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The Drane House: A Look at Early Garrett County Life

The Drane House History

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.

drane house

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. 

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