Cumberland Terminus: Yesterday and Today

Cumberland Terminus: Yesterday and Today (HM19Y8)

Location: Cumberland, MD 21502 Allegany County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 38.959', W 78° 45.786'

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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 employed at the Footer's Dye Works, towering in the distance.

Bottom Diagram
Map of the area.
HM NumberHM19Y8
Series This marker is part of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) series, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal series.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at 4:40pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 691923 N 4391227
Decimal Degrees39.64931667, -78.76310000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 38.959', W 78° 45.786'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 38' 57.54" N, 78° 45' 47.16" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 240
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 202 Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath, Cumberland MD 21502, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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