Efforts to secure State Armory
Concerted efforts being made to secure State Armory for the city
Cumberland in danger of being left out at Annapolis in favor of some eastern shore town unless the delegation at Annapolis is backed to the fullest extent — Chamber of Commerce, Mayor and Council and other civic bodies interested.
A concerted effort is being made here to secure a State Amory for Cumberland, this being considered not only an appropriate time but also a critical period. Unless united action is taken by the mayor and council, and the Chamber of Commerce and other local bodies, it is felt that there is a possibility of Cumberland’s claims for a State Armory being overlooked for of some other city. The following letter, sent to the Allegany County delegates at Annapolis, explains the situation:
TO THE ALLEGANY DELEGATION
During the war with money belonging to the Counsel of National Defense, an armory site was purchased in Cumberland. I think the purchase price was about Fifteen Thousand Dollars. This lot is 100x200 feet. On it is an old frame building, built for a skating ring. The floor is in good condition and is used for dancing, but the rest of the building is very dilapidated and in fact, the joists underneath the floor are in very poor shape. For this reason it is absolutely necessary to secure a new armory building, as one is not only unsuitable, but will need a great many repairs if we try to keep it up.
The State now owns a lot in Baltimore, purchased originally for an armory for the Fourth Regiment. This regiment is no longer in existence, and will not be reorganized. The intention of the adjutant general is to sell this lot and with the money so secured— the conservative estimate is three hundred thousand dollars—to erect armories for the First Regiment in Hagerstown, Cumberland, Centerville and Silverspring.
At present Crisfield and Easton on the eastern shore are trying to have their towns favored in place of Cumberland and Silverspring. However, the bill has been prepared by the adjutant general, general record, and is supported by Governor Ritchie, Therefore, it will go through, if the delegates and senators from Washington County, Allegany county and Garrett county support it. It is question as to whether or not armories should be built. The bill is certain to pass in one form or another. And unless Cumberland is backed by our delegation to the fullest extent, the name of some eastern shore town may be inserted and Cumberland will be left out.
General Record has recommended Cumberland from a military stand- point. We have a large population to draw from: we sent a company of over 100 men to the border, and we took to Camp McClellan in 1917 a company of 150 men—which was a full strength company. We could have had more but 150 was all that was authorized. The company could be built up – and if I did not think so I would not have gone in for the purpose of working as captain. Under the circumstances, therefore, we are certainly entitled to this ahead of either Crisfield or Easton or Silverspring, although Silverspring at present has a slightly larger company.
An armory is for the use of the local Company, but it is also useful as a municipal building for community fairs, conventions, large lodge meetings, large meetings of various sorts, as a place for athletic meets, etc. And as I said before, it is simply a question as to whether Cumberland asks for what rightfully belongs to it, or whether it permits this armory to go to some other town.
I have seen Senator Robb and laid the matter before him, and he has promised to do everything in his power. And I see no reason why the bill should not pass unless we fail to do everything we can toward this project. If you need any additional data, call on General Record at Annapolis and he will, I am sure, be glad to help you out in any way.
A resolution was introduced in the City Council has been prepared as follows:
Whereas the City of Cumberland, the second city in size in Maryland, has no State Armory building, although it has maintained a National Guard Company for many years
And whereas the building of an Armory in Cumberland is called for from a military standpoint as the Adjutant General of Maryland has publically stated:
And whereas a State Armory building can be used, not only as a training place for the company, but also for public meetings, community fairs, conventions, large lodge meetings, athletic meets and a building of this sort is much needed in Cumberland;
And whereas, Cumberland is entitled, from every point of view, to have an Armory built here by the State of Maryland;
And whereas, at this time the unemployment situation is acute and public improvements should be carried on now to provide work for men who will later be able to secure work in private businesses as soon as the period of depression is over;
Be it resolved, that Mayer Koon be authorized to represent the Mayor and City Council of Cumberland and to present its claims to an Armory at the meeting of the Senate Finance Committee at Annapolis, on Tuesday, February 7, 1922, or (in case he is unable to attend) to designate some other member of the council to act in his stead.
And be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be sent to every Allegany County member of the General Assembly of Maryland, together with a letter requesting them to do all in their power to secure an Armory for Cumberland, and urging them to attend the meeting of the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, February 7, at 2 :30 p. m., to speak in favor of the bill providing for the sale of the Fourth Regiment lot in Baltimore and authorizing the Adjutant General to build an Armory in Cumberland, Hagerstown and elsewhere with the proceeds of the sale of said lot.
OTHER HELP ASKED
The Cumberland Rotary Club as well as other local organizations have been appealed to in the following manner, their co-operation being requested, also that of all citizens:
Milton Patterson, Esq.,
President, Rotary Club,
Can you arrange to have the Board of Directors of the Cumberland Rotary Club pass a resolution along the line of the enclosed and send it on to each member of our delegation? Also urge the men to write personal letters to the members of the delegation or to see them in person.
Baltimore is opposing the Adjutant General's proposed bill. It wishes to have the money spent in Baltimore, though the Fifth Regiment Armory is amply sufficient for Baltimore's needs.
So we have to get busy and back this bill which, by the way, is favored by the Governor.
Allegany College of Maryland
Cumberland (Md.) press coverage; Cumberland (Md.) Chamber of Commerce
Cumberland (Md.), 1920-1930