Western Union microwave relay sites: Sideling Hill, Maryland

Western Union sign on the Tenley terminal, 2002.

Western Union sign on the Tenley terminal, 2002.

Western Union microwave relay sites survey: Part V

Site Name: Sideling Hill
Call Sign:
KGB46
State: Maryland
County:
Washington
Address: National Pike
Type of Facility:
Relay
Original
Tower Height: 100′

Western Union Telegraph Company Sideling Hill relay station, Washington County, Maryland.

Located on Sideling Hill Mountain in northern Washington County, Maryland, at an elevation of 1,591′ above mean sea level, this relay site was bought by Western Union 21 November 1945. The company paid the Woodmont Rod and Gun Club of Baltimore City $500.00 for a 0.92 acre parcel adjacent to U.S. 40. The company built a 100′ tower at this site.

Sideling Hill relay station and entrance road as seen from U.S. 40. Photograph by David Rotenstein, 2002.

Sideling Hill relay station: Tower cab closeup. Photograph by David Rotenstein, 2002.

During the early 1950s, the State of Maryland relocated a portion of U.S. 40 over Sideling Hill Mountain and it acquired a portion of Western Union’s access road, requiring the company to build a new access road to its relay site from the highway. The site was acquired by the State of Maryland and currently is used by the Maryland State Police.

1950 Maryland State Highway Administration plat showing the location of the Sideling Hill relay station. Maryland State Archives.

1950 Maryland State Highway administration plat. Enlargement of detail showing Sideling Hill relay station. Maryland State Archives.

The tower, cab, and equipment building were intact in 2003. Alterations to the tower include the mounting of parabolic and omni-directional antennas. The Western Union installation was the first of five towers constructed in proximity to each other along the crest of Sideling Hill Mountain along U.S. 40.

Sideling Hill tower farm as seen from I-70. The Western Union tower is the second from the left. Photograph by David Rotenstein, 2002.

Sideling Hill tower farm along U.S. 40. The Western Union relay is the first tower to the right of the road. Photograph by David Rotenstein, 2002.

© 2010 David S. Rotenstein

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