A Meshach Browning-themed community art project will be unveiled on Saturday, Sept. 26 at noon at the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club Park at 1249 Bumble Bee Road, Accident.
The project consists of more than 50 3-D printed plaques depicting Meshach Browning, which have been painted and decorated by community members and assembled into a mosaic.
The production of these panels was paid for by an Impact Garrett County grant awarded by the Population Health, Innovation & Informatics Unit at the Garrett County Health Department with primary funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Club spokesman Chris Nichols explained that Meshach Browning (1781-1859) was an early settler of Western Maryland and a prolific hunter.
“His book, ‘Forty-four Years in the Life of a Hunter,’ provides one of the best accounts of pioneer life in what would become Garrett County during the early 1800s,” he said.
Browning described the area that would become Deep Creek Lake in his book.
“My mind cannot imagine a more beautiful sight than could be obtained from the highest grounds of the Hoop-Pole Ridge, which commanded a view of the valley between that and the great Back-Bone. ... It was a grand sight to watch the tall grass, rolling in beautiful waves with every breeze which passed over its smooth surface, as well as the herds of deer skipping and playing with each other.”
In 2018, the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club began development of a history center themed around Browning’s life and times at their park.
The initial project consisted of the blazing and clearing of a 10-mile trail system, as well as the development and installation of a series of interpretive panels on Browning’s history.
The plaque mosaic will join two other pieces of outdoor art as part of the historical center — life-scale sculptures of Browning in chainsaw-carved wood by Jessica Spiker and welded reclaimed metal by Joshua Sines.
Plans for further development include additional outdoor art pieces, the acquisition and reconstruction of a hand-hewn log cabin and a pioneer-themed fundraising festival-style event.
“We believe these projects not only benefit the club by providing us with further fundraising and promotional opportunities,” Nichols said, “but also provide the county with a unique cultural, educational and tourism resource that complements many of the existing draws of the area.”
At the unveiling event, the club will launch its next community art piece, a reclaimed plastic bottlecap mosaic panel depicting a stylized hunter viewing a mountain vista.
Attendees to the event are encouraged to collect and wash plastic bottlecaps, especially in earth tones, for mounting to the panel.
The club also has a limited supply of the 3-D printed plaques for painting and inclusion in the mosaic, which can be requested by contacting the club or attending the event at the park.
For more information on the Deep Creek Lake Lions Club and the Meshach Browning History Center, contact the Club via email at email@example.com
, call or text 323-325-5466 or visit the website www.deepcreeklions.org