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Deer Park, page 15

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he rode his beautiful bay horse along the country roads. Dr. Mitchell built a quaint, rustic summer home, known as "The Four Winds," on the crest of a gentle slope on the Altamont road adjoining the Williams estate. A frequent visitor here was the Doctor's father, the famous neurologist and author, Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell (1829-1914).

Senator Henry G. Davis has been called the founder of Deer Park. Certainly he was a most influential figure, from very early days until he completed his lumbering and other operations in Garrett County and moved to Elkins, W. Va., where he had built, meantime, a palatial home, "Graceland." Employed by the Baltimore and Ohio as a brakeman, and promoted within a few years to various positions of much responsibility, this farseeing man left the service of the railroad when still young and went into the lumber and coal business. In 1866 he built a large frame summer home at Deer Park and on April 26, 1867 moved into it from his home at Piedmont, W. Va. He owned vast tracts of timber and coal land in Garrett County and in West Virginia, and while operating in Garrett County maintained his summer home at Deer Park.

He erected sawmills at various points on and near Deep Creek and sawed into lumber the extensive tracts of white pine, hemlock and hardwood that once covered that section of Garrett County. To transport this to his lumber yard at Deer Park he built tramroads over which heavy trucks, with flanged iron wheels, were pulled in convoys by teams of mules. These trucks or cars ran on strap iron fastened to wooden stringers, and were capable of holding heavy loads. Large barns, No. 1 at Deer Park (which burned to the ground in November, 1899); No. 2 probably at the mill site; No. 3 and No 4, respectively on the east and west slopes of Buck's Knob south of the railroad, were built primarily to accommodate the mules when not on the road. In addition to his activities as a lumberman, the Senator farmed much land in the vicinity of Deer Park, and large numbers of men were employed on his farms as well as at the mills and on the tramroad. He also conducted a general store at Deer Park for many years. On top of a hill south of Deer Park he built, about 1873, an observation tower and a road by which it could be reached by horse and buggy. The observatory long since has disappeared, but the hill is still known locally as "Observatory Hill," and years ago was noted for its huckleberries. Many gallons of these delicious berries were picked each year by the women and children of Deer Park. The bushes grew in the open field and were easy to reach.

In the 70's the Senator built the five lettered cottages, "A" "B" "C" "D" and "E" adjacent to the Deer Park Hotel. These he rented in the summer and eventually sold to the Baltimore and Ohio. In his


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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