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Famous Travelers: Edison, Ford, Firestone:The Vagabonds Camp at Muddy Creek Falls

By Francis Champ Zumbrun

“…we should be using nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy – sun, wind, and tide… I’d put my money on sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. I wish I had more years left!” – Thomas Edison (circa 1931) 

Note: This is the fifth in a series of articles covering a time in the summer of 1921, when Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone camped for two weeks in western Maryland. This article finds the vagabonds, a term the wealthy captains of industry called themselves when camping together, at “Camp Harding” along Licking Creek, about 6 miles east of Hancock, in Washington County, where they stayed from July 21 to July 27. From here they traveled to present day Swallow Falls State Park where they camped from July 27 to July 31.

Photo of Muddy Creek Falls courtesy of Roy Musselwhite.

On the afternoon of July 27, 1921, crowds of people, getting word that the vagabonds were in the area, started gathering along the streets of Oakland, Maryland, hoping to get a glimpse of the world famous men. The vagabonds sometimes caused a commotion when they arrived in a small town. One unknowing observer described the scene as the vagabonds entered Oakland as something like a circus coming to town.

Read More Here:  http://dnr.maryland.gov/feature_stories/FamousTravelersPart5.asp