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George Truog House
Photograph by Kathleen McKenney, courtesy of the City of Cumberland

Foyer of George Truog House, 1985
NPS Photograph

The numerous glass etchings of the George Truog House reflect the skilled trade of its owner, while the building itself is the work of locally prominent architect Wright Butler. George Truog, the successful proprietor of the Maryland Glass Etching Works from 1893 to 1911, contracted Butler to remodel this house for him in 1903. Truog was born in Verona, Italy, in 1861, attended art schools in Switzerland, and emigrated to the United States in 1883. He worked for several glass manufacturing companies before opening his Maryland Glass Etching Works in 1893. Truog claimed his business was the only factory of its kind in the country, as it specialized in etching and engraving designs and trademarks on glassware for advertising purposes. Decorative glass barware with the logos and trademarks of brewers, distillers, and hotels was shipped throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, South America and the Antilles.

At the height of Truog's career, he purchased the simple late 19th-century house then at this site and hired Butler to execute a thorough and lavish remodeling, at the cost of $40,000. The expensive additions, including a ballroom with a pool table that converted into an upholstered sofa and an elaborate self-contained water system, may have contributed to Truog's financial difficulties, which forced him to sell the house in 1909 and dissolve his business in 1911. Truog's skills are exhibited in the windows, transoms, panels and mirrors of his home, which were variously etched, chipped, engraved, beveled, stained, leaded, colored and painted. Butler's eclectic design for the house features a recessed entrance with an arcade of Gothic arches, polygonal corner bay windows on the second floor, and roof cresting. The interior is highly ornate with mural paintings, molded ceiling ornament, a broad triple-run stairwell, and mosaic and Delft tile fireplace surrounds. For several decades the Truog house was used as a funeral parlor, but was most recently purchased by private owners who are in the process of restoring the house as a residence.

The George Truog House is located at 230 Baltimore Ave. As a private residence, it is not open to the public on a regular basis. However, private tours can be arranged with the owners by contacting Chuck Manto at 410-991-1469 or 301-777-3069.

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