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Conduit Road

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Conduit Road, ca. 1897
Conduit Road
  Conduit Road leads from the Washington Aqueduct Reservoir in the District of Columbia, to near Great Falls in Maryland. The road was builf to provide easy access for maintainence of the aqueduct, but became a popular country drive shortly after its opening.

The road parallels the Potomac River and runs over much of its course on top of the Washington Aqueduct. Today the road is named Mac Arthur Boulevard, the name having been changed to honor the WWII General, but also it is rumored to have been changed to 'hide' the location of Washington's critical water supply route.

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A trolley at Cabin John, ca 1912
Conduit Road
Transport along the road had been by horse, carriage, coach, bicycle, trolley, & automobile successively.

The trolley trip alongside the road was a popular feature by itsself for many years, as the views of the Potomac Rvier valley are striking.

To the right is a photo that has never been published before of a trolley at the Cabin John Bridge terminus of the trolley line. A cedar log shelter served as the station. Conduit Road can be seen in the lower left corner of the image.

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A touring car headed for Cabin John along Conduit Road
Conduit Road
With the advent of the automobile, business men realized that cars could better serve to take tourists about the area. Several companies were started giveing open top bus rides to the historic sites around Washington, including the Cabin John Bridge and Great Falls.

Tourists would ride to the falls, crossing the Cabin John Bridge on the way to visit the falls. After a dusty walk to see the falls they would ride back to Cabin John where lunch could be had at the Cabin John Bridge Hotel.

After lunch and a viewing of the famous bridge, the tour car wound its way back to Washington along the Conduit Road.

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The Cabin John Bridge, with the Cabin John Hotel seen in the distance. ca 1910
Conduit Road
Conduit road crosses the Cabin John bridge about 7 miles from the White House, the road continues paralleling the river for several more miles until it reached the Old Angler's Inn.

From here the road kind of splits, with a gravel road continuing parallel with the river almost to Great Falls. The other part of the road leaves the river and climbs the hills near the falls to Falls Road which leads to the village of Potomac (once known as Offut's Crossroads).

From its meeting with Falls Road a small road winds back down the hills to Great Falls.

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