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African American Experience in Western Maryland



  • FSU Spectrum and Creative Minds Poetry Jam and buffet dinner 6:30 to 10 PM


  • Morning- Tour of the Brownsville community formerly on the Frostburg State University campus

Lunch- historic Casselman Inn in Grantsville

  • Afternoon- Van/bus tour of significant sites to the antebellum African American community: LaVale Toll House, Canal Place, Washington Street, Greene Street
  • Afternoon tour of Emmanuel Episcopal and its Underground Railroad tunnels

Dinner break

  • “Samuel Denson’s Last Run” Emancipation Celebration (an interactive Underground Railroad experience) at Emmanuel Episcopal with reception to follow.


Suggested Sunday activities:

  • Church service at one of the historic AME Churches (Dickerson in Frostburg and Metropolitan in Cumberland
  • 4:00- Allegany County NAACP Branch 7007 Freedom Fund Dinner at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Washington St., Cumberland- Guest speaker- Ben Jealous

Product Description

Join us November 3-5 for a celebration of Allegany County’s African American Heritage sponsored by Frostburg State University’s African American Studies, Allegany College of Maryland NAACP Club and Emmanuel Episcopal Church!

This weekend kicks off with a Friday night dinner buffet/poetry jam at the historic Gunter Hotel with performances by members of FSU’s Spectrum and Creative Minds.

Saturday morning features a walking tour of Brownsville, the African American community that was displaced by the expansion of Frostburg State between 1926 and 1961. Costumed students will tell you about their “neighbors” from the late 1800s.

After we stop for lunch at the historic Casselman Inn in Grantsville, we will visit the LaVale Toll House, Canal Place, Greene Street and Washington Street, locations pivotal to the daily lives of African Americans in Allegany County before the Civil War. The afternoon will finish with a tour of Emmanuel Episcopal Church and its tunnels, which served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

On Saturday evening, you will be able to partake in the Underground Railroad experience, joining ACM NAACP students and FSU Department of Theatre and Dance students in a dramatization at Emmanuel Episcopal entitled “Samuel Denson’s Last Run” which commemorates not only the UGRR, but also Emancipation Day in Maryland- November 1, 1864- and honors individually each of the historic African American families of Allegany County.

The host hotel for the weekend will be the Quality Inn, just off Route 68 in Frostburg. The hotel offers a full breakfast buffet every morning. After you checkout on Sunday, you may wish to attend the historic Dickerson A.M.E. Church service in Frostburg or the equally historic Metropolitan A.M.E. Church service in Cumberland. And, if you are still in the area at 4:00, Allegany County NAACP Branch 7007 invites you to join us for our annual Freedom Fund Dinner at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on Washington Street. We are excited to tell you that former NAACP President Ben Jealous is our featured speaker.


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