Just a few years ago, Jack Ternent was selling chain, rope and cement to the coal mines in the mountains around his store — the kind of trade that propped up Western Maryland's economy for more than a century.
But as the coal industry has withered nationally, and in Maryland especially, Ternent said those kinds of supplies are now just as likely to sit idle in his warehouse.
"Mining is what made this town," Ternent said, frowning below the portrait of his grandfather, who opened the lumber store here in 1885.
"Now," the 73-year-old said, "'coal' is a dirty word."
Amid a long decline in coal production and a shift toward cleaner...