History Hero: Bob Solomon
Bob Solomon is the skipper on one of America’s newest moving pieces of history. On the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal in Washington D.C., an old style, but modern packet boat is running again. It’s not being pulled by mules anymore — but still gives us a look back into the 1800’s. The Canal — proposed by George Washington — was originally intended to follow the Potomac River from Washington, over the Appalachian mountains to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. By the 20th century, the railroads… and then trucks took over the freight moving, and by 1924 the canal’s heyday was over. But Georgetown Heritage and the National Park Service has built the replica boat — and in April of 2022 it began hauling passengers. Bob has worked in operations and construction as a project manager building roads and bridges.
He retired in 2010 and received a Merchant Marine license to drive boats up to 85 ft. Since then, he has served as boat captain for Urban Pirates, DC Ducks, and paddle boats in Baltimore and DC. He loves the new boat and restorations to this stretch of canal, and says it gives people a small glimpse into the old days of the C&O.
Meet Bob and the rest of the team in our Story “Grand Old Ditch.”
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“History Heroes” are profiles of people young and old we meet along the way sharing their love of the past.