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Allegany County was formed in 1789 from Washington County. Its name comes from the Indian word Oolikhanna, which means beautiful stream . George Washington's first headquarters can be found there.
Allegany County lies in the heart of Western Maryland, centrally located between Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC. Throughout the 19th century, Allegany County was a leading crossroads, where rail, roads, and canal met. Today, this transportation network supports a major manufacturing and distribution center. Cumberland, the county's largest city, is 100 miles east of Pittsburgh and 130 miles west of Baltimore. An important local natural resource is bituminous coal.
The county is mountainous and beautiful with elevations ranging from less than 600 to nearly 3,000 feet. Farms dot its mountains and narrow valleys. Livestock, primarily beef cattle, is the major farm enterprise.
Allegany County's greatest resource is its natural beauty and history. The North Branch of the Potomac River forms its southern and eastern boundaries with neighboring West Virginia and the famous Mason-Dixon Line its northern boundary with Pennsylvania. On the west, the county is bounded by Garrett, Maryland's westernmost county and once a part of Allegany County. The county seat is Cumberland.
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