A Century of Change - Baltimore Street Near George Street
Cumberland, Maryland

The search for this story began with a question about the Kenneweg family in Cumberland and evolved into a search for pictures and stories related to the Kenneweg wholesale grocery business and the YMCA. Christian F. Kenneweg was president and general manager of the company and was active in the YMCA, around the turn of the century.

An email messages from Pat Hook, mentioned that the Kenneweg building was torn down and replaced with a parking lot. That clue led to a search in the Heritage Press, which documents a number of cases where historic buildings have been sacrificed to build parking lots. The article in that source alerted readers to the rich history on the north side of a single block of Baltimore Street, between George Street and the B & O Railroad. In the mid 1800's, two Houses, the Revere House, later the Kenneweg building, and the Barnum House, later the Windsor Hotel, occupied opposite ends of this block. Each shared remarkably similar histories. James Buchanan, elected President in 1856, vacationed at the Revere House and President-elect Zachary Taylor was honored at a reception at the Barnum House in February of 1849. Near the end of the Civil War, Union Generals George Crook and Benjamin Kelly were captured from the Revere and Barnum Houses during a daring raid by McNeill's Rangers. Both generals returned to Cumberland where Crook married Mary Dailey and Kelly married Mary Clara Bruce. Kenneweg began his wholesale grocery business around 1890, and at least by 1897 had occupied the former Revere House. The exact date when the Barnum House assumed the name Windsor Hotel is not currently know, but the change had already occurred by about 1895, when John Fey wrote his account of the raid. These two historic landmarks were torn down within 5 years of each other; the Revere House in 1964 and the Barnum House in 1959.


Revere House - Photo in Heritage Press, Dec 1971


Site of Revere House - Kenneweg Building
Photo in Heritage Press, Dec 1971 (Queen City Hotel in background)


Barnum House - Windsor Hotel - Photo in Heritage Press, Dec 1971


Windsor Hotel - Photo in Postcard Views of Allegany County, Maryland
Appears to be 1920's vintage, note the cars in fron the the hotel.


Site of Barnum House - Windsor Hotel - Photo in Heritage Press, Dec 1971
Montgomery Wards Building on left and First National Bank across George Street


Baltimore Street - Photo in A Pictorial History Allegany County - c 1857


Baltimore Street - 1897 - Photo in A Pictorial History Allegany County


Baltimore Street - 1945 - Photo in A Pictorial History Allegany County

In this 1945 picture, I have marked 5 buildings that are mentioned elsewhere on this page.

Memories from Pat Hook:

I am thinking the Windsor Hotel was on the corner where the new drive-thru bank is now. G.C. Murphy's was just across George St. from the Windsor. I remember a Windsor Barber Shop there, and assuming that it was the Windsor Hotel, next door (towards B& O tracks) was a Restaurant---believe Diamond Restaurant, then came Savoy Bowling Alley, Lou's Auto Store then Kenneweg Building.

Across Baltimore street from Kenneweg Building was Firestone Auto Store, Rialto
Restaurant, a Shoe store (Smiths??), then Montgomery Ward was on corner across from Windsor Hotel. More recently the Montgomery Ward Building was Burtons Men Shop, but in last few years is now Heilbig-Meyers Furniture Store.

I remember some kind of a walkway at about 2nd story level from Windsor Hotel across N. George St. to connect with the now G.C. Murphy co.(-was F.B Woolworth building.) The Murphy building was once the McMullen Bros. Store then Murphys had the lower section and F.B. Woolworth was on corner. Woolworths went out of business sometime in the 1940's, and Murphys remodeled and expanded which took the former Woolworth space.

From an article by Jack Kegg for the "Beyond Fifty" news-letter about Baltimore St. circa 1949, in that last block between George St. and B&O RR tracks he lists---zig-zagging back and forth across Baltimore St.: "We cross George St. and find the Windsor Hotel with the Windsor Barber Shop, Montgomery Ward Dept. Store, Braddock Liquor Store, Regal Club, Inc., Tip Top Billiard Parlor, Cut Rate Shoe Store, Maryland Shoe Shine Parlor, Savoy Bowling and Billiards, Keystone Shoe Stores, Cumberland Outdoor Club, Catherman's Business School, Joe, The Motorists Friend Auto Accessories, Scriver Inc (tires), Sears Roebuck & Co. Dept. Store, Rialto Lunch, Iles Auto Supplies, Kennewig Company (Wholesale groceries)."

This seems to be a lot of businesses/clubs for that small block of Baltimore St. But some occupied the second floors of those 2 & 3 story buildings.

Southwest Corner Baltimore & George 1897 English Lutheran Church 1844
Photos in A Pictorial History Allegany County

Before travelling to Fords Theater in Washington, the cast of "Our American Cousin" performed at Belvidere Hall on Baltimore Street in Cumberland. The First National Bank replaced the building seen in the photo above with a new ediface in 1912, which still stands today. The YMCA added two more floors in 1910. In the early 1900's the Mountain State Business College occupied space in Belvidere Hall. The steeple of the Church pictured above can be seen in the 1857 photograph of Baltimore Street.


On Baltimore Street - Opened May 1894
Fourth & fifth floors added in 1910.
Photo in Postcard Views of Allegany County, Maryland


"New" YMCA built in 1925 - at the intersection of Baltimore Ave & Baltimore Street.
The YMCA built new facilities and moved out of this building in 1997.
Photo in A Pictorial History Allegany County

 


Heritage Press, Allegany County, Maryland, Reprints published by the Preservation Society, Inc. in 1995, original 12 issues published in 1971-2, Editors: Hazel Groves Hansrote and Mary Miltenberger.

Feldstein's Top Historic Postcard Views of Allegany County, Maryland, Albert L. Feldstein, Commercial Press Printing Company, 1997.

A Pictorial History of Allegany County, Lee G. Schwartz, Albert L. Feldstein and Joan H. Baldwin, Te Downing Company/Publishers, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 1980.

The Book Center on Centre St. in Cumberland
Where you can find these and other Allegany County research materials
Email address is
bkcenter@mindspring.com
Web page is:
http://www.thebookcenteronline.com