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Cumberland's skyline
Photograph from NPS C&O Canal handbook

The National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places and the City of Cumberland, Maryland, proudly invite you to explore All Aboard For Cumberland. Cumberland is located in mountainous Allegany County, Maryland, at the base of converging mountain ridges at the confluence of Wills Creek and the Potomac River. Established in 1787, the city conforms in its layout to the rugged topography within which it is situated. George Washington truly did sleep here--his headquarters during the French and Indian War were located at Fort Cumberland. The fort, and later the city, took its name from the Duke of Cumberland, son of King George II of Great Britain. Known as the "Gateway to the West," Cumberland gained prominence during the 19th century as a major transportation center and as an important economic focus for the region. The city was the site of the first National Road, the western terminus of the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal, and a center for the railroad industry. This National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary explores Cumberland's past through 27 historic places listed in the National Register that reflect over two centuries of history.

Historic view of downtown Cumberland, Baltimore St., circa 1894
Photograph from the Herman and Stacia Miller Photo Collection, courtesy of the City of Cumberland

This itinerary focuses on the variety of buildings that tell the stories of Cumberland's economic and residential growth, social community, and civic development. A portion of Cumberland near the terminus of the C&O Canal has been recognized as the State of Maryland's first Certified Heritage Area. Known as Canal Place, the city is witnessing the restoration and eventual re-watering of a portion of the canal. The Preservation and Development Authority for this project is located in the historic Western Maryland Railway Station. The impressive collection of architecture from the mid-19th century to the early-20th century in the Downtown Cumberland Historic District reflects the city's prosperity and growth during that period. Individual buildings within the district such as the Fort Cumberland Hotel, Second National Bank, and Rosenbaum's Department Store reflect the variety of businesses that comprised the downtown commercial area. Cumberland also boasts many impressive houses from this period, in the Washington Street Historic District and in individual examples such as the George Truog House. Cumberland's landscape is dotted with many church spires, such as that belonging to Emanuel Episcopal Church, but the skyline is dominated by the Allegany County Courthouse, one of the many buildings that reflects the city's civic history. Through on-going preservation efforts in the Canal Place Preservation District and beyond, the rich history and architecture of the "Queen City" will be maintained for future generations.

Cumberland as represented in a 1906 map by Thaddeus M Fowler
Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, G3844.C9A3 1906 .F6
All Aboard For Cumberland offers numerous ways to discover the historic properties that played important roles in Cumberland's past. Each property features a brief description of the site's significance, color and historic photographs, and public accessibility information. At the bottom of each page, the visitor will also find a navigation bar containing links to four essays that explain more about Transportation, The C&O and B&O, Cumberland's History, and Preservation. These essays provide historical background, or "contexts," for many of the sites included in the itinerary. The itinerary can be viewed online, or printed out if you plan to visit Cumberland in person.

Created through a partnership between the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places, the City of Cumberland, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO), and the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC), All Aboard For Cumberland is the fourth example of a new and exciting cooperative project. As part of the Department of the Interior's strategy to revitalize communities by promoting public awareness of history and encouraging tourists to visit historic places throughout the nation, the National Register of Historic Places is cooperating with communities, regions and Heritage Areas throughout the United States to create online travel itineraries. Using places listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the itineraries help potential visitors plan their next trip by highlighting the amazing diversity of this country's historic places and supplying accessibility information for each featured site. In the Learn More section, the itineraries link to regional and local web sites that provide visitors with further information regarding cultural events, special activities, and lodging and dining possibilities.

Cumberland is the fourth of more than 30 communities and regions working directly with the National Register of Historic Places to create travel itineraries. Additional itineraries will debut online in the future. The National Register of Historic Places and the City of Cumberland hope you enjoy this virtual travel itinerary of the city's historic resources. If you have any comments or questions, please just click on the provided e-mail address, "comments or questions" located at the bottom of each page.

Preservation in Cumberland Cumberland Architects The C&O canal and B&O Railroad Cumberland History

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