Footprints from the Mountains of Western Maryland, page 3
waned, even unto this day; as during the season just closed numerous fishing encampments from the adjoining states were to be seen at favorite points all along these streams, and although the weather has continued unfavorable and the waters high, the catch is remarkably fine. Swallow Falls and Muddy Creek Falls are probably the two most prominent places, not only with the anglers, but large pleasure excursions from Deer Park, Mt. Lake Park and Oakland who go to spend the day and view the gorgeous and picturesque scenery by which they are surrounded.
Bass fishing, which will be in its bloom during the month of October, offers rare inducement to the expert rodman, who to be successful must wade the middle of the streams for miles with the water often up to his armpits, and whilst the labor is somewhat heavy he seldom fails to be amply remunerated. Many of the old fishermen from the mountains wade during the day and night, showing no apparent fatigue.
I cannot refrain from giving an imperfect and short sketch of one of the most spirited and unique fishing outings ever planned in this community. It was a reunion of the immediate relatives and friends of the Browning family in a week's fishing and hunting expedition on the banks of the wild and historic Cheat River. The Brownings, nine in number, eight grandsons and one great-grandson of Meshach Browning the pioneer hunter and Nimrod of Western Maryland (whose autobiography, entitled "Fourty-four years of the life of a hunter," has a place on the choice shelf of the libraries of those who are fond of outdoor sports), all of whom inherited his love of nature, the chase, hunt and camp fires, and were never so happy as when roaming over field, forest or along the streams. It was my privilege to be in company with this distinguished author and hunter when his photograph was taken for the frontispiece to his work, and as I listened to some of his thrilling narratives of some of his desperate hand-to-hand encounters, the forty and odd years spent in a wilderness of solitude and danger, then aged, bent and battered by the storms of forty and odd years, he reminded me of some mighty giant taking a rest after the fury of a prolonged and desperate battle.
The morning was bright and young when a large two-horse wagon was loaded with provisions, and six covered wagons drawn by twelve handsome horses, furnished transportation for the merry crowd. The middle wagon was well arranged with seats and rolling curtains, in which was the renowned Browning Orchestra, six brothers with their fine violins and who started the march by playing "'Arkansas Traveler." Six violins in the hands of six brothers, as artistic players as ever drew a bow.
It was 1:00 p. m. when the point of destination was reached. Here two large tents were pitched, one a music and assembly hall and the other a dining room, in which was spread a splendid dinner, much enjoyed by a hungry but happy company.
After dinner the large covered wagons and the smaller tents were arranged as sleeping apartments. All was now done and the arrangements completed for a week's stay. Soon the evening sun began to sink
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland
22 x 15 cms
Editor: Felix G. Robinson
Western Maryland, 1750-1963