Located along the Youghiogheny River in the mountains of western Maryland is the historic community of Sang Run.
The drive to this remote pocket of the state is not the easiest, with narrow, twisty blacktop roadways alternating between the edges of hills and creeks and dances through open meadows. Accessing the town requires a southern turn from Interstate 68 to a route that parallels the Youghiogheny atop Elder Hill. A turn down an intersecting route is the centerpiece of Sang Run.
The Friends Store has served the community for over a century, selling basic food staples, wild roots, and locally made jams and bakery items. The rustic landmark, with its board and batten siding and distinct green tar paper roof, sits on 81 acres on land originally settled by John Friend in 1769 after bartering with the Shawnee Indian tribe. It was where fur trappers would sell their wares, and where travelers, including George Washington, stayed at. The Friends Store, now operated by the Maryland Park Service, is open each Monday in July and August.
Nearby is the quaint Sang Run Election House. In use from 1872 to 1972, the one-room building was listed as a State Historic Site in 1982.
Sang Run is a unique gem that is thankfully being preserved by the state of Maryland as a cultural resource. All too often, these links to our past are removed to make way for generic subdivisions, flashy shopping centers and new roads, and it’s refreshing to see there is a part of this state that cares about its heritage. I am sure that there are many more communities such as Sang Run waiting to be discovered in this area.