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.

In Netflix’s ‘Wormwood’, the CIA Murders Frank Olson With LSD in Deep Creek Lake

Shortly after, Olson attended a work retreat in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, where CIA officials, including the head of MK-Ultra, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, were in attendance. In 1975, the American public discovered that MK-Ultra was a secret CIA project that, between 1953 and 1964, conducted unethical experiments on unknowing subjects with the goal of achieving mind-control. Many of these tests included administering LSD on unsuspecting civilians, which the CIA later acknowledged, “made little scientific sense.”

It was in Deep Creek Lake that Olson became one of the unsuspecting victims of MK-Ultra. There, CIA agents secretly slipped LSD into his drink, as a scene inWormwood’s trailer shows. Olson was told, 20 minutes after the fact, that his drink had been laced, and then he left the retreat in an agitated state. On November 24, he told a colleague and his wife that he planned to resign. But before that could happen, the CIA forced him to attend a “psychiatric evaluation”four days later. On November 28, he was found on the sidewalk after emerging from the window of the Statler Hotel in New York City.

For more information about the new series click here

Maryland Heritage Area Grants to Boost Cultural Heritage Tourism in Garrett County: Projects Receive Funds from Maryland Historical Trust Heritage Program

Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA), a state heritage organization, awarded 50 matching grants totaling nearly $2.7 million to Maryland nonprofit organizations, local jurisdictions and tourism groups. The grants fund historic preservation, natural resource protection and educational programs in 13 state-designated Heritage Areas. By supporting capital projects and educational activities, the grants spawn renewed interest in Maryland culture from residents and visitors, boosting tourism-related jobs.
Three grant applications submitted by The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area received funds. Jen Durben, Heritage Area & Groups Director said, “We had diverse applications from throughout our heritage area this year and we are excited to have three projects awarded in another round of very tough competition. More than 100 applications were submitted totaling over $5.6 million in requested funds. Garrett County received a total of $195,000 of the $2.7 million awarded. These grants will allow the recipients to create new resources and expand awareness of heritage here in Garrett County.”

Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is the official Management Entity for the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area and provides the 1 to 1 match for the Management Grant. The Garrett County Heritage Area & Groups Director administers the Heritage Area Program and works with stakeholders by offering technical and grant assistance for heritage related initiatives that preserve valuable heritage resources and enhance tourism in the County.

Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area projects funded were:
· Highland Festival of Garrett County, Maryland, Inc. (Garrett County Celtic Festival) ($5,000) – PILOT Chautauqua Event: Celtic Roots
· Mayor and Town Council of Oakland, Maryland ($90,000) – Pedestrian Gateway
· Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area ($100,000) – Management Grant for management services of the certified heritage area with a goal to promote heritage tourism.

The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area is a program of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce which supports heritage tourism in Garrett County through technical assistance and grant opportunities with a focus on heritage related initiatives that preserve valuable heritage resources and enhance tourism in the County. As a state certified heritage area, effort is made to create public and private partnerships to preserve historical, cultural and natural resources focusing on under-utilized resources fostering a greater sense of community pride.

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is the largest professional business association in the region with 600 members representing every industry in the community. The mission of the Chamber is to organize, support and represent Garrett County’s business community in advancing common interests and additionally to promote Garrett County’s hospitality and recreation industry by attracting visitors to the county through comprehensive marketing. The Garrett County Chamber also serves as the Destination Marketing Organization and Heritage Area Management entity for the County.

For more information click here 

Wisp Resort- a Flashback to Snowier Weekends

With the Wisp Resort opening this weekend, we decided to celebrate with some flashbacks to snowier winters.

First, let’s take a look at this old school video of Wisp Resort.

And some photos…

 

Now lets take a look at how much fun we’ll be having this weekend…

Can’t wait to have a great weekend!

See you on the slopes!

#ThrowbackThursday: Garrett County Resorts

 

Garrett County, Maryland has been a tourist destination for over a hundred years!

Check out these crazy cool historic resorts that used to stand in these very mountains!

loch lynn heights hotel

dpkhot

 

Garrett County B-52 crash to be commemorated

For the Cumberland Times-News

Cumberland Times-News

GRANTSVILLE — A B-52 bomber with a crew of five and two thermonuclear bombs crashed in a snow storm on Big Savage Mountain, near Grantsville, Garrett County, on January 13, 1964.

The result was a massive search for the location of the plane, and for the crew, four of whom had ejected from the plane.

The military was heavily involved in the search and rescue, but the people of Garrett and Allegany Counties in Maryland and Somerset County, Pennsylvania joined in to walk through deep snow looking for parachutes, plough the roads for the search personnel to travel more easily, run telephone line and feed the large number of people participating.

A collection of news stories is now online at digital.whilbr.org, the history website of Western Maryland Regional Library.

There are stories published at the time by the Cumberland newspapers, the Cumberland Evening Times, Cumberland News, Cumberland Sunday Times and later the Cumberland Times-News, together with The Republican from Oakland, Garrett County.

Both towns also reported on all commemorative events. In addition there are several in-depth articles about the events, bringing the perspective of time to the story.

The website allows one to see how the events of that very cold and eventful January were reported at the time, with the concern for human lives but also the initial fear of the potential nuclear threat that the bombs posed. One can read the stories chronologically, using the browse feature or search for an individual.

The crash of the B-52 will be commemorated Saturday, July 12, 2014 in Grantsville.

The stories are available at http://digital.whilbr.org or from the Allegany County Library System’s website  http://www.alleganycountylibrary.info <http://www.relib.net>  under “Research.”

The Whilbr website features images of original source documents from the collections of the public libraries, historical societies, and individuals in Western Maryland.  Its purpose is to display Western Maryland-related historical documents, images, audio, and video.

Western Maryland Regional Library provides support and materials for the continued enhancement of resources available through the Allegany County Library System, the Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County, and the Washington County Free Library System.

More here.