Deer Park, page 10
ed the use of his other faculties until his death on March 23rd, 1941, about one week before reaching his 105th birthday. He was Garrett County's last and oldest survivor of the Civil War.
Hice R. Laughlin, son of Dr. J. W. Laughlin, was born in Greensburg, Pa., in 1870, and was brought to Deer Park when a boy. As a youngster he was irrepressible, and many tales, some of them perhaps apocryphal, are told of his antics. Among them is one involving the stopping of a fast passenger train, eastbound, at Deer Park, which was not a scheduled stop. The youthful Hice, in order to accommodate a visitor to Deer Park who wished to leave that afternoon, and in consideration of payment of; two dollars, applied grease to the rails on the ascending grade just west of the station. The result was that the drivers slipped helplessly and the train slid to a stop, whereupon the visitor climbed on board. Hice had disappeared by this time, and the engine crew by the judicious use of sand eventually got the train past the greased section of track and the slight grade past the station #and thence to Cumberland, on time.
On another occasion a freight train was descending the Deer Park grade from Altamont at a fast clip one wintry night, when suddenly the Engineer saw a red lantern close ahead on the curve at No. 47 Cut just east of Deer Park. In desperation he applied his brakes, but of course was unable to stop until the entire train had passed the scene. The crew hastened back, expecting to find a flagman dead along the track, but all they could find was a battered red lantern of regulation railroad design. Conductor John Carr told the writer many years ago that it was his train that hit the lantern and that he later found out Hice Laughlin had built a snow man in the center of the westbound track, had put a lighted red lantern in its arms and then had hidden nearby to enjoy the crew's consternation, realizing fully that they could not stop before striking the lantern, due to the short sight on the curve. It is well that Captain Carr did not find young Mr. Laughlin that night, although with the passage of the years he could laugh heartily at the incident
One day John Male brought a load of crossties to the lumber yard at Deer Park and after unloading them left his team and sled and went to a store. Hice took the crossties and built a wall around the tired horses, propping them up with mine props. Upon returning, John learned who had played the trick upon him and, in a rage, started after Hice, who was not far away. Hice ran up the hill to his home, through the house, out the back door, with John close behind, and into the stable. Here he managed to hide from John, which was fortunate, for John was not a man to be trifled with. Parenthetically, it was
Robert Browning Garrett
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland
22 x 15 cms
Western Maryland, 1750-1963