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WHILBR - Western Maryland's Historical Library

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World War I in Western Maryland

World War I.  Men from Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties joined the American Expeditionary Forces  in 1917 to fight in France. Women from the three counties joined the Red Cross, Army or Navy as nurses.  From Allegany 2893 enlisted in the Army - 93 were African American, 19 women nurses and 2794 white men. 94 men enlisted in …

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World War I in Western Maryland
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Silk Mill, Lonaconing, Allegany County, 1907-1957

Lonaconing Silk Mill

The silk mill in Lonaconing, Allegany County, was in operation from 1907-1957. Construction of the Klotz Throwing Mill Company was begun in 1905. Initially, silk was imported from Japan and China and the factory produced silk thread and, during World War II, rayon. In the 1920s the payroll included over 300 people, …

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World War II veterans, Washington County, Md.

Washington County residents in World War II, like the rest of the nation, enlisted to serve. According to research conducted by Thomas Cochran, using Maryland in World War II: Register of service personnel, published by the Maryland Historical Society in 1965, there were 7875 service members from Washington County, Maryland from …

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World War II veterans, Washington County, Md.

B-52 bomber crash in Western Maryland, 1964

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A B-52 bomber with a crew of five and two thermonuclear bombs on it crashed in a snow storm on Big Savage Mountain, near Grantsville, Garrett County, on January 13, 1964. The result was a massive search for the location of the plane, and for the crew, four of whom had ejected from the plane. The military were heavily …

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B-52 bomber crash in Western Maryland, 1964

Fred Johnson, World War II 8th Air Force

Fred Johnson from Allentown, Pennsylvania enlisted in the Air Force shortly after war was declared. In 1943 he began training in Miami, then Springfield, Ohio; Santa Monica, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Sioux City, Iowa, before finally flying to Great Ashfield, England in December 1944. He flew in several …

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Fred Johnson, World War II 8th Air Force

The Ransom of Hagerstown, 1864

On July 5, 1864 Brigadier General John McCausland of the Confederate States of America marched towards Hagerstown, the county seat of Washington County, Maryland and a transportation hub. Merchants fled from the town with what supplies they could carry and the Market House became the Confederate headquarters.

McCausland then demanded a …

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The Ransom of Hagerstown, 1864
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About the collections



Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties in Western Maryland have a rich and diverse history.  View images from the collections of the libraries, historical societies and individuals in the three counties.  There are photographs, newspaper articles and indexes, rare books and more. 

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