9902. Cushwa

Right  in  from  of  you  stands  the  Cushwa  Warehouse.  This  is  where  you'd  come  to  buy  coal  for  your  company  or  household.  There'd  be  a  fellow  in  the  booth  there,  like  Martin  Bovey,  but  folks  called  him  Marty.
Now  Marty  had  worked  on  the  boats,  but  he  only  got  25  cents  a  day.  So  he  decided  to  go  to  work  at  the  Cushwa  Warehouse  and  he  became  yard  foreman  and  the  weigh  master.
So  if  you  brought  your  wagon  here,  to  load  up  some  coal,  you'd  talk  to  Marty.  And  this  is  what  you  did:
You'd  pull  your  wagon  onto  the  scale  and  weigh  the  empty  wagon  first.  Then  you'd  fill  up  the  wagon  with  as  much  coal  as  needed,  then  reweigh  the  wagon.  The  difference  in  weight  between  the  full  wagon  and  the  empty  wagon  was  how  much  coal  you  got.
And  that  coal  was  the  real  good  soft  coal  from  just  west  of  Cumberland.
Now  if  you  look  on  the  side  of  the  building,  you  can  see  high  water  markers  from  a  bunch  of  floods,  like  1877,  1889  -  that  was  the  Johnstown  flood.  And  1972,  that  was  hurricane  Agnes.  Course  a  real  big  flood  was  back  in  1936...look  up  to  the  top  of  the  building  to  see  that  one.  Yep,  the  water  was  all  the  way  up  there.
And  Marty,  he  knew  all  the  company  records  were  up  there  on  the  top  floor.  So  he  got  a  rowbot  and  rowed  his  way  over,  and  started  pulling  all  those  records  out  of  the  warehouse.  That  must've  been  something  to  see!
Folks,  this  warehouse  has  been  here  in  one  form  or  another  since  around  1800.  It's  seen  a  lot:  the  construction  of  the  canal  and  of  the  railroad  -  you  can  still  see  some  tracks.    And  there  used  to  be  a  slaughterhouse  closer  to  the  aqueduct  -  you  can  still  see  its  foundation.  And  it's  seen  about  40  floods  over  the  centuries,  some  small,  some  devastating.  And  in  its  present  incarnation,  the  Cushwa  Warehouse  is  home  to  a  Visitor  Center  of  the  C&O  Canal  National  Historical  Park.  And  we're  glad  to  have  you  here.  
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