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Gordon Roberts House Musem

The Gordon - Roberts House was built in 1867 by Josiah Hance Gordon, a prominent attorney in Cumberland. Mr. Gordon had moved to the Cumberland area in 1842, when he commenced to study law at the firm of McKaig and McKaig. He was admitted to the bar in October of 1844. In 1851 he was elected Allegany County State's Attorney and served until 1857 in that capacity. Mr. Gordon was elected in 1859 to the Maryland House of Delegates. During his term in the House, he was one of the legislators arrested at the special meeting held in Frederick on the question of Maryland's secession from the Union. He, along with several other Maryland lawmakers, was accused of being a secessionist. At first he was incarcerated at Fort McHenry but later sent to Fort Warren. In 1869 Mr. Gordon became president of the C & O Canal. He was appointed Associate Judge of the Circuit Court in 1883. Mr. Gordon remained in the public eye throughout his long and illustrious career. He died suddenly on August 13, 1887 and is buried at Rose Hill Cemetary in Cumberland.

The second and last family to live in the house was the W. Milnor Roberts, Sr. family who lived in the home for over sixty years. Mr. Roberts was an engineer involved in building railroads. He spent many years in Brazil and upon returning to the Cumberland area he started a foundry and machine business. Besides being a successful businessman, Mr. Roberts was an accomplished violinist and had a workshop on the third floor of the house where he crafted violins. During the Roberts tenure "the home was the scene of many brilliant and festive occasions".

The Allegany County Historical Society purchased the home from th... [ Read all ]

Permanent Collection

Everything in the museum has been donated by area residents. The museum continually receives wonderful items illustrating family history, traditions, and customs. Due to the selection of artifacts, the museum exhibits change throughout the year with programs to highlight the exhibits. Collections include the following:

* Furnishings
* Clothing
* Quilts
* Glassware
* Portraits
* Artwork
* Utensils
* Tool

* Photographs
* Postcards
* Programs, newspapers, etc.
* Toys
* Books
* China & Silver
* Maps

Opening hours

The Gordon-Roberts House is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm with the last tour beginning at 4 pm.

Often costumed tour docents transport visitors back in time.

A Museum-Explorer tour is offered to school-age children. This tour offers children the opportunity to use clues to find specific items in the house and highlights how people lived, worked, and played in the 1800s.

Getting there

Coming from the East:
Interstate 68 passes through Cumberland
Take Exit 43A off I-68
Off exit bear right onto Lee Street
At traffic light go straight on Lee Street
At stop sign turn right on Washington Street
Gordon Roberts House is on the right in this block

Coming from the West:
Interstate 68 passes through Cumberland
Take Exit 43A off I-68
Bear left off exit
At stop light turn left on Greene Street
At next stop light turn right on Lee Street
At stop sign turn right on Washington Street
Gordon Roberts House is on the right in this block


Visit the Gordon-Roberts House and enjoy a soothing cup of tea, served by an elegantly costumed docent, as you embark on a memorable journey back in time. Strains of period music add to the ambience as you walk the halls of this lovely 1867 Victorian home.

Museum internal and external photos (1)

Click on the images to enlarge


Rooftops & Rumors Tour
A tour offered to groups with a minimum of twelve and a maximum of sixteen. Participants will discover what an artist, politicians, and a circus-ax thrower have in common! Discover the history, the architecture, and the interesting people who built the homes on Washington Street.

Board the bus at the Western Maryland Train Station. Tour includes street tour and a tour of either the F. Brooke Whiting House of Art or the Gordon-Roberts House Museum.

2007 Events

Saturday, April 21
1 - 2:30 PM
Mad Hatters Children's Tea

Wednesday, April 25
12 - 2 PM
Administrative Professionals Day Tea

Saturday, May 12
1 - 3 PM
Mother & Child Tea

2007 History Camps

Through the summer months History Camps are offered at the Gordon-Roberts House for various age groups. The following camps will be offered in 2007:

Participate in a dig to explore our County's early history.

Pioneer Life
Take a journey on the National Road to explore the westward movement. Includes field trip, soap-making, candle-making, time period food preparation and more.

Native American
Discover the Native Americans who occupied our County. Crafts, food, clothing, and habitats are explored.

Campers experience how a upper middle class family of the late 1800s and their servants worked and played. Includes sewing, cooking, a day in a one-room school and hosting a social event.

Camp schedules have not been established yet. Costs are $60 for non-members and $50 for members of the Historical Society. Each camp session is limited and offered on a first-come; first-serve basis.+ [ Read all ]