Garrett County, Maryland
|Garrett County, Maryland|
Location in the state of Maryland
Maryland's location in the U.S.
|Named for||John Work Garrett|
|Largest city||Mountain Lake Park|
656 sq mi (1,699 km²)
648 sq mi (1,678 km²)
8 sq mi (21 km²), 1.21%
47/sq mi (18/km²)
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Garrett County is the westernmost county of the U.S. state of Maryland. Created from Allegany County, Maryland in 1872 it was the last Maryland county to be formed. It was named for John Work Garrett (1820–1884). The county has long been part of the media market of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is to the north. The Maryland–Pennsylvania boundary was surveyed and marked between April 1765 and October 1767 by astronomer Charles Mason and surveyor Jeremiah Dixon. This boundary is commonly known as the Mason-Dixon Line. The eastern border with Allegany County was defined by the Bauer Report, submitted to Governor Lloyd Lowndes, Jr. on November 9, 1898. The Potomac River and State of West Virginia lie to the south and west.
The Eastern Continental Divide runs along portions of Backbone Mountain. The western part of the county, drained by the Youghiogheny River, is the only part of Maryland within the Mississippi River drainage basin. All other parts of the county are in the Chesapeake Bay basin.
Garrett County contains over 76,000 acres (310 km2) of parks, lakes, and publicly accessible forestland. Popular activities in the county include camping, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, alpine and cross county skiing, snowmobiling, hunting, ice fishing, fly fishing, whitewater canoeing, kayaking, rafting, boating, swimming, sailing, horseback riding, and water skiing.
The National Register of Historic Places listings in Garrett County, Maryland has 20 National Register of Historic Places properties and districts, including Casselman Bridge, National Road a National Historic Landmark. Garrett County is part of Maryland's 6th congressional district and Oakland is the county seat.
In the early 20th century, the railroad and tourism started to decline. Coal mining and timber production continued at a much slower pace. Today, tourism has made a dramatic rebound in the county with logging and farming making up the greatest part of the economic base. Due to a cold climate and lack of any large city, Garrett County has remained a sparsely populated rural area. As of the Census of 2010, there were only 30,097 county residents.
Law and government
The County is governed by an elected Board of County Commissioners (the "Board"), whose three members serve four-year terms and must live in the District they represent. The Board is the traditional form of county government in Maryland and may exercise only such powers as are conferred by the General Assembly of Maryland.
The County is administered under a line organizational method, with the County Administrator responsible for the general administration of County Government. The administration of the County is centralized with the County Administrator responsible for overseeing the financial planning, annual budget process, personnel management, and direction and management of operations within the organization.
The county is part of Maryland's 6th congressional district and is the most Republican in the state. The Republican candidate for President has won in each of the last thirteen elections. In 2008, John McCain carried Garrett County by a 40.2% margin over Barack Obama, with Obama carrying Maryland by a 25.5% margin over McCain.
On December 15, 1977, the seal of Garrett County went into effect by virtue of Resolution #7. The seal is elliptical, with the name "Garrett County" inscribed above the upper fourth of the ellipse, and "Maryland 1872" inscribed below the lower fourth of the ellipse. The date “1872" depicts the year of the formation of Garrett County. The seal illustrates a large snowflake to depict winter; water to represent sailing; and oaks and conifer to represent the county’s mountains. The colors are peacock blue for the sky and water. The blue and white background is divided by kelly green.
The official flag for Garrett County is elliptical. The flag illustrates a large snowflake to depict winter; water to represent sailing; and oaks and conifer to represent the county’s mountains. The colors are peacock blue for the sky and water. The blue and white background is divided by kelly green.
Garrett County is Maryland's westernmost county, bordered to the north by the Mason-Dixon Line with Pennsylvania, to the south by the Potomac River and West Virginia, to the west by a land border with West Virginia, and to the east by a land border with Allegany County, Maryland. The county's northwesternmost point is approximately 60 miles (97 km) southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and its southeasternmost point is approximately 160 miles (260 km) northwest of Baltimore, Maryland.
Garrett County is located entirely within the highland zone of the Appalachian Mountains known variously as the Allegheny Mountains, the Allegheny Plateau, and the Appalachian Plateau. The county's highest elevations are located along four flat-topped ridges and range to a height of 3,360 feet (1,020 m) at Hoye-Crest along Backbone Mountain, the highest point in the state of Maryland. As is typical in the Allegheny region, broad flats generally lie below the ridge crests at elevations of approximately 500 feet (150 m). River valleys are generally narrow and deep, with ravines typically 1,000 to 1,800 feet (550 m) below surrounding peaks.
The county contains over 76,000 acres (310 km2) of parks, lakes, and publicly accessible forestland. It is drained by two river systems, the Potomac and the Youghiogheny. The Savage River, a tributary of the Potomac, drains about a third of the county. The Casselman River, a tributary of the Youghiogheny, flows north from the county’s central section into Pennsylvania. The Youghiogheny itself drains the westernmost area of the county and flows north into Pennsylvania, where it empties into the Monongahela River at McKeesport, just south of Pittsburgh.
Geologic points of interest
The Glades: Maryland's largest and most open mountain peatland
The Glades' 601 acres (2.43 km2) is of great scientific interest because it is an ombrotrophic system (fed solely by rainwater) with peat layers up to 9 feet (2.7 m) thick, and is one of the oldest examples of mountain peatland in the Appalachians.
On the western edge of the Savage River State Forest along Maryland Route 495 lies Bittinger, Maryland. Named after Henry Bittinger who first settled in the area, other German settlers moved in and took up the fertile farm land. On the eastern edge of Bittinger is one of the largest glades area of Garrett County. Geographically, this is an area which seems to have been affected by the last great ice sheet of North America. Two miles southeast of Bittinger, there is a large deposit of peat moss.
In the Casselman River valley, 1-mile (1.6 km) south of Grantsville, Maryland and beside Maryland Route 495, one can see remains of geological evidence about the last great ice sheet over North America. A series of low mounds can be seen in the fields on the west side of Maryland Route 495 that are "loess" (wind-blown) material. Apparently, these are the only ones still visible in the northern part of Garrett County.
The mounds were formed when a glacier lake existed in the Casselman valley, and the ice around the edges of the frozen lake melted. Wind blew fine grains of earth into the water around the edges where it sank to the bottom, and the mounds were the result of the deposit of this wind-blown material.
Forests, rivers, caves
See these articles for information on the forests, rivers and caves of Garrett County:
- List of Maryland state forests
- List of rivers of Maryland
- Caves of Maryland (Crabtree - largest cave in Maryland)
Parks and recreation
Six state parks are in Garrett County. All offer picnic and fishing areas; all but Casselman River State Park have hiking paths. Mountain bike paths, swimming areas, and boat launches and rentals are available at Deep Creek, Herrington Manor, and New Germany state parks. Rental cabins are available at Herrington Manor and New Germany state parks. Big Run, Deep Creek, Herrington Manor and New Germany state parks all offer canoeing, while campsites may be found at Big Run, Deep Creek, New Germany, and Swallow Falls state parks.
Garrett County owns four park sites and fifteen recreation facilities. The parks are maintained in cooperation with local associations and civic groups. The recreation areas are attached to public schools and colleges and maintained by the Garrett County Board of Education.
The municipal parks of Garrett County provide sport facilities, hiking, bike and walk paths, playgrounds, picnic areas, boat ramps, and fishing.
- Kitzmiller Parks & Recreation Dept.
- Oakland Broadford Park includes swimming, picnic tables, fishing, boat ramp, playgrounds, sports fields.
Notable festivals and parades
Garrett County Airport (2G4) is a general aviation airport surrounded by the mountains of Western Maryland. The airport enhances the region's tourist industry and provides emergency air service evacuation and landing facilities for general aviation.
- Interstate 68
- U.S. Route 40
US 40 Alt
- U.S. Route 50
- U.S. Route 219
- Maryland Route 38
- Maryland Route 39
- Maryland Route 42
- Maryland Route 135
- Maryland Route 495
- Maryland Route 546
- Maryland Route 560
- Maryland Route 669
- Maryland Route 946
- Somerset County, Pennsylvania (north)
- Allegany County, Maryland (east)
- Mineral County, West Virginia (southeast)
- Grant County, West Virginia (south)
- Preston County, West Virginia (west)
- Fayette County, Pennsylvania (northwest)
||Fayette County, Pennsylvania||Somerset County, Pennsylvania|
|Preston County, West Virginia||Allegany County|
|Grant County, West Virginia||Mineral County, West Virginia|
Garrett County produces natural gas, the only county in the state to do so.
Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:
- 97.9% White
- 1.0% Black
- 0.1% Native American
- 0.3% Asian
- 0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
- 0.7% Two or more races
- 0.0% Other races
- 0.7% Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
As of the census of 2000, there were 29,846 people, 11,476 households, and 8,354 families residing in the county. The population density was 18/km² (46/sq mi). There were 16,761 housing units at an average density of 10/km² (26/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 98.83% White, 0.43% Black or African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.19% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.09% from other races, and 0.37% from two or more races. 0.44% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 36.1% were of German, 22.9% American, 9.6% English and 8.8% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 11,476 households out of which 32.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.70% were married couples living together, 8.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.20% were non-families. 23.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the county the population was spread out with 25.10% under the age of 18, 7.80% from 18 to 24, 27.60% from 25 to 44, 24.60% from 45 to 64, and 14.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 97.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,238, and the median income for a family was $37,811. Males had a median income of $29,469 versus $20,673 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,219. 13.30% of the population and 9.80% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 16.60% are under the age of 18 and 13.90% are 65 or older.
Cities and towns
Garrett County includes eight municipalities, all classified as towns under Maryland law:
- Accident (incorporated 1916)
- Deer Park (incorporated 1884)
- Friendsville (incorporated 1902)
- Grantsville (incorporated 1864)
- Kitzmiller (incorporated 1906)
- Loch Lynn Heights (incorporated 1896)
- Mountain Lake Park (incorporated 1931)
- Oakland (incorporated 1862)
The United States Census Bureau recognizes no Census-Designated Places (CDPs) in Garrett County, which is unusual for Maryland counties, which usually have many unincorporated population centers. There are some areas in Garrett County that are not listed as CDPs. They are:
- Sang Run
- Thayerville is located at the intersection of US 219 and Glendale Road at the southwest end of Deep Creek Lake.
- USS Garrett County (LST-786)
- Meshach Browning
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Garrett County, Maryland
- History of Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
Notes and references
- "Maryland Counties, Garrett County, Maryland". Maryland Manual On-Line. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- Cope, Thomas D (May 1949), Degrees along the west line, the parallel between Maryland and Pennsylvania, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 93(2):127-133, American Philosophical Society
- "Title 1: General Provisions". Garrett County, MD Code of Ordinances. American Legal Publishing Corporation. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- "Garrett County". County Profiles. Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Board of Garrett County Commissioners". Board of Commissioners. Garrett County Online. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- David Leip's Presidential Atlas (Maps for Maryland by election)
- U.S. Election Atlas
- Gary B. Blank, Ph.D. Associate professor, Department of Forestry. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, ed. Forest Management History in the Central Appalachians 1900 to 2000 (pdf). Raleigh, NC: Department of Forestry, North Carolina State University. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
- "The Glades". Maryland. The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
- "Maryland at a Glance, Land, Mountains". Maryland Manual On-Line. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- "Maryland at a Glance, Waterways, Creeks". Maryland Manual On-Line. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- "Maryland at a Glance, Waterways, Lakes". Maryland Manual On-Line. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- "Maryland at a Glance, Waterways, Waterfalls". Maryland Manual On-Line. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- "Maryland at a Glance, Parks & Recreation, State Parts". Maryland Manual On-Line. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- "Maryland at a Glance, Parks & Recreation, County Parks". Maryland Manual On-Line. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- "Maryland at a Glance, Parks & Recreation, Municipal Parks". Maryland Manual On-Line. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- "Garrett County Airport (2G4)". FAA Information effective 22 October 2009. AirNav.com. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
County, State and Federal government
- Garrett County Online
- Maryland State Archives▬Maryland Manual, Garrett County
- Garrett County Economic Development Online
- U.S. Census Bureau State & County QuickFacts - Garrett County, Maryland
- Maryland Geological Survey Online
- U.S. Geological Survey - Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
- State of Maryland Department of Natural Resources▬Western Maryland Public Lands
- Maryland Land Conservation Center
Historical and academic
- Garrett County Historical Society Museum▬History of Garrett County
- Western Maryland's Historical Library
- Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County
- Garrett College Weather Underground Data Exchange
- Frostburg State University Planetarium
Business and tourism
- The Official Website of Garrett County's Chamber of Commerce
- The Official Website of Garrett County's Deep Creek Lake Area
- The Official site of the Maryland Office of Tourism
- AirNav.com▬Garrett County Airport (2G4)
- Garrett County Arts Council
- Deep Creek Times, Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County area information
- News - Oakland, The Republican
- News - Cumberland, Times-News