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History of Frostburg

Frostburg, population of 9,000, owes its beginnings to the authorization of the National Road in 1806. Originally called the village of Mt. Pleasant, Josiah Frost bought a tract of land lying across the route and laid out a series of ‘town lots.’ His son, Meshach, built a log house on Lot 1 (site of the current St. Michael’s Church Rectory) and brought his bride to it in June, 1812. When stagecoach service was inaugurated in 1818, the village of Mt. Pleasant became a regular stopping point for east-west travelers. The cluster of taverns, smithies, and houses was also known as Frost Town. The Post Office Department identified the community as Frostburg in 1820.

Coal was discovered near Frostburg as early as 1782. The completion of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad to Cumberland in 1842 and the Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad to Frostburg in 1852 made it possible to ship coal in large quantities. Frostburg became a commercial center for mining, both thriving and suffering with the fluctuation of coal prices.

In 1898, the lobbying of local citizens led to the legislature’s $20,000 appropriation for State Normal School #2. In 1902, fifty-seven students attended the two-year elementary school teacher training program. Today, Frostburg State University serves 4,755 undergraduate students, 630 graduate students, and employs 1,068 faculty and staff. FSU serves as a center of multi-cultural activity for the residents of our region.

Located off I-68 exits 33 & 34, Frostburg is just 2.5 hours from Baltimore and Washington, D.C., one hour from Morgantown, WV, and two hours from Pittsburgh, PA. Those who visit discover a small-town Main Street, historic homes, friendly residents, a vibrant arts scene, and four-season beauty.

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