Downtown Oakland: A Look at Local History

Downtown Oakland is a great place to spend the day for a variety of reasons. All ages can find something to enjoy in the great small town.

There are three museums that are popular stops for history buffs. Each highlights unique aspects of Garrett County’s rich history. These family friendly venues are well-worth a stop when you’re out and about in downtown Oakland.

Please keep in mind, each one is staffed by volunteers. Hours may vary and it is recommended to call before planning a visit.

Downtown Oakland Museums

B&O Railroad Museum
This local landmark is a must-see when visiting Oakland! The museum is inside the train station that was built in 1884. It is a Queen Anne style building that was built with the help of county founder John Garrett. 

downtown oakland

It was built in conjunction with a resort hotel that was also owned by the B&O Railroad. The station welcomed visitors to the resort town. It played an important role in the economic development of the region.

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Einstein Visits Deep Creek Lake, MD

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.

einstein visits deep creek lake

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