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