The Loar family was a pioneer family in what is now Garrett County, known for their community involvement and philanthropy.
Jacob Loar (d.1827), the German ancestor, came to America in 1774. After the Revolutionary War he bought property around Eckhart Mines, near Frostburg, Maryland.
Jacob's son, George (1791-1860) came to the "Yough Glades" (Oakland area) as a young man. He was a private in the War of 1812. He bought property one mile south of Oakland in 1816. There he built a one-story log cabin. When his family increased and he became comparably prosperous, he added a two-story log house to this cabin.
It was in this house that Isaac McCarty organized the Methodist Episcopal Sabbath School in April 1829. McCarty not only founded the first Sunday School in the county; he also provided land on which the town of Oakland was laid out October 10, 1849.
George Loar had 15 children. One of these was David Henry Loar (1835-1899). David was a locomotive engineer on the B&O Railroad. In 1869 he located in Oakland and was a merchant here.
Among the children of David Henry Loar were Lawson L., C. Harry (1860-1948), George W. (1865-1946), Lottie M. (1869-1943), Judson H. (1873-1961) and Mary Grace (1874-1953). This is the family that lived in the house before you. This house was built in the
late 1890's and was occupied by the family until after the death of the last child, Judson, in 1961.
This family made contributions to Garrett County and beyond that can not all be noted here. For additional information see the Glades Star (published by the Garrett County Historical Society, especially Vol. 3, No. 1.)
Lottie studied music at the Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore. She was a gifted music teacher and was the organist at St. Paul's United Methodist Church for many years. She was a leader of the Red Cross and led a major work for the beautification of Oakland.
Mary Grace was superintendent of the Wednesday Church School at St. Paul's. This ecumenical school had major influences on area children for many years. She left $25,000 to St. Paul's for the building of an educational unit for the use of the children of the community.
George W. gave about $200,000 for the building of Garrett Memorial Hospital. The bronze tablet in the hospital reads "George W. Loar — A kind and understanding heart." Three of his brothers and sisters also gave large sums to the hospital.
Lawson L. Loar left a bequest for the building of the music hall at West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, West Virginia.
After all of the family died this house was willed to the West Virginia Annual Conference of the Methodist Church if they would establish a home for retired clergy here. Since this did not work out the house went to the contingent beneficiary, West Virginia Wesleyan College.
The college sold the house to the Durst family who made it a funeral home. The Dursts sold it to the David A. Burdock Funeral Home.