Notes on George's Creek, page 5
Scotch immigrants came to Barton and Lonaconing. The mine boss at Midland was Phil McMahon, an Irishman. The mine boss at Frostburg was Jim Thomas, a Welshman. The mine boss at Eckhart was Daniel Krapf, a German, and so the Germans located at Eckhart and Frostburg.
"One of the most famous persons to come out of Lonaconing was John Gardner Murray, a Scotchman, who with his father dug coal in this Valley for many years. Mr. Murray was baptized in the Presbyterian Church in Lonaconing, was later converted to Methodism, then to the Episcopal Church, and finally elected the Episcopal Bishop of Maryland." Judge Sloan, when speaking with the editor, stated that the first settlers in Lonaconing were Germans. These must have preceded the period referred to by Mr. Gunter. They had come to the valley ostensibly to take up farming. The roster of names in the Shaw Teachers Agreement discloses a number of Germans. Judge Sloan says they were native Germans, both Catholic and Protestant. He further states that there was a German Lutheran Church, located on Main Street in Lonaconing which was destroyed by fire in 1881 and was immediately rebuilt. The congregation disbanded several years ago. The building is still standing but used now for other purposes.
Judge Sloan tells us that Pekin was named after the Pekin Coal Company. The Judge says that when he was a boy he clerked in his father's store at Ocean, Maryland. The mines and the village were called "Ocean" because the mines were first owned by the Ocean Steam Coal Company back in about 1850. The Company used the noun "Ocean" in its name to designate that the coal from the Allegany County mines was used mostly to fire the boilers on ocean-going ships.
"The first little settlement on the outskirts of Frostburg is Graham town, named after Mr. Curtin Graham, one of the early settlers of Frostburg, and one of its largest landowners. The next settlement, known as Wright's Crossing, was named after the Wright family who were also large landowners. We now approach the village of Borden Shaft, which derives its name from two sources. First, from the Borden family of New York, the owners of the Borden Mining Company, and second, that the mining here is done by means of a shaft, containing two large elevator cages, which transports the coal from the floor of the mine to the surface, a distance of 150 feet. All other mining in the region is accomplished by slope and drift mining. This consists of digging a heading into the side of a hill and transporting the coal through an underground tunnel. In 1907 the Consolidation Coal Company constructed an underground tunnel six feet in height and eight feet wide from Borden Shaft to Clarysville, a distance of two miles. By means of this tunnel the underground waters at Borden Shaft are now drained into Braddock Run at Clarysville. Twelve miles of rock drainage ditches, eight feet deep, in the mines act as feeders to this main tunnel.
Felix G. Robinson
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland
22 x 15 cms