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7 Feb 2017
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Deep Creek Lake Area

Driving into Deep Creek, you may have noticed a funny thing: a little town off the highway with a very peculiar name. People often ask us what a town has to do to get such an unusual moniker. With a name like ‘Accident’, people are bound to talk.

Accident- and yes, that is its real name- is home to a charming main street with many outstanding local businesses, including the Moonshadow Café, Harvest Moon Market, and Firefly Farms Creamery & Market. The fabric of this town, textured with a rich local history, includes a charming origin tale, told and retold by residents in small variations, seeking to explain how exactly such a name came to be.

The story goes back to the days of our country’s founding, shortly before the American Revolution. In the early 1770s, Mr. George Deakins, a colonist from central Maryland, was set to receive 600 acres of land from King George II of England as a payment of debt from the monarchy. Mr. Deakins, looking to capitalize on his acquisition with the best selection possible, hired two separate surveyors to explore the available land and report back to him. Independently of one another, both surveyors returned to Mr. Deakins with identical reports, seemingly, “by accident”: the best land in the area, without a doubt, started and ended with the same oak tree. Confident in his selection, Mr. Deakins completed the acquisition and, in a nod to the findings of the two surveyors, dubbed the area “The Accidental Tract.”

After winning our independence, the Deakins opened up the surrounding countryside into military lots and distributed acreage among soldiers and generals returning from the war; thus beginning the inhabitance of the area and starting the path towards township that concluded with Accident’s official incorporation in 1916.

Evidence of Accident’s long and noble history can be seen today, especially in visits to the historic Kaese Mill, built in 1868, and the James Drane House (pictured), constructed around 1800. The area’s inherent charm, as evident today as it was back in the 1700s, can be experienced, first-hand, by all who spend the day in the pristine hills and rivers of the town. Ask anyone around and you will find that the people of Accident are convinced that the “accident” was really no accident at all: this place really is the best there is.