Tag Archives: Jim Rada

The Champion Coal Miner of the World

For all his great accomplishments in the mine, Finzel was not a large man. He was described as being of medium height, and his friends called him “the little big digger.” Because of his great feats, he was often examined by doctors looking for something that made him special. The Cumberland Evening Times noted that at “a physical examination at John Hopkins Hospital he was pronounced the finest muscled man that ever came to the institution.”


Book Excerpt: ‘Lock Ready’

David stepped into the large warehouse at the southern end of the canal basin in Cumberland. The bay doors had been swung open to allow sunlight to shine on the work going on inside. However, it also meant that the warehouse stayed cold inside. It was nothing more than a very long barn. The difference was that this barn housed canal boats not livestock. The Lewis Boatworks was one of a handful of boat yards in Cumberland that built and repaired canal boats for canallers.


1790: Was the Snider family massacred on Catoctin Mountain?

“Like most frontier outposts, the Conococheague Settlement was an occasional target for Indian raids. On one such occasion, a raiding party of Susquehannas captured a young Scotchman named Peter Williamson, and forced him to carry their loot. He later escaped, or was freed, and lived to a ripe old age,” Frank Mentzer, superintendent of Catoctin Mountain Park, wrote in the September 7, 1968, Catoctin Enterprise.

Mentzer made the case that the Jacob Snider family was massacred by Indians in the late 1700′s. He based his belief on an account written by Williamson called The Life and Curious Adventures of Peter Williamson, who was Carried Off from Aberdeen, and Sold for a Slave.

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