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Deer Park, page 7

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way, with its superior tractive power, that the helpers, at that period the versatile 4400 and 4600 Mikado type locomotives, were taken out of service permanently. Nowadays trains of previously unheard of length and tonnage roar through Deer Park, drawn by efficient if not picturesque Diesels, and only occasionally, on a local freight or work train, is heard the bark of the steam engine's exhaust and the music of its whistle.

In 1880 the census reported that Deer Park had four churches, one school and a population of 200. M. P. Tillson was the Postmaster; Dr. G. H. Hocking was the local physician; Joseph Lashorn and Lorenzo Thrasher were plasterers and there also were two shoemakers, J. C. Rodeheaver and W. S. Lantz. L. H. Schoolfield, Clarence Tillson and Frank Thrasher were carpenters, and Andy Williams was the blacksmith. No town, however small, was completely staffed in those days unless it had a blacksmith. Mrs. Steele and Col. E. C. Tillson ran boarding houses and the latter also was the station agent. Col. Tillson (1807-1892) came to Deer Park from Maine in 1866 as an agent for Governor Frank Thomas, who had sawmills at Swanton and Frankville. Later he became general manager of the Davis interests in the Deer Park area. He was active politically, being elected Deer Park's first mayor when the town was incorporated in 1884. He also served as County Commissioner. The Tillson house was an odd structure, consisting of two separate houses connected by a one-story dining room. It stood near the Davis homes and was known as "The Wing and Wing." It burned down many years ago.

Among the churches was the Union Church, built about 1873, apparently used at will by Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and United Brethren. It was in this church that a celebrated debate on "What Catholics Do Not Believe" took place in November and December of 1874, between Father William Mahony of St. Peter's Catholic Church, Oakland, and Rev. J. P. Thatcher, pastor of St. Paul's M. E. Church, Oakland. The writer recalls that when attending school at Deer Park years ago he saw a large steel tank, intended for baptismal purposes, at this church, which would indicate that the Baptists were among those who used the church. Since 1923 it has been used by the Episcopalians.

A Methodist church was erected many years ago. It burned down one Sunday in 1899 and the present church was built a year or two later. Little in the way of records concerning this church is available. Rev. C. A. Powers is listed as the first pastor.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church was organized in July, 1875, under the leadership of Rev. Oliver C. Miller. The Elders were John Jankey, Jacob Thrasher and Emil F. Droege. P. M. Stemple, W. S. Lantz.


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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