The State Highway Administration removed four signs for “Negro Mountain” from Western Maryland roads in April over concerns about racial sensitivity, an agency spokeswoman confirmed Sunday.
Two of the signs had stood along Interstate 68, and the other pair had stood on U.S. Alternate Route 40, according to the Cumberland Times-News, which first reported the news of their removal.
“We continue to work with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and the local community to better understand the interests of all stakeholders,” SHA spokeswoman Lora Rakowski said in a statement.
Part of the Allegheny Mountain Range, Negro Mountain’s ridge runs 30 miles long, from Deep Creek Lake to the Casselman River in Pennsylvania. Its peak at Mount Davis in Pennsylvania is 3,213 feet tall.
The exact origin of the mountain’s name is unknown.
Historical accounts point to the mountain being named for a black man who died in a skirmish with Native Americans, The Times-News reported, and one historian told the paper she had researched the topic and learned of an area on the west side of the mountain called [N-word] Hollow, where lynchings took place.