itself is the borderline between Virginia and Maryland and it has been a National attraction since the our country was first founded. The gorge was named after Stephen T. Mather, the first National Park Service director.
There is a canal running along it that was set up by the Patowmack Company in 1784 which constructed a series of five canals to make the river navigable as a water route between the Chesapeake Bay and the interior of Virginia. It was overseen by George Washington who’s dream was to connect the East with the Ohio Valley and bind the country together in a framework of trade and mutual interest. (more…)