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Fort Ashby in the Youghiogheny Glades page 13

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One winter day the hunters trekked toward their lodge and it was but a short time until they had skinned out and hung up a bear and a deer. At the end of the day they retraced their steps in the direction of their cache. Night and an avalanche of snow descended upon the forest. A sub-zero blizzard was added for good measure, and all efforts to find their meat were in vain. One of the men decided he would rather go back to the fort but would return in two days. At the expiration of forty eight hours their companion was still absent. Two of the men started towards the fort to see what had happened. On the bank of the run where Bliss I. N. Baker lives they found their neighbor sitting against a tree, frozen to death. They concluded that over-exertion during the hunt, and his effort to brave the storm, brought on a heart attack. They buried him on the spot, and thereafter it was called Frozen Run, and their lodge Frozen Run Camp. The Silver Knob Quarry of Delbert Gnegy is in the same neighborhood.

George Washington's last trip across the mountains was in 1784 and on returning he travelled the old buffalo trace known as McCullough's path. He stopped at Archey's Spring, located on this path which was about a mile north of Fort Ashby. He was unaware of the nearness of this fort, which was the only place on the mountain top at the time where a community of settlers existed. The other habitations of white men were the isolated cabins of such pioneers as Joseph Logston and Charles and Augustine Friend.

In 1938 the late Captain Charles E. Hoye, founder of the Garrett County Historical Society, of venerable memory, wrote concerning the last buffaloes. These were seen for the last time in the glades ten years after Washington's last trip. Clumsy creatures as they were the bow and arrow of the Indians was not as deadly as the white man's rifle. The bear and deer have survived; the last elk were seen as late as 1825 in Randolph County, West Virginia. These buffaloes browsed on their way up to the head of the tributaries of the Ohio River during the open season; they never were reported on the east side of the Alleghenies. The following is Captain Hoye's account of the last buffaloes here: "One day in early fall an Ashby boy and a friend were searching for the livestock of their neighbor. They tracked some animals in the light snow until they came to what is now the farm of Dorsey T. Ashby at Crellin. Here the boy noticed that one of the animals had rubbed a snag, leaving some woolly hair. He said to his companion, 'Have your cattle grown wool?' The man replied, 'They have been gone so long—damned if I know what they have grown!' Following the tracks to the top of the hill they found four buffaloes. They shot the two bulls and the cows ran westward. These were the last buffaloes seen in the glades where thousands grazed in summers before, and for some years after, the coming of the white man."


Rev. J. C. Breuninger

Summer 1963

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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