Wills Creek

Wills Creek (North Branch Potomac River)

Wills Creek is a tributary of the North Branch Potomac River in Pennsylvania and Maryland in the United States.

Wills Creek drops off the Allegheny Mountains of southeastern Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and enters the North Branch Potomac River at Cumberland, Maryland.



Wills Creek was named after Will's Town, a former settlement of the Shawnee Indians at the site of Cumberland, Maryland. After the Shawnee deserted this region, an Indian named Will lived a short distance from the site of the old Shawnee town at the mouth of Caiuctucucer. At the time of the coming of the first white settlers he was living in a cabin on the mountain side. The creek, mountain, and town were afterward named for him. Will's creek is noted on the maps of Lewis Evans (1755) and Scull (1759, 1770), and on the map in Christopher Gist's journal. (See, Hodge 1912)

Cumberland flood control system

In the 1950's, the city of Cumberland, Maryland and the United States Army Corps of Engineers embarked upon an 18.5 million dollar flood control program along a stretch of Wills Creek bordering the city. The project was one of the most costly public works project in the city's history. Disastrous floods from Wills Creek have ravaged Cumberland over the years, particularly in 1924, 1936, and 1942, and the Army Corp of Engineers was called upon to design a system that would prevent property damage caused by high waters. It began just upstream from the Route 40 Bridge, where the corps paved the bottom of Will’s Creek, constructing concrete walls along its banks, and implementation of a sophisticated pumping system to prevent the watershed from flooding during heavy rain. The work took a decade to complete, being finished in 1959, and has successfully prevented flooding ever since.

See also


  • Frederick Webb Hodge, "Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico", Copyright 1912, Vol 4. Page 956

External links

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