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Coal for charcoal, page 5

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the National Road (Route 40). The large high chimneys served to furnish the necessary draft to burn the coal, but most of the heat necessarily escaped through the great throat of the chimneys. Later, coal was further utilized by burning it in newly-invented heaters called cannon stoves,' and still later the 'egg stoves.' Cook stoves, though modern inventions, in the beginning were intended exclusively for wood fuel, but in time they too had to yield to the more aggressive coal. These remarks apply all-together to the bituminous or soft coal. The anthracite or hard coal of Eastern Pennsylvania had still more difficulties to encounter to become a utilizing agent. Many years elapsed and fortunes were lost in solving the problem.

"It is certain that the first coal opening was upon what, in late years, has been known as the Brown farm (upon which the writer was born and reared). The farm consists of four parcels of land, two miles north of Little Meadows, in Garrett County, and now owned and occupied by Mr. Joseph Maust. One of the tracts is still known as 'Coal and Timber,' 13 1/2 acres patented at an early day to Phillip Hare.

"Hare conveyed this land to Samuel Brown, my father, in 1812. Tradition has it that at that time there was upon 'Coal and Timber' a coal bank or opening, which to use a favorite expression of President Cleveland, had gone into "innocuous deseutude." This was fully eighty years ago, and it will be a safe deduction to say the opening was made twenty years prior (1792), no doubt by Phillip Hare, who was a man of some enterprises in these primitive times. He certainly built the first saw mill in Garrett County, one hundred years or more ago.

"The object of this mine (Hare's) was to supply the blacksmith shops on both sides of the state line (Maryland-Pennsylvania) with coal, there being no other use or demand for it at that time. The old Glotfelty shops, about a mile and a half distant in Pennsylvania used to carry its coal from this mine in strong sacks on pack horses, and perhaps sometimes on stout shoulders of some of the ancient Glotfeltys. The same primitive method was employed in supplying the smitheries along Braddock's Road. The Glotfelty-Yowler shops were established on the Glotfelty estate over a century ago, but were removed to Salisbury over sixty-five years since, and are still run by the family —a rare instance of business longevity. The now venerable Samuel Glotfelty, after standing by the forge and bellows for sixty years retired about ten years ago. His mind is yet clear, but otherwise he is infirm. He is positive the old Hare opening is the most ancient in the two counties. He remembers much himself and heard his ancestors often speak of the difficulties they had to procure coal." (Brown wrote the above in 1893)

In addition to the above we learn from the same author that coal was discovered in 1812 on the Archibald Thistle farm near the Pike, about two miles west of Grantsville, which would be close to Keyser's Ridge. Blacksmith shops were located every one or two miles along the Pike, doing a thriving business not only in shoeing horses but making and mending iron tires for the countless vehicles that were subject to rough treatment by reason of the unimproved condition of this mountain section of the road. Other early mines in the same area were those on the Fadley and Blubaugh farms across the line in Somerset County. The


Felix G. Robinson


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Maryland, History


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

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