Cumberland Times-News

Betty Van NewKirk - From the Museum

August 7, 2008

Quality, attitude of people make 'Burg special


Following World War I, the bottom fell out of the local mining economy, as the area's chief customers, the U.S. Navy and the Cunard Steamship Line, shifted from coal to oil.

Frostburg became a bedroom town for people employed in Cumberland industries. Now those factories have closed, and Frostburg's economy is focused on what has become Frostburg State University.

In spite of the changes, the core of the community has remained the same. From the beginning, families have put down roots in the George's Creek area, and the names of the list of contributors to the Normal School Fund in 1898 are still current here. The cooperative community spirit has continued.

Our public library was started by AAUW members, who collected books that were left at curbside and drafted their husbands to build shelves in a vacant storefront.

Our several children's playgrounds were built by parent-volunteers.The Palace Theatre became a town-owned auditorium when Frostburg residents pledged $10 a year to buy and renovate it.

The Frostburg Museum started from scratch and is still maintained by volunteers. And our Main Street is beautified year-round by the Garden Club members who plant and water and weed the baskets attached to lamp-posts.

About 10 years ago a tornado raked its way across one section of Frostburg. Surveying the damage afterward, experts who were experienced with that kind of disaster estimated that it would take four weeks to clear away the debris. But Frostburg volunteers appeared from all directions, bringing their own trucks and tools, and in 8 hours the job had been done. - Frostburg's do-it-ourselves attitude persists.

Frostburg has no slum section, and no posh neighborhood where families are unwelcome if they don't have money, or family connections, or certain ethnic or religious credentials.

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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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