Memories of Oakland
BOYHOOD MEMORIES OF OAKLAND, MARYLAND, FIFTY YEARS AGO
Written for Journal (1900) by Thomas J. Brandt of Dundee, Mich., Whose Early Life Was Spent in This County
Editor's note: To be an eye witness of the founding" of a community, to make accurate observations and store them in the memory, and after a time to make these observations a written record is a very rare occurrence. Thomas Brandt has made such a record of Oakland, Md.
"If any one saw from the north of town
A sprig of a boy with his face tanned brown,
In a hickory shirt and pants of blue,
With his chip hat torn so that his hair stuck through.
With a rag on the toe he had stubbed on a stone,
While hunting the cows just west of Backbone,
Stand eating some snaps he held in his hand,
Which he had purchased at Caton's old stand.
And watching Dan Slicer heaving the quoit,
With David Delawder as his pitching mate,
And waiting to see the trains nearly due
Come through the deep cut and stop in full view.
And gaping at every darned thing he could see,
And saying a word to no one—'twas me!
I had returned on the home-coming day
In the togs of the times, and my hair growing gray.
And notice the changes since that distant day,
Both those of advancement and those of decay,
With no one to greet or to extend the glad hand,
A stranger I'd seem in my own native land."
Approaching Oakland from the north we crossed what was called the lot which comprised all that level tract of land between the hill on the west and Wilson's run on the east, Marquis Perry farm on the north, and the village to the south. The highway ran in half a dozen different tracks along about where Second Street now lies until it came to the lot. The lot was a commons, with bunches of thorn and hazel brush at intervals which furnished grazing for the town's cows and hogs. Mr. Whetzel's blacksmith shop was the only building north of the run, and stood near where the stone church (Garrett Memorial) now stands. Here Mr. Whetzel forged horse shoes from bar iron twice as wide as needed, and had to be split in the middle, or
Thomas J. Brandt
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland
22 x 15 cms
Western Maryland, 1750-1963