Ku Klux Klan at Cumberland station
It is August 1925, and members of Fort Cumberland Klan #37 of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan depart the Queen City Railroad Station enroute to the big KKK march in Washington, D.C.
The following train description is from Cumberland, Maryland Through the Eyes of Herman J. Miller:
On August 8, 1925, a special Baltimore and Ohio train for the Ku Klux Klan meeting in Washington D.C. left the Queen City Station at 8:15 AM bearing the Fort Cumberland Klan No. 37. The train consisted of eleven coaches and a baggage car. It was pulled by locomotive No. 5218. This engine had been used for the Capitol Limited. The engine drawing the special train from here was decorated with a picture of a small red school house of the front, with a red cross with the letters “KKK” on it above the picture. On the side of both cylinders was the Klan insignia and on each head was an American flag. Flags and buntings were streamed from the sides of the engine and on the tender sides were large letters “K.” The coaches were likewise decorated, all by the local B&O shopmen. On the last coach was a large electrically lighted cross of red, flanked by American flags and bearing the three K’s. The motto of the Klan, “For others, not for self,” was on the cylinder head decorations. It was said that about one thousand Klansmen were on the special train. At this time, a total of 6,050 Klansmen traveled east over the Cumberland Division to Washington. Special trains came from Wheeling, Parkersburg, McKeesport, Johnstown, two trains from Pittsburgh, and two from Cleveland, Ohio. A picture shows the decorated train. Standing by the train are: the uniformed conductor and brakeman wearing the Ku Klux Klan headdress.
Miller also included the following incident which had happened earlier:
On Saturday evening, March 18, 1922, Klansmen were in evidence in Cumberland. The heavy detonation of a high explosive that shook the houses above the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad on Baltimore Street was heard throughout the city. It attracted the attention of thousands to a large fiery cross burning on the top of the hill above Baltimore Street. The cross burned for about fifteen minutes before toppling over in smoldering embers.
Photo from the collection of Bonnie Wolfe and courtesy of the Allegany County Museum.
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008