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Cumberland MD

Cumberland Maryland
“Come For A Visit, But Stay For A Lifetime.”

City of Cumberland MD

Cumberland, Maryland is a western gateway city and the seat of Allegany County. Cumberland boasts tree-lined streets, small town ambiance and an arts community that will surprise you, tucked away in the Western Maryland mountains. If quality of life is important to you, your family, your business, your lifestyle – then take the time to discover Cumberland. You’ll come for a visit, but stay for a lifetime.

Downtown Cumberland looks like a model-railroad town, criss-crossed with train tracks and bridges crossing Will’s Creek and the Potomac River, with lots of steeples and pretty old buildings and homes on its hills and the blue-green Allegheny Mountains rising up all around the town.

History of Cumberland MD

Cumberland was named by English colonists after the son of King George II, Prince William, the Duke of Cumberland. The city is built on the site of the mid-18th century Fort Cumberland, the starting point for British General Edward Braddock’s ill-fated attack on the French stronghold of Fort Duquesne (present-day Pittsburgh) during the French and Indian War. The fort was developed along the Great Indian Warpath which tribes used to travel the back-country.

Cumberland also served as an outpost and his first military headquarters was built here for Colonel George Washington during the French and Indian War. Washington returned as President of the United States in 1794 to Cumberland to review troops assembled to thwart the Whiskey Rebellion.

During the 19th century, Cumberland was a key road, railroad and canal junction. It became the second-largest city in Maryland after the port city of Baltimore. Cumberland was the terminus, and namesake, of the Cumberland Road (begun in 1811) that extended westward to the Ohio River at Wheeling, West Virginia.

The surrounding hillsides were mined for coal and iron ore, and harvested for timber that helped supply the Industrial Revolution. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal had its western terminus here; it was built to improve the movement of goods between the Midwest and Washington, DC.  Construction of railroads superseded use of the canal, as trains were faster and could carry more freight. The city developed as a major manufacturing center, with industries in glass, breweries, fabrics and tinplate.

Cumberland was known as the “Queen City,” because of its strategic location on what became known as the Cumberland Road through the Appalachians. After the American Revolution it served as a historical outfitting and staging point for the westward emigrant trail migrations throughout the first half of the 1800s. The City of Cumberland supported the settlement of the Ohio Country and the lands within the Louisiana Purchase.

Downtown Cumberland and Main Street

The downtown area of Cumberland, a historic town has evolved into a thriving arts community. Cumberland downtown offers fine dining, unique shops, stylish living and blossoming artist colony, all housed in significant turn-of-the-century architecture.

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad

Your adventure begins at the historic Western Maryland Railway Station in the “Queen City” of Cumberland. Enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of your journey behind a vintage steam or diesel engines from the comfort of one of our restored coaches. The train excursion travels west from downtown Cumberland, through a natural cut in the mountains, around a horseshoe curve, over bridges, and through a tunnel. As you glide past scenic ridges, valleys, and small towns, you’ll ascend 1,300 feet in elevation to the “Mountain City” of Frostburg. A narrator will be your guide to the views and history along the way!

  • Heritage Days Festival
  • National Road Autosport
  • Del Fest
  • Annual Tri-State Wing Off

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