Luke, Maryland

Luke, Maryland

Luke is a town in Allegany County, Maryland, United States located along the Georges Creek Valley. It is part of the Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 80 at the 2000 census. Originally known as West Piedmont.


The town of Luke was first settled in the early 1770s when the first settlers began to arrive. Among the first arrivals were the Davis brothers, who established a saw mill where the town of Luke now stands. The mill provided cross-ties to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as it pushed its rails westward through the Piedmont area of what is now West Virginia. When the railroad suspended building in the 1880s, the Davis brothers disbanded and sold their property to the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company.

About that same time, William Luke and two of his sons arrived. They assiduously applied themselves to developing the place they had adopted. When the railroad needed a name for the stop it established there, it happily accepted "Luke".

Over the next several decades, Luke prospered with the operation of the paper mill, the influx of other "heavy" industrial concerns, and the establishment of the usual supporting Mom and Pop businesses. Nearby, along the Savage River, there was a gun factory that provided muskets with bayonets for the United States Army at Harpers Ferry.

With Luke's growth came citizens' concerns about educational and social issues. Schooling in private homes and business buildings was relocated to a two-room schoolhouse. Growing enrollment in the first through eighth grades brought about construction of a fine new school that opened in September, 1913. It served the town well for forty-six years, sending well educated students off to high school in Westernport. When the school closed in 1959, the building was converted for use as the town's administrative offices—the City Building.

Luke has changed from a booming industrial town to a small quiet community with an appreciated big neighbor in its back yard— the NewPage Corporation, successor to the Westvaco Corporation, and the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Mill. With the population declining, homes and businesses have been purchased and demolished to make room for Westvaco’s expansion. There are no small businesses left within the town's corporate limits. The town’s annual August Homecoming attracts hundreds.


Luke is located at (39.475619, -79.057915).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.3 square miles (0.7 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 80 people, 39 households, and 23 families residing in the town. The population density was 288.9 people per square mile (110.3/km²). There were 58 housing units at an average density of 209.4/sq mi (80.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 100.00% White. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.50% of the population.

There were 39 households out of which 17.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.2% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.0% were non-families. 38.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 28.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.05 and the average family size was 2.74.

In the town the population was spread out with 16.3% under the age of 18, 2.5% from 18 to 24, 20.0% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 35.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 52 years. For every 100 females there were 110.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $21,406, and the median income for a family was $30,625. Males had a median income of $32,500 versus $0 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,488. There were 11.8% of families and 13.2% of the population living below the poverty line, including 33.3% of under eighteens and none of those over 64.

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