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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cumberland in Allegany County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Cumberland Terminus: Yesterday and Today

 
 
Cumberland Terminus: <i>Yesterday and Today</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, August 9, 2013
1. Cumberland Terminus: Yesterday and Today Marker
Inscription. Independence Day, July 4th, 1828, would be an important day for Cumberland, Maryland. On that day, far to the east, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad both broke ground. The finish line of these companies' race was the Ohio River. The prizes were markets for coal, lumber, and farm goods.

The canal followed the Potomac River for 184.5 miles, gaining 605 feet in elevation from Georgetown to Cumberland, as it headed for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In 1850 the canal finally reached Cumberland; the railroad had already arrived eight years earlier. Beaten by the railroad and financially exhausted by floods, the canal closed in 1924. Although it never linked with the Ohio River, for 74 years the canal provided an outlet for local products and labor, and helped build Cumberland into Maryland's second-largest city, rivaled only by Baltimore. Evidence of the canal's contributions surround you.

Left Diagram
The Canal's Cumberland terminus in 1896.

Middle Photo
Coal from the surrounding mountains rode the rails to meet canal boats at Cumberland. From here boatmen towed it downstream to Georgetown, about a week's journey.

Right Photo
Many Cumberland residents made a living from the canal, finding work building and repairing boats. Residents also were
Cumberland Terminus: <i>Yesterday and Today</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 21, 2013
2. Cumberland Terminus: Yesterday and Today Marker
employed at the Footer's Dye Works, towering in the distance.

Bottom Diagram
Map of the area.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O), and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal marker series.
 
Location. 39° 38.959′ N, 78° 45.786′ W. Marker is in Cumberland, Maryland, in Allegany County. Marker is on W. Harrison Street, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cumberland MD 21502, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The National Road (a few steps from this marker); Life on the Canal (a few steps from this marker); Boat Building at the Cumberland Basin (a few steps from this marker); Civil War in Allegany County (within shouting distance of this marker); Gettysburg Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); Western Maryland Railway Station (within shouting distance of this marker); George Washington at Willís Creek (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Headquarters of George Washington (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Cumberland.
 
Categories. Railroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels
 
Canal Boat Replica image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, August 9, 2013
3. Canal Boat Replica
Map of the Canal Terminus Today<br>You Are Here image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 21, 2013
4. Map of the Canal Terminus Today
You Are Here
Close up of map on marker
Potomac River and towpath image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, August 9, 2013
5. Potomac River and towpath
The Terminal Canal Mile Marker<br>Mile 184.5 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 30, 2009
6. The Terminal Canal Mile Marker
Mile 184.5
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 545 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   2. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   3. submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   4. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   5. submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   6. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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