Landsford Canal

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Landsford Canal
Landsford Canal Lockkeeper's House.jpg
The Lock Keeper's House at Rocky Mount Canal near Great Falls, downstream of the Landsford Canal. This was moved to the Landsford Canal.
Location Chester / Lancaster counties, South Carolina, USA
Nearest city Lancaster, South Carolina
Coordinates 34°46′44″N 80°52′40″W / 34.77889°N 80.87778°W / 34.77889; -80.87778Coordinates: 34°46′44″N 80°52′40″W / 34.77889°N 80.87778°W / 34.77889; -80.87778
Area 660 acres (270 ha)
Built 1820-1823
Architect Robert Mills
NRHP Reference # 69000163[1]
Added to NRHP December 3, 1969

The Landsford Canal was the farthest upstream of a series of canals built on the Catawba and Wateree Rivers to provide a direct water route between the upstate settlements and the towns on the fall line.[2][3] It is located along the Catawba River in Chester County and Lancaster County west of Lancaster, South Carolina, United States. It is named for an early settler, Thomas Land, who owned the land with a ford across the Catawba River. It is the centerpiece of the Landsford Canal State Park.


The canal was designed by Robert Mills. Construction began in 1820, using slave labor and skilled laborers from the northern United States under the supervision of Robert Leckie. It was 2 miles (3.2 km) long. It was 12 feet (3.7 m) wide and 10 feet (3.0 m) deep. It had five locks for the 32-foot (9.8 m) descent of the river.

The canal was not a financial success. In 1824, one of the locks collapsed due to a poor foundation. Canal traffic, which was never high, had apparently ceased by 1840. The granite locks and the lock keeper's house survive.[4]

The Landsford Canal was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.[1] Additional pictures, architectural drawings, and information about the lock keeper's house are available from the Historic American Buildings Survey at the Library of Congress. The documentation indicates the lock keeper's house at Landsford Canal was moved from Rocky Mount Canal near Great Falls downstream.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Cox, James L. (June 2, 1969). "Lansford Canal" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "Landsford Canal, Chester County (off U.S. Hwy 21, Rowell vicinity)". National Register Properties in South Carolina. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Edgar, Walter, ed. (2006). The South Carolina Encyclopedia. University of South Carolina Press. p. 534. ISBN 1-57003-598-9. 
  5. ^ Silverman, Eleni (September 1983). "Rocky Mount Canal, Lock Keeper's House" (PDF). Historic American Buildings Survey. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. p. 1. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 

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