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This is the first attempt to record the history of Garrett County in one volume. Its main defect is that so many people and places are omitted for want of space. Perhaps this issue will arouse the people to the need of a larger work, including family history.

Garrett, named for John W. Garrett, President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (1858-1882) is the youngest county in the Tableland, and the youngest in the state of Maryland. It was sliced off of Allegany County in 1872, the line of division being the top of Savage Mountain.

Garrett is a rough-shaped triangle of six hundred forty square miles two thirds of which is wilderness, and a good slice of that two thirds belongs to the Department of Forestry of the State of Maryland. The program of conservation has renewed a number of large forest areas such as New Germany in the Savage River drainage, Potomac Forest, Swallow Falls Forest, Pleasant Valley, Mt. Nebo and Thayer Games Refuges. Along with the renewal of the forests there has been a restoration of wildlife. Trails and recreational sites make these expanding forests accessible to increasing numbers of out-door hobbyists. Follow a good county road into the heart of any of these forests on a week-end during the open season and one will see numerous families picnicking under a bark-roofed canopy by a crystal stream.

The Southern Appalachians, of which Garrett is the northernmost county division, is void of natural lakes. The Glades of Garrett, natural open meadows in which a tall glade grass grew in which grazed deer, elk and turkey, were once the bottoms of lakes during the interglacial period. Of recent years some of this glade country has been converted into lakes, the most extensive being Deep Creek covering an area of five thousand surface acres. It lies in the very heart of Garrett—its tentacle-shaped shore-line stretching around hardwood forests and shore-line lodges. Other impoundments are the Savage River Dam, the Confluence Dam on the Youghiogheny, and smaller lakes such as Lake Minnehaha, New Germany, Herrington, and Lake Cunningham in the Pleasant Valley Park. All abound with fish, and all are available for boating. Only Deep Creek Lake allows the use of motor-boats.

There are many uncommon qualities of this high, wind—blown county of Garrett. Like the attic of old houses the majority of Marylanders, living snugly in the tidewater, are unaware of its existence. One can interrogate the elite in Baltimore only to learn that their


Felix G. Robinson

vol I, no. 1


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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