Notes on George's Creek, page 4
"At one meeting in Swanton School House it was decided to have a meeting at the home of Mr. Park to elect trustees. At that meeting Peter Goodwin, William Orr, John Wilson, Sr., Robert Wilson, James Park, Charles Stewart and John Somerville, Sr., were elected and made a building committee, authorized to receive and solicit funds for the erection of a frame church building thirty by fifty feet. The first contribution was from Mr. John Barnes. It was one of the best cattle he had on his farm. He was to butcher it, Mr. Robert Wilson and Mr. William Orr were to cut it up and sell it, and Mr. Barnes deliver it. Mr. Barnes was to keep half of the money, the other half was to go to the building fund. The Church realized $25.00 from this transaction. In less than a year after this first contribution was received the Church was dedicated free of debt. This was before the congregation had been regularly organized as a Church. The lot on which the building stands was presented by Major William Shaw. The building cost $980.00, and has since been improved at twice the original cost.
"The first sermon ever preached by a Presbyterian minister in this Valley was by Rev. M. W. Woodworth at Barton. Mr. Woodworth was a Colporteur doing mission work, and at the time a Licentiate of the Winchester Presbytery"
Among the newspapers in Georges Creek Valley in an earlier day was "The Lonaconing Star" edited by John J. Robinson. This paper was a loyal supporter of miners rights. On one occasion when there was a strike Robinson sent to Wales for information as to how a strike should be conducted.
William Thompson, father of Judge Alvin C. was elected Mayor of Lonaconing fourteen times.
William A. Gunter, Attorney and member of the Maryland State Board of Education in his Dedicatory Address at Valley High School, Lonaconing, Tuesday, November 10, 1953, included the following history of the region:
"In 1842 the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company came to Cumberland. In 1850 the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was completed to Cumberland; and in 1851 the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was extended to Piedmont. These were not the days of the machine age, and all coal had to be dug by hand. This required what was known as 'mine hands,' who emigrated from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany and Wales. The end of the line for these immigrants was the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Station at Piedmont. The railroad was then being extended to Wheeling, and the Irish immigrants with their natural love for railroad work located in Westernport, across the Potomac from Piedmont. The Scotch immigrants with their families set up housekeeping in Barton and Lonaconing; the Irish coal miners fixed their abode at Midland, and the Welsh immigrants, which included my great-grandfather, moved into Frostburg. The Germans located at Eckhart and Frostburg.
"It is interesting to know that these segregations into these different communities were mainly brought about by the different mine bosses, who when in need of hands urged the immigrants to write back to the Old Country, asking their kinfolk to come over and work in the mines. The mine bosses at Lonaconing were Andrew Main and Judge John Douglas, two Scotchmen. The mine boss at Barton was John Somerville, a Scotchman. And so the
Felix G. Robinson
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland
22 x 15 cms