Oakland B&O Museum in need of volunteers

The Garrett County Republican

OAKLAND — The Oakland B&O Museum is ready for the summer, but the lack of volunteers is preventing it from being operated on regular hours.

Oakland Councilman Terry Helbig, who is also chairman of the museum’s committee, said at Monday’s meeting that the historic railroad station needs people to donate time toward keeping the museum open.

Helbig said the regular roster of volunteers consists mostly of senior citizens, some of whom have health issues — and they are in the high-risk category for COVID-19. Because of that, they have been reluctant to return to the station, which had delayed reopening until permitted by Gov. Larry Hogan’s recovery plans.

Helbig himself manned the station over the weekend, hosting a couple dozen visitors.

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>Groundbreaking set for gas line

>(Source: The Dominion Post (Morgantown, W.Va.))By Michelle Wolford, The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va.
Feb. 23–KINGWOOD — A groundbreaking is set for a gas-gathering line proposed nearly a year ago.

Ken Magyar, director of business development for Superior Appalachian Pipeline Co., told Preston County Commissioners on Tuesday that a ceremony is planned for 11 a.m. March 1 to kick off the project. Those attending are to park at the VFW Post on W.Va. 26 in Bruceton Mills.

“We will not start work until the back half or later in March,” he said. The 16-mile pipeline, which begins on Coal Lick Road about 2 miles north of Albright, will connect with a Columbia Gas transmission line in Pennsylvania. The underground line will collect gas from area wells and transport it to Pennsylvania…

…Also Tuesday, commissioners:

Agreed to provide a letter of support for Tom McKee who is developing a portfolio for his plan to construct a vintage motorsport park and museum in Terra Alta. McKee said the complex would incorporate historical exhibits with vintage motorsport events, including motorcycles, cars and planes and take advantage of tourism efforts already under way at Deep Creek Lake, Md., Canaan Valley, Alpine Lake and Nemacolin Woodlands in Pennsylvania.

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Transportation museum to feature history of movement


Photo by Jay Ferguson

Exhibits to include 1927 Oakland fire truck, county’s first Flying Scot sailboat

Megan Miller Cumberland Times-News

Oakland — OAKLAND — Museum goers in Garrett County will soon have the chance see everything from the county’s first snowmobile to an actual surrey with a fringe on top.

The Garrett County Historical Society and Museum plans to break ground this week on a new Museum of Transportation. The facility, to cost over $1 million, will house unique items and artifacts from the county’s long history of movement on land, water and even in the air.

“In the beginning, we only had three or four vehicles, but once we made the announcement, offers started coming in,” said Robert Boal, president of the historical society.

Now the fleet includes the omnibus carriage used to carry wealthy visitors from the train station to the luxurious Deer Park Hotel; Oakland’s first fire truck, a 1927 LaFrance known as Engine No. 1; and the county’s first snowmobile, a 1964 machine that cost $1,000 and was so expensive at the time that the dealer couldn’t sell it.

But the crowning jewel and center of a new exhibit on the history of Deep Creek Lake is the first Flying Scot sailboat ever manufactured in the county, dating back to 1957.

The boat — officially No. 4, because three prototypes were made — had traveled all the way to Chicago, where it spent 42 years before it was located and recovered for the museum.

The collection also includes a surrey donated by the Naylor family and originally sold in Oakland from Naylor’s Hardware.

The same Naylor family made the new museum possible. Though the historical society is responsible for furnishings and displays, Boal explained, the building itself is being funded by the Howard and Audrey Naylor Trust, through funds administered by the Cumberland-based Community Trust Foundation.

The Naylors lived in Garrett County until 1961, and the trust supports history and education projects in the Appalachian region.

“Above all, they wanted their gift to stress education,” Boal said.

The facility will also include a media room, where lectures and group sessions can be held, he said.

The new museum, to be built by Gnegy Construction, will be located along the north side of Liberty Street in Oakland, beside the existing museum. The original museum will also remain open and houses exhibits of general county history.

Construction on the new museum should be completed within a year, Boal said.

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Local legislators to ask for $600,000 for museum

Local legislators to ask for $600,000 for museum

Kevin Spradlin
Cumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND — A request for a $600,000 bond bill to support the Allegany Museum moved forward Tuesday when the District 1 legislative delegation to Annapolis voted to introduce the bill this session.

Sen. George Edwards said it depends on how much, if any, money for bond bills is in Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposed budget, which was set to be released the same day Gary Bartik, museum president, and Joe Weaver, vice president, met with the delegation in Edwards’ capital city office.

The discussion centered around the museum’s request for funding that would be used to help renovate the first two floors of the former district courthouse at 3 Pershing St. Cas Taylor also attended the meeting as a lobbyist for the museum.

Edwards scheduled the meeting after the Allegany County commissioners made the bond bill request in November on behalf of the museum’s board of directors. Edwards said the delegation needed “more specifics on what you want to do with the $600,000 you’re asking for.”

“We don’t know yet if there’s going to be any bond money,” Edwards said, but local lawmakers need to have details of the project if the request moves forward into hearings in the Senate and House of Delegates.

Bartik highlighted the impact on local restaurants and other businesses by noting the museum gets approximately 57 percent of its 8,000 annual visitors from out of the area. Further, the museum has attracted visitors from 46 states and 31 countries.

“I try to frequent the downtown mall” often, said Delegate LeRoy Myers of the Queen City’s commercial center. “You know the thing I’ve noticed about downtown on Friday nights? You don’t know the people. You know why? They’re coming from somewhere else.”

Bartik and Weaver spoke of a planned partnership between the museum, downtown Cumberland and the Canal Place Heritage Area. Bartik said the museum is the first major private-sector entity to invest in Canal Place.

“Tourism is a regional business,” Weaver said. “All of us have to cooperate.”

The two officers talked of a new partnership with the Garrett County Historical Society and Museum and an attempt to form a joint Western Maryland Museum Association. It’s possible to include Washington County if museum representatives there are interested, Bartik said.

The Allegany Museum re-ceived a total of $275,000 in bond bills in the previous two legislative sessions. The estimated $7.4 million renovation and restoration project could require up to $3 million of state funding. Weaver said further investment by the state makes sense.

“If you want to attract visitors, you have to have attractions,” Weaver said. “I think this is just as legitimate an expense of public funds as roads, bridges and industrial parks. We are, in a sense, a part of your industrial park. We’re just a different industry.”

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