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 Garrett County Maryland

Welcome to Maryland American History and Genealogy Project we are in the process of building new State and County pages for the states where the coordinator has moved on to other projects. Garrett County is looking for a new Coordinator would you be interested? If so please contact Webmaster. Many of the present coordinators are always willing to give help and suggestions to newcomers, you can learn, I did and that was after 60!! Read our About Page and see what our requirements are, pretty easy!

Court House at Oakland

Garrett, the youngest of the counties of Maryland, was carved out of territory belonging to Allegany County, in 1872. Its first election for county officers was held January 7, 1873. John W. Garrett, then president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, for whom the county was named, was instrumental in its establishment. In area Garrett is the largest county in the State, 660 square miles. It is largely mountainous, lying in the great plateau of the Alleghanies, and contains much uncleared land. It has rich deposits of iron ore, fire clay, and other minerals, especially coal; but the chief industries are farming, stock raising, and lumbering, Oakland, its county seat, is 2,800 feet above sea level, and is noted as a summer resort. Mountain Lake Park, widely known for its Chautauqua and camp-meeting, and Deer Park are also in Garrett. The people of the county are purely American, there being few residents of foreign birth, and only a half-hundred Negroes.

The rivers and streams of the county abound in game fish, bass and trout and deer, pheasants, wild turkeys, etc., make it the same sportsmen's paradise it was in the days of Meshach Browning, hunter and author. Occasionally, in the mountain fastnesses, a bear is seen. Its deer shooting has long attracted hunters from all over the country, and the glades and uplands are yearly alive with pheasants and wild turkeys.

Wheat, potatoes, corn, buckwheat, and hay, are leading Garrett crops. The maple forests of the county yield annually about a quarter of a million pounds of maple sugar. Wild honey is abundant. The Baltimore and Ohio, West Virginia Central, and Oakland and State Line are Garrett railroads. The lumber industry in Garrett has long been its chief manufacturing interest. The first saw mill, forerunner of the many that have leveled the primeval forests of the county, was owned by Philip Hare, and placed in operation near Grantsville about 1790. Valuable and productive farms have been made of the fertile limestone lands. Oakland* is 246 miles from Baltimore and 600 from Chicago. Selbysport, Swanton, Accident, Grantsville, Friendship, Keyser, Mineral Springs, Krug, Thayersville, Finzel, are among the Garrett towns, and it is notable in physical geography as the only Maryland County having rivers flowing westward as well as eastward. The Youghiogheny rises in Garrett and is a tributary of the Ohio.

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Source: History of Maryland, by L. Magruder Passano, Wm. J.C. Dulany Company, 1901.

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