In 1785 Daniel Grant of Baltimore acquired an 1100 acre tract of land called "Cornucopia." The town of Grantsville is located in the center of this tract, named in honor of Daniel Grant. When he moved to the area in 1796 he was the wealthiest person in the county. We were part of Allegany County at that time. Garrett was established as a separate county in 1872, named after John Garrett, president of the B&O Railroad.
Little Crossings was the town center of those days. It was located where we find Stanton's Mill and the old Casselman Bridge today. Prior to Mr. Grant's arrival on the scene, this area was mostly wilderness but saw traffic from such famous men as George Washington and General Braddock. They passed through here in 1755 on their way to Pittsburgh as part of the ill-fated campaign against Fort Duquesne and the French. They had camps near Hilltop and Little Crossings. These travels prompted the construction of the Braddock Road which roughly followed the Indian trail Nemacolin's Path.
Grantsville contains many historical sites.
Between 1811 and 1818, the National Road was constructed along the general route of Braddock's Road. Currently Alt. Route 40, the National Road was the first federally funded highway in the U.S and brought much traffic through our area as settlers moved west. Most heavily traveled in the 1840's, an abundance of accommodations existed for the traveler, some of which can still be seen today. As part of the National Road project, the Casselman Bridge was built in 1813. A handsome stone arch, it was the largest single span bridge of its day and was used until the early 1950's. You can now enjoy its beauty from the state park at its feet.
Color photography by Dr Robin Bissell
Black & white photography adapted by General Graphics, Cumberland, MD