Jay Fergusonjay@deepcreekvacations.com301-501-0420

Oakland Embraces the Festive Spirit with Small Town Christmas Delight

Mark your calendars for the enchanting Small Town Christmas celebration in Oakland on December 8th, 9th, and 16th, 2023. Downtown Oakland is set to host an array of delightful, family-friendly activities that capture the essence of the holiday season.

The festivities kick off with a mesmerizing Light Up Night on Friday, December 8th, at the Oakland B&O Museum. The highlight of the evening is a charming Walking Holiday Light Parade, led by none other than Santa Claus himself, commencing from the Town Parking Lot at 5:30 PM. Everyone is welcome to join this festive stroll, culminating at the B&O Museum for the official tree lighting. This year, there’s a delightful new addition – Santa Paws! Dress up your furry companions in holiday-themed attire and let them be part of the parade. Indulge in complimentary cookies and cocoa courtesy of the Order of the Eastern Star, and treat yourself to a special surprise from Santa. The merriment extends to free sleigh rides for all attendees.

Continuing the jubilation on Saturday, December 9th, is Soup N’ Santa from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Numerous nonprofits will be serving up heartwarming soups (donations appreciated), providing an opportunity to mingle with Santa, engage in kids’ activities, enjoy live music, take sleigh rides, explore local shops with exclusive discounts, and much more. Once again, your furry friends are invited to join in the festive atmosphere and have a memorable encounter with Santa.

In tandem with Oakland’s Great Small Town Christmas Event, the House of Hope presents the Bucks for Hope Drive on Saturday, December 9th, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 NN. Show your support for this noble cause by making cash donations on Second Street in downtown Oakland. While cash donations are preferred, non-perishable food items are also accepted. Originating in 1978 by Chuck Nolan, this food drive has garnered over $65,000 in donations and more than 80 pickup loads of food.

On Saturday, December 16th, immerse yourself in the sweetness of the Cocoa Crawl from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, featuring delectable treats as you wrap up your holiday shopping at select downtown businesses.

And don’t miss out on the Lucky Elf promotion, running through Monday, December 19th. With every $25 spent at participating stores in Oakland, you stand a chance to win a variety of enticing local gifts.

For a comprehensive list of Christmas activities and further details, check out the Town of Oakland, MD Facebook page or visit www.oaklandmd.com. Join us in creating lasting memories and spreading holiday cheer throughout Oakland!

County Commissioners Announce December 4, 2023 Public Meeting Agenda

Monday, December 4, 2023
Agenda Session Times are Approximate

Meeting will also be Live Streamed at https://www.facebook.com/garrettcountygovernment/

Agenda Session Times are Approximate

The Board of County Commissioners may close a portion of this public meeting and move into Executive Session to comply with a specific constitutional, statutory, or judicial requirement that may prevent public disclosure about a particular proceeding or matter.

 *To comment on agenda items – please send to comments@garrettcounty.org

3:00        Administrative Session

  • Mr. Null will review a number of administrative and managerial matters under his authority and jurisdiction with the Board of County Commissioners

4:00       Call to Order of Public Session, Invocation, and Pledge of Allegiance

              County Administrator – Additions/Deletions to Public Meeting Agenda

              Approval of Public, Administrative, and Executive Meeting Minutes

4:05       Resolution – USDA – ReConnect Program Grant and Security Agreement – Rt. 135 Broadband


4:10       PUBLIC HEARING – 2014 Garrett County Water and Sewer Plan Amendment

4:20       Public Commentary


Public issues or concerns that are to be presented to the Board of Garrett County Commissioners during any Public Meeting should be scheduled with Carol A. Riley–Alexander, Executive Assistant to the Board of County Commissioners/County Administrator.     

The Board of Garrett County Commissioners next scheduled Public Meeting will be Tuesday, December 19, 2023 at the Garrett County Courthouse beginning at 4:00 PM.

FishMaryland Master Angler Award Presented to Jason Paugh of Garrett County

Jason Paugh, of Red House, officially became the fourth Master Angler awarded under the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ FishMaryland program this month. The highest award in the program recognizes the skill and determination required to catch ten trophy-size fish species in Maryland that all meet the minimum award sizes. 

Paugh reached this milestone award by catching a largemouth bass (21.25 inches), smallmouth bass (20 inches), crappie (16.75 inches), northern pike (47.25 inches), chain pickerel (25.25 inches), rock bass (10.75 inches), yellow perch (14.25 inches), carp (38 inches), bluegill (11 inches), and wild brook trout (12.25 inches). 

“Angler participation in the FishMaryland program has been tremendous since its launch in January 2019,” Maryland DNR Recreational Fishing Outreach Coordinator Erik Zlokovitz said. “FishMaryland showcases the array of freshwater and saltwater species available in Maryland, and we are thrilled for Mr. Paugh to be the fourth angler to receive the program’s highest award. It takes a great deal of talent, drive, and perseverance to earn Master Angler status.”

All but one of these fish were caught in Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, Maryland. Paugh caught the fish on artificial lures. The brook trout was caught in a small tributary of the Savage River system. Paugh is an avid freshwater bass angler, and in 2023, he caught 39 largemouth bass in Deep Creek Lake that met the minimum award size. He fishes primarily with jerkbaits, crankbaits, plastic worms, and small jigs that he designs to use around shoreline structures such as boat docks. The biggest and most surprising catch was the 47.25-inch northern pike, which hit a small jerk bait intended for largemouth bass. 

“I am extremely surprised and excited to learn that this is only the fourth Master Angler award granted in Maryland,” Paugh said.

Paugh has coached high school competitive bass fishing for five years, including four years with his son. The team he coached this year, from Northern Garrett County High School, is one of two teams from Maryland competing in the National High School Bass Fishing Finals Tournament next summer. Paugh has worked as a master electrician for a private company the past eight years, and previously was an electrician in Western Maryland’s coal mining industry for 18 years. 

More information on the award program and how to submit catches is available on the DNR FishMaryland webpage.

Looking Back: President Harding becomes a Vagabond

Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs were friends who enjoyed traveling and camping together in the early 1900s. They called themselves the Vagabonds. However, in 1921 Burroughs died, leaving an empty spot among the group.

Firestone and President Warren G. Harding were longtime friends. Firestone invited the president to join the Vagabonds on their trip. Harding accepted, but he wasn’t able to accompany them on their entire trip. Instead, he said he could join them on July 23 at their campsite near Licking Creek.

“Selection of Harding to take the vacant place in this camping club of distinguished men is considered one of the most unique honors conferred since he became President,” the Frederick News reported.

Harding wouldn’t be able to accompany them on the entire trip, but he would camp with them on July 23, 1921, near Licking Creek. The area in Washington County is now called Camp Harding County Park.

The president left Washington, D.C., at 9:30 a.m. He must have been eager to get away overnight because he averaged 50 mph on the trip there.

“The Secret Service and the many journalists and photographers had difficulty keeping up with the President’s car as it journeyed toward Funkstown,” according to The Model T Times. “He arrived shortly after Ford, Firestone, Edison, and company arrived.”

They arrived at the campsite on Licking Creek around 1 p.m. The group ate lunch in a dining room with a table that had a Lazy Susan and a nine-foot diameter.

After lunch, they spent a casual afternoon. The president took a nap in his tent. Ford and Firestone competed in wood-chopping. Edison lay down under an elm tree and took a nap.

When Harding woke up, he, Ford and Firestone went horseback riding. Harding’s personal secretary, George Christian, and Secret Service agent, Col. Edmund Starling, accompanied them.

“The President then visited a local general store and made a phone call back to the White House to check on the health of his wife,” The Model T Times reported. “While there, he bought candy for several local children gathered at the store.”

Back at camp, they enjoyed a hearty dinner. Music was provided by a player piano powered by a portable electric generator. The Vagabonds stayed up until 2 a.m., talking and telling stories around a campfire.

The following day, the group went horseback riding after breakfast.

After the ride, Bishop Anderson held a Sunday morning worship and memorial service in memory of Burroughs, one of the original Vagabonds.

“Mrs. Firestone played the piano and the congregation sang hymns,” The Model T Times reported. “There were several hundred in attendance, as many local farmers and visitors joined the service. The service concluded with the audience joining President Harding in singing ‘Rock of Ages’ and ‘Nearer My God to Thee.’”

They lunched at the campsite, and Harding and his entourage left around 4 p.m. to return to Washington. It had been a quick getaway for Harding, but the trip was only beginning for the remaining Vagabonds.

for full story Looking Back: President Harding becomes a Vagabond | Local News | times-news.com

Arrowhead Cove Project Updates

What looks like a bridge here is actually a temporary road that allows the heavy equipment to get access to the lake.

▪️The pipes in the photo will pump the remaining water from the cove and the water from the stream around the cofferdam that will be installed soon.

▪️A cofferdam is used to hold water back and allow a dry working area for the duration of the project. It is only temporary and be removed.

▪️The contractor will also use water to fill the cofferdam which is actually a large tube.

Administrative Charging Committee Meeting – Cancellation Notice

The Garrett County Administrative Charging Committee meeting scheduled for Monday, November 27, 2023 has been cancelled due to no cases to be presented.
The next Garrett County Administrative Charging Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 18, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.

The Vagabonds prepare for a camping trip

Sometimes you just need to get away from work. It doesn’t matter if you are a leader of industry or someone who works for such a leader. In 1914, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs discovered they got along well together and enjoyed each other’s company. They started making plans for summer vacations where they would travel around the country in cars built by Ford on tires manufactured by Firestone.

They called themselves the Vagabonds.

Over the following years, they got together to travel along the East Coast and into the Midwest. These included New England, West Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia, Massachusetts and Maryland. They seemed to favor mountain setting like the Catskills and Adirondacks.

They weren’t roughing it on these trips by any stretch of the imagination.

According to The Henry Ford Foundation, “The 1919 trip involved fifty vehicles, including two designed by Ford: a kitchen camping car with a gasoline stove and built-in icebox presided over by a cook and a heavy touring car mounted on a truck chassis with compartments for tents, cots, chairs, electric lights, etc. On later trips, there was a huge, folding round table equipped with a lazy susan that seated twenty.” for full story The Vagabonds prepare for a camping trip | Local News | times-news.com

Brookfield to Lower Deep Creek Lake Water Levels

Brookfield Renewable U.S., as a cooperating and valued partner in the Arrowhead Cove dredging project, will begin lowering the water levels of Deep Creek Lake. The water will be released beginning later this week with a goal of reaching an elevation of 2456.5’ by November 17.

“Note this lake level is lower than the typical level but will not impact remaining activities in Deep Creek Lake,” said Watershed Coordinator Bruce Michael.

The water level of 2456.5’ is still within the permit requirements of the upper (2458’) and lower (2455’) rule band limits at the end of November. The water levels will be at this elevation until no later than December 15 when Brookfield will more than likely raise the water levels to the upper rule band of 2458’.

As previously announced, Arrowhead Cove, at Deep Creek Lake, is selected as a priority area for a pilot dredging project to remove accumulated sediment from the lakebed.

Site preparation is underway, and the public is likely seeing activity around the Arrowhead Cove area.

Brookfield Renewable U.S. has a permit to release water from Deep Creek Lake through the hydroelectric dam. Lowering the lake level at this time will help facilitate the dewatering of Arrowhead Cove and the installation of the cofferdam.

Byco Enterprises, Inc., the contractor, anticipates cofferdam installation will begin the week of November 20. Complete dewatering of Arrowhead Cove will take place through the last week of November.

For more information about the dredging project at Arrowhead Cove, including project updates and community engagement opportunities, please visit ArrowheadCove.GarrettCounty.org.

Please contact Bruce Michael, Garrett County Watershed Coordinator, at bmichael@garrettcounty.org or 410-570-4554 for questions or more information.

Here are 5 wintertime adventures for the entire family in Maryland and beyond

During the most wonderful time of the year, winter jaunts are growing in popularity. Families, friends and solo travelers alike, are packing their bags and jingling all the way to merry locales for the holidays.

“Destinations across the Mid-Atlantic have experienced a travel trend over the last 20 years that has seen the industry grow during both the holiday and winter travel seasons,” said Morgan Christopher, board chair of the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance, which encompasses Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.

“December through March are no longer the months when we hunker down and bundle up,” he said. “Travel has become a traditional part of the celebration.”

Think of winter travel as a holiday present waiting to be unwrapped. In Maryland and its nearby neighbors, consider charming small towns, an amusement park stay or even a wintry beach vacation. We’ve made a list of places — and like Santa, checked it twice.

Deep Creek Lake

Garrett County, Maryland

For holiday adventures in the great outdoors, head to Western Maryland’s picturesque Garrett County. Its scenic tableau of mountains, lakes and rivers, and waterfalls, feel like a gift from Mother Nature.

Winter here brings horse-drawn sleigh rides, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. At Deep Creek Lake, a 3,900-acre human-made marvel, there’s ice fishing and the gigantic 1,800-acre Deep Creek Lake State Park. Its year-round complex offers 20 miles of trails worthy of a holiday hike.

“Swallow Falls State Park is also beautiful in the winter,” said Sarah Duck, vice president of tourism and marketing for the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. Muddy Creek Falls, the state’s tallest free-falling waterfall, is worth seeing whether “it’s frozen or just surrounded by snow.”

The county will host a flurry of regional holiday celebrations, among them, “A Great Small Town Christmas” in downtown Oakland on Dec. 1-2, with a tree lighting ceremony, music, and a stopover by Old St. Nick.

That same weekend at Spruce Forest Artisan Village in Grantsville, meet artisans in their log-cabin studios as they create: bird carving, basket making, hand-loom weaving, hand-thrown pottery, stained glass art, and hand-forged iron. The village’s historic museums will be open, and there will be fun activities for children during the free event.

For holiday lodging, consider the WISP Resort which offers everything from skiing and snowboarding to a Mountain Coaster with glorious views.

for more information visit Travel for the holidays: Here are 5 wintertime adventures for the entire family in Maryland and beyond (baltimoresun.com)

November Maryland Fishing Report

Trout anglers continue to enjoy good fishing in many put and take trout management waters this week and some of the catch-and-release designated waters. The trout will spread out as time goes by, so anglers can benefit from exploring areas away from the sites that were stocked this month. Using small lures in the form of spoons, spinners, and flies is a great way to cover a lot of water when looking for that trout that has found a spot to its liking. 

Trout stocking is expected to resume around New Year’s. “Pre-season” stocking will be announced and more information can be found on the trout stocking website

Anglers are enjoying good fishing for a mix of species at Deep Creek Lake this week. Cooler water temperatures have spurred smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, and northern pike to feed more aggressively. Fishing for smallmouth bass on the upper Potomac is also good due to cooler water temperatures.

Largemouth bass are perhaps one of the most popular freshwater fish pursued by anglers and fishing for them this week is providing excellent opportunities. Cooler water temperatures and less hot sun has the largemouth bass out roaming and feeding throughout most of the day. A wide variety of lures can be used but lures that imitate crayfish and small baitfish will top the list. Small crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, craw jigs, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, and jerkbaits are all good choices when covering open water or near diminishing grass beds. Wacky rigged stick worms are always a good choice when fishing near structure.

Northern snakeheads are seeing their coveted thick grass beds decline and can now often be found near  shoreline brush or treetops that have fallen into the water. Sunny shorelines where the water will be slightly warmer is a good place to target. White paddletails and chatterbaits rigged with soft white plastics are two of the best lures to use. If you’re fishing from a boat and casting to shoreline structure, dead sticking a large minnow under a bobber in open waters can reap rewards.

for full report Maryland Fishing Report – November 1