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Allegany County, Maryland facts for kids

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Allegany County
Allegany County Courthouse
Allegany County Courthouse
Flag of Allegany County
Official seal of Allegany County
Map of Maryland highlighting Allegany County
Location within the U.S. state of Maryland
Map of the United States highlighting Maryland
Maryland's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Maryland
Founded December 25, 1789
Named for Allegheny Mountains
Seat Cumberland
Largest city Cumberland
 • Total 430 sq mi (1,100 km2)
 • Land 424 sq mi (1,100 km2)
 • Water 5.8 sq mi (15 km2)  1.3%
 • Total 68,106
 • Density 158.4/sq mi (61.2/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 6th

Allegany County is located in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Maryland. As of the 2020 census, the population was 68,106. Its county seat is Cumberland. The name Allegany may come from a local Lenape word, welhik hane or oolikhanna, which means 'best flowing river of the hills' or 'beautiful stream'. A number of counties and a river in the Appalachian region of the U.S. are named Allegany, Allegheny, or Alleghany. Allegany County is part of the Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is a part of the Western Maryland "panhandle".


The western part of Maryland (including the present Allegany County) was originally part of Prince George's County when Maryland was formed in 1696. This county included six current counties, and by repeated splitting, new ones were generated: Frederick from Prince George's in 1748; and Montgomery and Washington from Frederick in 1776.

Allegany County was formed in 1789 by the splitting of Washington County. At the time it was the westernmost county in Maryland, but a split in 1872 produced Garrett County, the current westernmost county.

Prior to 1789, the Virginia Commonwealth claimed the area of present-day Garrett and Allegheny Counties, of Maryland. A 1771-1780 map of Virginias counties, shows Hampshire County, but the Virginia State boundary has Hampshire outside that boundary line. When conducting genealogical research, it is possible to find tax records for Hampshire County, Virginia included in Maryland records, and Maryland records in Hampshire County... Hampshire County was formed in 1758 by the Virginia Commonwealth and at its founding, included the present day counties of Garrett & Allegheny Counties in Maryland, and Hardy, Grant, Mineral, and part of Morgan Counties in what is now West Virginia. Ref. Virginia Counties Map of 1771-1780; Henry Howe's 1845 History of Virginia.

The county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places.

Allegany County is often referred to as "Where the South Begins."


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 430 square miles (1,100 km2), of which 424 square miles (1,100 km2) is land and 5.8 square miles (15 km2) (1.3%) is water.

Allegany County lies primarily in the Ridge-and-Valley Country of the Appalachian Mountains. It is bordered to the north by the Mason–Dixon line with Pennsylvania, to the south by the Potomac River and West Virginia, to the east by Sideling Hill Creek and Washington County, Maryland, and to the west by a land border with Garrett County, Maryland. The western part of the county contains a portion of the steep Allegheny Front, which marks the transition to the higher-elevation Appalachian Plateau and Allegheny Mountain region. The town of Frostburg is located west of the Front at an elevation of nearly 2,100 feet above sea level, while the county seat of Cumberland, only eight miles away, has an elevation of only 627 feet.


Adjacent counties

National protected areas


2019-07-14 12 10 53 View west along Interstate 68 and U.S. Route 40 (National Freeway) from the overpass for Maryland State Route 948 (Mountain Road Northeast) in Pratt, Allegany County, Maryland
I-68 and US 40 in Allegany County

Allegany County has been, since colonial times, an important node on the nation's transportation network as a key transition point in the movement of goods and people to and from the ports of the Mid-Atlantic and the agricultural and industrial production centers of the Ohio Valley and Midwest. The Cumberland Narrows, a naturally-occurring watergap separating Wills and Haystack Mountains, serves as one of the few passages through what is otherwise one of the steepest rushes of the Ridge and Valley province. Because of this, Cumberland has been the site of both planned and completed transportation projects focused on connecting east and west.

On his fateful march from Alexandria to Fort Duquesne in modern-day Pittsburgh during the French and Indian War, British General Edward Braddock and his men, including then-Lieutenant Colonel and Braddock's aide-de-camp George Washington, carved a road, closely following the Native American Nemacolin's Path, from the British encampment at Fort Cumberland, through the Allegheny Mountains all the way to Fort Duquesne. This road, known in early America as Braddock's Road, became the guidelines for the earliest sections of the Cumberland Road, or what later became known as the National Road. Specifically, the section on Braddock's Road from Cumberland to Uniontown, Pennsylvania was followed nearly exactly in the early construction of the National Road. A monument to the start of the National Road now stands on Greene Street in Cumberland, very near the spot Braddock and his men began their expedition.

In modern times, Allegany County is an important regional crossroads. It is crossed from east to west by Interstate 68 and US Route 40, and from north to south by US Route 220, which from Cumberland to the Mason-Dixon Line is part of the Appalachian Development Highway System's Corridor O.

Major highways

  • I-68.svg Interstate 68
  • US 40.svg U.S. Route 40
  • Alt plate.svg
    US 40.svg US 40 Alt.
  • Scenic plate.svg
    US 40.svg U.S. Route 40 Scenic
  • US 220.svg U.S. Route 220
  • MD Route 35.svg Maryland Route 35
  • MD Route 36.svg Maryland Route 36
  • MD Route 47.svg Maryland Route 47
  • MD Route 49.svg Maryland Route 49
  • MD Route 51.svg Maryland Route 51
  • MD Route 53.svg Maryland Route 53
  • MD Route 55.svg Maryland Route 55
  • MD Route 135.svg Maryland Route 135
  • MD Route 144.svg Maryland Route 144
  • MD Route 638.svg Maryland Route 638
  • MD Route 657.svg Maryland Route 657
  • MD Route 658.svg Maryland Route 658
  • MD Route 935.svg Maryland Route 935
  • MD Route 936.svg Maryland Route 936
  • MD Route 956.svg Maryland Route 956


Public transportation

  • Allegany County Transit


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 4,809
1800 6,303 31.1%
1810 6,909 9.6%
1820 8,654 25.3%
1830 10,609 22.6%
1840 15,690 47.9%
1850 22,769 45.1%
1860 28,348 24.5%
1870 38,536 35.9%
1880 38,012 −1.4%
1890 41,571 9.4%
1900 53,694 29.2%
1910 62,411 16.2%
1920 69,938 12.1%
1930 79,098 13.1%
1940 86,973 10.0%
1950 89,556 3.0%
1960 84,169 −6.0%
1970 84,044 −0.1%
1980 80,548 −4.2%
1990 74,946 −7.0%
2000 74,930 0.0%
2010 75,087 0.2%
2020 68,106 −9.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010 2020

2020 census

Allegany County, Maryland - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010 Pop 2020 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 66,195 57,953 88.16% 85.09%
Black or African American alone (NH) 5,959 5,286 7.94% 7.76%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 90 115 0.12% 0.17%
Asian alone (NH) 566 733 0.75% 1.08%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 26 22 0.03% 0.03%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 59 185 0.08% 0.27%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 1,107 2,663 1.47% 3.91%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 1,085 1,149 1.44% 1.69%
Total 75,087 68,106 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 75,087 people, 29,177 households, and 17,959 families residing in the county. The population density was 177.0 inhabitants per square mile (68.3/km2). There were 33,311 housing units at an average density of 78.5 per square mile (30.3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 89.2% white, 8.0% black or African American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% American Indian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.4% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 31.8% were German, 14.6% were Irish, 11.9% were English, 11.8% were American, and 5.6% were Italian.

Of the 29,177 households, 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.0% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 38.4% were non-families, and 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.86. The median age was 40.9 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,747 and the median income for a family was $52,680. Males had a median income of $42,322 versus $29,594 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,764. About 9.6% of families and 14.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.3% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.

Natural resources

The primary mineral resources extracted for use in Allegany County are coal, iron, sandstone, and limestone. Coal bearing formations are concentrated in the Georges Creek Basin in the western part of the county.


Allegany County Urban Areas



Census-designated places

Occupying a middle ground between incorporated and unincorporated areas are Special Tax Districts, quasi-municipal unincorporated areas created by legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly.[1] They lack home rule authority and must petition the General Assembly for changes affecting the authority of the district. There are eight Special Tax Districts in the county:

Other census-designated places in the county include:

Unincorporated communities


Public K-12 education in the county is handled by Allegany County Public Schools (ACPS). ACPS is governed by an elected, five member Board of Education, plus an appointed superintendent. ACPS manages three high schools (grades 9-12), three middle schools (grades 6-8), 13 elementary schools (grades K-5), and one K-8 school, plus the Center for Career and Technical Education in Cresaptown, and the Eckhart Alternative School in Eckhart Mines.

Allegany County is also home to three Christian parochial schools: Bishop Walsh School (Catholic) in Cumberland, Lighthouse Christian Academy (non-denominational) in Cumberland, and Calvary Christian Academy (non-denominational) in Cresaptown.

Allegany County is home to Frostburg State University, one of the eleven member universities of the University System of Maryland, and the only public, four-year university in Maryland west of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The university, founded in 1898 as the Frostburg State Normal School, FSU, as the university is known to students and alumni, now offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and has a yearly enrollment consistently over 5,000 students.

A junior college experience is available in Allegany County with the Allegany College of Maryland, located in Cumberland. Allegany College provides more than 50 associate degree programs and more than 20 certificate programs, and has more than 3,500 enrollees and more than 16,000 registrants in its Continuing Education programs. ACM also operates a satellite campus in Everett, Pennsylvania, about 30 miles north of Cumberland in Bedford County.

Notable residents

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Allegany (Maryland) para niños

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