Too Good. Thanks, Tom!
Grafton, West Virginia
September 26, 2020
Tom, thanks for making me aware of Accident, Maryland. Looks like it would have been a 90 minute detour (right turn on US 2019 at Gormania, West Virginia). That’s on the outer limit of my detour range but I might have done it. Then again, I was on a roll. 🤪
Here’s the Wikipedia entry. Disappointed the citizens of Aciident are not Accidents themselves. 🤪
Accident has been noted for its unusual place name. A person from Accident is called an "Accidental".
Accident was one of the early settlements in the far west of Maryland. The name originates about the time of the 1786 land survey. Though the origin or meaning of the name is unknown, one popular story says that Brooke Beall and William Deakins, Jr., friends from Prince George's County, were conducting separate surveys in the area at the time and "by accident" Deakins claimed land already surveyed by Beall.
When Lord Baltimore opened up the area, which he called Monocacy Manor, for settlement, in the early 1770s, Brooke Beall secured permission to survey 778 acres (315 ha; 1.2 sq mi). It will never be known for certain how Beall came to choose this particular spot, but the surveyor was given clear instructions where to start. He was to begin "in the center between two bounded white oak trees, standing on the North Side of the South fork of Bear Creek in or near a glade about one Hundred yards from said Run, about one or two Miles above a Lick known by the name of the "Cole Mine Lick", about four miles (6 km) above the mouth of Broad Creek and about one mile East of a Ridge of the Negro Mountain." John Hanson, Jr., later a delegate to the Continental Congress, and President of the United States in Congress Assembled, on April 14, 1774, surveyed the land, finding that it only contained 682 acres. For the next twelve years, nothing was done with the survey. The American Revolutionary War intervened, and it was not until February 15, 1786 that the land was granted by means of a patent to William Deakins. The following year the surrounding countryside was surveyed into military lots by Francis Deakins, lots that were meant as compensation for the soldiers who served from Maryland during the Revolution. Each soldier who served for two years received one lot of 50 acres, officers received four lots of 50 acres each.
Detail from the original Francis Deakins 1787 survey of lots westward of Fort Cumberland, Library of Congress. Reproduced in Edward C. Papenfuse and Joseph M. Coale, The Maryland State Archives Atlas of Historical Maps of Maryland, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), p. 204