The Drane House is a key landmark in the early history of Western Maryland and a vital part of its heritage. It is tucked away on a quiet country lane, just off of Rt. 219 in Accident. It is believed to be the oldest standing structure in Garrett County today.
The Drane House History
The Drane house was built in 1798 by William Lamar and was given to his sister and her husband, Priscilla and James Drane in about 1800. The Dranes along with their eight children migrated to Western Maryland from the tobacco farming area of Prince George’s County.
James envisioned himself a country gentlemen. He planned to raise a large acreage of tobacco. Frontier life required long hours of arduous work to provide the basic necessities of life. Their family was one of several who attempted tobacco culture in Garrett County’s early days. These early settlers from Southern Maryland never achieved the prosperity from tobacco farming that they anticipated. They did not realize the difficulties of farming mountainous terrain. Their efforts were thwarted by severe winters, poorly constructed dirt roads and the great distance to market. Many were driven back to their former homes by the loneliness and isolation of mountain life. The Dranes changed their methods to general faming and occupied the home until their deaths.
One of the most famous summer vacationers in Garrett County history was the German-born genius who created the world’s most famous equation. His name was Albert Einstein. His two week visit during September of 1946 was a well kept secret for over 30 years.
The year 1946 was a difficult one for Einstein. The previous year atomic bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Despite the fact that he had nothing to do with the manufacture of the bomb and his stance as a pacifist, he was pictured next to a mushroom cloud on the front cover of TIME in July of 1946. His famous E = mc2 equation, first proposed forty years earlier, held the basic principles necessary for the development of the fission bomb. Yet he expressed deep regret for having signed the letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt that acted as a catalyst for the Manhattan Project. Alarmed by the growing Nazi in 1939, Einstein urged him to initiate a nuclear research program.
Einstein Visits Deep Creek Lake
In 1945, having just retired from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Einstein was tired of the unwanted publicity and media attention. Seeking solitude, he accepted an offer from John Steiding of Midland, MD to visit Deep Creek Lake. Mr. Steiding worked for the Celanese Fiber Company as a chemist and became acquainted with famous physicist through a co-worker’s wife who was sculpting a bust of him. In his quest to escape the spotlight, the professor came to stay at the summer cottage in the Turkey Neck area of Deep Creek Lake owned Dr. Frank Wilson, a prominent Cumberland surgeon. Continue reading Einstein Visits Deep Creek Lake, MD
Christmas in the Village is a delightful holiday event held in nearby Grantsville, MD. The 2019 dates are December 6th from 4-8PM and December 7th from noon-8PM. Somerset Trust Co. has sponsored FREE shuttle service for the entire event. You can park at the Grantsville Elementary School (120 Grant St, Grantsville, MD 21536).
ABOUT SPRUCE FOREST ARTISAN VILLAGE
If you haven’t visited the Spruce Forest Artisan Village, this is a great chance to explore this favorite local spot. It is located in an area known as Little Crossings adjacent to Casselman River Bridge State Park. It is a venue where skilled artisans can showcase and sell their work. Visitors have an opportunity to interact with them in their studios that are as unique as the items they create. Each studio is housed in one of thirteen restored cabins, including a one-room schoolhouse. This area also boasts an original inn dating back to 1818 – now known as Penn Alps Restaurant.
The Little Crossings area has experienced a recent revitalization. The Cornucopia Café and Grant’s Mercantile are recent additions to this riverside destination.
CHRISTMAS IN THE VILLAGE
Christmas in the Village kicks-off on Friday evening with luminaries lighting the paths to the various artist studios. Decorated fresh greenery and twinkling lights, it will quickly get you in the mood for the holidays.
Throughout Garrett County’s history the Youghiogheny River has been a source of transportation, economic importance, and recreation.
The Youghiogheny River was used by Native Americans with canoes for centuries, spending time along its banks for hunting expeditions, trade and even war. When white men appeared in the area, they adopted the canoe as a means of traversing the river. The first written account of white men’s use of canoes on the Yough was made by a young George Washington. On May 4th, 1754 he wrote: Continue reading Youghiogheny River: Deep Creek Lake Area History and Recreation