We had a great afternoon Sunday afternoon (1-4) talking with the curator of the museum and viewing the many parts of the history of Cumberland, Maryland. What a rich heritage. The first exhibit we viewed was the glassware. In its heyday the area had 26 glass making companies. Hard to imagine, but the specimens on display were of the highest quality and beautiful to view. Then we moved into the Claude Yoder room. This man was a woodworker/whittler. From very large to very small he is quoted as saying the wood would tell him what they wanted to be and he couldn't pass a wood pile without seeing something there. A portrait of him by his son is displayed. He finished it the day his father died. In the effort of expanding commerce there is a great section on the B&O Railroad and the Chesapeake, Ohio Canal and the beginning of the National highway. Jefferson envisioned the highway but it took a couple of generations to be made. great endeavors for this isolated section of Maryland. One of the main manufacturers in Cumberland was the Kelly Springfield Tire Company. There are several rooms attributed to this company and how it shifted to munitions making during the war then went back to tire manufacturing following the war. Another manufacturer noted is the Garrett Clothing and Shoe company. Moving to another area there is a nice exhibit on the fire protection efforts in the Allegany County area. The Evolution of Allegany County is worth the stop as well. One surprise feature is a room called the Sleeping Beauty Exhibition. It has four panels with scenes from the story. You can push and hold a button at each panel to see the puppets move in some way. What a creative curiosity! The archeology of western Maryland along the hall is fascinating, Inhabited 12,000 years ago by first nation occupants with many examples of their tools and lives. One more fascinating piece is the exhibit on Whiskey & Beer production. What a great representation, currently limited to the 2nd floor but soon expanding to areas on the 1st floor. Excellent museum for the size.
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