Frederick Douglass visits Cumberland

Marshal Frederick Douglass arrived by express train at Cumberland’s Queen City hotel on September 23 1879, to deliver a lecture for the Emancipation celebration (from the Washington Post, Sept. 24, 1879):
“Emancipation Day” was yesterday celebrated in this city in a very enthusiastic manner by the colored people, who flocked to the city in large numbers from the neighboring towns of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland. It was a gala day for the colored race.

About 2,000 visitors were in town, and the streets presented an animated appearance. The weather was cloudy but no rain fell, and everything went off pleasantly. About noon a procession was formed, which passed through the principal streets and wended its way to the Fair grounds, which are located in a commanding position to the east of the city. Several Masonic and other secret societies appeared in line.

Marshal Douglass arrived on the express train from Washington at 2:10 P.M. He was met at the Queen City hotel by an immense crowd of people, and escorted through the principal streets in a barouche, in which were seated Mayor William J. Read, Hon. Henry W. Hoffman, and Rev. B. H. Lee, the pastor of the A.M.E. Church if this city, who was also the president of the meeting. The procession arrived at the Fair grounds at 3 o’clock, escorted by a band of music.

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Transportation Department grant for ‘Crossroads of America’

Allegany Museum has been awarded $240,000 from the Transportation Enrichment Program of the Maryland Department of Transportation to assist development of a new permanent exhibition: ‘Crossroads of America’.

This major exhibition will occupy most of the first floor of the Museum building at the corner of Mechanic and Pershing St. It will provide a sensory as well as visual story of human movement in the area, by road, water, and rail.

The exhibition will center on the National Road and its evolution from Nemacolin’s Trail, the ancient Native American trail that crossed the barrier of the Allegheny Mountains via the Cumberland Narrows Mountain pass. Visitors will be able to walk along a reconstructed ‘road’ that will display vehicles such as an authentic Conestoga wagon, and a Model T Ford. Each portion of the road will be constructed in accordance to conditions at the time. Visitors will also be able to participate in interactive exhibits.

The first floor is currently divided into offices, most of which are now empty. The renovation will begin in the next few weeks, and reveal the domed ceiling, marble floors, and other features of the beautiful 1920’s building. Once that is complete, the exhibition will be constructed.

<Images: Planned entrance to the exhibition; National Road in the exhibition >

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Are you a movie expert? Can you find this movie?

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was one of the New Deal programs established by President Franklin Roosevelt. Company 335-C (colored) and Company 1359, S-58-Md, were located in Allegany County, Maryland.
In 1935, Paramount released ‘It’s a Great Life’, set in a CCC camp. It was directed by Edward F. Cline and starred Joe Morrison.
It was advertised and reviewed in the Cumberland Evening Times (see attached).
Allegany Museum would like to show either the movie or clips during The Way We Worked exhibition next February and march, but exhaustive internet searches have been fruitless.
Do you know where we might find clips or a copy? (We have emailed Paramount but have not yet received a reply.)

 

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Preserve the history that you and your family helped to make

Can you help preserve our history for future generations?

Too often, the results of our lifetime of work leave the area when we leave, or pass on.  Both our wealth and our personal contribution to the area’s history leave the region, never to return.

Your donations and bequests to Allegany Museum can preserve the history that you and your family helped to make.

How can you pass on your legacy to the community?

  • Contact the Allegany Museum at 301-777-7200 regarding those heritage items in your basements and attics that you’ve “been meaning to do something with.” Allegany Museum can help preserve them for future generations to learn from. Right now, the Museum is looking for photos and artifacts of working life in the County, particularly of labor unions, the Celanese plant, railway workers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and of WPA and CCC projects and workers.
  • Create a family legacy by giving to the Allegany Museum Endowment, which transforms your one moment of giving into generations of educational opportunities.
  • Update your will, retirement plans and life insurance policies with your charitable intentions.
  • The satisfaction of giving is immediate; and when given to this endowment, the impact can be everlasting.

Your family is already part of your community’s history. Make it part of your community’s future.

The photo below shows the Allegany County Teachers Federal Credit Union giving their second Founders pledge to the Allegany Museum Endowment Fund. Founders pledge $5,000 or more, spread over five years. The Endowment helps to ensure the longevity of the Museum for future generations of learners.

ALCO Teachers FCU President/Treasurer Patricia Folk presented the check to Daryl Smith, Development Director of the Allegany Museum.

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