Violence, then celebration at the Celanese Corp

In 1935, the National Labor Relations Act (also known as the Wagner Act) was passed. The Act guaranteed employees the right to “self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing…”
The passing of the Wagner Act did not mean that employers would accept unionization in their workplaces, however.
Workers at the Celanese Plant in Cumberland continued to strike for the right to organize. This sometimes resulted in violence, as the item below from the Cumberland Evening News of November 1936 records.
By December 1936, however, the Celanese Corp agreed to the employees’ proposals (see ‘Happy Days are Here Again’, below).

Paint and Sip: Fun for adults as well as children at the Allegany Museum Nutcracker event

Grab a hot chocolate, an apron, and take a seat!

On Friday December 2, 6:00 pm, Shannon Shine will instruct you step by step to create an original piece of art. At the end of the evening you’ll take home a one-of-a-kind painting, and hopefully a newfound talent.

Painting Fees: children $15 per 8×10 canvas, adults $25 per 11×14 canvas.

If you need a break from your new-found creativity, you will be able to view the largest display of nutcrackers ever shown in Maryland, exhibited in the Grand Ballroom.

All equipment will be supplied, along with unlimited hot chocolate.

(This is a children-friendly event, so we will not be allowing alcoholic drinks.)

Don’t forget, as part of the Nutcracker event series, children will be able to attend the event opening on November 25, and then participate in every Nutty Kids’ Saturday event, from December 3 through the 17th, 10 am-12 noon. Children who attend will be able to collect a unique nutcracker at each event, to make up a souvenir group of four, and have a chance to win a tablet.

All events except Paint and Sip are free, and held in the Grand Ballroom of the Allegany Museum, 3 Pershing St Cumberland. For more information, call (301) 777-7200 or go to our website


Cumberland Historic Holiday Home Tour December 10 2016

The Annual Cumberland Historic Holiday Home Tour is located in the Dingle this year!

Enjoy Open Houses at six decorated historic homes, and horseback carolers during the tour hours.

The Dingle was established in 1913 as a private community at the western edge of Cumberland – immediately south of Braddock Road. The area’s original homes and lots were designed by architects and landscape professionals associated with the Celanese Corporation. One of America’s first gated communities, the Dingle became a landmark in West Side. The two streets in the development, named Windsor and Buckingham, reflected the Celanese group’s English roots.

The Open Houses are at 814, 822, & 829 Buckingham Ave, and 818, 819, & 827 Windsor Ave from 2 to 6 pm.

The Gilchrist Gallery and Museum at 104 Washington Street, and the Gordon-Roberts House at 218 Washington Street will also be open for ticket holders during tour hours.

Visit the web site for more information.

Ticket sales are limited, and advance purchase is required.

Tickets are $25 per person, and can be purchased at the Book Center, North Centre St, and the Gordon Roberts House, 218 Washington St in Cumberland, or online




Museum soon to restore 1st floor, install new permanent exhibition

Allegany Museum will soon undertake a grand renovation and installation of a large, permanent exhibition at its premises at 3 Pershing St Cumberland.

allegany-museum-entrance2-w-smithsonianThe entrance to the Museum, which is now on Pershing St, will be reconfigured to face Interstate 68.  The Memorial Hospital Portico will have new life, this time as the entrance to the newly renovated and restored first floor.

The first floor is currently divided into offices, most of which are now empty. The renovation will begin in the next few weeks, and tear down suspended acoustic tiles to reveal the domed ceiling, rip up carpets from the marble floors, and remove partitions that have divided the floor into individual offices. Once that is complete, the exhibition will be constructed.

The new entrance will lead into the extensive Crossroads of America exhibition, slated to be open fall 2017.

PrintCrossroads 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.

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.


Allegany Museum has been awarded $240,000 from the Transportation Enrichment Program of the Maryland Department of Transportation to assist development of the exhibition.

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.