Dozens came out to Lock 4 along the C&O Canal on Wednesday to wave goodbye to the beloved "Georgetown" boat while marking a new phase of restoration.
Mules towed the boat away for a final time. Officials are retiring the replica boat that has floated the canal's waters since 1982.
"We have very fond feelings for this boat. It was such an excellent place to teach," said John McCarthy, a U.S. Park Ranger.
McCarthy has worked on the boat for 20 years, teaching thousands about the canal's history.
The farewell marks the first phase of a two-year canal restoration project, which will include a new replica boat to help boost tourism in Georgetown.
Crews will also shut down and drain a section of the canal to make repairs.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has committed $3 million in city funds to help with the $10 million cost of the new boat and restoration of the canal's walls.
"It's one of the most-used national parks in the entire system and it needs some TLC and it's gonna get it starting today," Bowser told News4.
The C&O Canal has been around since the mid 1830s and played a vital role in transporting goods before railroads and highways existed.