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Allegany County
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Garrett County
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Civil War in Maryland
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Photographs and Prints
Howard Rees - introduction.

Howard Rees - introduction. Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Howard Rees, interviewed by Elizabeth Rees Gilbert, Howard Rees’ daughter

Howard Rees: My name is Howard Rees. I was born in Frostburg, Maryland on March 10, 1911. The town of Frostburg was built on the economy of the coal mines. This was the main industry, so that when my grandparents on both sides --my mother’s mother and father and my father's mother and father -- when they came over, they of course sought employment in the coal mines.

My mother's mother belonged to a family which was quite well-to-do. So she did not come to the New World with her husband because she didn't want to leave. Her family managed some property for Queen Victoria, and she did not see the point of seeking her fortune in the New World when she was quite comfortable over in Wales. So it took another trip for my grandfather to go back and get her and bring her over to the United States because the children were with her.

Now, of the three children, the youngest was my mother, who was born shortly after the boat on which they were traveling landed near Philadelphia in an area called the Welsh Tract, because this was an area where most of the Welsh coming to the new world came, because they knew there would be people there who spoke Welsh and they wouldn't be at a loss for finding their way around. From there they would spread out into Pennsylvania and Maryland and take jobs in the coal mines.

My mother's parents came into Maryland and bought a small farm in an area called #9 Coal Mine, which was owned by the Consolidated Coal Company of Pittsburgh. The two brothers, Isaac and Tom, worked in the mines along with their father. My grandmother ran the farm and took care of the garden. They had cows. They were a very generous family because every Friday, people who were less well off could come to the farm and get free butter and bread and sometimes free eggs, if there were plenty on hand, and this was their sense of community service.


Howard Rees

Elizabeth Rees Gilbert

The photograph of Howard and Sue, his wife, was taken on the occasion of his 80th birthday in 1991. It was provided by his daughter.


Collection Location:
Garrett College, McHenry.

Coal miners--Maryland--History; Coal miners--West Virginia--History; Garrett County (Md.)--History; Allegany County (Md.)--History.

Western Maryland, 1930-1980

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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