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Celebrating the Garrett County Sesquicentennial

Last Updated on Aug 20, 2022 at 9:15am | Communications Office
The county sesquicentennial, or 150th-anniversary effort, commemorates the incorporation of Garrett County on December 4, 1872.
A sesquicentennial committee has been planning and organizing several commemorative souvenirs and community participation opportunities based on the theme of the event: “Garrett County: Celebrating 150 Years of Connecting Communities”.

Now, and throughout 2022, the sesquicentennial committee is attending each Garrett County municipality’s festivals or community events to share, distribute information, and offer free giveaways and souvenirs while supplies last.

One of the top memento items of note is a bronze coin to represent each of the municipalities: Accident, Deer Park, Friendsville, Grantsville, Kitzmiller, Loch Lynn, Mountain Lake Park, and Oakland. Each of those eight towns participated in designing a custom side of the coin to represent their town paired with the front side of the coin featuring the county’s namesake John W. Garrett.

So far, local coins have been distributed at WinterFest (Town of Oakland), the National Road Festival (Town of Grantsville), the Celtic Festival (Town of Friendsville), Kick-Off to Summer (Town of Oakland), Grantsville Days (Town of Grantsville), Accident 4th of July Homecoming (Town of Accident coin), Victorian Chautauqua (Town of Mountain Lake Park coin), and Kitzmiller Homecoming (Town of Kitzmiller coin).

Upcoming events that are scheduled for commemorative coin distribution are:
  • Friendsville Days (Town of Friendsville coin)
    • August 20, 2022; 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM; in the Friendsville Town Park
  • Loch Lynn Heights Open House (Town of Loch Lynn coin)
    • September 10, 2022; 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM; at Loch Lynn Town Hall
  • Deer Park Open House (Town of Deer Park coin)
    • September 10, 2022; 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM; at the Deer Park Town Hall
Also, the planning group is coordinating a free public celebration event on September 17, 2022 at the Garrett County Fairgrounds in McHenry. The event will be from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM with a history walk, a car show, local storytelling, local music, free food, and more.
Complete 150th commemorative coin sets (with holders) and each of the individual 8 aforementioned town coins will be available for giveaway while supplies last.
All are welcome at this FREE all-day event featuring local music, history presentations, food, entertainment, and community!
Area state parks, our incorporated towns, and businesses with a robust Garrett County history will share their stories.
Performers will bring important Garrett County moments, characters, and music to the present-day stage.
Share Garrett County connections through genealogy activities, agriculture demonstrations, a car show, local food, artwork displays, community conversations & more!

10am - 6pm @ the Garrett County Fairgrounds

10:00 am
Welcome; dignitaries speak

11:00 am
Cake Cutting, Presented by County Commissioners

12:00 pm
Agriculture Activities and Demonstrations, Quonset Hut
12:00 pm
Story Telling with Local Historians, 4H Hall
Sit down and chew the fat with some local historians who will be sharing fond memories and stories of growing up in Garrett County. This old fashioned “chat” will have you reminiscing and remembering the good ole’ days.
Don Sincell, Martin Heiss and Fred Fox

Buffalo Run, Main Stage Outside
Buffalo Run is a gathering of long-time musical performers/friends bringing new songs to life. Rob Smith, lead vocalist, guitarist and founding member of Buffalo Run, lives in Friendsville. Smith and bassist/singer Keith Roberts recorded “Garrett County Time” for a 1980 Smith & Roberts album titled “Buffalo Run.” The song, dedicated to Deputy Sheriff David G. Livengood, who died in the line of duty in 1979, became a popular local hit. The first version of the Buffalo Run Band was formed in the mid-1980s and a second bluegrass version followed in the 1990s, according to Smith. The band decided to name the group after the place where they wrote and recorded their music. It just made sense

Women's Monologues, presented by AAUW
AAUW-Garrett Branch performs some of their Women's Monologues, brief single-person portrayals of Garrett County women who were active in the fight for Woman's Suffrage.  Originally performed in 2020-2021 to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which afforded women the right to vote, these brief monologues will introduce members of the audience to some of our local women of history who made a difference in securing the fundamental rights for all citizens and brings them to life in unique way.  The performers are members and friends of AAUW-Garrett Branch, which has been active in Garrett County since 1946.
John W Garrett Speaks, performed by Albert Feldstein, Ag Hall stage
The founder and namesake of our county comes alive with this performance by Albert Feldstein. Learn about the history of transportation on Garrett County and how important the B&O Railroad was to the development of Garrett County.

The Terah Crawford Band, Main Stage Outside
Based in Deep Creek Lake Maryland, Terah Crawford fronts the band with lead vocals and rhythm instruments. Scott Alexander provides harmony vocals and driving acoustic guitar. Jeremie Hamilton is one of the area’s premier musicians bringing his expert fiddle skills. And if you’re good, he might wow you with a few mandolin runs. Bill Crawford rounds out TCB sand is undoubtedly the hardest working member of the crew playing lead guitar, mandolin, and banjo as well as writing the band’s original tunes. Combining their love for mountain music with classic rock, outlaw country and just a touch a folk, they’ve created their own style of Appalachian Folk music.

Story Telling with Local Historians, 4H Hall
Sit down and chew the fat with some local historians who will be sharing fond memories and stories of growing up in Garrett County. This old fashioned “chat” will have you reminiscing and remembering the good ole’ days.
Don Sincell, Martin Heiss and Fred Fox

Our Town Theatre, Keepsakes, Ag Heritage Hall
The Our Town Theatre performance will be a collection of historical monologues compiled from original OTT Keepsakes, as well as monologues written by Northern High students as a part of the National Road Festival project and the More Than a Lake original historical play. These monologues showcase generations of life in Garrett County based on research using local resources including the Republican Newspaper and Ruth Enlow Library. The performance will feature local actors from Our Town Theatre and Northern Garrett High School.
Aurora Celtic, Main Stage Outside
From the hills of West Virginia, Aurora Celtic plays evocative, original and traditional music for guitar, fiddle, Irish flute, whistle, mandolin and tenor banjo that bridges the cultures of Scotland, Ireland and Appalachia. Band members Alice Fleischman, Michael Broderick, Chris Bern and Wes Ridenour are multi-instrumentalists who have played throughout the Mid-Atlantic states, at the Kennedy Center and in Europe. Their music has twice been featured on NPR’s Thistle & Shamrock music program. All have played in numerous musical groups spanning styles as diverse as Classical, Appalachian, Celtic & Alternative.

Robotics Presentation, Ag Heritage Hall
Bell Ringing Ceremony by Garrett County Chapter of DAR, Signing of the Constitution

Car Show and Competition - Vote for your favorites! Top Parking Lot
Hosted by Mountain Top Cruisers, stroll through these classic cars and step back in time. Enjoy the craftsmanship and beauty of the cars on display. See if your favorite wins the Best in Show.
Antique Tractor Display - Lower Field, By Horse Barn
Genealogy Display – Exhibit Hall
The Ruth Enlow Library and Garrett County Historical Society will be hosting a "Genealogy Table" showing interested Garrett County citizens how to get started on researching their family history and spotlighting the resources available for aspiring genealogists in the County and beyond.
History Walk - Ag Heritage Hall
A walk through the Heritage Hall will surely take you back. See displays from our local towns and state parks and how they have grown in the last 150 years. Some area businesses that have been in GC through the years will be displayed as well. Don’t miss Flying Scott’s #1 boat and other big surprises.
Commissioned Art Display, Ag Heritage Hall
The Garrett County Arts Council has initiated a call for artists to create a 2-dimensional piece of art to showcase our beautiful Garrett County area as it was “then” (in 1872) and “now” (in 2022). An independent submission will be chosen by an independent review panel of local, regional, and state arts professionals as the competition winner, receiving an $800 prize in exchange for all rights to the image. The original piece will join the County’s permanent collection.
Non-Profit and Community Organizations, Quonset Hut
Visit the Quonset Hut to see all of the Non-Profits in our county and learn how their services and mission may help you. These organizations provide much-needed services in our county so stop by and learn a little more about them.
Food Vendors, Throughout
Enjoy treats from our local food vendors. Receive two tickets for free 150th specials throughout the day compliments of the GC Commissioners.

Additional information will be updated weekly on the County’s Sesquicentennial website
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please reach out to Sarah Myers, County Communications Coordinator at 301-334-7242 or [email protected].