Western Maryland Railroad Collection - PP72

Collection finding aids of Photograph Collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Maryland Historical Society Library

ca. 1910

Prints and Photographs Division, Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Finding aid created by Katherine Cowan with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, August 1999


The Western Maryland Railway Company began as the Baltimore, Carroll and Frederick Railroad in 1852. Originally intended to provide transportation between Baltimore and the Cumberland Valley and to handle trade in this region that was otherwise being diverted to Philadelphia, it grew by the mid-20th century to incorporate more than 30 railroads, including the Hanover Branch and Gettysburg Rail Roads, over which route President Lincoln made his famous trip to Gettysburg in November 1863. The railroad operated to Hagerstown by 1872, was extended to Cumberland in 1906, and reached Connellsville, Pa. by 1912.

The railway's tidewater terminal was at Port Covington (South Baltimore), site of a fort of the same name which was significant in the War of 1812. At this port, trains met ships as part of a freight network the branches of which extended into Pennsylvania and into the coal and timber areas of West Virginia, handling a range of products that included grain, molasses, ore, rubber, chemicals, steel, machinery, and automobiles. The route followed by the railway was among the shortest from the Atlantic seaboard over the Appalachian Mountains to the American mid-west.

Where the railroad crossed the Catotoctin Mountains in Western Maryland, the engineering difficulties encountered were only overcome at a cost of $13,000,000: the railroad tunneled five mountains and crossed the Potomac River and C&O Canal eight times. Extending the line through the Alleghany Mountains to Connellsville, Pa. required an additional four tunnels.

Although most profitable as a freight line, the Western Maryland Railroad was also an important conveyance for excursion travelers bound for hotels and summer cottages at destinations such as Blue Ridge Summit, Highfield, Buena Vista and Pen-Mar. In the center of Baltimore city, the trains made stops at the Hillen Street and Pennsylvania Stations, although the railway's original city station was Fulton Junction. Passenger service on the Western Maryland Railroad tapered off gradually in the 1940s through the 1960s.

Collection Origin

Gift of Robert Vogel, 1979 (74836).

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 1 box with 1 folder containing 18 items: 2 copies each of 9 photoprints of glass negatives made ca. 1910 by an unknown photographer. The images document scenery along the Western Maryland Railroad line and surrounding environs near Maryland towns of Frostburg, Cumberland, Parkhead, Carrollton, Wakefield, and Williamsport. The railroad track and a railroad engine are shown, along with bridges, river and adjacent canal.

Note: Related materials are found in the Manuscripts Department of the Maryland Historical Society: MS. 2190, the Western Maryland Rail Road Collection.


The photographs are arranged according to PP catalog number.

Container List  

1 Box

Box 1: 1 Folder

Box 1, Folder 1
PP72.1 - Western Maryland RR track near Frostburg. 2 items. Neg Z9.1.PP72; dup/copy neg Z6.1.PP72.

PP72.2 - Western Maryland RR track and yard near Frostburg. 2 items. Neg Z9.2.PP72; dup/copy neg Z6.2.PP72.

PP72.3 - Western Maryland RR track and bridge on National Road near Cumberland. 2 items. Neg Z9.3.PP72; dup/copy neg Z6.3.PP72.

PP72.4 - Western Maryland RR track with canal near Parkhead. 2 items. Neg Z9.4.PP72; dup/copy neg Z6.4.PP72.

PP72.5 - Western Maryland RR locomotive near Carrollton. 2 items. Neg Z9.5.PP72; dup/copy neg Z6.5.PP72.

PP72.6 - Western Maryland RR track through Cumberland Narrows, Lovers' Leap. 2 items. Neg Z9.6.PP72; dup/copy neg Z6.6.PP72.

PP72.7 - Western Maryland RR near Parkhead, canal and river. 2 items. Neg Z9.7.PP72; dup/copy neg Z6.7.PP72.

PP72.8 - Western Maryland RR near Williamsport, construction of Washington and Berkley Bridge. 2 items. Neg Z9.8.PP72; dup/copy neg Z6.8.PP72.

PP72.9 - Western Maryland RR near Wakefield, Holsteins grazing. 2 items. Neg Z9.9.PP72; dup/copy neg Z6.9.PP72. © 2001 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Internet Management - WEBNETT