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Allegany County, Maryland
Seal of Allegany County, Maryland
Map of Maryland highlighting Allegany County
Location in the state of Maryland
Map of the U.S. highlighting Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
Founded 1789
Named for the Allegheny Mountains, which run through the western part of the county
Seat Cumberland
Largest city Cumberland
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

429.82 sq mi (1,113 km²)
425.42 sq mi (1,102 km²)
4.40 sq mi (11 km²), 1.02%
 - (2010)
 - Density

176/sq mi (68.1/km²)

Allegany County is a county located in the northwestern part of the US state of Maryland. It is part of the Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 75,087.[1] Its county seat is Cumberland. The name Allegany may come from a local Lenape word, welhik hane[2][3] or oolikhanna, which means 'best flowing river of the hills' or 'beautiful stream'.[4] A number of counties in the Appalachian region of the US are named Allegany, Allegheny, or Alleghany.


The western part of Maryland (including the present Allegany County) was originally part of Prince George's County when Maryland was formed in 1696.[5] This county included six current counties, and by repeated splitting, new ones were generated: Frederick from Prince George's in 1748;[6] and Montgomery and Washington from Frederick in 1776.[7]

Allegany County was formed in 1789 by the splitting of Washington County.[8] At the time it was the westernmost county in Maryland, but a split in 1872 produced Garrett County, the current westernmost county.[6]

Prior to 1789, the Virginia Commonwealth claimed the area of present day Garrett and Allegheny Counties, of Maryland. A 1771-1780 map of Virginias counties, shows Hampshire County, but the Virginia State boundary has Hampshire outside that boundary line. When conducting genealogical research, it is possible to find tax records for Hampshire County, Virginia included in Maryland records, and Maryland records in Hampshire County... Hampshire County was formed in 1758 by the Virginia Commonwealth and at its founding, included the present day counties of Garrett & Allegheny Counties in Maryland, and Hardy, Grant, Mineral, and part of Morgan Counties in what is now West Virginia. Ref. Virginia Counties Map of 1771-1780; Henry Howe's 1845 History of Virginia.

The county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places.[9]

It is the birthplace of Emmy Award-winning actress Suzanne Rogers, perhaps best known for her long-running role as Maggie Simmons Horton on NBC's Days of our Lives. Allegany County is often referred to as "Where the South Begins."

Law and government[]

Allegany County was granted a home rule form of government in 1974.


  • Allegany County Transit
  • Amtrak
  • Western Maryland Scenic Railway


Allegany County lies primarily in the Ridge-and-Valley Country of the Appalachian Mountains. It is bordered to the north by the Mason-Dixon Line with Pennsylvania, to the south by the Potomac River and West Virginia, to the east by Sideling Hill Creek and Washington County, Maryland, and to the west by a land border with Garrett County, Maryland. The western part of the county contains a portion of the steep Allegheny Front, which marks the transition to the higher-elevation Appalachian Plateau and Allegheny Mountain region. The town of Frostburg is located west of the Front at an elevation of nearly 2,100 feet above sea level, while the county seat of Cumberland, only eight miles away, has an elevation of only 627 feet.

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 429.82 square miles (1,113.2 km2), of which 425.42 square miles (1,101.8 km2) (or 98.98%) is land and 4.40 square miles (11.4 km2) (or 1.02%) is water.[10]

Adjacent counties[]

National protected areas[]

  • Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (part)

Significant topographic features[]

  • Evitts Mountain
  • Dans Mountain
  • Polish Mountain
  • Town Hill
  • Haystack Mountain
  • Martin Mountain
  • Wills Mountain
  • Piney Mountain
  • Green Ridge Mountain

Major highways[]

  • I-68.svg Interstate 68
  • US 40.svg U.S. Route 40
  • Alt plate.svg
    US 40.svg US 40 Alt
  • Scenic plate.svg
    US 40.svg U.S. Route 40 Scenic
  • US 220.svg U.S. Route 220
  • MD Route 35.svg Maryland Route 35
  • MD Route 36.svg Maryland Route 36
  • MD Route 47.svg Maryland Route 47
  • MD Route 49.svg Maryland Route 49
  • MD Route 51.svg Maryland Route 51
  • MD Route 53.svg Maryland Route 53
  • MD Route 55.svg Maryland Route 55
  • MD Route 135.svg Maryland Route 135
  • MD Route 144.svg Maryland Route 144
  • MD Route 638.svg Maryland Route 638
  • MD Route 657.svg Maryland Route 657
  • MD Route 658.svg Maryland Route 658
  • MD Route 935.svg Maryland Route 935
  • MD Route 936.svg Maryland Route 936
  • MD Route 956.svg Maryland Route 956


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 4,809
1800 6,303 31.1%
1810 6,909 9.6%
1820 8,654 25.3%
1830 10,609 22.6%
1840 15,690 47.9%
1850 22,769 45.1%
1860 28,348 24.5%
1870 38,536 35.9%
1880 38,012 −1.4%
1890 41,571 9.4%
1900 53,694 29.2%
1910 62,411 16.2%
1920 69,938 12.1%
1930 79,098 13.1%
1940 86,973 10.0%
1950 89,556 3.0%
1960 84,169 −6.0%
1970 84,044 −0.1%
1980 80,548 −4.2%
1990 74,946 −7.0%
2000 74,930 0%
2010 75,087 0.2%
Est. 2012 74,012 −1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
2012 Estimate[12]


According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:


As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 74,930 people, 29,322 households, and 18,883 families residing in the county. The population density was 176 people per square mile (68/km²). There were 32,984 housing units at an average density of 78 per square mile (30/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.02% White, 5.35% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.52% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. 0.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 29.0% were of German, 16.7% US or American, 12.8% Irish, 10.7% English and 5.3% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000.[14]

There were 29,322 households out of which 26.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.60% were married couples living together, 10.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.60% were non-families. 30.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the county the population was spread out with 20.60% under the age of 18, 11.20% from 18 to 24, 26.80% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 17.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 99.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,821, and the median income for a family was $39,886. Males had a median income of $31,316 versus $21,334 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,780. About 9.70% of families and 14.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.70% of those under age 18 and 9.50% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2010, Allegany County had a racial and ethnic population composition of 88.16% Non-Hispanic whites, 8.03% Blacks, 0.14% Native Americans, 0.76% Asians, 0.04% Pacific Islanders, 0.08% Non-Hispanics who reported some other race, 1.47% Non-Hispanics who reported two or more races and 1.44% Hispanics.

Cities and towns[]

Allegany County Urban Areas.jpg

This county contains the following seven incorporated municipalities:

Two cities:

  • Cumberland (incorporated 1815)
  • Frostburg (incorporated 1839)

Five towns:

  • Barton (incorporated 1900)
  • Lonaconing (incorporated 1890)
  • Luke (incorporated 1922)
  • Midland (incorporated 1900)
  • Westernport (incorporated 1858)

Occupying a middle ground between incorporated and unincorporated areas are Special Tax Districts, quasi-municipal unincorporated areas created by legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly.[1] They lack home rule authority and must petition the General Assembly for changes affecting the authority of the district. There are eight Special Tax Districts in the county:

  • Bel Air (1965)
  • Bowling Green and Robert's Place (1972)
  • Cresaptown (1949)
  • Ellerslie (1963)
  • La Vale Sanitary District (1947)
  • McCoole (1965)
  • Mount Savage (1950)
  • Potomac Park Addition (1947)

Unincorporated areas are also considered as towns by many people and listed in many collections of towns, but they lack local government. Various organizations, such as the United States Census Bureau, the United States Postal Service, and local chambers of commerce, define the communities they wish to recognize differently, and since they are not incorporated, their boundaries have no official status outside the organizations in question. The Census Bureau recognizes the following census-designated places in the county:

  • Barrelville
  • Bel Air
  • Bier
  • Bowling Green
  • Bowmans Addition
  • Carlos
  • Clarysville
  • Corriganville
  • Cresaptown
  • Danville
  • Dawson
  • Detmold
  • Eckhart Mines

  • Ellerslie
  • Flintstone
  • Franklin
  • Gilmore
  • Grahamtown
  • Klondike
  • La Vale
  • Little Orleans
  • McCoole
  • Midlothian
  • Moscow
  • Mount Savage

  • National
  • Nikep
  • Ocean
  • Oldtown
  • Pleasant Grove
  • Potomac Park
  • Rawlings
  • Shaft
  • Spring Gap
  • Vale Summit
  • Woodland
  • Zihlman

Other unincorporated areas include:

  • Amcelle
  • Borden Shaft
  • Dickens
  • Evitts Creek
  • George's Creek
  • Loartown
  • McKenzie
  • Narrows Park
  • Pekin
  • Pinto
  • Town Creek

Government and infrastructure[]

The North Branch Correctional Institution, operated by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, is located in unincorporated Allegany County, near Cumberland.[15] The prison began housing male death row inmates, who were moved from the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center, in June 2010.[16] County Government is governed by a 3 member board of County Commissioners

Board of County Commissioners
Position Name Affiliation District
  President Michael W McKay Republican At-Large
  Commissioner Creade Brode Republican At-Large
  Commissioner William R Valentine Republican At-Large
Orphans Court
Position Name Affiliation District
  Chief Judge Mark Widmyer Republican At-Large
  Judge Billie J Gilpin Republican At-Large
  Judge Donna May Republican At-Large
Position Name Affiliation District
  Sheriff Craig Robertson Republican At-Large
Clerk of the Court
Position Name Affiliation District
  Clerk of the Court Dawne D Lindsey Republican At-Large
Register of Wills
Position Name Affiliation District
  Register of Wills Rebecca D Drew Republican At-Large
States Attorney
Position Name Affiliation District
  States Attorney Michael O Twigg Republican At-Large

Colleges and universities[]

  • Frostburg State University
  • Allegany College of Maryland

Notable residents[]

  • Thomas Cresap (c. 1702–c. 1790), frontiersman and militia leader, who founded Oldtown and widened Nemacolin's Trail, which led west from Cumberland.
  • Michael Cresap (1742–1775), born in Allegany County, American Revolutionary War officer.[17]
  • Patrick Hamill (1817–1895), born in Allegany County, United States Congressman from Maryland.[17]
  • Lloyd Lowndes former Governor of Maryland.
  • Lefty Grove (1900–1975), born and raised in Lonaconing; Hall of Fame baseball pitcher with the Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox.
  • William H. Macy (1950–), an Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated American actor, known for his role as Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo. He attended Allegany High School. His mother and brother continue to live in Cumberland, where he is a frequent visitor.
  • Sam Perlozzo, former manager of the Baltimore Orioles (2005–2007).
  • Leo Mazzone, former pitching coach of the Baltimore Orioles and the Atlanta Braves.
  • Casper R. Taylor, Jr., former Speaker of the House in the Maryland House of Delegates.


The following Mountains are in Allegany County:

  • Breakneck Hill (1,872 ft)
  • Collier Mountain (1,460 ft)
  • Dans Mountain (2,898 ft)
  • Evitts Mountain (1,959–2,260 ft.)
  • Martin Mountain (1,974 ft)
  • Nicholas Mountain (1,760 ft)
  • Polish Mountain (1,783 ft)
  • Ragged Mountain (1,740 ft)
  • Town Hill (2,039 ft)
  • Warrior Mountain (2,185 ft)
  • Wills Mountain (1,960+ ft.)
  • Haystack Mountain (1,240+ ft.)
  • Irons Mountain

Mineral Resources[]

The primary mineral resources extracted for use in Allegany County are coal, iron, sandstone, and limestone. Coal bearing formations are concentrated in the Georges Creek Basin in the western part of the county.

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Allegany County, Maryland


  1. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ "welhik". Lenape Talking Dictionary. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  3. ^ "Heckewelder here does not give the strict meaning of hanne. The word in common use among Algonkin [i.e., Algonquian] tribes for river is sipu, and this includes the idea of 'a stream of flowing water'. But in the mountainous parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia sipu did not sufficiently convey the idea of a rapid stream, roaring down mountain gorges, and hanne takes its place to designate not a mere sipu, or flowing river, but a rapid mountain stream." Russell, Erret (1885). "Indian Geographical Names". The Magazine of Western History 2 (1): 53–59. Retrieved on 2011-12-14. 
  4. ^ Alleghany, or as some prefer to write it, Allegheny,—the Algonkin name of the Ohio River, but now restricted to one of its branches,—is probably (Delaware) welhik-hanné or [oo]lik-hanné, 'the best (or, the fairest) river.' Welhik (as Zeisberger wrote it) is the inanimate form of the adjectival, meaning 'best,' 'most beautiful.' In his Vocabulary, Zeisberger gave this synthesis, with slight change of orthography, as "Wulach'neü" [or [oo]lakhanne[oo], as Eliot would have written it,] with the free translation, "a fine River, without Falls." The name was indeed more likely to belong to rivers 'without falls' or other obstruction to the passage of canoes, but its literal meaning is, as its composition shows, "best rapid-stream," or "finest rapid-stream;" "La Belle Riviere" of the French, and the Oue-yo´ or O hee´ yo Gä-hun´-dä, "good river" or "the beautiful river," of the Senecas. For this translation of the name we have very respectable authority,—that of Christian Frederick Post, a Moravian of Pennsylvania, who lived seventeen years with the Muhhekan Indians and was twice married among them, and whose knowledge of the Indian languages enabled him to render important services to the colony, as a negotiator with the Delawares and Shawanese of the Ohio, in the French war. In his "Journal from Philadelphia to the Ohio" in 1758, after mention of the 'Alleghenny' river, he says: "The Ohio, as it is called by the Sennecas. Alleghenny is the name of the same river in the Delaware language. Both words signify the fine or fair river." La Metairie, the notary of La Salle's expedition, "calls the Ohio, the Olighinsipou, or Aleghin; evidently an Algonkin name,"—as Dr. Shea remarks. Heckewelder says that the Delawares "still call the Allegany (Ohio) river, Alligéwi Sipu,"—"the river of the Alligewi" as he chooses to translate it. In one form, we have wulik-hannésipu, 'best rapid-stream long-river;' in the other, wuliké-sipu, 'best long-river.' Heckewelder's derivation of the name, on the authority of a Delaware legend, from the mythic 'Alligewi' or 'Talligewi,'—"a race of Indians said to have once inhabited that country," who, after great battles fought in pre-historic times, were driven from it by the all-conquering Delawares,—is of no value, unless supported by other testimony. Trumbull, J. Hammond (1870). The Composition of Indian Geographical Names. Hartford, Conn.. pp. 13–14. Retrieved 2011-12-14. 
  5. ^ Thomas, James W. and Williams, Thomas J.C. History of Allegany County, Maryland. Baltimore, Md.: Regional Publishing Co., 1969, p. 289.
  6. ^ a b Bentley, Elizabeth Petty. County Courthouse Book. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2009, p. 128.
  7. ^ Bentley, Elizabeth Petty. County Courthouse Book. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2009, p. 129.
  8. ^ Bentley, Elizabeth Petty. County Courthouse Book. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2009, p. 126.
  9. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  14. ^ The last five National Origin figures are taken from the Long Form, which was given to less than 20% of respondents but then extrapolated to the whole. Besides this problem in making a comparison, the long form also limits people to only two stated ancestries, but unlike racial counts, if someone states two ancestries they are counted in both, while in racial counts they are grouped as "some other race."
  15. ^ "North Branch Correctional Institution." North Branch Correctional Institution. Retrieved on September 22, 2010.
  16. ^ Calvert, Scott and Kate Smith. "Death row inmates transferred to W. Maryland." The Baltimore Sun. June 25, 2010. Retrieved on September 22, 2010.
  17. ^ a b Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 

External links[]

Coordinates: 39°38′N 78°41′W / 39.63, -78.69

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Allegany County, Maryland. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.