June 19, 2004
LONACONING - State highway officials thought they were doing the small towns of Western Maryland a favor when they designated a 54-mile stretch of road the Maryland Coal Heritage Route. They figured the historic label, bolstered by a colorful tour book distributed around the state, might help the local economy by luring travelers to obscure old mining villages such as Midland, Westernport and Mount Savage. Then, a few merchants - also dreaming of out-of-town dollars - posted signs for their businesses along the scenic, two-lane road.
November 16, 2003
It was homecoming at Westmar High School in Lonaconing last weekend, with the Wildcats taking on their longtime foe, the Mountaineers from Frostburg's Beall Senior High. It was a traditional event in many ways, even considering some of the changes that have happened over the past few years. The schools, for instance, located about 8 1/2 miles apart, have combined a lot of things: the football game is homecoming for both schools; both "royal courts" are introduced; both bands perform. That kind of consolidation doesn't sit well with everyone at either school, but even less so at Westmar, where it seems like another step toward the schools' eventual merger.
August 9, 2003
On July 29, 2003 DOROTHY MARY (nee Probert), daughter of the W.H. Probert and Anna Dutton Probert. She was born February 7, 1902 in Lonaconing, MD. Memorial service will be held August 10 at Maryland Church of the Rock, 900 Church Street, Brooklyn Park, MD.
January 21, 2001
LONACONING - Robert Moses Grove - "Lefty" to anyone who knows baseball - was universally considered among the best southpaws ever to pitch professionally. In 1931, he compiled a record of 31 wins and four losses and won the first Most Valuable Player trophy given by the American League. Grove died in 1975, leaving the trophy to the people of his hometown, this hardscrabble coal-mining community in the hills of Western Maryland. The puzzling thing is what the people of Lonaconing did with the trophy: not a whole lot. For years, it sat in storage at the high school, blending in with school basketball and volleyball trophies.
March 27, 1999
When the Lonaconing silk mill abruptly padlocked its doors July 7, 1957, after a labor dispute, it locked in decades of history and even a few employees' lunches.Now the Allegany County Commission is looking for ways to salvage that industrial heritage, either preserving it as a museum or perhaps giving it new life in the form of offices or apartments.County commissioners have agreed to pay $5,500 for the Frostburg State University economics department to study uses for the 90-year-old building, which is privately owned.
December 10, 1998
LONACONING -- When Brian Kidwell twists on the faucets in his house high on a hill in dusty Allegany County, out pours something resembling mud. The water, what there is of it, is filthy brown, fit neither for laundry nor drinking.But for residents in this parched area of the state, water of any hue has become a blessing. In Lonaconing and the patchwork of other little towns and villages in the Georges Creek valley of Western Maryland, reservoirs are depleted to the point that some are empty.