Lake Effect: Revisting the Genius Mountain Maryland Visit of Albert Einstein — From Allegany Magazine’s January 2022 edition

Allegany Magazine

Many people consider Albert Einstein the smartest man who ever lived. Yet when this man who knew almost everything needed to unwind one warm season during the war, the vacation spot he smartly chose was in the Mountains of Maryland — Deep Creek Lake to be more specific.

Einstein vacationed for two weeks in September 1946 at the lake. He was seeking a place where he could find escape from the unwanted media that wrote about how his theories had led to the creation of the atomic bomb. That giant brain needed a rest. Even people who are considered the smartest of all time get criticized, as it turns out.

And John Steiding – a resident of Midland here in Allegany County invited Einstein to take a vacation at the lake. Steiding was a chemist at the Celanese plant at the time and came to know Einstein through a co-worker’s wife, who was sculpting the great man’s bust.

“Einstein, who wasn’t very tall, found it uncomfortable to pose for the artwork since his feet would not touch the floor. Steiding, being a handyman, made a footstool for Einstein,” according to Francis Tam in an article called “Einstein in Western Maryland.”

Besides being able to relax out of the national spotlight for a while, Einstein was also able to have Dr. Frank Wilson examine him for an aneurysm of the aorta of the abdomen. And this news also could be kept from the prying public eyes – and a news media at the time that was looking for any reason at all to be critical of the man.

Einstein stayed at Dr. Wilson’s lake cottage, named the “Mar-Jo-Lodge” for two weeks. “He took daily walks along the lake, frequently stopping to chat with strangers who had no idea who he was. He was sometimes seen fishing and also bird-watching with binoculars. He never skipped a meal but was a light eater. He drank a lot of water and lemonade; his favorite vegetable was fresh corn-on-the-cob from Garrett County,” Tam wrote.

In particular, Einstein loved sailing, either with friends or alone.

“During one of his many hours spent on the lake with Steiding, Einstein remarked that ‘here you can get nearer to God,’” reported the Cumberland News.

Born in 1879, Einstein was a German theoretical physicist, widely credited to be one of the greatest physicists of all time. He is best known for developing the theory of relativity, but he also made important contributions to the development of the theory of quantum mechanics. Relativity and quantum mechanics are together the two pillars of modern physics. “E = mc2” — which arises from his relativity theory, has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation.” Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.” a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory.

As word began to get out that the great Albert Einstein was vacationiong at Maryland’s “Best Kept Secret,” people began to look for him – hoping to run into the man, chat, take a photo or get an autograph. On these days, when he knew he was being sought after as a celebrity, Einstein sought solace on the water.

“People would realize that he wasn’t around, go searching for him, and find him in Harry Muma’s little sailboat, ‘single-handing,’ on the Turkey Neck inlet,” according to the Garrett County Historical Society’s “Deep Creek Lake, Past and Present.”

During a visit, Steiding’s brother Fred asked Einstein to explain his famous theory of relativity in layman’s terms.

“Put it this way,” reportedly said Einstein, “If you sit on a park bench with your sweetheart, an hour seems like a minute. If you sit on a hot stove by mistake, a minute seems like an hour.”

Einstein later said that his vacation at Deep Creek Lake was “one of the most restful and zestful vacations.”

When the vacation ended, Einstein showed himself to be a generous guest, giving Blair Thompson, who had attended him during the vacation, a $50 gratuity, which would equate to more than $1,000 today.

Following the vacation, he was back to work. In October of that year, he wrote that the United Nations should “form a world government that maintained peace under the threat of nuclear devastation,” according to Ze’ev Rosenkranz in “The Einstein Scrapbook.” Einstein also published his papers on his unified field theory in the 1950s.

On April 17 1955, Albert Einstein experienced internal bleeding caused by the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm – the same one that caused him seek refuge in Garrett County nine years before. The condition had also been reinforced surgically by Dr. Rudolph Nissen in 1948. Einstein took the draft of a speech he was preparing for a television appearance commemorating the state of Israel’s seventh anniversary with him to the hospital, but he did not live to complete it.

Einstein refused surgery, saying, “I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share; it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.” And so he did. Einstein died in Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center on April 18, 1955 at the age of 76.

To the world, Einstein’s vacation at Deep Creek Lake remained a secret until a reporter with the Cumberland News interviewed Robbie Steiding – the son of John Stieding – and published the story of the visit in 1979.

Top 14 Deep Creek Lake Winter Activities For Non-Skiers

Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales Blog

t’s a common conundrum – what’s a non-skier to do when friends and family are hitting the slopes at Wisp Resort? Deep Creek Lake winter activities offers lots of options that can keep every member of your crew entertained. It’s a great way to enjoy a weekend getaway near Pittsburgh, Baltimore, or Washington, DC.

Here are just a few of our favorite Deep Creek Lake winter activities for the non-skiers staying at a Deep Creek Lake vacation rental:

Deep Creek Lake winter activities

Hiking at Swallow Falls State Park
Crisp white snow makes this beautiful place even more spectacular, and it’s definitely a must see throughout all four seasons. If you’re up for some serious hiking, explore trails to all three of the waterfalls – Swallow Falls, Muddy Creek Falls, and Tolliver Falls. There is also a handicap accessible trail and view platform at Muddy Creek Falls for those that need an easier route or just want to take a short stroll. Be sure to bring your camera and wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots. Trails can be slippery during the winter months. Get more info.

Simon Pearce Tours
Watch master glassblowers at work, then shop for the beautiful items they make in the retail store. You can also choose from a wide variety of second-quality glass. Located in Mountain Lake Park, it is just a short drive from most Deep Creek Lake vacation rentals. Find out more.

Guided Snowshoe Tours
Weather permitting, All Earth Eco Tours offers another great way to experience Swallow Falls State Park. Their snowshoe tours are a “no experience required” way to cruise through the woods and take in the scenery. For those seeking high adventure, ask about their trips to Big Savage Mountain and Lost Lands.

Sleigh Rides at Deep Creek Lake

Sleigh Rides
One of the classic Deep Creek Lake winter activities, you can take a ride back in time as you swish through open fields and over hills listening to the sound of muffled hoof beats in the snow. Sleigh rides at Pleasant Valley Dream Rides are an ideal way to enjoy the outdoors no matter what your age.

Cold Drinks By a Warm Fire
Get cozy by the fire place at local restaurants like Firewater Kitchen & Bar, Uno Chicago Grill or Dutch’s at Silver Tree, and warm-up with your favorite beverage.

Sled Riding at Blackwater Falls State Park
Within one hour of the Deep Creek Lake area, you’ll find the ultimate sledding hill! Head to Blackwater Falls State Park to ride up on a conveyor, sled to the bottom, and repeat! Bring your own sled or rent one on-site.

Sample Award Winning Cheeses
Stop by Firefly Farms in nearby Accident, to check out their award winning goat cheese and browse their selection of gourmet foods. They can even make you a personalized cheese board to go.

Cross Country Skiing
With minimal instruction, you can kick and glide on cross country ski trails at Herrington Manor State Park and New Germany State Park. Call ahead to check for availability of rental equipment.

Shops & Antiques
Avoid the cold temperatures when you visit area shops and antique stores. Schoolhouse Earth, Bear Creek Traders, A Mountain Fix, and High Mountain Sports are a few of our favorites at the lake. Take a short drive to Oakland to browse antiques at Englander’s or Cabin Fever. While you are there, hit up Flipside Sounds – a vinyl shop in downtown Oakland.

Deep Creek Axe Throwing Co.
Test your skills in the Deep Creek Lake axe throwing arena! This fun indoor activity is suitable for ages 8 and up.

Museum Tours
When visiting Oakland, history buffs should stop at the two museums operated by the Garrett County Historical Society. Return to the past as you explore area treasures, learn about early settlers, and check out Model T Fords. Call for hours of operation.

Snow Tubing & Mountain Coaster Rides
Wisp Resort is well-known for skiing, but they also offer a variety of activities that anyone can enjoy. Reserve a snow tubing session or take a ride on the mountain coaster.

Arcades
Everyone in your group will enjoy playing a wide variety arcade games and snacking on great food at Deep Creek Fun Zone.

Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center
Fun for kids of all ages, the Discovery Center is a one-of-a-kind environmental center with hands-on exhibits that showcase the natural resources of Western Maryland. Open weekends during the winter season.

Maryland property values rise 12 percent

The Garrett County Republican

BALTIMORE — The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation has announced its 2022 reassessment of 704,430 “Group 1” residential and commercial properties.

In Maryland, there are more than 2 million property accounts that are split into three groups, each appraised once every three years. The overall statewide increase for “Group 1” properties was 12% over the past three years according to SDAT.

The overall statewide increase was higher than 2020’s 8.1% increase. This represents an average increase in value of 12.7% for all residential properties and 9.7% for all commercial properties over the three-year period since the last Group 1 reassessment in 2019.

“All 23 counties and Baltimore City experienced an increase in residential property values for the fourth consecutive year, while commercial property values increased in 22 counties and Baltimore City. This is a good indicator that the market remains strong and growth is steady here in Maryland,” SDAT Director Michael Higgs said.

“The department’s real property assessors continue to work hard work to ensure that all of Maryland’s properties are assessed uniformly and fairly. As part of our Tax Credit Awareness Campaign, each reassessment notice includes information about the Homeowners’ and Homestead Tax Credits, which save Marylanders more than $260 million in taxes each year,” he said.

The 2022 assessments for Group 1 properties were based on an evaluation of 74,673 sales that occurred within the group over the last three years. If the reassessment resulted in a property value being adjusted, any increase in value will be phased-in equally over the next three years, while any decrease in value will be fully implemented for the July 1, 2022, tax bill.

For the 2022 reassessment, 93.9% of Group 1 residential properties saw an increase in property value.

The Homeowners’ Tax Credit provides relief for eligible homeowners by setting a limit on the amount of property taxes that are owed based on their income. Residential property owners who complete a one-time application and meet certain eligibility requirements can also receive a Homestead Tax Credit, which limits their principal residence’s taxable assessment from increasing by more than a certain percentage each year regardless of their income level.

To read the full article click here.

Garrett County’s sesquicentennial celebration kicks off

From WV News

OAKLAND, Md. — A kickoff to Garrett County’s sesquicentennial celebration took place last week at the Garrett County Courthouse.

The 150th anniversary commemorates the incorporation of Garrett County on Dec. 4, 1872. It was formed from neighboring Allegany County and was the last county to be created in the state of Maryland.

The event was held as part of the Board of Garrett County Commissioners public meeting Dec. 6.

The program included a proclamation by the commissioners and special guest speakers Robert Boal of the Garrett County Historical Society and Albert Feldstein, a local historian.

“This is going to take obviously a year to celebrate, so everyone that has had a hand in everything that is going on thus far and moving forward, we appreciate it,” Commissioner Paul Edwards said before reading the proclamation to kick off the year of celebration.

“I am honored to speak on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the county I love and have stayed in for 61 years,” Boal said.

He noted that as far as the creation of Garrett County goes, very little was done before the Civil War.

“There were rumblings of discontent up here in the mountains that we didn’t have enough representation. We were sort of the weak sister, but no movement ever occurred,” Boal said. “With the end of the Civil War, that changed.”

He stated that the region began to boom with the arrival of the B&O Railroad in the 1850s, with agriculture, timber and coal.

“Garrett County felt our wealth and our resources were being taken out of here and we should have more control over all of this,” Boal said.

He mentioned several key players and developers who started the movement.

“It caught on slowly because this was a very remote area,” Boal said. “The awakening in GC started about 1870, and some very powerful locals picked up on it. These men lit the spark that brought the fire.”

He noted that the group started having community barbecues where they met, shared a meal and talked about what this area should be. It turned into a movement that was very strong.

In April 1872, the General Assembly passed a bill to allow for an election, which took place on Nov. 4, 1872. Dec. 4, 1872, was the date set for the county to become the newest in the state.

Feldstein stated that the reasons listed on the petition for creation of a new county included the substantial distance from far Western Maryland to the existing county seat in Cumberland, greater representation in the state’s General Assembly, greater opportunities for local tax revenue and more appropriate expenditures of public funds.

Two possible names were proposed for the county: Garrett and Glade.

He noted that the new county was established by the Maryland State Legislature on April 1, 1872, but it was a requirement that it be left up to the voters.

The vote on Nov. 4 resulted in 1,297 in favor of a new county and 405 opposed.

“Congratulations to Garrett County, and we should all look this good after 150 years,” Feldstein said.

To read the full article click here.

Garrett had only growth in Maryland tourism during pandemic

The Garrett County Republican

McHENRY — While Garrett County has experienced a boom in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, the rest of Maryland is struggling to recover.

While the state’s tourism industry as a whole experienced a 64% decline during the pandemic, Garrett County actually posted a 36% increase from pre-pandemic levels, according to Liz Fitzsimmons, managing director of the Office of Tourism for the Department of Commerce.

“Garrett County was the anomaly,” Fitzsimmons said. “The only region, the only county that was able to do this.”

In 27 years with the Office of Tourism, Fitzsimmons said the Office of Tourism never had to go before any group and say that there were decreases. That changed in 2020, when the industry was dealt a severe blow.

Sales figures for overnight stays in hotels, motels and rental units are key indicators of the state of tourism, she said, as those visitors spend money in other areas, such as food, entertainment, recreational activities and retail items.

For the category of hotels, motels, apartments and cottages, sales figures for the 2021 fiscal year totaled $56.05 million — a 56% drop from pre-pandemic 2019’s $128.6 million. For hotels and motels selling food, the results were even worse: from $35.4 million in 2019 to $10.7 million in 2021. That constitutes a 69.7% drop.

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual tourism update Tuesday morning at its Business Before Hours meeting, hearing from state officials just how hard the pandemic hit Maryland recreation.

“I last attended this meeting two years ago,” said Tom Riford, assistant secretary of the Department of Commerce’s Division of Tourism, Film & the Arts. “What a different world it was two years ago to today. Just totally, totally different.”

Riford said tourism is the fourth-largest industry in the state, employing people, providing tax revenue and helping the quality of life.

“Maryland’s tourism industry was especially hard-hit in March of 2020. And the last 20 months has seen the tourism industry working together to move forward to get to the other side,” he said. “I’m very proud of what was accomplished in this county in 2020, and in 2021. You led the state.”

The Wisp Resort’s ski school in 2021 had its best year since it opened in 1955, he said.

In continuing with the Autumn Glory Festival through the pandemic, Garrett County “has shown many other jurisdictions that it can move forward, and move toward a positive tomorrow,” Riford said.

Garrett County’s accommodation sales would have been even higher, but Gov. Larry Hogan had ordered the closing of hotels and motels at the start of the outbreak. When they were allowed to reopen, rooms and houses throughout the Deep Creek Lake area were rented almost immediately. Many were people who were seeking to leave areas of Maryland and Virginia that were experiencing early rises in COVID-19 cases.

That has spilled over into the Garrett County real estate market, where home sales have been strong for months, with houses now averaging $431,461.

However, those same eager visitors now have other options, Fitzsimmons said, with borders reopening and international travel now possible.

Six of the 10 richest counties in the United States are located in Northern Virginia, she said, and those are the customers that Garrett County needs to continue to attract — even as options such as Europe are now available again.

“They are the people who helped drive these increases,” Fitzsimmons said, encouraging business owners to reach out and continue to develop the relationships they’ve developed with visitors during the pandemic.

Deep Creek Lake Water Levels for the Winter 2021/2022

Garrett County Government

Brookfield Hydroelectric facility has agreed to lower the Deep Creek Lake water levels near the lower end of the “Rule Band” for several month during this winter. The lower rule band lake level for December and January is set at 2,455 feet.The lower lake levels during the winter months will have the following benefits:

  • allow Garrett County Department of Public Works – Public Utilities Division to install pipes for the McHenry to Thayerville water connection project,
  • provide opportunities for lake property owners to conduct maintenance on shoreline stabilization projects,
  • potentially reduce nuisance or invasive submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in shallow habitats by exposing the plants to freezing temperature.

Deep Creek Lake Rule Band for monthly water levelsInformation on the Deep Creek Lake water level “Rule Band” can be found at the following Department of the Environment website: https://mde.maryland.gov/programs/water/water_supply/pages/deepcreeklake.aspxand on the Department of Natural Resources website: https://dnr.maryland.gov/pprp/Pages/DeepCreek/results.aspx

‘State of the Lake’ address announces $2.2 million for dredging

From The Garrett County Republican

McHENRY — During a “State of the Lake” address on Aug. 25, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio announced $2.2 million in additional funding for dredging.

She reported that Gov. Larry Hogan just released the money in new funding for pilot dredging projects in Deep Creek Lake.

“I’m … really pleased to announce today that Gov. Hogan has … committed an additional $2.2 million for the dredging project at Arrowhead Cove, so this is hot off the presses,” Riccio said. “New news today, and again, thanks to the help from our senator and the county and all our partners, pushing the importance of that. So that’s really exciting that we can get that pilot program underway.”

The presentation was organized by the Deep Creek Watershed Foundation. It was intended for homeowners, officials and stakeholders with interest in Deep Creek Lake at Garrett College. Riccio discussed the state’s long-term commitment to water monitoring at the lake, ongoing efforts to prevent and combat aquatic invasive species, and work to protect and expand the lake’s freshwater fisheries.

The secretary commended the partnerships among the state and local stakeholders and elected officials that support these efforts and help advocate for the resources to achieve these goals.

“We’re so happy to take an opportunity to talk about all the great work that’s happening around Deep Creek Lake, not just from our team but also from all the partners that we work with,” Riccio said. “So we’re grateful for the opportunity to be here.”

She reported that monitoring indicates that the lake is healthy, with low nutrient levels at mainstem sites and clear water throughout.

The state continues to follow the comprehensive watershed management plan for Deep Creek Lake, developed in 2015 by DNR and Garrett County to recommend guidelines to protect the popular area, balancing environmental and economic needs.

Riccio provided numerous updates to the activities at Deep Creek Lake, including:

• The State Lakes Protection and Restoration Fund, approved by Gov. Hogan in 2018, provides $1 million a year for three years for state-owned lakes including Deep Creek Lake.

To read the full article click here.

Missing chair returned at Deep Creek Lake

From The Garrett County Republican

DEEP CREEK LAKE — While at Deep Creek Lake last month, the Guyton family had an experience that they feel shows the goodwill of people in the area.

One of the family members looked out the window to see that one of their deck chairs was missing from the dock. The family decided that they should call the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office to report the missing property so they would have a record of it.

Family members were amused when deputies arrived in full uniform to investigate the missing chair.

As they chatted, the family noted that they thought they saw a mirage over the deputy’s shoulders as they observed the missing blue deck chair coming across the lake on a paddleboard pulled by a kayak.

The family staying across the lake had noticed the chair in the woods, partially submerged. They pulled it out of the water and decided to try to locate the owners.

Crawford named sales manager at Taylor-Made

From The Garrett County Republican

McHENRY — Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales has announced that its real estate division has a new leader.

Recently, Terah Crawford was named sales manager. She is also the future broker, and is actively working toward her license.

After the untimely passing of the company’s former Broker, Bob Carney, Crawford stepped in to fill this role. For the past six years, she has been a sales agent serving the Deep Creek Lake area.

She has a background in real estate, marketing and graphic design.

“Having been a member of the Taylor-Made sales team since 2018, I’ve been part of some incredible things that this group has achieved under the leadership of Bob Carney,” Crawford said. “Working alongside him daily, I learned more than I could have possibly anticipated. I will carry those lessons with me as I begin the journey of leading the sales team as authentically as he did.”

In April, Deep Creek Lake was recognized by the National Association of Realtors as one of the top 10 locations for vacation home sales. In the past 12 months, Taylor-Made’s roster of more than 25 agents produced sales volume exceeding $219 million.

Their success can, in part, be attributed to their “one stop shop” service. Sellers can expect not only a dedicated agent, but they also have access to housekeeping, lawn care, maintenance, and marketing professionals that will keep their home showing ready. Real estate services are complemented by the company’s robust vacation rental division that partners with more than 450 second homeowners.

To read the full article click here.

Pirates make MLB Draft special for Bethel Park’s Justin Meis

From Triblive

Justin Meis knew the Pittsburgh Pirates were interested when they continued to make calls to check in after almost every round late in the second day of the MLB Draft.

Meis was on vacation with nearly two dozen members of his family at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland when he got a call that was different, especially the greeting from Pirates area scout Anthony Wycklendt.

“The first thing he said when I answered the phone was ‘Congratulations!’ ” said Meis (pronounced “mice”). “It was an unbelievable feeling. I turned around gave a thumb’s up to my family. That’s something I’ll never forget.”

Meis, a right-handed pitcher from Bethel Park who is a junior at Eastern Michigan, was thrilled when the Pirates selected him in the 10th round (No. 283 overall) Monday afternoon. The assigned slot value for the pick is $149,500, and Meis said he plans to sign with the Pirates.

“To be honest, I don’t even know if you can put it into words,” Meis said. “It’s been a dream of mine ever since I was growing up. Now that it happened, I don’t even know what to say. It’s pretty cool.”

Getting drafted by his hometown team was the culmination of an unforgettable year for Meis, who had a moment to remember this season against eventual College World Series champion Mississippi State.

The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder went 4-6 with a 4.64 ERA and 1.44 WHIP and led Eastern Michigan with 81 strikeouts and 73 2/3 innings this season. Meis also pitched well in the wooden-bat Cape Cod League, where he was 1-1 with a 2.07 ERA, 17 strikeouts and three walks in 17 1/3 innings over four starts for the Cotuit Kettleers.

To read the full article click here.