It is a national monument many people have never heard of. It’s name has been a bone of contention to some Black Americans. One has even lobbied for a name change of this landmark.
It is known as Negro Mountain.
I have known of Negro Mountain for many years.
Many stories have been told about the history of Negro Mountain, but, the one that persists, and that many people all agree on, is that a large, powerfully built enslaved Black man valiantly distinguished himself in battle with the Native Americans who attacked the party with which he was traveling. Thereafter, the mountain on which he died and was hastily buried in an unmarked grave, became known as Negro Mountain.
“John Hyatt, one of the early settlers, was a native of Maryland. He came with several others, accompanied by a number of slaves, to Turkey-Foot soon after-the settlement began. While crossing the Negro mountain, a party of Indians fired upon them and mortally wounded one of the negroes, the strongest man in the company. A piece of a hollow log was found and placed over the negro to shelter him. Throwing it off, he said, ” Save yourselves and never mind me; I shall die soon.” It is said that the Negro Mountain took its name from this circumstance.” SOURCE
For more than 200 years, the mountain has been known as Negro Mountain.
The U.S. Alternate 40 portion of Negro Mountain, is popular among travelers heading west to Morgantown, W.Va., or south to Deep Creek Lake. In addition to Negro Mountain,there is also the Negro Mountain Trail System: eight miles of challenging stream and terrain crossings that is part of the Savage River State Forest.
Negro mountain winds along a route that is part of the National Historic Road, which covers six states (824 miles) from Maryland to Illinois. Three years ago, Maryland’s National Historic Road officials upgraded the Negro Mountain site by installing a marker detailing the origins of its name.
Strangely enough, Negro Mountain is not listed on many road maps, and unless you’re driving through Garrett County, you might have never heard of it, and would pass by it if not for the road marker listing its location and history.
Photo: Joe Calzarette
Top of Negro Mountain along US 40, 1938
Negro Mountain Trail System
Savage River State Forest 301-895-5759
Located N.E. of Accident, Maryland
Steep slopes along powerlines, some wet areas & stream crossings