“Revolution Song: A story of American Freedom”

Allegany Museum is proud to host Russell Shorto reading and signing his latest book, “Revolution Song: A story of American Freedom” 2pm, Saturday December 9.

“Revolution Song” has been praised as “first-rate intellectual history” (Wall Street Journal), “literary alchemy” (Chicago Tribune) and simply “astonishing” (New York Times).

The book takes us back to the founding of the American nation, drawing on diaries, letters and autobiographies to flesh out six lives. They include an African man who freed himself and his family from slavery, a rebellious young woman who abandoned her abusive husband to chart her own course and a certain Mr. Washington, who was admired for his social graces but harshly criticized for his often-disastrous military strategy.

Russell Shorto’s books have been published in fourteen languages and have won numerous awards.  He is a senior scholar at the New Netherland Institute and a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine.

Mr. Shorto was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and after spending time living overseas, has now made his home in Cumberland.

Entrance to the Museum and to the reading and signing is free. Refreshments will be provided by the Allegany Arts Council.

You can hear Mr. Shorto interviewed about “Revolution Song” on the Federalist Radio Hour and the NYTBR Podcast.

Russell Shorto
(by Kek Keukelaar)

Allegany Museum’s Christmas Event Series

After the civic Tree Lighting Ceremony, the grand ballroom on the 2nd floor of Allegany Museum will be open for refreshments and a visit from Santa himself! The grand ballroom will house an exhibition of the history of Santa Claus, from St Nicolas through the Coke ‘Santa’ to the present day, as well as our huge Christmas tree.

‘Kids’ Saturday’ will be held on Saturday December 9. From 10am to 12pm, families are welcome to hear the history of Santa Claus, book readings, cookie decorating, and activities and crafts.

The Saint Nicolas exhibition will be open from Tuesday November 28 until Christmas. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 4pm, and Sundays 1 to 4pm.

All events are free.

Christmas Craft activity at Allegany Museum, 2016

Opening of the Crossroads of America grand exhibition hall, coming early 2018

In early 2018, the newly restored first floor of Allegany Museum at 3 Pershing St Cumberland will be restored and the Crossroads of America permanent exhibit installed and open for viewing.

The 1915 Model T and the 1929 Durant are already in place, parked on the road surfaces of the corresponding periods.

Whisky Rebellion Festival, coming June 2018

The Allegany Museum held the second annual Whiskey Rebellion Festival June 9 & 10 2017.
On Friday evening June 9, more than 300 guests enjoyed the Whiskey Rebellion Fest, featuring more than a dozen small batch distillers.
On Saturday afternoon June 10, the Museum held the Whiskey Rebellion Celebration, featurking free enteryainment, kids activities, vendors, and amusements.
Go to the Whiskey Rebellion Cumberland website  for details ot the 2018 Festival as they come to hand!

 Allegany Museum and five other local historic sites present ‘THE WAY WE WORKED’ Feb- March 2017

Labor Day parade Cumberland MD, courtesy Alan Mays

Labor Day parade Cumberland MD, courtesy Alan Mays

The Western Maryland Heritage Association is partnering with a Smithsonian Travelling exhibition, Maryland Humanities, and the Allegany library system, to present The Way We Worked.

This exhibition, at six Allegany County museums and historic sites, will trace the history of work in America through a central Smithsonian exhibit, and through exhibits that focus on local work and working life at each location.

The central Smithsonian exhibit will be located at Allegany Museum. This will be enhanced by Allegany Museum’s series of dioramas illustrating changes in workers’ lives as they took place in Cumberland from 1877 on. Each diorama will provide information, artifacts, news clippings, photos, and audio focused on the evolution of workers’ health, safety, and right to organize.

As well as Allegany Museum, three other locations in Cumberland are taking part. The Allegany region has had 11 different glass manufactures producing Cumberland Glass. The C. Gilchrist Gallery and Museum will host a display of historical glass and also exhibit how glass is made today. Visitors to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Visitor Center will experience exhibits recreating the working lives of canal boatmen, mule drivers, boatyard workers, and lock tenders. The Gordon-Roberts House museum will focus on servant and domestic life and work in 19th and early 20th century Allegany County. Photographs, artifacts and spoken word will recreate the kitchen, scullery and servants’ chambers. The Frostburg Museum will highlight the history of coal production, and Mountain City Traditional Arts will conduct tours of local farms for school children.

Williams Community Museum in Westernport will exhibit "How We Worked" at the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company, through historic 16mm movies, related artifacts and archival items with a particular emphasis on the various nationalities employed.

The Allegany County Library will provide a scanning service for the public’s historic work-life photos to add then to WHILBR-the Western Maryland Historical Library photo collection. The Libraries will also offer literacy programs and a speaker series focused on local occupations.

All events and exhibitions are free.

The Grand Opening will be on February 4, and feature a tour of all locations, ending with opening ceremonies at Allegany Museum.

More information is available by calling 301-777-7200, emailing manager@ alleganymuseum.org, visiting our website at Alleganymuseum.org, or our Facebook page.

Paint and sip:
Fun for Adults as Well as Children at the Allegany Museum Nutcracker Event
Friday, December 2 • 6:00 pm

paintsipGrab 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.

nutcrackerAll 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

A Nutcracker Christmas at Allegany Museum

nutcracker_groupAllegany 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.

For more information, call (301) 777-7200

 Cumberland Historic Holiday Home Tour - December 10 2016

home_tour_logoThe 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.

holiday_16The 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 cumberlandhistorytours.com 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



Hometown Teams (May- July 2015)

Allegany Museum partnered with the Maryland State Humanities Council and the Smithsonian to mount a six-week exhibition called ‘Hometown Teams’ of the history of sports in Allegany County. The exhibition ran from May 30 to mid-July 2015, and featured:

  • The Smithsonian sports exhibits,
  • A special exhibit on local baseball legend Lefty Grove,
  • Allegany County’s representatives at the Special Olympics,
  • The 1931 Cumberland Colts,
  • A baseball that Babe Ruth hit out of the local stadium
  • The soap box derby car that won a national championship

Civil War (March 2012) 

During the Civil War, our region’s population was divided in its loyalty. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and to profile its impact on the Allegany region, the museum created displays focusing on local hospitals, the role of cavalry troops, and life at nearby camps and forts. The exhibition included authentic Civil War objects along with photos and historical maps. A number of special children’s programs by age group are available for teachers.

Boy Scouts (February 2012) 

To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Scouting, the museum presented scouting memorabilia and photographs documenting the history of the troops in our area, Scout involvement in community service, and the evolution of Scout uniforms. One of the first acts of the local Scout troop was carrying out a sanitation survey in 1913, during the worst typhoid fever epidemic in our nation’s history. The survey of over 1,200 households is stored at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

St. Patrick’s Day Flood (March 2011)

The March 17, 1936, St. Patrick’s Day Flood was one of the worst floods the recorded in the history of the mid-Atlantic Regions. Rivers and tributaries stretching from Pittsburg, PA to Point of Rocks, MD, swollen with spring snowmelt, suddenly flooded towns and cities. In Cumberland alone, floodwaters displaced 1,200 families and caused approximately $3 million in damage. First-hand accounts from flood survivors, documentary films, photos and artifact showed the impact the flood had on our community and how the flood spurred the Army Corp of Engineer’s flood control projects of the 1950s.