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Allegany County
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Situation and Early History

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Situation and Early History

CUMBERLAND, the county seat of Allegany County, Maryland, is situated at the confluence of Wills Creek with the North Branch of the Potomac river; in a picturesque amphitheatre formed by the Wills and Nobly ranges of the great Allegany Mountains. It is the largest and most important city in Western Maryland. It is the Western terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal; and the principal shipping point, both by Canal and Rail, for the celebrated "Cumberland" coal. The Pittsburgh and Connellsville branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad joins the main stem at Cumberland.

The settlement of this city dates back to the old colonial times, when the Ohio Company built here a trading post and stockade, being then known as the "Wills Creek Post." Here Washington, then the young colonial Colonel, had his headquarters for a time on his march to Great Meadows. Here later, the ill-fated Braddock, on his march against the French at Fort Duquesne, now Pittsburgh, built a fort which he called "Fort Cumberland," and which he designed as a point of supply for his army on their march.

From a trading post and frontier town, as the civilization of the States advanced Westward, it became the county town of a quiet farming country. Subsequently the "National Turnpike," designed as a great highway of travel between the National Capital and the West, was built, Cumberland being the point of departure over the mountains.

Then it became the terminus of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail road, which carried its freight and passengers from Baltimore to Cumberland, whence Westward the stage-coach and road wagon were the only conveyances.


Page #:

C.J. Orrick


Collection Location:
Allegany County Public Library

Original Size:
21 x 14 cms

Board of Trade of the City of Cumberland

Mines and mineral resources, Maryland, Cumberland

Cumberland, Md., 1870s

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

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