Mt. Savage Historical Society Update Jan. 2008/09 in red
Our historical society has already had an extremely busy year with most of our efforts going toward the restoration of the Union Mining Company building. A great deal of that effort can be attributed to Dennis Lashley who works like the energizer bunny. Most of the building's collection of dirt, assorted mechanical parts, old ceiling, paneling, baseboard heating and other junk too much to describe has been hauled away. Since Jim Dickel began this monumental project three years ago we have come a long way. In the midst of all of this debris we have found a treasure trove of old maps and old documents (particularly up in the attic) dating back to the late 1800's. Going through all of these will in itself be a very time-consuming project. In the meantime we now have wood for framing the windows and doorways on the inside (Most of the framing has been installed around the doors and windows ) and have applied for a grant to fund repairing the soffit and foundation on the outside.( We have decided to wait a while on the Grant for this building ) We also finally have a contractor working on the donated bricks structure in front of the building. ( The Bricks have been installed and are viewable in front of the Union Mining Company Building) Floors in the 3 front rooms along with the hall have been restored.) 2008...a small bathroom has been installed along with a small office space. This office was constructed in the old bathroom. The ceiling in the back to room has been scraped and several coats of paint applied. Our vision for this 5 room building is to have one room featuring the brick industry, one room featuring clay and coal mining, one very large room in the back featuring the railroad industry and the other large room in the back will probably house all of the valuable papers and maps and will be devoted to research. We may also feature rotated displays there. The fifth room in the front of the building will be kept as an office with its beautiful red brick fireplace and will have pictures and tributes to the people who worked there and helped with the building-Herbie Uhl being number one. Additionally, in the large railroad room we plan on having a large table-top relief map of Mt. Savage in 1901. This will be based on a 1901 map we found of Mt. Savage showing the entire town with railroad, industries, roads, etc. and even the houses with the names of the owners on them. 2017 Update on the UMC, we haven't built the map of town. Instead the train room now has a large model train layout thanks to the local 4H group. We had a roof leak in the office and ruined one will next to the fire place whick will require re-plastering and paint. This year we will be adding a new metal roof on the Union Mining Building along with the two porch roof's at the museum.
We also have a committee headed by Wilbert Paul working on bringing about the restoration of the iron furnace ruins. The area has already been surveyed and once the logistical/legal hurdles are overcome, Bob Rost has agreed to donate the area to us. ( As of June 2007, we now have recieved the deed to the Iron Furnace Property and are busy clearing the many years of brush and trees. The area was open for Iron Rail Days 2007 and was visited by many local town folks, much to their delight ) 2008....Work continues on the Furnace area. All but 5 large trees have been removed and a portion of the road leading to the furnace has been blacktopped. 2014 This year we took possession of the community Jail 2015 Finally all work on the furnace area has been completed. All the trees have been removed and grass planted. Thanks to the Carl Belt crew the clay dump hill side has been filled in and planted. The area has made a major transformation over the last several years. 2017 We have been working with the State Road folks to have the Iron Rail sign on Calla Hill moved down to the top of the furnace.
This brings us to what we envision as a tremendous possibility for the town of Mt. Savage.
Imagine if you will having our historic bank, jail, museum, Union Mining Company building and iron furnace available for people to come and spend a few hours or even a day here learning about our amazing history. What kinds of services would these people need while visiting here?
What would it mean for our town if we were a destination and just not a place to pass through on the way to Frostburg or Cumberland?
We have also been busy fund raising. Our plant sale in May was very successful and brought in $1500 and we expect to raise another $1000 with brochure ads for Iron Rail Day. Our expenses also are in the neighborhood of what we are able to raise. The framing wood for the UMC bldg. was $1400. The brick structure will be over $1000. The survey of the furnace area will be $1000. ( The survey and deed processing was donated ) The museum is now 26 years old and will need a new roof within the next couple of years. (2007 saw a new metal roof installed on the museum so it's now good for another 30 years ) We are right now looking for someone to work on the foundation at the back of this wooden structure which has some areas of rot. ( Witt construction has made these repairs, ) As we raise funds, we continue with our restoration work and are always mindful that we have to maintain enough on hand to pay our basic expenses such as utilities, insurance for three buildings, grass cutting, supplies and unforeseen repair work on our structures.
In closing, we are so excited about the potential for our town by having these sites available and now a web site too to share the amazing story of Mt. Savage's history. If you haven't had a chance to see the Union Mining Company building please ask any one of us and we will be happy to give you a tour. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have.