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A Summer Home in the Mountains,

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A Summer Home in the Mountains


In 1825, Elizabeth Phoebe Key, the eldest child of Francis Scott Key, married Charles Howard, the youngest son of General John Eager Howard. Most of the people mentioned below are, or were, their children or grandchildren.

In 1857, Mrs. Charles Howard (Elizabeth Phoebe Key) and her children and her mother, the widow of Francis Scott Key, were spending a very hot summer in the hotel at the Relay. The B. & O. had not been running through to the Ohio River, and to see the late afternoon train come through from the west was quite an event. One afternoon, a steward, formerly a butler in Mrs. Howard's home, stepped off the coach for a minute, and recognizing Mrs. Howard, told her that they had, that morning, come through a place where the ladies were walking up and down the platform wearing blankets, shawls, and the station railing was hung with rattlesnake skins.

Next morning Mrs. Howard and Mrs. F. S. Key boarded the train for Oakland. They stayed for some weeks at the old Glades Hotel.

In 1858, they went again, doubtless taking other members of the family with them. This time they stayed on a farm, known as Bitzer's near where the road to Monte Vista leaves the old West Union road. Mrs. Francis Scott Key died early in 1859, but Mrs. Charles Howard and various members of her family returned. They were already taking root in Oakland. Of course, between 1860 and 1865 no one could travel owing to the Civil

At this season of the year it is a pleasure to remind our subscribers that many of the Who's Who in American History have been summer residents in the Allegheny Tableland. Among our many notable summer colonists that of Francis Scott Key's family has come to their summer residence in Oakland, Maryland, for eighty-four consecutive years. This might well be the longest record for a single family in summer residence in one place. "The Anchorage" near Deer Park, Maryland, was perhaps the first residence built exclusively for summer use in the Allegheny mountains. This was as early as 1858. It was built by Roger Perry of Cumberland, Maryland. The main residence and guest house was destroyed by fire around 1915. It was not rebuilt. A grandson, Thorton Tayloe Perry, II, resides in Charles Town, West Virginia. His family is also related to the Keys. He has the largest collection of books in existence dealing with the history of West Virginia. Julia Howard who writes this story has consented to write her family's version of the origin of "The Star Spangled Banner" for this magazine in a forthcoming issue. Of the Tableland counties, Garrett has the distinction of being host to more summer residents than any other.


Julia McHenry Howard

Summer 1953

Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Editor: Felix G. Robinson

Maryland, History

Western Maryland, 1750-1963

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

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