Welcome to the October issue of the Garrett County Gazette. I’m Chris Nichols, your guide to helping you find out what’s going on, what’s coming up and interesting tidbits from the area. Let’s jump right in!
Crellin Elementary School Continues Trend of Excellence
A recent Facebook post on the Garrett County Public School’s page caught my eye. Over a couple of days in October, Crellin Elementary School hosted professors and education students from West Virginia University. If you’re not familiar with Crellin, it’s an unincorporated tiny town east of Oakland. It began as a timber company town and then a coal town, and now not much remains of what must have been a fairly bustling center of activity. But through a unique confluence of the GCPS, the local community and excellent staff, the elementary school in Crellin is shining star. CES regularly receives all kinds of awards and recognition for its high quality education and unique hands-on experiential setting. What’s really remarkable here is that university-level faculty and students came to an elementary school, in another state, to see an example of innovative and excellent education. Just another example of Garrett County Greatness!
Students of CES and WVU educators at the school’s streamside laboratory
Little Free Pantries of Garrett County
Here’s another news item with a Crellin Elementary School tie-in. In 2019, CES 4th Grader Alex Hanline began a a project to help provide food to those in need in Garrett County as part of the “Be the Change” program at the school. This project turned into the “Little Free Pantries of Garrett County” modeled on Little Free Libraries where you can take what you need and leave what you can. There are now Pantries at four locations in the County: Crellin Elementary, Oakland City Hall, Friendsville Town Hall, and McHenry Lion’s Club Park, and are accessible 24/7 (I will make a quick plug for the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club which sponsored two of them). Alex recently was invited to a regional meeting of the WoodmenLife group at Rocky Gap, where he received a sizeable donation of food to help stock the Pantries. Kudos to Alex and the WoodmenLife group for helping to make our community a better place!
Alex with the massive food donation from the WoodmenLife group
Garrett County: resistant to extreme weather since 300,000,000 BC
After the recent hurricane in Florida, I revisiited a map I had made about 5 years ago which showed the tracks of hurricanes and tornados for the past 100 years or so in the region around Garrett County. This time I updated the data and added hailstorms and forest fires. The unscientific but compelling takeway from the map is that Garrett County is in a sweet spot for avoiding these extreme weather events. Plus our Autumns are usually pretty awesome! So, if you don’t mind a moderate amount of snow in the winter, Garrett County is a great place to be! More info on the the map and the title on my blog.
The map shows wildfires (orange dots) and hailstorms (green tracks) with hurricanes and storms in blue (darker lines indicate more severe storms) and tornados in red (same theme as hurricanes)
Well, since we’re on a Crellin theme in this newsletter, it’s only natural that we have a bit of history on it. Crellin was really “born” on May 28th, 1892 when a Post Office bearing that name opened in the town. Previously, the settlement was called “Sunshine” but was then was officially named after Roland Crellin, a Pennsylvania businessman who led a consortium in 1891 to build a railway line through the area to harvest and transport the vast timber resources. Soon the Preston Railroad was hauling logs to a mill operating in town and the Preston Lumber and Coal Company was sawing 60,000 feet of lumber per day. Over the next few decades, the timber resources dwindled and local coal mines became the primary employment of residents of the town. From around 1925 to 1956 when the last nearby mine closed, Crellin was a coal company town.
Now, not much remains of this legacy, but the former office and company store building of the Stanley Coal Company still stands, now the site of the Henline Auction House, usually holding an auction on most Saturday mornings. Just taking a look around at the items Mr Henline has amassed in this building is worth checking one of the auctions.
I missed a couple in getting this newsletter out a bit late, but there is still a lot of spooky fun coming up over Halloween weekend:
Festival of Trees
November 25 & 26, @ Garrett Co Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall: this cheerful, affordable family event has become a tradition for thousands of locals, as well as visitors to the County. Benefiting the Dove Center, Garrett County’s domestic violence and sexual assault services program, the Festival of Trees includes something for everyone.
Events in 2023
I’ve also started a curated list of community events for 2023 which you can check out on my website. The event listing is formatted in a handy postcard which I’ll be happy to send to you FOR FREE if you reply back to this email with your mailing address!
Real estate perspective
I’ve been reading some articles on how to sell the idea that it’s a good time to buy/sell property. While I’m sure a good real estate sales professional can maybe give you an extra push to make that decision, overall the right time for a property transaction is when it’s right for your personal and financial situation. If that may be in your future, I’m always happy to talk about buying or selling property or just chat with you about the market and the area in a low pressure environment. Check out my real estate website for more information, or call or email me anytime!
That’s it for this edition! Thanks for checking it out! If you’ve got ideas or suggestions for articles, or questions about the area, don’t hesitate to reach out!
If your property is currently listed with another real estate professional, this message is not intended to solicit the offerings of other Brokers. All information in this message including but not limited to market information, mapping and history is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
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Explore and connect with where you live. Some mapping, history and community service organization stuff related to Garrett County, Deep Creek Lake and the surrounding area. I'm Chris - welcome to my online attic!
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