Deep Creek Lake Garrett County History “Trail To Kendall”
Garrett County’s history is immense and vast. If you look hard enough you can find little nooks and crannies from the past that are very interesting to explore and visit. Sometimes no matter how hard you look all you will be left with are just memories of another time in American history. This weekend, I stumbled upon a hike along the Youghiogheny River, upriver from Friendsville, that leads to the once thriving old lumber town known as Kendall. My wife, Betsy, and I took our French Mastiff down the trail that starts on the Eastern Side of the Yough right under the I-68 highway bridge, the bridge that spans the river, and headed two miles to this mysterious extinct town.
Facts. In 1889, the Confluence and Oakland Railroad was extended upriver from Friendsville along the Youghiogheny River to start a new milling operation in Garrett County. Immediately, houses, a church, and a school were erected to become home to the many workers brought in by the sawmill operation. The first company to build a sawmill was Yough Manor Lumber Company and the town birthed its first name of Yough Manor. Next came in A. Knapp Company, which setup a stave mill in 1891. The town’s name was then changed to Krug after Henry Krug who was an A. Knapp Company official. Then during the early 20th century the town took its 3rd and final name of Kendall after the Kendall Lumber Company that operated there for a fair amount of time until the timber business diminished in the 1920’s. The McCullough Coal Mine Company was the last company to operate in the town. The Confluence and Oakland Railroad was removed in the 1940’s and the buildings and houses that were remaining completely disappeared. They say that all that remains now are a few house foundations and piles of saw dust. We would soon find out…
During our hike along the river, we had the beautiful spring thaw flowing down the river to our right and had numerous runoff branch streams screaming off the mountain to our left. Our dog, Mali, pounced down the bank of the river throughout our entire hike trying to catch some mysterious critters that we never did see surface! Her nose was buried in the dirt trying to locate a scent that may give her a clue as to where the mystery rodents were hiding. We walked for about 1-1/2 hours, and to be honest with you, never saw any remnants of the old town of Kendall, like old foundations or piles of sawdust. We did see a man-made “wall” of some sort along the way but really the star of the hike was… well…the hike! We kept an eagle eye out for the town of Kendall but had an excellent time exploring a unique and special area that even my 12th generation Garrett County wife, Betsy, had never experienced before. If you are looking for a nice place to relax far away from the crowds, where you can walk through the footprints of our past down a rail line to significant Garrett County history then put the Trail to Kendall on your lists of things to experience.
Side fact. Did you know that Wisp Resorts ski in/ ski out community Kendall Camp was named after this mysterious old town?