George Washington's Headquarters - Riverside Park on Greene Street
Background (east): Retaining wall for Wills Creek and Western Maryland RR tracks and station.
To the right of photo (south) Wills Creek empties into Potomac River.
A tad further south is where the C&O Canal terminated and where canal boats were loaded in Cumberland.

George Washington's Headquarters
Significant Dates

  • 1755 - Constructed by General Braddock's men
  • 1755-1758 - Occupied by George Washington during French and Indian War.
  • 1794 - President Washington used it once again as his headquarters when he came to visit the troops sent to put down the Whisky Rebellion.
  • 1844 - At the request of Judge Thomas Perry, George Blocher purchased and moved the headquarters from its original site at Fort Cumberland to the Blocker farm on Bedford Road. John Baker resided there for 22 years.
  • 1920 - Dr James Walter Thomas discovered and purchased the headquarters. Requested by the Mayor and City Council to donate it to the City of Cumberland.
  • 1921 - Restored by William J. Morley. Presented to the citizens of Cumberland on April 21, 1921. Guests of honor were General John J. Pershing, Commander of the American forces in the World War, and Major Charles Bridges, military attaché, representing the British Government. Also present were Dr James W Thomas, Major G. C. Marshall, Jr, Pershing's aide, George Henderson of the American Letion, William C. Walsh, City Attorney, Congressman Fred N. Zihlman, Tasker G. Lowndes and Rev Dr James E Moffatt, who offered the invocation. The parade featured a large number of dough-boys, representatives of the Grand Army of the Republic and Spanish-American war veterans.

[From History of Allegany County, Thomas & Williams, p 360-5]

City Hall
(1912)
57 North Liberty Street

This structure replaces Cumberland City Hall and Academy of Music, completed in 1876 and destroyed by fire in 1910.

City Hall is on the east side of North Liberty, facing west.

Bell Tower Building
(1885)
Corner of Liberty & Bedford

This structure was built as police headquarters and served as the county jail until 1936. From 1941-1972 it was used by the Allegany County League for Crippled Children. Today it is the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce headquarters.

US Courthouse & PO (1904)
19 Frederick Street

This structure originally served as a post office and courthouse. In 1934, it was converted to a police station. Today, Cumberland's Senior Citizens Center occupies the building. The police are in a building across the street in the foreground, Bedford Street.

Central Station #1 - Location of Cumberland's First Paid Fire Department (1906)

This structure was located to the right of the Bell Tower Building and faced the City Hall. It was razed in 1978.

[From Feldstein's Top Historic Postcard Views of Allegany County, Maryland]


View of Baltimore Street from southwest corner of Mechanic Street, looking east.

Fourth building from the left is the Fort Cumberland Hotel (1917). It is on the northwest corner of Liberty and Baltimore Streets. This is where General Pershing stayed when he visited Cumberland in 1921, You can still see the words Fort Cumberland Hotel along the sides and back of the building though the building is no longer called that. The tall building with the flag flying on its roof beyond the Fort Cumberland Hotel building is Rosenbaums. The local radio station WCBC occupies the two story brick building on the southeast corner of Mechanic and Baltimore Streets. To take this photo, I stood in front of the location of the men's clothing store Metro Clothes owned and operated by Joseph Feldstein in 1932-1984. He began his business in the Olympia Hotel on the northwest corner of this intersection. After the 1936 flood, he moved to the south west corner. The Feldstein family has placed a plaque at the store's location to commemorate Joseph's years of service to the community.


The Second National Bank Building (1890)
Southeast corner of Liberty and Baltimore
71 Baltimore Street

This photo is taken standing next to the old Fort Cumberland Hotel, looking south. along Liberty Street. The First National Bank and the Second National Bank merged in 1963 under the name First National Bank and located in this building. The plaque on the building is confusing as it makes no mention of the Second National Bank. Today this site is occupied by the F & M Bank. The First National Bank building prior to 1963, is on the southwest corner of George and Baltimore Streets. It was constructed in 1912 and is currently occupied by the First People's Community Federal Credit Union.

 

Today the building houses a bakery, just as it did in 1957 (Federal Bake Shop) and a cafe. In 1957 Kay Shoes occupied the location of the cafe. The building can be seen in a photograph on page 143 of A Pictorial History of Allegany County.

Also visible in the 1957 photo is the building on the right, then the location of the Home Pharmacy. The front was not covered with that hideous metal siding. Hopefully, someone will elect to restore the building to its earlier grandeur.

The building partially visible on the left has the number 84 "carved in stone" on the face of the building. I have not found any other photographs that would help to identify what business may have occupied this site in earlier times.

Also visible in the 1957 photo are St Paul's English Lutheran church, now gone, and McCrory's, and Rosenbaums. Though these businesses have gone their buildings remain, giving all a chance to reflect on a more prosperous time in Cumberland.


This building is located on the north side
of Baltimore Street
between Liberty Street and Centre Street


Where the Jewelers Worked

At least three of these buildings have housed jewelers over the last century.


Moving from left to right in this photograph, you can see the corner of McCrory's, Rosenbaums, Schwartzenbach & Son's, a red brick building and the G.C. Murphy's. Beyond Murphy's it the empty block that was once graced at its corners by the Barnum and Revere Houses, AKA the Windsor Hotel and the Kenneweg Building.

Actually, the F & M Bank has a drive-thru facility located on part of the Windsor Hotel lot. Never-the-less, it feels like a lot of empty space.

Rosenbaums was founded by Susman and Simon Rosenbaum in 1878. They built this building in the late 1890's, opening here in 1899. Rosenbaums closed in 1971.

Schwartzenbach's still has the name above the entry way. The business began before the turn of the century. This building was erected in 1911. Rumor has it that the state of Maryland is renovating the building and intends to use it.

G.C. Murphy's has occupied the northwest corner of George and Baltimore Streets since about 1929. In 1896, the McMullen Brothers first occupied this site and constructed this building in 1910. In 2001, G.C. Murphy's is going out of business.


North side of Baltimore between Centre & George Streets

 


Looking West down Baltimore Street from Queen City Drive


The York Hotel and the YMCA Building (1928)
Intersection of Baltimore Street and Baltimore Avenue

The building to the left appears in an early 1900 photo as the Hotel Imperial,
then in the early 1940's, it assumes the name Walton.
(See pages 78 & 132 in A Pictorial History of Allegany County)