A nutcracker Christmas at Allegany Museum

Allegany Museum is going crackers for Christmas! – Nutcrackers, that is.
The largest display of nutcrackers ever shown in Maryland will open on Friday December 2nd in the grand ballroom on the 2nd floor of Allegany Museum, after the civic Tree Lighting Ceremony.
The Opening Reception will open the huge exhibition, including rare historic nutcrackers in the form of wood carvings of soldiers, knights, kings, and other professions. There will be refreshments for all attending.
The Opening Reception kicks off the Nutcracker Season which will run every Saturday from December 3 through 17. The series of three “Nutty Kids Saturdays” begins December 3 with the history of the nutcracker and “cracker craft”. On December 10 there will be book readings, craft, and a visit from Santa. “Nutty music” on December 17 will complete the kids’ series. All “Nutty Saturdays” run from 10 am-12 noon, and are free. They are most suitable for children between the ages of 4 to 10.
Children under 10 can collect a different nutcracker ornament at each event, from the Opening Reception through the “Nutty” Kids Saturdays to make a personal collection of four ornaments, and can enter a drawing for a special nutcracker.
All events are free.
For more information, call (301) 777-7200


Memorial Hospital Portico to be feature of renovated Allegany Museum

The Memorial Hospital Portico will star once more in Cumberland, this time as the entrance to the newly renovated and restored Allegany Museum at 3 Pershing St.

Memorial Hospital, which was established on Baltimore Ave as the Western Maryland Hospital in 1888, and was renamed in 1929 in honor of those who gave their life in World War I.

The entrance to the Museum, which is now on Pershing St, will be reconfigured to face Interstate 68. The new entrance will lead into the extensive Crossroads of America exhibition, slated to be open fall 2017. Crossroads of America will occupy most of the first floor of the Museum, and provide a sensory as well as visual story of human movement in the area, by road, water, and rail.

While government grants will pay most of costs of the remodeling and the new exhibition, the Museum does not have any income to pay for staff or for day-to-day expenses, like power, cleaning, and so on. Nearly everything is done by unpaid volunteers. We always welcome new volunteers, donations, and endowments.



Sketch of the new exterior

1915 Model T donated for Crossroads of America exhibit

Allegany Museum would like to thank Randy & Donna Shaffer for their generous donation of a beautiful 1915 Ford Model T.
The Model T is in original mint condition and quite possibly the oldest passenger car in Allegany County.
the car will be a major element concerning the exhibition of the first National Road in America, which started in Cumberland.
It will be on exhibition in 2017 when the final phase of renovation is finished at the Allegany Museum, 3 Pershing St.


Randy Shaffer with Gary Bartik, Museum Director, and Neal Furlow, who provided transport for the vehicle.

Cumberland’s first celebration of Maryland Emancipation Day

The City of Cumberland has issued an official Proclamation of November 6 2016 as the Celebration of Emancipation Day.

This auspicious event will be celebrated with an interactive Underground Railroad experience at Emmanuel Episcopal Church grounds and tunnel on November 6 at 7:00 pm.

The focus of the event will be the story of Samuel Denson, a slave who came to Cumberland from Mississippi, up the Underground Railroad line. Although Cumberland was in slave territory, he decided not to continue on his own journey to freedom, but rather to stay, pretending to be a freedman, to work for the freedom of others.

The event is a joint venture of Allegany College of Maryland’s NAACP Club, FSU’s African American Studies Program, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, and the Jane Gates Heritage House.


Sharing opinions with civility

At Allegany Museum, we are preparing (with much excitement) the dioramas for the Way We Worked exhibition, which will show Feb 3 to March 24 next year, alongside the Smithsonian exhibits.
We are uncovering many intriguing snippets about working life in Allegany County over the last 150 years.
This one (below), from the Cumberland Times News of July 11 1939, shows that it is possible to be reasonable and civil, even when dissenting. The talent for this seems to have almost disappeared in the lead up to the presidential election of 2016. It is from a Times News ‘man-on’the-street’ collection of opinions about the possible loss of WPA projects in Cumberland.