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.