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Allegany County
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Cumberland, Maryland (Virginia Avenue)

Virginia Avenue Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information



Where Maryland Avenue ends at Oldtown Road, Virginia Avenue starts and runs south to the C&O Canal. Virginia Avenue was as important to South Cumberland as Baltimore Street was to Downtown Cumberland. You start up a hill at the beginning of Virginia Avenue at Oldtown Road. The hill goes as far as Boone Street. This hill was referred to as Vinegar Hill and also as Chapel Hill. The name Chapel Hill came from the church on Virginia Avenue on the left side across from Browning Street, called Holy Cross Chapel, built ¦ in 1891. The name Vinegar Hill, according to the late Franklin Lee Carl, local newspaper man, came from a story he had heard of Vinegar Hill when he was a small boy at Hancock, Maryland, where he was born. Carl told of the picnic ground near the edge of town. He said he saw a man with a great mustache whirling a wheel of fortune nailed to a tree. The man would exclaim, "I'm Comical Jim, from Vinegar Hill, I never worked, and I never will." At the end of Vinegar Hill near First Street on Virginia Avenue in Cumberland was the start of the fairgrounds and racetrack. It is possible this very same man worked the fairgrounds on Virginia Avenue, thus the name Vinegar Hill. The fairgrounds were opened in 1869 and were located on Virginia Avenue between First and Second Streets, on the left side of Virginia Avenue running south. The fairgrounds extended back to what is now Pennsylvania Avenue. The racetrack was in this area. Some people say this is how Race Street got its name. The name of the fairgrounds was the Allegany County, West Virginia and Pennsylvania Agricultural and Mechanical Society.


Page #:

Miller, Herman J.

Mayor and Council, City of Cumberland


Collection Location:

Original Size:
27 x 20 cms

Stegmaier, Harry

Cumberland (Md.), history

Cumberland (Md.), 1700-1976

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

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