Allegany Museum on the Distilled Spirits Council’s American Whiskey Trail

Did you know that the Allegany Museum, and our annual George Washington Whiskey rebellion Fest, are on the Distilled Spirits Council’s American Whiskey Trail?
The American Whiskey Trail is a tourism initiative of the Distilled Spirits Council, its member companies, affiliate members, and Historic Mount Vernon. The Trail is an educational journey into the cultural heritage and history of spirits in America.
We lead the list of historical sights on the Trail.
Our listing says that Cumberland and Allegany County have been a center for whisky-related history for centuries, and that Allegany Museum plays a major role the life of the community through exhibits documenting the cultural and natural history of the region.
Get on the trail and enjoy the Museum’s annual Whiskey Rebellion Festival during the second weekend of June.
Have a look here

The Kelly-Springfield Tire Company legacy lives on

The Kelly-Springfield Tire Company legacy lives on at Allegany Museum, Pershing Street, Cumberland MD, where an extensive display of artifacts and memorabilia are exhibited across several are several rooms.

Edwin Kelly founded the Kelly Springfield Tire Company in 1894.
Mr. Kelly manufactured solid rubber carriage wheels that made for a smooth and quiet ride on hard surfaces. Within four years, Mr. Kelly’s company was producing thousands of carriage tires that were sold throughout the world.

The horse drawn carriage market was shrinking as quickly as the automobile market was expanding, and the company soon had to produce a new kind of tire, one that could be filled with pressurized air.
The plant was temporarily converted to produce munitions during World War II.
After the plant closed in 1987, an effort by local and state officials helped to build the Kelly-Springfield Corporate Headquarters on Willowbrook Road, which finally closed for good in 1998. The closing marked the end of a 77-year run for the tire maker in Cumberland.

The Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 to 4, and Sundays 1 to 4.
Admission is free, and donations are very gratefully accepted.

Conflict and Compromises of the Whiskey Rebellion: Prize winning exhibit

Allegany Museum hosted an exhibition of the work of students from Allegany and Fort Hill high schools titled “Historical Research Projects” in June.
The display included projects developed by the students participating in Allegany County History Day as well as the high school projects completed as part of the historical research methods classes’ publication for 2018.
Allegany High School student Avery Nies won the prestigious George Washington Leadership Prize for her exhibit “Conflict and Compromises of the Whiskey Rebellion.” The award is sponsored by George Washington’s Mount Vernon.
Avery’s exhibit was a feature of the George Washington Whiskey Rebellion Fest, held June 8 at the Museum.

Museum to offer great children’s activities at George Washington’s Whiskey Rebellion Celebration

The Allegany Museum will be providing terrific children’s activities on Saturday June 9 as part of the Heritage Days event.

The Museum’s George Washington Whiskey Rebellion Celebration, brought to you by the Community Trust Foundation, has invited nationally-renown George Washington ‘living biographer’ Karl Cross to interact with children and their parents.

The First Virginia Regiment will portray the Virginian Militia as mustered to be part of the Federal Army that marched from Fort Cumberland.  They will hang out in children’s area to talk about the militia, and will provide some wooden guns for children to march with. All re-enactors participating in the Whiskey Rebellion Celebration events have been sponsored by Carl Belt Inc.

Children will be able to make their own models of Washington and of Fort Cumberland, take pony rides from noon to 2 pm, have their pictures taken with ‘George Washington’ and ‘Alexander Hamilton’ cut-outs, and also participate in painting ‘Kindness Rocks’ in red, white and blue, then placing one word or short phrase on the rock that describes being kind to others.  These painted rocks will be the start of the ‘Allegany Museum/Allegany County Kindness Rock Painting Project’.

Suzanne Trussell, an archeologist devoted to the history of the Cumberland area, will lead tours of the Fort Cumberland area, and other historic points of interest.

The Museum’s George Washington Whiskey Rebellion Celebration will also be providing a beer tent for adults in another area of Washington Street.

The George Washington Whiskey Rebellion Fest kicks off the Washington heritage celebration on Friday June 8, 6 to 10 pm, in the Allegany Museum, 3 Pershing St Cumberland MD.

Guests at the Fest will also enjoy continuous servings of canapes by Good Carma catering, an open beer and wine bar, the opportunity to mingle with ‘George Washington’ and other reenactors including George’s wife. Tickets also include the opportunity to play Colonial games, win one or more unique luxury items in the silent auction, photos with President Washington, and a goody bag to take home. Sober rides are available.

Advance purchase tickets are only $50 – $75 at the door.

Tickets are available at the Book Center, Centre St Cumberland, Main Street Books in Frostburg, through the Whiskey Rebellion Cumberland Facebook page or simply click here.

Children’s Activities at the George Washington Whiskey Rebellion Celebration 2017


 “Appalachian Welcome” Concert and Exhibit  

Allegany Museum will feature in an Appalachian historical music festival “From Britain to the Blue Ridge”. “From Britain to the Blue Ridge” celebrates the special heritage of the “crossover” of British ballads to the Appalachian Mountains.

Mountainside Baroque leads the festival of music, which runs Friday and Saturday June 14 and 17. Program and ticket information can be found at https://

The Festival opens Thursday, June 14, 3:00pm-4:45pm in the Allegany Museum ballroom, 3 Pershing St, Cumberland, MD 21502, with the “Appalachian Welcome” Concert and Exhibit.

Both the concert and exhibit track the musical connections between the 17th and 18th century British Isles tradition and its inheritors in the Appalachian Mountains. Joining the group will be soprano Rebecca Beasley, violinist Stephanie Raby, and the multi-talented Keith Collins with an array of period reproductions of both traditional and Appalachian instruments.

The Allegany Museum exhibition will highlight the special connections between Appalachia and the songs and ballads of the British Isles. Photos, diary entries, historical recording equipment, historical audio recordings, publications, antique musical instruments and a storyboard of Appalachian music evolution will be displayed in front of an  ‘Appalachian porch’.  There will also be activities for school age children.

For more information call the Museum on 301-777-7200.

Keith Collins, who will play period reproductions of both traditional and Appalachian instruments


The Cardinal Club of Cumberland and Braddock Maryland Rye Whiskey

The Cardinal Athletic Club was founded in 1907 by a group of ten teenage boys, and was devoted to camping and other outdoor activities.

The club had social and meeting rooms in Miller’s Dance Hall, in the rear of N. Centre Street between Frederick and Bedford Streets. Many of the area’s finest musicians were members. For more about the Club, see the Whilbr page.

If you look closely at this 1910 photo of a Cardinal Club of Maryland outing, you can see several bottles of Braddock Maryland Rye Whiskey (Photo is from the collection of Angela and Albert Feldstein, with thanks.)

Braddock Maryland Rye, distilled in Cumberland by James Clark, was “the finest all-rye whiskey in the United States”, (according to a 1910 advertisement). There were dozens of whiskey distilleries in Maryland in the late 19th and early 20th century, and Braddock was by far the second largest.

“Since very early in the [nineteenth] Century the whiskies distilled in Maryland have been renowned…. The equable climate, remarkably soft water, together with the Superior rye grown on the uplands of Maryland, combine to make the product of her stills peerless among the whiskies of America”. (From the back label (c. 1900) of Waldorf Maryland Old Rye Whiskey.)

Maryland distillers have recently revived the art of creating rye whiskey, and several will be offering tastings and bottle sales at the George Washington Whiskey Rebellion Fest, brought to you by the Community Trust Foundation. The Fest opens on Friday June 8, 6-10pm at Allegany Museum, 3 Pershing St Cumberland. The Fest is Allegany Museum’s major fundraiser.

A ticket to the Fest entitles you to sample offerings from a dozen whiskey, gin, brandy and vodka producers, and craft beers from Terrapin, Dogfish Head, Antietam, and Stone.  Bottle sales will be available.

You will be able to participate in live Colonial games, mingle with re-enactors, get souvenir photos, and take home a goody bag. Enjoy the open beer and wine bar, and continuous delicious canapes by Good Carma.

Only $50 per ticket ($75 at the door). Purchase through the Whiskey Rebellion Facebook page or, or at the Book Center, Cumberland, or Main St Books, Frostburg.

After 224 years, America’s first President will return to Cumberland!

Allegany Museum has secured nationally known George Washington “living biographer” Carl Closs to visit the 2018 George Washington Whiskey Rebellion Festival, brought to you by the Community Trust Foundation. The Fest, a gala event held at the Allegany Museum, 3 Pershing Street, Cumberland opens Friday June 8, 6.00 to 10pm.

We celebrate that Cumberland was the place where George Washington led troops at the beginning and at the close of his military career.

When President Washington rode into Cumberland to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion, it was the only time a sitting President has lead troops into the field.  In 1794, Washington rallied militias at Fort Cumberland, which led to the successful rout of the ‘scoundrels’ who rebelled against his government’s tax on liquor, known as the Whiskey Rebellion.

Mr. Closs is a serious scholar and lively speaker who delights audiences with little-known, instructive and entertaining Washington facts. Ask him anything, and ‘George’ will be delighted to give you a well-researched and entertaining answer!

Don’t miss this opportunity to get to know ‘George’, and have your photo taken with him. Also at the Fest, you can play live Colonial games, and sample small batch whiskies and other spirits, sample craft beers, and enjoy the open beer and wine bar. Of course, all of this will be accompanied by continuous servings of the delicious canapes that the Fest has become known for. Take home a bag of goodies, and get home safely with Sober Rides.

Irresistible – and all money raised helps the Allegany Museum keep its doors open.

Tickets are available through the ‘book now’ buttons at, and on the Whiskey Rebellion Cumberland Facebook page. You can also purchase them at the Book Center, Centre St Cumberland, or Main Street Books in Frostburg. Tickets are $50 per person ($75 at the door).

Welcome Whistlepigs!

Whistlepig Distillery in Vermont will be joining more than a dozen other distillers and two distributors at the 2018 George Washington Whiskey Rebellion Fest, brought to you by the Community Trust Foundation.

Whistlepig produces true farm-to-bottle whiskey. The owners grow rye on the farm where the distillery is located, age their rye whiskey in barrels made from their own oak trees, and finish it with water from their own well.

The distillery’s name derives from Mauve and Mortimer, whistlepigs (aka ‘groundhogs’) who used to live on the farm. Mauve became ‘Matron of the Brand’ and Mortimer was immortalized in the 2014 Boss Hog release – ‘The Spirit of Mortimer’.

Whistlepig produces several ryes. Rye Crop 001 marries the richness of their best five to six-year ryes, topped off with the splendor of the 12 Year whiskey. Old World Cask Finish is aged 12 years, and the Robb Report called it the ‘best of the best’.

Make sure to visit their tasting table at the George Washington Whiskey Rebellion Fest, brought to you by the Community Trust Foundation, Friday June 8, 6-10 pm, at the Allegany Museum, 3 Pershing St Cumberland.

Tickets include whiskey tastings from more than a dozen small batch distillers, an open beer and wine bar, craft beer tastings, great food, colonial pub games, a visit from George Washington, and much more.
Tickets are available through the ‘order tickets ’buttons at, and on the Whiskey Rebellion Facebook page. You can also purchase them at the Book Center, Centre St Cumberland, or Main Street Books in Frostburg. Tickets are $50 per person ($75 at the door) and include the Fest’s renowned and delicious canapes and an open beer and wine bar.

Mountain Ridge students display the history of fake news at Allegany Museum

Allegany Museum will host an exhibition of ‘Fake News’ by Mountain Ridge High School students from Thursday, April 5, 2018, through Friday April 20.

The students researched fake news in science, pop culture, and political history, and produced exhibits that illustrate their findings. The students have incorporated QR Codes on their exhibits. When visitors use the code they will be linked to a video created by the students to provide behind the scenes information.

Exhibits will include a modern “fake news test” developed by students from a compilation of various sources, and examples of fake news through history. The exhibition will be open during the Museum’s usual opening hours, Tuesdays-Saturdays 10 to 4, and Sundays 1 to 4.

Dr. Matthew Ravenscroft, teacher and advisor at Mountain Ridge, is leading the project for students from U.S. History classes and Historical Research Methods classes.

Prior to the opening day, the students will present their completed exhibits to Social Studies Supervisors from throughout Maryland at an MSDE Briefing hosted by Allegany County Public Schools at the Allegany Museum.  Mr. Russell Shorto, a nationally-known local author, historian, and writer, will deliver opening remarks at that event.

After the exhibit closes, information and links to the student exhibits will be available on the Museum website.

For more information, please call the Museum on 301-777-7200.

Queen City Hotel chandeliers donated by Mark E. Carder

These chandeliers once hung in the Queen City Hotel. They are approximately 3 foot in diameter, and 4 ft. high. As you can see from the photo (below) they are in need of some TLC and new glasses before we can put them on display.
They were kindly donated to the Allegany Museum by Mark E. Carder, a long-time supporter of the Museum..
We don’t have any photos of the interior of the Queen City Hotel. We would love to see one in which the chandeliers are visible.
Do you have such a photo that you would share with us?
Please email if you do!