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

The Legend of Johnny Friend

The Legend of Johnny Friend Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones, May 24, 2019
1. The Legend of Johnny Friend Marker
Inscription.  In the mid-1700's, Neil Friend and his sons held land on the Virginia side of the Potomac River, where the North and South Branches join. A good location for trade with Indians but prone to flooding.

A decision was made to move on to the Northwest where Neil's brother Andrew had settled in Pennsylvania, at Turkeyfoot, where the Youghiogheny, Casselman and Laurel Hill Creek merge (today's Confluence, PA).

Neil's sons, John, Andrew, Augustine and Charles*, followed the Youghiogheny upstream to this valley where a band of Shawnee were encamped. Being Indian traders, they were able to communicate and ask permission for John and his family to settle here. The Shawnee agreed. There was plenty for everyone in this Hunter's Bowl.

The next Spring, the Friend men returned with gifts for their new neighbors including the legendary iron pot. After John built his cabin he brought back his wife Karrenhappuch and their children to the site he had chosen on the rise on the west side of the river.

The Shawnee, especially the women, were curious about the cabin, the children and the strange ways of the white people,
The Legend of Johnny Friend Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones, May 24, 2019
2. The Legend of Johnny Friend Marker
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so they came to visit and see for themselves. Having shared food and become acquainted, the tribal leader told John and Karrenhappuck that the women wanted to take little Johnny back with them to visit with their children. John Sr. and the Chief agreed that Johnny would be returned the next day when the sun was high in the sky.

Exactly when the sun reached its zenith the following day, the nervous Friend family welcomed their neighbors back, who were carrying excited little Johnny, proudly wearing a deerskin shirt and moccasins made by the Shawnee women. Johnny was full of stories about his time with the tribe. The story of his sleepover and return has been retold for generations. (John Friend Sr.'s original home site is where the John Friend Sr. Cemetery is, beside the I-68 westbound off ramp).

*Some believe that the young Gabriel Friend traveled with the men and was about 10- years old.
Erected by Maryland Heritage Area Authority. (Marker Number 1.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native AmericansSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Maryland, Friendsville History Tour series list.
Location. 39° 39.826′ N, 79° 
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24.515′ W. Marker is in Friendsville, Maryland, in Garrett County. Marker is on Maple Street west of Church Lane, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 645 Water Street, Friendsville MD 21531, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Friendsville Commerce, Custer's and Ryland's Stores (within shouting distance of this marker); Riverside Hotel & Knights of Pythias (within shouting distance of this marker); Water Street North, Captain Elijah Monroe Friend (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Morris Avenue and Maple Street (about 600 feet away); The Lost Settlement of Kendall (about 700 feet away); Native American Visitors and Inhabitants (about 700 feet away); The Railroad Era and Hotels (approx. 0.2 miles away); Friendsville Honor Roll (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Friendsville.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 19, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 26, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 169 times since then and 72 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 26, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Nov. 28, 2022