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

Alteration of the Site


—Fort Cumberland Trail —

Alteration of the Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, March 28, 2009
1. Alteration of the Site Marker
Inscription. Many changes have been made to the landscape on which Fort Cumberland stood. The street behind you was cut from the hillside and the earth removed used by the canal company. the bluff to your left in front of the church once extended on a nearly level plane. These changes in the terrain were made in the mid 1800's when the present church was built and the street laid. the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was completed in October, 1850, and Emmanuel Episcopal Church one year later.

There are several known versions of Fort Cumberland and each has some documentation. No exact reference points from which to plot the lines of any of these fort plans have been found in available resource materials. We have chosen from the versions of the fort that one generally accepted locally. This plan is found on the trail markers (see diagram above) and is documented on the original manuscripts found in the George III Collection at the British Museum in London, England. The lines of the fort have been marked from the scant information available. This is intended to give you a physical conception of the size and shape of the fort as we presently know it. The position of the exact lines of the fort may be different. Changes in the terrain and conflicting information make it almost impossible to pinpoint the exact fort lines.

The angles and some straight lines of the fort are marked by white rock (see photo) and may be seen going up the street behind you. To your front, beyond the wall, was the easternmost point of Fort Cumberland. The point (+) and your location (X) are marked above on the diagram of the fort.

?Fort Cumberland was built in the winter of 1754-1755 by Colonel James Innes and his "command" of New Yorkers, North and South Carolinians, and Marylanders. A small fort (120 feet per side) was built first down the hill. Governor Sharp of Maryland then ordered a larger one built higher on the hill. Finally Lt. Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia gave orders which probably caused the second fort to be enlarged. The name of Fort Mount Pleasant was later changed to Fort Cumberland.

The Fort Cumberland Trail is partially located in the Washington Street Historic District. As you walk the remainder of the trail, please take note of the variety of 19th Century architectural styles in the churches, the county courthouse, the library (first academy), and other buildings. Historical plaques are located on the entrance ways of the courthouse and the library. Tourist information and brochures are available from the Allegany County Division of Tourism.

Fort Cumberland Trail
Marker series. This marker is included in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal marker series.
Location. 39° 39.048′ N, 78° 45.9′ W. Marker is in Cumberland, Maryland, in Allegany County. Marker is on Washington St., on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is on stone wall. 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. Site of Fort Cumberland (within shouting distance of this marker); This Tablet Marks the Site of Old Fort Cumberland (within shouting distance of this marker); Perimeter of the Fort (within shouting distance of this marker); Trenches and Tunnels / Army Discipline (within shouting distance of this marker); Abandonment of Ft. Cumberland (within shouting distance of this marker); French and Indian War (within shouting distance of this marker); Col. Thomas Cresap (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); National Road Monument (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland.
Categories. Forts, CastlesMilitary
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 8, 2009, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 978 times since then and 3 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on May 8, 2009, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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