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OAKLAND — An Oakland native who passed away in November at the age of 100 was once involved in a World War II flight that may have inspired the song “Comin’ in on a Wing and a Prayer.”
J.C. O’Donnell was a 22-year-old Army lieutenant when he flew a twin-engine warplane, a B-26 Marauder, in an intense dogfight in New Guinea on May 28, 1942.
He ended up flying the plane on one engine for four hours, arriving late back to the airstrip at Port Moresby.
News accounts stated that several planes flew over the mountains in New Guinea, and the Americans ended up under attack by more than a dozen Japanese Zero fighter planes.
The battle lasted 35 minutes, and the Marauder’s right engine was destroyed in machine gun fire. The tail was also hit and the fuselage acquired large holes.
O’Donnell took a long route home and was chased by the Japanese planes for about an hour. By the time he got the plane and his crew of six back to the airstrip, it had been declared missing.
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In September of 1946, Deep Creek Lake received a very special visitor:
At this point in time, Einstein had created the basis for the atomic bomb (that he did not want to be used to hurt anyone) and the bombs had landed in Japan. He was quoted as saying, “The war was won but peace was not.” In such a hard time in his life, where did Einstein choose to find that peace?
That’s right, Deep Creek Lake.
Einstein stayed with a local doctor who was treating him- Dr. Tom Wilson. Throughout his two week vacation, the famous scientist was seen walking his dog, fishing, bird watching, and sailing. With such a heavy heart and mind, Einstein was able to acquire some comfort here at Deep Creek.
A man, Blair Thompson, was hired to assist Einstein during his vacation. Einstein gave the man an envelope with $50 inside and his signature in the corner. Thompson planned on keeping the envelope as a heirloom but unfortunately he lost it and it was never found.
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Located 8 miles south of Deep Creek Lake lies Mountain Lake Park, Maryland. Similar to other neighboring towns, Mountain Lake Park was a popular resort area from the late 1800’s to the 1940’s. A “Chautauqua” style town, Mountain Lake Park stressed the importance of education as well as recreation. Over the years, thousands of visitors have traveled through Mountain Lake Park, such as President William Howard Taft and Mark Twain.
Today, the town is filled with Victorian style homes representing the times gone by and over 2,000 residents. It is still a source of recreation, since it neighbors Broadford Lake. When is the best time to visit Mountain Lake Park? The Western Maryland Clay Court Tennis Championships in August! The town has been hosting this event for the past 94 years. For more information about Mountain Lake Park, please visit http://mtnlakepark.org/.
Located about 5 miles south of Deep Creek Lake, Deer Park, Maryland is known for a historic resort hotel that once stood there. A small train town, Deer Park was a booming industry in the late 1800’s. The B & O Railroad dropped off many prestigious guests at the Deer Park Hotel for a fun, relaxing weekend in Mountain Maryland. In fact, President Grover Cleveland honeymooned here in 1886. The Deer Park Hotel is long gone, however, The Deer Park Inn Bed and Breakfast still offers an elegant French cuisine.
With a population just over 400 residents, Deer Park is once again ready for growth. With new sewer and water lines, the town is planning new construction projects and restoring historic buildings. For more information, please visit http://www.visitdeepcreek.com/pages/SouthernGarrettCounty.
FUN FACT: You know Deer Park Natural Spring Water? Yes, this is the same Deer Park! The popular bottled water comes from springs right here in Deer Park, Maryland.
(AP) -Gov. Larry Hogan is announcing the reopening of tourist welcome centers in far western Maryland and the Eastern Shore that the previous administration closed six years ago for budget reasons.
Hogan said in a statement Thursday that the Youghiogheny (yahk-ih-GAY’-nee) Overlook center in Garrett County and the Bay Country center in Queen Anne’s County will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays.
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