Devil's Backbone, Corriganville, Allegany County, MD

The following photo shows "Devil's Backbone" and an old house or inn near Corriganville, Maryland. The photo is from page 93 of Cleophas C. O'Harra’s 1900 Ph.D. dissertation at John Hopkins University, titled "The Geology Of Allegany County”. Click here to see a page in the dissertation which states that the formation was near Corriganville (it has since been quarried, and no longer looks the same). Another photo, and proof of the location, are included below. We believe that this is the same location that is described as "Devil's Ladder" in Lowdermilk's 1878 book "History of Cumberland", thus providing the information needed to identify the location of "Indian Will's" Cove.

Mike McKenzie helped to identify the location that the photograph was taken from by observing that the outer rail on the second track in the foreground was shiny, which indicates a curve (see aerial photo below).

 Devil's Backbone

The next photo shows the same formation, from a different angle and distance. It is from Mathews & Grasty’s 1910 book “The Limestones of Maryland”. Click here to see a postcard based on this photo that shows Wills Creek in the foreground.

 Devil's Backbone (Fig. 2)

The next image is a 1939 USDA photo that has been marked up to identify where the Devil's Backbone formation was located before being quarried away. The arrow shows where the photographer was located, and the camera angle for the first photo above. That photo was taken at a pull-over that was provided for sightseers; the pullover was still there in 1939. Clearly, all the attractive natural features had already been removed prior to the date of the 1939 aerial photo.

The following pages from Mathews & Grasty’s 1910 book “The Limestones of Maryland” discuss Devil's Backbone, positively identify the location of Devil's Backbone using a map.

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Click here for additional proof that Devil's backbone was at Corriganville, Maryland.

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