Cumberland Times-News

Betty Van NewKirk - From the Museum

February 28, 2008

Frostburg lives with its history


We can call attention to the house where Meshach Frost died, or the British ambassador lived in the summer of 1857, or where Adam Hitchins took up residence after the Civil War, but those gentlemen were only locally famous, and all of the houses have been drastically remodeled.

Another claim to historic importance might be an event that took place at a certain site. The farmhouse where Lee surrendered to General Grant, for instance, is considered historic. Here in Frostburg we might claim that Old Main, the college building that was built only because coal miners provided funds for the land on which it was erected, has a unique place in local history. The plaque on the front of the building, put on in conjunction with the bicentennial in 1976, ignores that connection.

Few, if any, of the buildings in Frostburg's Historic District meet the standards for tax or grant benefits, but the town itself has historic importance.

Frostburg developed as a staging stop on the National Road, which became Main Street, still maintaining the 66-foot right-of-way that was surveyed in 1806.

In spite of the development of shopping malls, our Main Street is still the center of town activity - Farmers' Market, parades and meeting place. A series of church buildings remind us that Frostburg had a reputation for more churches (and more saloons) than any other town of its size.

Our Main Street is lined with houses built by families who prospered in coal and timber, real estate and merchandising, and three big buildings dominate the south side of the street - the Nickel building, where fine furniture was made; Paul's Hall, where John Ford brought the best of theatrical entertainment; and the Gunter Hotel, reflecting hospitality at its best. They symbolize the quality of life and the diversity to be found in Frostburg.

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Betty Van NewKirk - From the Museum
  • Happy 200th to St. Paul's Lutheran congregation Today is the 200th birthday of the Lutheran congregation in Frostburg!

    On Aug. 14, 1808, 24 people joined in a communion service in the New Church, a log structure on the edge of what is now called the Prichard Farm.

    August 14, 2008

  • Quality, attitude of people make 'Burg special A note in the newspaper a week or so ago mentioned that Oprah Winfrey was looking for "the best small towns in America.'' Frostburg is the best one I know of - but unfortunately Oprah asked for photos or videos supporting the nomination.

    August 7, 2008

  • There's always something new under the sun! The popular press has been devoting a good bit of space in recent weeks to the new swimsuit, introduced by Speedo, which supposedly has contributed to the record-breaking times posted in the Olympic tryouts.

    July 24, 2008

  • Ward and his mansion stand proud in 'Burg I've had questions recently - not for the first time! - about William Ward and the house he built at 73 W. Main St. here in Frostburg.

    July 17, 2008

  • July 4th: Finding our beliefs Independence Day, like Christmas, is one of the few national holidays that has not been moved to Monday, to provide a four-day break for working people. It holds its own as the Fourth of July.

    July 3, 2008

  • Berry-picking brings back many memories Last week I went to Wiley Ford to pick strawberries. I came home with enough for several packets of frozen berries, for three jars of strawberry jam, generous spoonfuls of fruit on my breakfast cereal and shortcake with real whipped cream.

    June 26, 2008

  • Ambulance service has key community role The Frostburg Area Ambulance Service is currently asking for our help in raising money for the protective clothing that new government regulations require.

    June 19, 2008

  • Planet continues to change; Big One on horizon? In a year that is not yet half over, 2008 has already written itself into the record books for extremes of hot and cold, rain and drought, tornadoes and floods and earthquakes. Our planet Earth has been in a constant state of change.

    June 12, 2008

  • In tennis, individuals face each other as equals I'm not a sports person, but I like to watch tennis. During the three big summer tournaments - Paris, London and New York, played on three different surfaces - my TV is on, and I check the newspaper for details that I have missed.

    June 5, 2008

  • Arts are obviously alive in Allegany County Last week I had the pleasure of attending the spring concert of the Allegany Community Symphony Orchestra. The program was free, and nicely varied, and the instrumentalists were competent.

    May 29, 2008

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