90th Anniversary of Deep Creek Lake!

Last Updated on Jun 2, 2015 at 2:44pm | Tourism & Recreation

This article appears in the June 2015 issue of The Lake-Front magazine and is being reprinted here in its entirety with permission.
Maryland’s largest freshwater lake, Deep Creek Lake, marks its 90th Anniversary this year with a commemorative celebration June 11 to 14, 2015 with specials, events, discounts, and more.
The celebration June 11 to 14, 2015 will include specials on shopping, food, amusements, lodging, 90th anniversary merchandise, wave-runner rentals, pontoon boat tours, ice cream, chocolate, and more. And events from June 11 to 14, 2015 will also include open houses, history of Deep Creek Lake presentations, wine tastings, 5K/2 mile walk, birthday parties and dinners, hike, Tunes & Brews Fest, outdoor movie night, canoe trip, worship services, meetings, historical photograph displays, and more. Full details on all of the specials and events are available in the 90th anniversary brochure.
The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the official Birthday Party for Deep Creek Lake on Saturday, June 13, 2015 from noon to 5 pm at the Garrett County Visitors Center, located at 15 Visitors Center Drive, McHenry, MD 21541. The public is welcome to attend this free event which will include a ceremony, an 11-foot long Birthday cake in the shape of Deep Creek Lake, a historical photograph display, and county information. 
“The creation of Deep Creek Lake can probably be deemed the most transformational development to occur in Garrett County in the last Century,” said Nicole Christian, President & CEO of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.
Deep Creek Lake is Maryland’s largest freshwater lake, covering 3,900 acres with 65 miles of shoreline. The man-made lake got its start in 1925 as the result of an effort undertaken by the Youghiogheny Hydro-Electric Corporation to harness the power of Deep Creek, a tributary of the Youghiogheny River. Large swaths of land were purchased, a 1,300-foot-long impoundment dam was constructed to stem the flow of water in Deep Creek, and thousands of trees were removed from the area to be flooded. In addition, 15 miles of primary and secondary roads were relocated. With Deep Creek sealed off, the expectation was that at least six months would be required for the lake to fill. But, boosted by heavy rains and snowfall, the process took only a couple of months. On May 26, 1925, the hydroelectric plant kicked into service, with water from the lake transported to the powerhouse through a 7,000-foot tunnel.
As the years passed, the area’s fishing and boating prowess became well-known to visitors from Pennsylvania. Residents of the Baltimore/Washington population centers also found the area to be a convenient getaway place, especially after interstate highways were built. Among the last of these was I-68 – the national freeway – a major transportation route that arrived in 1991 and further opened up Western Maryland to tourism, commerce, and more. Today 1.2 million visitors each year take advantage of the limitless recreational options offered in and around the Deep Creek Lake area, creating their own Deep Creek Experience.
The physical transformation of Garrett County did not stop with the creation of the lake; it continued with the real estate and commercial development around the lake and throughout the County.
“Not only has the creation of Deep Creek Lake transformed Garrett County physically, but it has transformed the economy and quality of life of this community. It is widely recognized that the lake is an economic engine for Garrett County spurring growth in the tourism industry and generating millions in property tax revenue,” said Christian.
“Going back to the 1800s, Garrett County has always been a recreational destination,” Christian continues. “However, when the big hotels in Oakland, Deer Park, Mountain Lake Park, and Loch Lynn began to disappear, Garrett County needed another major attraction. Deep Creek Lake is that attraction, drawing nearly half a million visitors here in the summer. It has also lured 2nd homeowners, retirees, and entrepreneurs who want to live on the lake and enjoy the quality of life Garrett County offers.”
Deep Creek Lake continues to shape the future development of Garrett County. State Farm Insurance - Rob Michael is the Gold sponsor of the 90th Anniversary Celebration.
For more details about Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County, MD, please visit www.visitdeepcreek.com or contact the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce at (888) 387-5237.