“It’s Just Cooler Here!”
Town of Frostburg MD
Frostburg is a city in Allegany County, Maryland, and is located at the head of the Georges Creek Valley. Frostburg is one of the first cities on the “National Road”, US 40, and the western terminal of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. Nestled in Maryland’s Appalachian highlands, the area rich in its mining, educational heritage is also known for cooler climates and outdoor recreation. Its location provides easy access to Pennsylvania and West Virginia, while the major metropolitan areas of Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore are only a few hours away.
Frostburg, Maryland is a small college town in the Western Maryland Blue Ridge Mountains. Frostburg State University, a four-year graduate and undergraduate public university, is what drives the economy of many Blue Ridge Mountain cities and towns. The university is actually part of Frostburg’s Mountain City Arts and Entertainment District. Frostburg is a Historic Main Street community with many “turn of the century” homes, and is a growing municipality. Frostburg provides six community parks for recreational activities.
History of Frostburg MD
Frostburg was originally called Mount Pleasant until 1820, when the government developed a postal service, and the town was renamed Frostburg, after Meshach Frost.
Frostburg was started back in 1811 when surveying began for the National Pike, a road used to transport crops and raw materials to East Coast markets fro the Midwest plains. President Thomas Jefferson had authorized construction of the road in 1806. Meshach Frost built the first house in present-day Frostburg in 1812 and named it Highland Hall. The site of St. Michael’s Church and Rectory is built on the remnants of Highland Hall. This building was a popular stopping point for celebrities and dignitaries who traveled the National Pike.
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal reached Cumberland a town 8 miles away in 1842 and 1850. Travel at the time on the National Pike saw a steady decline, although travel through Frostburg did not. Frostburg became a coal mining town and was its first major economy of the small rising town. The industry faced transportation problems of the coal in its early years due to the mountains of western Maryland and Frostburg. Not until the completion of the railroads did the coal industry in Frostburg began to flourish. The first major coal producer was Meshech Frost, who owned a significant amount of land for mining and founded the Frostburg Coal Company.
The Mount Savage Railroad was the first to build a rail line to Frostburg in 1852, and it connected to the B&O Railroad in Cumberland, as well as the C&O Canal. The Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad took over the Mount Savage line in 1854, and expanded with the construction of a tunnel under the town of Frostburg, and a rail line southward to Piedmont, West Virginia.
Another major business, the Big Savage Fire Brick Company was the manufacture of fire brick beginning in 1864. The company began utilizing the high-grade fire clays which are found in the area. Big Savage Fire Brick Company is still one of the main suppliers of fire bricks on the East Coast today.
After his presidency, Harry Truman on Father’s Day in 1953, traveled to Frostburg. The Trumans were very kind, signed autographs, and talked with people who recognized them. The Trumans also visited the Princess Restaurant to eat. This is the only family-owned business from the time period that still exists, and it attracts customers with its Truman photographs and the Truman booth, where the Trumans dined.
Frostburg State University
Founded in 1898 by Maryland Governor Lloyd Lowndes, Jr.; the university places primary emphasis on its role as a teaching and learning institution. Major areas of concentration are offered in education, business, science and technology, the creative and performing arts, and selected programs in the humanities and social sciences. Frostburg University offers 44 different undergraduate majors, 17 graduate programs, and a doctorate in educational leadership.
The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
Your adventure begins at the historic Western Maryland Railway Station in the “Queen City” of Cumberland. Enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of your journey behind a vintage steam or diesel engines from the comfort of one of our restored coaches. The train excursion travels west from downtown Cumberland, through a natural cut in the mountains, around a horseshoe curve, over bridges, and through a tunnel. As you glide past scenic ridges, valleys, and small towns, you’ll ascend 1,300 feet in elevation to the “Mountain City” of Frostburg. A narrator will be your guide to the views and history along the way!
Derby Days at Frostburg
During the Fourth of July, the Frostburg Elks host the annual Derby Days on Main Street. This is a fun filled day of soapbox racing and good food and great times. The parade starts at 11:30am and the races takes place from 12pm-3pm For more info call 301-689-6470.