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Deer Park, page 2

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himself a deer park, thus shrewdly conjoining business with pleasure; and forthwith he proceeded to the prosecution of his project in that primitive fashion which was handiest to him. He began by wrestling 'nip and tuck' with one royal buck on the snow and persuading another to lend himself to an artless scheme of 'benevolent assimilation' by arguments that must have appeared to any deer susceptible of civilization at once incontrovertible and alluring.

'I drew his leg around a tree,' he wrote, 'and held him there until he tired himself and lay still. Then I tied his hind legs to one end of a long pole and his forelegs to the other end and passed another cord around his kidneys and to the pole to keep him from straining his back. Then I took the end of the big pole and drew him to the road where I loosed him . . . and I drove him before me like a sheep until we came in sight of the house. But, as he refused to proceed any farther, I had to throw him and tie him again and haul him home, where I kept my deer five or six years.' Behold the beginning of Deer Park."

A few of the older residents of Deer Park well remember seeing deer grazing in a small park surrounded by a high fence that enclosed a few acres in the tiny valley between the McGraw property and the eastern edge of the hotel grounds, and bounded on the south by the railroad tracks. Through this there runs a small stream of clear water. John Mason of the North Glade settlement relates that his father, many years ago, was engaged by Senator Henry G. Davis to capture several deer for this enclosure at Deer Park. The elder Mason managed to do this with the aid of a sort of lasso and a pair of snowshoes during a period of very heavy snowfall, when the deer were practically helpless. These deer, we presume, formed the tiny herd that for some years, probably in the late 70's and early 80's, inhabited the little "deer park." One day in 1932 the writer's father pointed out to him and the late George Dawson the dim outlines of the path formed by the deer in moving around the edge of their enclosure., This was just below the site of the old Elkins cottage, on what then was the Davis property.

It may come as a surprise to some, however, to learn that the name "Deer Park" was applied as early as 1774 to a tract of 2,000 acres, including the town of Deer Park. The naming is attributed to a veteran surveyor, one Benjamin S. Brown, who appears to have been working with or for the famous Colonel Francis Deakins. At that time the lands of Lord Baltimore were being patented or granted to those willing to pay the nominal fees required. A similar tract immediately west of "Deer Park" was patented at the same time and given the reassuring designation of "Peace and Plenty." Upon part of this latter tract the Deer Park Hotel and cottages were built. Just


Robert Browning Garrett


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Maryland, History

Western Maryland, 1750-1963

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

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