Deer Park, page 17
later years he was engaged in building the West Virginia Central, now the Western Maryland Railway, from Piedmont to Elkins. In spite of his varied activities, however, he found time to entertain many prominent people of that day at his Deer Park home. Among these were President and Mrs. Cleveland in 1886; President and Mrs. Harrison in 1889; W. W. Corcoran of Washington; General Bristow; Colonel Lamont; Governor Denison of Ohio; Senators Gorman, Bayard, Pendleton and Sherman, and many others. The Senator gained his title by serving as United States Senator from West Virginia, 1870-82. In 1904, at the age of 81, he ran on the Democrat ticket for Vice President of the United States, with Judge Alton B. Parker, but was defeat ed. He was vigorous until the very last, and when in his late eighties built the Coal and Coke Railroad through the mountains of West Virginia. He died at Elkins in 1916 at the age of 93.
When Senator Davis left Deer Park in 1893 he sold his summer home to Colonel John T. McGraw, coal operator and political leader from Grafton. Here Colonel McGraw spent many summers with his aged mother and his sisters, Mrs. Charles Durbin, Mrs. A. S. Warder, Jr., Miss Rose McGraw, and his nephew, John T. McGraw II. The latter, a very popular young man, died suddenly while a student at Yale in 1911, his death being a severe blow to his uncle who idolized him. Colonel McGraw suffered various business reverses in later life and died some years ago. The old house caught fire several years later and burned to the ground.
One of the most imposing and elaborate of Deer Park's summer homes was the James Swan Frick residence, on a commanding site west of the hotel on land originally part of the Deer Park Hotel tract. Designed by the well known Baltimore architects Baldwin and Pennington, this was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Frick and the former's father, William E. Frick, during the lifetime of the latter two. After the death of Mrs. Frick in 1914, Mr. Frick sold the property to the late A. T. Watson, of Fairmont, W. Va., then Purchasing Agent of the Consolidation Coal Company. One night in the winter of 1931 the mansion caught fire from some unknown cause and burned to the ground. The place now is owned by J. E. Helbig.
President John W. Garrett of the Baltimore and Ohio seems to have envisioned Deer Park as a future summer resort almost as soon as he became a Director of the road, in 1857. He was made President the next year, and in his annual report for the year 1860 noted that the railroad was "arranging to build additional hotels." These plans were delayed by the Civil War during which the railroad suffered very severe damage, principally from the Confederates. However, in 1868 the company purchased from the Perry family whose summer
Robert Browning Garrett
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland
22 x 15 cms
Western Maryland, 1750-1963