Cumberland Times-News

Betty Van NewKirk - From the Museum

May 15, 2008

Uhl Street intriguing mystery in Frostburg

Uhl Street, here in Frostburg, is one of the town's intriguing mysteries, beginning with the question of the pronunciation of the name. Should it be Coool, or Yule? I prefer the former, but I have no valid reason for objecting to anyone's associating it with Christmas.

I was told, years ago, that the street was nicknamed Devil's Alley, but so far no one has explained how it got that name. One conjecture was that the Maier family, who owned the ice plant across the street, had a speakeasy in their cellar during the 1920s. This I doubt, having known several ladies in the family, college-educated, Sunday school teaching, musically talented and definitely strait-laced.

A somewhat more probable explanation came from a granddaughter of Judge Chambers, who also had a house on Uhl Street. She suggested that her six or seven uncles, the judge's sons, were little imps whose reputation spilled over the neighborhood.

Or perhaps the sharp drop-off at the end of the street reminded someone of the easy access to the netherworld - or some early motorist trying to drive a car up the hill to Main Street pronounced it a devilish undertaking. Your guess about the origin of the name is every bit as valid as mine.

The name Uhl, however, is a respected one in Allegany County. Early in the 19th century the family had settled on a military lot just south of the Pennsylvania state line. They were well-established farmers when Clinton Uhl was born at Wellersburg in 1871. There is no record of his schooling, but he was obviously intelligent, working his way up from delivery boy for the McMullen store in Mount Savage and to becoming a store owner himself and a partner in a variety of enterprises, including quarry and a shoe business.

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Betty Van NewKirk - From the Museum
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    June 19, 2008

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    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.

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