Thursday, January 31, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: A Book About Frostburg, Maryland

The last time I was back East to visit Mom and the rest of the crew, Mom gave me this treasure of a book from her archive of stuff. Mom has the very best stuff, if you're me and researching the ancestors! She saves everything!

I've been working on a chapter for a book project and it's about the little Western Maryland town of Frostburg, Allegany, Maryland. I was sort of stuck because there isn't a lot in print about little Frostburg, except a couple of history books that focus in a more general way about the area and Wikipedia, and you can see that here. So I was moaning the blues about not having enough enriching source material. This treasure of a book I got from Mom, published about 1912 in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the town which was founded in 1812, is the very best source for information about Frostburg I've ever had the absolute delight to see! I'm thrilled to have it!! So thanks, Mom:)

This is a replica copy of the original 1912 edition, we believe. Mom and I both think that it was printed in 1962 to celebrate the 150th anniversary. This presumed replica contains no publishers information, not even a printers stamp. Unusual, as printers I've known are proud to show their civic participation and hide a mark somewhere ususally in the back binding area. So it bears more research to dig up its actual origins. Luckily, it also contains no copyright renewal or appropriation so I think I'm safe quoting and perhaps, as here, using images of pages, but I'm not a copyright attorney. Think I'll check over at the Frostburg Museum and see if they know anything about it. They know a lot over there. (The original 1912 book makes note of the publisher who was one and the same as the publisher of the Frostburg Mining Journal.)

The information that this book offers is amazing. It starts with a thorough history of Frostburg and some stuff I've seen elsewhere but also much more detailed information that goes well beyond the basics. At the close of the book is a list, quite extensive, of "home commers" who made the journey back for the festivities. The names include the place where the returnee lived in 1912, and get this, even in some cases a street address. Whoop! I found the street addresses in Chicago of two of the Zeller brothers, siblings of my great grandfather Gustav Zeller, the subject of recent posts here.

Below are just a few of the rich pages in the treasured book, Frostburg Maryland, 1812 - 1912.

Cover, displayed over family photos in my possession.

Street scenes, left, and the day the street car came to town on the left side of the right page.
If you look super close you can see GGF Gus Zeller in his white barber's coat
just below the front entrance to the car! How cool is that?

The right hand page touts the Frostburg volunteer Fire Department and
members in 1912.

Noted citizenry have their photos and a biography.

Programme for the Week opposite local photos.

This is a great treasure, right? And now... drum roll, please... just looked at a 1938 film (converted to video) all about Frostburg! Maybe next week on Thursday I'll share:) I'm stoked!! Here I was two weeks ago without enough source material and now, oh the bounty!!

Treasure Chest Thursday is a blogging prompt of GeneaBloggers. Find out more here.

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  1. Awesome! What a find. Have fun being 'overwhelmed' with a load of information.

    1. Thanks! It's so great to have good resources at hand. Makes all the difference. And have to mention, began looking for "the good stuff" last spring, almost a year ago. Had both Mom and Aunt Betty on it too. Persistence!
      Cheers, Diane

  2. A great find - it's amazing the things mums have hidden away isn't it?

    1. I think so too, especially when she's a "pack rat" as Mom likes to call herself:)
      Cheers, Diane