Category Archives: Great Falls

The Tommyknocker and the Maryland Mine

Pictured here is what remains of the Maryland Mine, Montgomery County’s largest gold mine and the site of one of my favorite ghost stories – the Tommyknocker. A Tommyknocker is a special type of ghost that inhabits mines where a miner has died. Montgomery County once had a number of gold mines. The Maryland Mine produced gold following the Civil War until the 1930s, although it fell in productivity following the explosion in 1906 which created the Tommyknocker. When the mine closed, there were tons of unprocessed ore, hard quartz, left over. The ore was used in the construction of MacArthur Boulevard.

If you want to see the mine site yourself, it is located just outside the Great Falls entrance for the C & O Canal National Historical Park in Potomac located at the intersection of Falls Road and MacArthur Boulevard. On MacArthur you will see the sign for the park entrance. Just behind it is a trail that leads past the mine. It is quite close to the road. Find a safe place to pull off on MacArthur and then just walk in.


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