Posts by: "goodNewsBanner"

by James Rada, Jr.


Commission Openings

The Town of Thurmont is seeking volunteers to serve on the town’s planning and zoning commission, police commission, and ethics commission. Anyone interested in serving on one of the commissions should submit their interest in writing to or to the town office by July 2 6.

National Night Out Celebration Announced

Thurmont Police will host National Night Out on August 6 from 6:00 to 7:30p.m. at the Thurmont Police Department at 800 E. Main Street in Thurmont. The event is a chance to meet the Thurmont Police and representatives from other emergency services and community organizations. There will be music, free food, emergency vehicle displays, information booths, pony rides, a bounce house, giveaways, and more.

Stump Grinder Purchased

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners voted to purchase a stump grinder attachment for the town’s skid loader for $7,961 from Rippeon Equipment of Frederick. Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick noted that it could quickly pay for itself because bids he received to grind four stumps in Community Parkrecently totaled around $2,000. The stump grinder will be purchased with unused capital improvement funds from last year’s budget.


Mayor John Kinnaird

It is hard to believe that we are halfway through 2024! It seems like just lastmonth it was cold and wet, and now here we are in one of the hottest summers on record. Please be careful when we see temperatures in the mid and upper 90s and high humidity. Young children and the elderly are especially susceptible to heat induced issues, including heat stroke. Be sure to keep hydrated, stay indoors if possible, and do not over-exert yourself. Also, keep in mind, our four-legged friends are also suffering when the temps get above 90 degrees.

Summertime also means that our children are on summer break. Kids will be out on their bikes, skateboards, or running and playing. Please be on the lookout for children as you drive, as they may not always be aware of their surroundings and cars as they are playing. Driving the speed limit and watching for our younger residents will keep everyone safer this summer.

Major changes are being made at the Community Park Tennis Courts. The old courts have served us well and are in the process of being replaced with entirelynew court surfaces, nets, fences, lights, and markings. Please be patient as this work progresses.

A major remodeling is underway at the Thurmont Bank Building on the Square! This work will include the creation of new commercial spaces on the first floor and several apartments on the second and third floors. This project has been a long time coming, and we have all watched as several proposals were made but never materialized. The Thurmont Bank Building is the centerpiece of our community, having stood on the corner of West Main and Water Street since 1891. The bank was established by Samuel Birely and Van Osler in 1889 and served our community for several generations. During the time since 1891, the bank became a National Bank and actually issued its own currency for a short time. Many will remember the apartment on the upper floors and the people that occupied them, including our beloved teacher, Ethel Crawford. The bank remained in local hands for most of its life, but in later years, it changed hands several times, eventually becoming a branch of the Bank of America. Eventually, Bank of America closed smaller, less productive branches, and our bank was closed. The property sat vacant for several years and was eventually auctioned. I tried to get our Board of Commissioners to purchase the building at auction and it sold to an investment firm in Florida for a little over $200,000.00, which was a true bargain for such a substantial and historic building. They, in turn, sold it to a couple that had ideas of opening an ever-changing list of small businesses in the property. The building was completely gutted, making the renovation a major project. Everyone remembers the anticipation, then let down, as plans were revealed and then scrapped several times due to the cost of remodeling. The building is now owned by a local company, and they are getting ready to completely rebuild the interior. As I noted, the first floor will have commercial space and the upper floors will once again be apartments. I look forward to the completion of the long-awaited renewal of this Thurmont landmark. Karen and I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer.

Do you have and questions, comments, or suggestions? I can be reached by cell phone at 301-606-9458 or by email at


Mayor Frank Davis

Town Approves Parking Lot Bid

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a bid for the construction of a 10-space parking lot at Rainbow Lake. The work also includes a stormwater management bioretention facility, asphalt pavement, site restoration, landscaping, and other related items. Superior Facilities Management was the low bidder and won the contract for $125,558.69. Funding comes from Program Open Space and LPPI grants that require a 25 percent town match.

Multi-user Trail Bid Approved

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a bid to build a multiuser trail on town property. It will be in the Rainbow Lake watershed area. The proposed red loop trail will be 2.8 miles long. The trail needs 1.5 miles redesigning and 1.3 miles of damaged trail relocated. The relocation will also add .2 miles to the trail, bringing the total length to 3 miles. Greenstone Trailcraft of Frederick won the contract for $89,620. Funding comes from a Program Open Space grant that requires a 10 percent match.

Sitework Approved for New Restroom/Concession Stand

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a bid for the sitework for the new pre-fabricated restroom/concession stand in E. Eugene Myers Park. Ox Construction of New Windsor won the bid for $79,950.

Grant Awarded

The Town of Emmitsburg was recently awarded at $3,179.33 TRIPP grant. The grant requires a $1,589.67 match and will allow the town to advertise itself as a tourism destination in the 2025 Destination Gettysburg and 2025 Visit Frederick guides.


Burgess Heath Barnes

Happy Independence Day, aka 4th of July. I hope each of you has a safe holiday with family and friends. If you celebrate with fireworks , please use caution, as the weather has been hot and things can be dry.

At our June 11th meeting, we had more town residents in attendance than we have had at a meeting in my tenure as burgess. This was to be expected with the voting for the budget, but it was also nice to have that many people in attendance, as we were to be voting on moving forward with the town hall

building or not. The meeting started with a discussion about the town hall.

Initially, when we sent it out for bids several months ago, the lowest bid came in

at $1.6 million, and the builder we chose came in at about $1.8 million. This was out of our price range, so we sent it back to the builder and asked for cuts. The new proposal came in at $1.4 million. With the $400,000 that I secured in grants from the state during Governor Larry Hogan’s last year in office and taking out

$200,000 from town reserves. This would require us to take out an $800,000 loan from Woodsboro Bank, with about a $4,500-$4,700 per month mortgage payment. After a lively discussion, it was tabled until the end of the meeting, as a few council members were not comfortable with the cost. When we restarted

the discussion, the council was still at a standstill. I gave my opinion that the longer we waited, the more expensive it would become. Several comments came in from the public, and one said let’s poll the audience. At that point, we asked, and 17 of the 22 in the audience raised their hands in favor. At that point, Commissioner Eckenrode made a motion to move forward. Commissioner Rittelmeyer seconded the motion. Commissioner Cutshall and Commissioner Case voted no. At that point, it was a 2-2 vote. Per town code, the burgess would

break the tie. I voted yes, and the town hall project was approved. The builder has told us we should be in the building by late spring 2025.

At the monthly meeting, we also discussed some issues we are having with the wastewater plant. We have plans in place to fix some issues that are happening; however, we have also been hit with a surprise resignation of our town water and sewage plant operator, with his last day being August 31, 2024.

We are currently actively seeking his replacement. We are running a 20-year wastewater plant that was put in 22 years ago. Unfortunately, the town did not have a strategic plan in place for the replacement of it in 20 years, which is, unfortunately, why we had no choice but to increase water and sewage rates.

If we had not received $974,000 in the American Rescue Plan funds, where $750,000 of it went to the water plant, we would be in worse shape than we are. With the additional funds, we should hopefully be able to get all things completed in the next 12 months.

On July 4th, there will be a free event in the park with amateur singers, open to the public to sing along, with food trucks and activities. This is put on by town resident Joe Williams. This is not an event that is put on by the town, but it is nice to see the park bandshell being used for events. All are welcome to


As always, I encourage everyone to support Glade Valley Community Services (GVCS) if you have clothes or food donations, as they are always in need of items for members of the community. For more information, please contact GVCS by email at or call 301-845-0213.

If you have any questions, concerns, complaints, or compliments, please feel free to reach out to me at or by phone at 301-401-7164.

Woodsboro town meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. In addition, planning and zoning meetings ar e at 6:00 p.m. on the first Monday of the month, as needed. If you have an item for the agenda, it needs to be submitted 14 days before the P&Z meeting. The current location for meetings is St. Johns United Church of Christ, located at 8 N. 2nd Street, Woodsboro, MD21798. The public is always invited to attend.

E m m i t s b u r g  B o w l i n g  L a n e s

Emmitsburg Recreation Center, which once contained the Emmitsburg Lanes bowling alleys, was located across an alley from the existing laundromat on West Main Street and was in operation from the 1940s until 1965.

The building housing the recreation center was described by The (Frederick) News, in 1965, as having been “two stories tall in the front with three apartments over the snack bar,” and that “the back of the building drops down to a one-story level over the bowling alley.”

The  Emmitsburg Recreation Center and the inclusive Emmitsburg Lanes were owned and operated by  Charles A. Harner, who owned other theaters as well. The center served as the host to numerous tournaments during its existence, in addition to sponsoring local leagues and teams. The News noted in 1951 that the center had established the “Civil League,” consisting of 12 teams.

Things didn’t always go well at the center. The News reported on November 14, 1950, that Harner “is recovering at his home from injuries received when two men gave him a brutal beating at his place of business.” His injuries landed him in the Annie E. Warner Hospital (later known as the Gettysburg Hospital) for a week before his release.

Sometime during 1958, three individuals broke into the center and stole some $35 from a soda machine, cash register, and a tray that contained $20 in pennies, according to The News. This and other acts resulted in two of the participants being remanded over to the Maryland House of Corrections. A third suspect was awaiting a hearing in the juvenile court.

On March 25, 1965, the glory days of the Emmitsburg Recreation Center came to a disastrous end in a raging blaze, covered by newspapers from Cumberland to Frederick to Baltimore.  The morning after the fire, the top headline of The News read, “Blaze Ruins Recreation Center.”

The News reported that the fire had been initially reported around 11:35 p.m. on March 25, and that the fire had spread throughout “the entire first story of the building, including a 10-lane bowling alley and a snack bar.”

According to The (Baltimore) Evening Sun, state police stated that the fire had been started in a deep-fryer in the snack bar of the Recreation Bowling  Lanes,” and then “spread rapidly through the restaurant and bowling alleys.” More specifically, The News reported that the fire had started “from an overheated deep fry pan when grease exploded and set the restaurant section of the brick building on fire.”

More than 70 firefighters rushed to the scene of the blaze, The News stated, which included firefighters from Emmitsburg, Thurmont, and the Citizens Company of Frederick. The newspaper reported that the firefighters had battled the blaze for more than six hours, and the smoldering embers continued to be doused with water even longer until there was no chance of the fire rekindling itself.

The News reported that the fire companies were shooting water from their hoses onto the burning building from the rooftops of the laundromat and the United Church of Christ, and that the blaze had raged “uncontrollably” from 11:35 p.m. to around 1:00 a.m.

The Cumberland News reported that “A woman and her three children were rescued by ladder from the smoke-filled apartment on the second floor.”   The News identified the four individuals as “Mrs. Andrew Michell, and her three children, all under four years of age,” further noting that the rescue had been conducted by members of the Emmitsburg Fire Company (predecessor of the Vigilant Hose Company),

Two couples living in the other apartments had made their own way out to safety. The News identified them as having been Mr. and Mrs. Henry Troxell and Mr. and Mrs. Junior Manahan, all of whom had found their way out “through the dense smoke,” further stating that several bowling alley patrons had also managed to escape the smoke and fire.

The Sun reported that state police had stated that the building had sustained an estimated $70,000 in damages in the fire. The News noted that the building was covered by insurance, but the contents of the restaurant, which was managed by William Boyd, were not covered. The apartments were not burned but had sustained smoke and water damage.

One Emmitsburg fireman had been overcome by smoke and was transported to the Annie E. Warner Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Harner never re-opened the center or the bowling alleys.

Unidentified bowlers at Emmitsburg Recreation Center.

Richard D. L. Fulton

Annapolis Tercentenary, 1949

On May 23, 1949, the United States Postal Service commemorated the 300th anniversary of the establishment of Annapolis as the capital of Maryland via the issuance of a three-cent stamp.

First Day of Issue cancellations of the stamps were conducted at the post office in Annapolis—the first capital of Maryland, and at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the United States Postal Service. To collectors, the Annapolis cancellation is more desirable than the Washington, D.C. cancellation.

Further, the First Day of Issue cancellations issued at Annapolis bore the correct date of the Tercentenary (May 23, 1949), while the same issued at the D.C. post office bore the next day’s date (May 24, 1949).

Annapolis’ road to being recognized as Maryland’s capital began when Leonard Calvert, along with 140 to 150 Catholic and Protestant settlers, set sail from the Isle of Wight, England, and ventured up the Potomac River, whereon on March 25, 1633, they founded Saint Mary’s City. Doing so resulted in Saint Mary’s City then being recognized as Maryland’s first European settlement and the Province of Maryland’s first capital.

Maryland was, of course, a British colony at the time, and was thus deemed as the Province of Maryland, Maryland, having been named in honor of Henrietta Maria of France, queen of England, Scotland and Ireland (coincidentally, her husband was executed in the wake of the English Civil War in the same year Annapolis was named as Maryland’s capital).  Likewise, Saint Mary’s City was also named in her honor.

By the late 1640s, settlers had already begun to fan out in the area that would ultimately become both Anne Arundel County (established as a county in 1650), and Annapolis.  Forty-four years later, in 1694, the then provisional Governor Francis Nicholson, along with the Maryland General Assembly, elected to move Maryland’s capital from Saint Mary’s City to more centrally located Anne Arundel County.

As a result, Saint Mary’s City was abandoned.  The location of the original Saint Mary’s City can only be ascertained through archaeological excavations, according to,  although the city was essentially reborn when it eventually “rose from the grave,” beginning in the early 1900s,  Today, it boasts a population of around 1,000 residents and some 1,500 students housed in association with the city’s educational institutions.

Before the provincial capital was moved from Saint Mary’s City, the settlements around what would become Annapolis were initially called Providence, and subsequently, Anne Arundel’s Towne, according to  The name was changed to Annapolis (meaning Anne’s Town or City) when the town was designated as the new provincial capital.

Anne Arundel County, Anne Arundel’s Towne, and Annapolis were all named in honor of Anne Arundel, whose name is also spelled as Anne Arundell, and even Arrundell, who had married Cecil Calvert, the Second Lord Baltimore.  Although she never came to America, she was honored in Maryland as the result of spending much of her inheritance from her father, Lord Thomas Arundell, to help fund the new colony of Maryland.

Anne Arundel’s royal badge, which is a crown over the entwined thistle of Scotland and Tudor rose of England, is depicted on the Annapolis flag, according to

Maryland became a state when it ratified the United States Constitution on April 28, 1788, and retained Annapolis as being the state’s capital.  Maryland actually became a state twice.  First under the Articles of Confederation, which was adopted by the Continental Congress on November 15, 1777. The adoption of the Constitution on April 28, 1788, effectively disbanded the first United States that had been established under the Articles of Confederation. stated that “Today, Annapolis has more of these original 18th-century structures standing than any other city in the United States.”

Once known as the “Athens of America,” due to its early “wealth of cultural activities, a glittering social season. gracious hospitality, and intellectual stimulation,” the city has grown to a population of over 40,000 residents, numerous educational institutions, and even serves as home to the prestigious United States Naval Academy.

First Day Cover of Annapolis Tercentenary stamp, cancelled May 23,1949.

Richard D. L. Fulton

The “Great Maryland Gold Rush,” which raged from the 1860s into the 1920s, petering out by 1940, was triggered by pure happenstance when gold was discovered there during the American Civil War.

Gold was reportedly discovered on a farm belonging to Samuel Ellicott, located near Brookville, Montgomery County, Maryland, during 1849; although, it apparently attracted little attention and was left largely unexplored.

One of the earliest newspaper reports of the find appeared in the January 31, 1849, edition of The Rockville Journal, in which it was stated, “Gold has been found on Mr. Ellicott’s farm in this county. It is thought there is an abundance of the metal there. A specimen was sent to the Philadelphia mint, which was pronounced genuine.” The story was reprinted in the February 2, 1849, edition of The (Boston) Liberator.

The sample submitted was more than likely a specimen mentioned in an article published in a February issue of the Howard Gazette, and reprinted in the February 5, 1849, edition of The (Baltimore) Sun, in which the Gazette stated “that a rock had been found on the farm which contained “a hundred dollars’ worth of gold.” 

In today’s monetary evaluation, $100 would equate to $3,777, without taking the valuation of today’s value of gold per ounce into account. In the 1840s, gold was trading at about $18 per ounce. Today, gold can fetch $2,374 per ounce. 

However, the actual amount of gold contained within the aforementioned rock was not given. But if the value of gold in the 1840s was at $18 per ounce, it would suggest by the $100 claim that the sample could have contained around 5.5 ounces. That 5.5 ounces of gold today could bring more than $13,000.

The rise in the interest in Maryland gold has generally been attributed to having been spurred by the discovery of gold at Great Falls, Montgomery County, Maryland, in 1861, a discovery directly tied to the advent of the American Civil War.

When Union troops were stationed at Great Falls on The Potomac River in 1861, Private McCleary (or McCarey) of the 71st Pennsylvania Regiment (or “1st California Volunteers”) was scrubbing skillets in the water for the camp cooks, when he recognized gold in the skillets, according to the C&O Canal Trust.

“After the war, he returned to the area, bought some farmland, and started mining for gold in Montgomery County,” C&O Canal Trust noted on its website. A particular Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park wayside states that McCleary and some of his friends had only recovered around 11 ounces for their effort, which would have amounted to more than $26,000 in value.

McCleary’s find prompted a flurry in the establishment of gold mines, as investors sought to strike it rich in Maryland gold… leading to the first mine shaft sunk into Maryland soil in 1880.

By 1890, The (Baltimore) Sun reported in its February 24 issue, “The development of the mining industry in Montgomery County has made remarkable progress within the last six months, and there are no less than six mines being actively operated.” The newspaper identified the owners of the half-dozen mines as the Huddlestone mine, the Potomac Mining Company, the Iowa Mining Company, and by a number of private individuals.”

In 1900, the Maryland Gold Mining Company was formed, and the Great Falls Gold Mining Company was created in 1903 or 1904, according to the United States Geological Survey (Bulletin 1286). The Maryland Gold Mining Company folded in 1908.  Following the closure of the Maryland Gold Mining Company, the site was reopened and operated under several guises, the last of which was called the Maryland Mining Company.

By 1910, gold recovery increased in interest, but The Sun reported that the layers containing the gold could be elusive and “unevenly distributed,” to the degree that profits had not lived up to expectations. “The value of the output of gold in Maryland is very variable,” the newspaper reported, adding, “It has reached as much as $25,000 annually, while in other years none has been produced.”

Most of the gold mines at this point in time, The Sun reported, were located “near the southern edge of Montgomery County near the Great Falls of the Potomac.”

By the 1930s, the quest for gold continued to decline in productivity.  The Sun reported on August 4, 1935, “The annual production of gold in Maryland has been $71,583, virtually all of which was produced prior to 1906.”

By 1935, gold finds were reported all the way into Frederick County near Frederick City and in Braddock Heights. Six gold mines (actually, multi-commodity mines, of which one commodity included gold) were established in Frederick County. All told, gold was eventually reported in half a dozen Maryland counties.  However, many of these reported finds did not result in the development of mines. 

By 1940—when the last commercial gold mining company ceased operation—more than 45 gold mines had been dug in Maryland. In the course of less than 100 years, the total gold production of all the mines combined amounted to some 5,000 ounces. On today’s market, that would only have amounted to about $1,000,000.

The Sun, in 1935, almost forecasted the causations of the end of commercial gold mining operations in the state when it reported that the gold production business had sustained increasing costs of recovery, the result of the spotty occurrence of the gold and the hardness of the host rocks, which increased wear-and-tear on the equipment.

So where did the gold come from? According to the United States Geological Survey, mined gold in Maryland came from the Wissahickon Formation, basically layers of 750-million-year-old schists, gneisses, metagraywackes, and metaconglomerates (for the uninitiated, these are [metamorphic] rocks that were formed from other types of rocks as the result of re-crystallization from excessive heat and pressure exerted [normally] as a by-product of continental collisions).

In these “reformed” rocks, gold tends to occur in veins, usually in quartz veins, which was injected into the various altered rocks when the quartz was still in liquid form.

Free gold (obtained by other means, such as “panning” for gold) occurs as grains, flakes, or nuggets.  Most frequently, they are encountered in rivers or streams, where they eroded out of gold veins or from mine tailings (debris from former gold mines).

Basic equipment needed for panning for gold would be a pan; it can even be plastic. Steel is not recommended because it can rust.  A small plastic see-through vial or bottle will also be needed to keep any gold or suspected gold in as one finds it. Other equipment one might need includes a shovel, pick, trowel, bucket, screen, and suction tweezers.  Panning kits are also available online, which would include almost all of the essential tools.

Next, you would need a geological map in order to locate where any metamorphic rocks are located.

For those possibly interested in searching for gold in Maryland, according to the Maryland Geological Survey (Gold in Maryland, by Karen R. Kuff, 1987), Maryland has strict property rights laws, and panning and prospecting must be done with permission from the property owner.

Collecting of rocks is prohibited on state- and federal-owned lands unless permission is obtained from the appropriate agencies.

For additional information on panning for gold, recommended is the Maryland Geological Survey website at

Ruins of Maryland’s abandoned gold mine.

Large multi-inch vein gold from Maryland mine.

Emmitsburg New Business and Development Briefs

.The following are the statuses of new businesses and development coming to Emmitsburg from the town planner’s report:

Federal Stone (Creamery Road, east side of US 15) — Under construction.

Gettysburg Smoothie (5 E. Main St.) — Opened May 22.

Seton Village — The applicant is seeking planning commission approval of a subdivision plat to convert two condominium units into two recorded lots. The planning commission approved the plan unanimously, and the plan is awaiting signatures.

Emmitsburg Distillery (East Emmitsburg Industrial Park II Lot 4) — An updated improvement plan has been submitted and reviewed.

Christ Community Church (Creamery Road) — The site plan for review has been approved. The improvement plan is pending.

Mount St. Mary’s University E Wing Improvements (South Seton Avenue) — They are awaiting signatures.

St. Joseph Church (North Seton Avenue) — The planning commission unanimously approved the improvement plan for the installation of a ramp that meets ADA standards.

Emmit Ridge — The town engineer and town staff are reviewing the sketch plat. There is an ongoing discussion regarding the setback requirements. The Board of Appeals received the application for variance on May 28.

Penny Mart — Town staff has had an initial meeting with the owner. The town is awaiting the zoning permit application.

Development Pipeline/Applicant Interest

Frailey Property Annexation — A potential developer is interested in developing the portion of the property within the town boundary before annexing and developing the rest of the property.

Rodney McNair Property Annexation — Town staff is awaiting an annexation application.

Submitted by Joan Bittner Fry

Here are some news items from Sabillasville from 1915. I wonder how they might be reported on social media today.

July 13, 1915

Ross Brown has completed his new barn.

Rev. M.L. Firor, who has been at the hospital for five weeks, is able to preach again.

George Small has opened a boarding house in the brick house known as the A. H Anders home.

Guy Eby, who was at the Frederick city hospital for the past ten weeks with typhoid fever, has returned home.

Rev. Firor’s son, Whitmore, goes to Frederick every Friday to take violin lessons.

Mrs. Alice Working is erecting a new dwelling. Wm. E. Bentzel is doing the carpenter work.

Children’s Day service was held in the Reformed church Sunday with a good attendance.

The Reformed church has been made new inside by painting, murescoing, and other improvements.

Amos Ferguson who has been confined to his room for the past nine weeks with typhoid fever is now out.

The wheat crop was an average one. The corn looks promising, Fruit will be in abundance throughout the valley.

Mrs. Dorothy H. Pryor’s funeral took place near Foxville. She was in her 89th year.

C. C. Pryor, who fell on the ice last Christmas day, has not fully recovered yet. He walks with crutches. His leg was injured. He is a very heavy man, weighing 300 pounds. He is not able to lie down at night but sits in a chair ever since the fall.

July 20, 1915

Mary, daughter of Samuel A. Arnsparger, went to Baltimore a few days ago to visit her sister, Nora Chenoweth. After there a day or two, she died suddenly. Her body was brought home on Monday and buried on Wednesday.

The automobile fever is running at about 110 degrees. The usual number that pass through Sabillasville on Sunday is an average of 70. Last Sunday, 81 passed through here. This travel is wearing out our macadamized road between here and Blue Ridge Summit.

Earl Eby is planning to build a dwelling on land he purchased from C.N. Stem.

Jesse Poole is under Dr. Mentzer’s hands for treatment of an injured eye.

An unusual thing with the housekeepers this summer, at which they rejoice, is the failure of the fly crop.

Josiah Wilhide, who was confined to his room the past eight months, died Monday. He was helpless all these months. Funeral in Thurmont.

The Reformed church will hold its annual picnic August 21 in Mrs. Pryor’s grove.

September 1, 1915

The enterprising men of the town are oiling the streets, which is quite an improvement. Sabillasville is an old town but it’s always up to date.

Miss Nellie Rouzer has just returned to Baltimore after spending several weeks with her sister, Mrs. D. O Harbaugh.

The farmers are complaining very much of the potato rot. One farmer lost about a thousand bushels.

Peter Harbaugh and M. Sheffer of Fairfield spent Sunday in town calling on their friends.

Joseph Smith, formerly of this place, who has been living in Oregon for the past fifty years, is on a visit here. He expects to spend several weeks in this neighborhood.

A new telegraph office was recently built here by the W.M.Ry. (Western Maryland Railway). It is in charge of three operators, each working eight hours.

Jesse Poole, who was recently graduated from the business school in Waynesboro will take charge of the commercial department in the high school at Thurmont next week.

Prospects for large porkers are good as usual.

Owing to the fire blight, the apple crop is very light across the valley.

Well, Beat the Heat by Giving Your Furry Friend a Cool Treat!

by Mitchell Tester, College Student

With the 90-degree weather as of late, summer is finally starting to really heat up. Ice cream, pool parties, the beach, and much more, are all staples of a good summer. Although, what about the much fluffier part of our family? Taking extra steps to ensure your dog is safe this summer is vital to having them enjoy summer just as much as you do.

Unlike humans, dogs cannot sweat to cool themselves down. The only way they have to cool themselves down is to pant, as well as release heat through their paw pads and nose. Pair that with all their fur, and it means that the heat can get to them much easier than it can us. This puts dogs at a greater risk for overheating.

Humidity during these summer days is also a factor, the more humid it is, the greater the risk for overheating and, in extreme cases, heat stroke. Heat stroke is a serious and life-threatening condition that can occur in your dog very quickly if they are not cared for. Early signs of heat stroke in dogs can include: inability to move or stand, rapid panting, red or dark pink gums, and diarrhea. If you believe your dog is suffering from heat stroke, contact a vet immediately.

To avoid a situation as tragic as your furry friend getting heat stroke, certain actions can be taken to keep them safe in the heat. One very important action to be taken is to keep them well hydrated throughout the day, ensuring that they always have access to fresh, cool water. If weather conditions are above 90 degrees, it is best to keep your pet inside and only allow them to be outside for no more than 10-20 minutes at a time. If they are outside, provide them with an ample amount of shade and water. You should never leave your dog in a car during temps of 70 and above for any amount of time, no matter the circumstances. In fact, a parked car in 70-degree weather can reach 100 degrees in just 20 minutes, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. It is also important to note that leaving the car with the windows open does not lower the temperature inside the car to make it safe enough for your pet; it would only provide some ventilation, which does not make it safe. It is best to leave your dog at home while you run errands or have someone in the car with the A/C blasting while your furry friend stays in the car.

What about a cool treat for your furry friend? There are many treats you can make at home to help cool your dog off in the summer heat, including freezing a mashed banana and peanut butter inside a toy Kong or chilling carrots in the freezer.

Another effective way to cool off your furry friend quickly is a paddling pool. Positioned in a shady spot, this can provide a refreshing escape for your dog. Fill the pool halfway with cold—not freezing—water, and add some toys to make it extra fun!

Providing your dog with fresh cool water at all times throughout the day, not leaving them in the car, in 90-degree weather allowing them to be out for no longer than 20 minutes at a time, and providing them always with ample amounts of shade when outside are just some of the ways you can ensure that the furry member of your family stays safe and healthy this summer season!

Take a trip to Catoctin Mountain Park and explore two new trails! Between the Hog Rock and Thurmont Vista parking lots, keep your eye out for a small parking lot with a picnic table behind it. Across from that parking lot is where the trail starts, eventually connecting to the existing Blue Ridge Summit Trail. Left will take you to Blue Ridge Summit overlook and the Hog Rock parking lot, and right will lead you to Thurmont Vista (this trail and other trails such as Hog Rock may be closed until July 4th). The new spot is a great place to start your hike!

The next new trail extends the Blue Blazes trail past the Whiskey Still exhibit; you’ll notice a sign on a tree past the little creek with text that says “Work In Progress.” You’ll continue past the creek and the sign. Due to it still being a work in progress, the markings along the trail are limited, so be sure to stay aware of your surroundings and stay on the trail. This new trail will lead you 0.6 miles to a sign pointing you across the road toward Wolf Rock and Thurmont Vista, and continue straight toward the Misty Mount cabins. Take the opportunity this summer to get out in nature and try out the new trails! Stay safe and stay hydrated.

Submitted by Joan Bittner Fry

From the Record Herald, Waynesboro, PA, 1951, by Carol Woster 

It has long been debated whether teaching aids, learning games, films, or the preponderance of gimmicky books that flood present-day classrooms add much to the serious business of teaching.

And learning is what the late George Willis Manahan deemed it: serious business. A former pupil recently conjectured what Manahan would think if he could walk into a modern-day classroom. One got the idea he might not like some of what he saw.

The consensus of opinion seems to be that Mr. Manahan taught a well-rounded approach to subjects, offering at the same time skills that held a pupil in good stead no matter what field the student entered.

Former pupil, Paul Fry (late, of Sabillasville), says when you went to school with him, you could spell 25 words each day, about 67 new words each week. “He taught sixth and seventh grades and 13 subjects, and he rarely missed class. He believed (at minimum) everyone should be able to read and write his name, count money, and read to find out what was going on. He had discipline; he wasn’t afraid of you; the majority of students respected him and parents did too.”

Fry said Manahan was not opposed to giving a thrashing now and then, but after it was over, all was forgotten and amends were usually pretty quickly made. Citing examples from his own work interests, Fry tells how Mr. Manahan used the ‘simplest ways’ to explain the most complicated of learning areas: finding meridian distance, square roots, and logarithms. Fry says he has done a lot of surveying because of the interest Manahan showed in teaching.

Well-known play director, Alan Schneider* praises his school days under the tutelage of Manahan. “He not only gave me confidence, he impressed me with the gentility and manners of American tradition.  Schneider says he owes Manahan a ‘great debt’ for all his learning.

Concludes a former student, “To me, he was the greatest – if you made an effort, he couldn’t do enough to help you. He smiled when he thought he had done some good.”

We found Mr. Manahan’s daughter, Mrs. Florence Kipe, sitting with her husband, Oliver, on their porch, banked on either side by large lavender rhododendrons at the foot of Skunk Hollow Road. As early evening spread over the hilly landscape beyond and some of it parceled into growing corn fields, we spoke of her father and her earlier life.

She had been born the youngest of four at the picturesque farm located directly across from our view, now owned by Chester Willard. It had been a family home where they sold vegetables, chickens, and eggs to the State Tuberculosis Sanatorium up on the hill.

When asked if he had been taught by his wife’s father, Kipe said he had to go to school at Friend’s Creek. “I’m sorry I didn’t get taught by him.” Kipe, the son of a Church of God minister, was born at Smithville, Pennsylvania and ‘moved about 30 times’ in this northern Maryland area.

Mrs. Kipe said she was taught by her father. For the first three years, however, she was taught by Miss Frances Rowe of Emmitsburg. Mrs. Kipe recounted that her father was born on April 8, 1866 and was married to Virginia Miller, also of Sabillasville. Their children were Mrs. Earl Eby (Mabel), Paul Manahan, Emma Manahan, and herself.

“He started teaching when he was 19 and taught for 42 years.” All but a couple of months were spent at the former schoolhouse on Harbaugh Valley Road (now a residence next to St. John’s Parish Hall). Mrs. Kipe said her father didn’t go to college but attended summer school sessions in Baltimore.

*Alan Schneider (1917 – 1984) was an American theatre director responsible for more than 100 theater productions. In 1984 he was honored with a Drama Desk Special Award for serving a wide range of playwrights.

GEORGE WILLIS MANAHAN, 85 (1866-1951), retired teacher and surveyor of Thurmont, died last night at his home. He had earlier resided in Sabillasville, where he taught school for 42 years. He was a surveyor for 65 years.

He was a member of the Sabillasville Reformed Church. He was superintendent of the Sunday School for a number of years. He was a member of the Junior O.U.A.M. at Cascade.

He is survived by his wife, Virginia C. (Miller) Manahan, and the following children: Mrs. Earl (Mabel) Eby, Sabillasville; Miss Emma Manahan, Thurmont; Paul Manahan, Decatur, Ga.; Mrs. Oliver (Florence) Kipe, Sabillasville; 11 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. Also one sister, Mrs. Charles Brillhart, Hagerstown.

Dottie Davis

Nominated by: Phyllis Kelly

At 91, Dorothy (Dottie) Davis acknowledges that she is not as active as she once was, but her dedication to the Emmitsburg community remains unwavering. Born and raised in Thurmont, it was after marrying her late husband, Alan Davis, that she moved to Emmitsburg, where she still resides in the home they purchased together.

Dottie credits her husband as the one who got her actively involved as a volunteer. He volunteered as a firefighter with the Vigilant Hose Company, and Dottie became a member of the Ladies Auxiliary, which she has been a member of for over 40 years. As life progressed, soon her son and grandson would volunteer their time in the fire company as well, which meant the family spent a lot of time at the fire hall. In fact, Dorothy even served as president and treasurer for many years.

Dottie’s commitment to the community didn’t stop there. She fondly recalls the day her husband came home and announced, “We just bought The Palms.” The couple owned the restaurant on Main Street in Emmitsburg for 19 years, until Dottie sold it after Alan fell ill and passed away. Owning The Palms was a dream come true for Alan, and during their tenure as business owners, they continued to give back to the community. They ensured the volunteer firefighters were well-fed during emergencies. And it wasn’t just the firefighters that Dottie took care of. At the time, they had many students from Mount St. Mary’s working for them at the restaurant. The couple became like a second set of parents to many of the students who were far away from home.

Dottie became an honorary member of the Mount St. Mary’s Class of 1963, in recognition of all she did for the students.

Over the years, Dottie also served as Chair for numerous breakfasts and dinners at Tom’s Creek United Methodist Church in Emmitsburg.

Her friend, Phyllis Kelly, nominated her for her unwavering love of Emmitsburg.

“Dottie has dedicated her life to the good of the town through many volunteer efforts,” said Kelly.

Despite Dottie’s humility, claiming she hasn’t done anything significant, she cherishes the small-town atmosphere and loves to see how the whole community comes together anytime someone is in need.

Dorothy (Dottie) Davis has been an active volunteer in the Emmitsburg community for decades.

Members of the public joined Vigilant Hose Company (VHC) for a time-honored fire services tradition of a “Push-In”on June 3, when firefighters and citizens “pushed” the new Tower 6 into the stationhouse at 25 West Main Street. The event went great, with over 100 attendees on hand.

Firefighters and citizens “push” the new Tower 6 into the Vigilant Hose Company’s stationhouse in Emmitsburg at the Dedication Ceremony on June 3.

VHC Member Jason Powell signs a large sign that all present at the ceremony were encouraged to sign.

Susie Nicol of Firehouse Magazine, the most widely read fire-related technical publication in the world, sits in the front seat of Tower 6 at the “Push-In” Dedication Ceremony on June 3.

The Rocky Ridge Youth Club members participated in a service project for the month of May.

One of their members underwent a surgical procedure earlier this year and, on the day of surgery, was gifted a blanket provided by Project Linus. This blanket provided warmth and comfort when needed the most. Following this, the members of the Rocky Ridge Club wanted to come together to help other children in our community. Together, they made 36 blankets to donate to Project Linus. Blanket materials were donated by Thrivent Financial.

The Linus Project mission: (1) To provide love, a sense of security, warmth, and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need, through the gifts of new homemade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers”; (2) Provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.

Members of the Rocky Ridge Youth Club pose with a couple of the blankets they made for the service project.

Amber Seiss and her son create a blanket to donate.

With the 2023-2024 school year behind us, it is time for United Way of Frederick County’s annual Stuff the Bus school-supply drive. For the 37,000-plus ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households in Frederick County, the additional cost of school supplies adds extra stress on an already tight budget.

But you can make a difference by helping provide Frederick County Public Schools students in ALICE households with the tools they need for a successful school year. Together with United Way of Frederick County, you can bring hope and excitement for the upcoming school year to your community.

Through July 30, new, unused school supplies can be donated at any of United Way of Frederick County’s public drop-off sites located throughout Frederick County. For a full list of drop-off locations, visit

All new, unused school supplies will be accepted, but high priority items include: composition notebooks, earbuds (with microphone), scissors, markers, and binders.

Don’t have time to purchase school supplies and drop them off? Donate today by visiting

Maxine troxell

Volunteers with the Thurmont Alumni Association hosted the Thurmont High School (THS) Alumni Annual Banquet at the Thurmont Event Complex on June 8.

Alumni President Ron Pearcey (Class of ‘64) welcomed the crowd of 165. Carrie Silver led the Pledge of Allegiance. Frederick Children’s Choir, led by Carrie Silver, sang the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Ernest Rice (Class of ‘55) gave the invocation.

Fond alumni memories were shared with a big screen video, developed by Maxine Troxell (Class of ‘62), with photos from the good old days in school. 

Secretary Viola Noffsinger (Class of ’58) Minutes and Treasurer Becky Linton (Class of ’58). Reports were distributed to all.

Scholarships totaling $22,279 were awarded to this year’s scholars. Those receiving scholarships this year were:

From the Donald Lewis Community Impact Fund:

Meghan Gray (alumni Dorothy Jackson Ramsburg—‘52).

Vincent Reaver, III (alumni Darlene Shriner Wetzel—’67, Vincent, Jr. & Amber Reaver—‘74). 

Ella Jensen (Ray May—’59, Wayne May—’70, and Larry May—‘73).

Garrett Worth (alumni Fay Ann Christie Worth—‘67). 

From the Donald P. Dougherty Memorial Fund:

Willow Kint (alumni James Fuss—‘58). 

Stacey May (alumni Sheila (Sunday) May—’73, Larry May—‘73, Sandra (May) Schrock—                     ’69, Nancy (Green) Foley—’58, and Plummer Fraley—’57).

From the Thurmont High School Alumni Association:

Amy Elizabeth Eichelberger (alumni David Eichelberger—‘62 and John Eichelberger—’71).

Alexander Joseph Hauk (alumni Debra Jean (Rohrbaugh) Easterday—‘73). 

Samantha Lynn Orndorff (alumni Victor Morris Kelly—‘66, and Brenda (Kelly) Roberts—’70).

Abbey Shaffer (alumni Robert Shaffer—‘58).

Anniversary classes honored at this banquet were graduating classes: 1954, 1959, 1964, 1969, 1963, 1974. 

This year, the Alumni honored THS/CHS Band Members: Carol (Long) Beauchamp  (THS ’56), Jim Bittner (THS ’58), Eileen Hubbard Black (CHS ’71), Terry Black (CHS ’69), Juanita (Myers) Bowers (THS ’55), Sue (Eyler) Clabaugh (THS ’61),  Robert Frushour (CHS ’71), Rusty Hauver (THS ’65), George Henning (THS ’62), Denny Hoffman (THS ’62), Louise (Null) Humerick (THS ’55), Penny (Wood) Joseph (CHS ’69), Martha (Hubbard) Matthews (CHS ’69), Jo Ellen (McKissick) Miller (THS ’64), Jerry Lee Moser (THS ’62), Viola (Zentz) Noffsinger (THS ’58), Ernest Rice (THS ’55), Joan (Lawyer) Spalding (THS ’57), Joyce (Henning) Stambaugh (THS ’64), Connie (Heck) Testerman (THS ’57), Wayne Wireman (CHS ’69), Frank Valentine (THS ’51).

The oldest person was Robert Fox (Class of 1947). The furthest distance was Keith Culler (Class of 1972) from Gulfport, Florida. 

The items that were auctioned:  original brick from the school, donated by Ray May (‘59); Cat’s Meow’s by Dick Creager (’53); a book written by Terry Miller (‘57); Pewter Commemorative THS Plate, donated by Clarence Peiper (teacher).

Door prizes given, donated by various local businesses and organizations, was hosted by Carol Long.
The banquet was closed by President Ron Pearcey.

The Thurmont High School Alumni would like to thank the following donors of door prizes: Bollinger’s Restaurant, Carriage House Restaurant, Catoctin Mountain Orchard, Candyland Market, Fratellis New York Pizza, Gateway Flowers, Hillside Turkey Farm, Jubilee Grocery, Kountry Kitchen Restaurant, Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant, Maple Run Golf Club, Mountain Gate Restaurant, Mountain Memories, The Ott House, Rocky’s Pizza, Roy Rogers Restaurant, Shuff’s Meat Market, Trout’s, Weis Market, and The Wedding Bouquet by Karen Myers.

*Next year’s Thurmont High School Alumni Banquet will be held on June 7, 2025.

Scholarship Winners

Anniversary Classes

Alisha Yocum

The Frederick Arts Council, The Ausherman Foundation, and the Town of Thurmont recently collaborated to bring Thurmont’s newest art installation to town. This 10 feet by 20 feet digital mural is attached to a building along S. Carroll Street. The group thanked the building owner, Shawn Dewees, for his collaboration on the project.

Many representatives from local and county organizations were on hand to help celebrate the ribbon cutting.

The artist, Robert Bohen, who was commissioned to create the mural, has been painting for 65 years, with over 30 of those teaching art at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. While he was trained as a designer at the Pratt Institute, a world class and internationally ranked college with programs in art and design, he later went on to get his masters and doctorate in education.

Artists go through a competitive process, which includes a review of their proposal by curatorial experts and community stakeholders. “Nothing succeeds like success,” said Bohen.

 The artist recently started doing more digital designing rather than hand-painted murals and has received several commissioned digital pieces and public art pieces. Bohen explained the long and tedious process of working with the printer to print the large-sized mural. The digital print is an abstraction of the colors and texture inspired by the landscape.

The mural is part of the Frederick Public Art Master Plan and was supported through a grant awarded to the Frederick Arts Council by the Ausherman Foundation.

Caylee Winpigler, community impact manager for the Ausherman Foundation and also a Thurmont resident said, “[The mural] not only celebrates our scenic surroundings but also marks the beginning of what promises to be a flourishing artistic alliance that will further enhance the charm of the town.”

Community members celebrate the new mural in Thurmont.

Ruth Heaney

If there is an article and picture of interest to me, it is torn out and put in the file “of interesting people.” A story in the August 2023 Catoctin Banner was in that file, and my curiosity about the man standing easily among the goats and holding onto another goat prompted my phone call to him.

The person in the picture was Dr. Raymond Ediger. On the day I called, he was weeding, despite the 80-degree-plus temperatures. He did not hesitate to say “Yes” when asked if pausing during the weeding would be acceptable.

Dr. Ediger grew up on a “mini-farm” with a variety of animals, including chickens, goats, cows, dogs, and cats. His father was a mechanic but had a mini-farm that was just the right size for his family. Dr. Ediger remembers walking to the one-room schoolhouse and encouraging a dog (or dogs) to follow him home. Bobbie was the first dog Dr. Ediger was allowed to keep. To this day, goats, cows, and dogs are his favorite animals.

Fast forward to 1961, when Dr. Ediger earned from Washington State University both bachelor of science and veterinarian degrees. He was drafted a week after graduating. His final assignment was Fort Detrick as manager of the Laboratory Animal Facility. He and another veterinarian decided to live off-post, where the Links Bridge Winery is currently located. Eventually, the roommate married, and Dr. Ediger moved to Utica Park. The rent was $100 with no indoor plumbing. In 1968, the rent was raised to $125, but still no indoor plumbing. This was too much for him, so Dr. Ediger and his wife found a house in Utica. Today, Dr. Ediger, a widower, resides in that same house.

The year 1971 opened a new door for Dr. Ediger’s medical adventures. He earned an additional degree in comparative medicine through the American College of Laboratory Medicine. This degree focused on exotic, undomesticated animals and a comparison of animals to humans. By comparing animals to people, a better understanding of diseases can occur. The degree also allowed Dr. Ediger to serve on hospital accreditation boards.

Our conversation ended with some “hops” trivia. Hops were found on his farm. The Monocacy Hop is now being used at several Maryland micro-breweries. The closest brewery using the hops is the Liberty-town Milkhouse Brewery. Dr. Ediger surmises that some 200 years ago, the German settlers planted hops, which are still producing.

Dr. Ediger will be the Thurmont Lions Club’s guest speaker on July 24 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, located at 15 North Church Street in Thurmont. All are welcome at no charge to come join the evening fun, beginning at 6:30 p.m., as Dr. Ediger tells his life stories about people and animals. You do not want to miss this!

Dr. Ray Ediger, retired veterinarian, with his prize Boer goats and his beloved Boer buck at his Utica farm.

The Optimist Club of Frederick held its 15th Annual Fish with a Cop program this June at the Camp Airy Pond in Thurmont. There were 26 boys and girls from across Frederick County who took part in the program. A total of 28 officers from Frederick City, the Sheriff Department, Maryland State Police Department, National Resources Police, and Thurmont Police Department participated in the program this year. 

The officers picked up the children from their homes and transported them to the pond. The Optimist Club provided a new Zebco rod, reel, and tackle for each child who attended.

The officers, as well as club members, worked with the kids to help them develop or further their fishing skills. The main purpose of this program is to encourage the children to enjoy the great outdoors and to give them a positive experience with police officers.  

When the fishing was done, the Optimist Club held a cookout and fish fry for the children and officers. They were served grilled hotdogs, chips, fried fresh fish, and ice cream sundaes. The officers then took the children back home. 

The following sponsors contributed to the program this year: The Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock, who made this program possible by stocking the pond and providing a tent and tables, and Camp Airy for use of their pond. A big thanks to the Strong Tower Church for providing most of the food for the program and helping cook it. Because of these sponsors and police officers who volunteered their time, the children and officers had a very memorable experience. Thank you again to all who helped with this program again this year. 
A special thank you to the law enforcement of Frederick County. They volunteer their time to make sure a child has a good time, all while taking time from their own families. They should be commended for their dedication to the community of Frederick County.

Frederick Sheriff, Brunswick, and Natural Resource Police

Bently Beachley, Shawn Haynes, Elias Barahona, CPL McKenzie Neville, Lorenzo Byrnes, Jayce Smith, Daniel Kristiansen, James Krepelin, OFC Nathaniel Minnick, Senior Officer Chad Marshall, DFC Nicholas Thomas, OFC Matt Crouse, DFC Travis Dykoff, SGt Tim Duhan, SGT Brad Lowe, OFC Will Faith, CPL Josh Keeney, DFC Amber Owens, and Patrick McEntee.

Frederick City and MD State Police

Daniel Kristiansen, Edna Dalhia Saint De Deo, Hunter Heims, Christian Maximo, DeSean Gomez, Ceasar Gamez Orellana, Anthony Ngalibika; (second row) TFC Tim Coss, SGT Rich Kulina, OFC Vincent Burns, CPL Josh White, TFC Adam Sweckard, SGT Greg Lantz, TFC Kole Riggs, TFC Noah Potvin, OFC Joseph Constantine, OFC Irvin Solano; (back row) Michael Johnson, TFC Jason Rickard, TFC Kevin Carter, Zaiden Cox, TFC Stephen Carr, and Jameirah Thompson.

The 68th Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show will be held on September 6-8, at Catoctin High School, 14745 Sabillasville Road in Thurmont. During this event, the Catoctin FFA Alumni & Supporters Livestock Sale will be held on Saturday, September 7, at 7:00 p.m. in the Ag Center area and will be celebrating their 50th year. The sale began when Calvin Sayler, a Catoctin area farmer who lived on a farm in Rocky Ridge and who was a Hereford cattle breeder and Catoctin FFA Alumni member, felt very strongly that the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show should have a beef cattle sale. On September 13, 1974, the first beef cattle sale was held when seven Catoctin FFA Alumni, 4-H and/or Grange members exhibited nine cattle. Four of the seven are still living for the 50th Anniversary: Gwen Long Kuster, Patty Keilholtz Kerns, Mike Baust, and Rodman Myers. William G. “Bill” Baker was the auctioneer, and Bob Valentine was the chair for the first year and for the next 49 years. Under Bob’s leadership and the livestock committee, both the show and sale expanded over the years with the addition of sheep, swine and goats.

This annual event has been a highlight of the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show—the largest community show in the State of Maryland. The 49th annual sale in 2023 grossed $95,000, which was the highest ever in its history. Thanks to Calvin Sayler for his vision to make this annual show and sale a reality! Any individuals or businesses are welcome to attend and support local 4-H and FFA members selling their livestock projects during this anniversary year.

In addition to the 50th anniversary of the Catoctin FFA Alumni & Supporters Livestock Sale, the 20th anniversary of The Ridenour Lamb award will be celebrated. This award started 20 years ago in memory of Rebecka (Ruby) Ridenour. Rebecka loved showing her 4-H projects, the Community Show, and helping youth with their projects. Although Rebecka showed many species of animals, her favorite project was sheep—this is the reason the Ridenour Lamb award is given to the third-place sheep overall in the show. The recipient is given a pre-determined amount by Rebecka’s daughter, Ashley Ridenour Zimmerman, and all proceeds from the sale of the Ridenour Lamb go to the Ridenour Scholarship Fund.

The Ridenour Scholarship is annually awarded at the Catoctin FFA Chapter’s awards banquet and is typically given to a student pursuing a nursing degree—to carry on Rebecka’s passion for nursing and caring for others.

Also, on Saturday, September 7, at 6:30 p.m. by the Agriculture Center barn, there will be a gathering for any previous recipients of the Ridenour Lamb or Ridenour Scholarship to celebrate the 20th anniversary. If you still have your Ridenour Lamb banner, please bring it to the gathering.  To commemorate the 20th year of the Ridenour Lamb & Scholarship, along with Rebecka’s passing, make plans to attend the Beef, Sheep, Swine and Market Goat Sale on Saturday night, September 7, at 7:00 p.m. in the Agriculture Center to support the Ridenour Lamb & Scholarship

Thurmont Grange No. 409 has partnered with the GotSneakers initiative to collect sneakers and athletic footwear to be redistributed for wear or recycled into park and track surfaces. The importance of keeping sneakers out of landfills is vital on many levels.

Most people throw away their unwanted sneakers after 250-400 miles, or every 125-200 days, without ever thinking about recycling them. Since sneakers are manufactured with materials that are not biodegradable, they remain in landfills or are incinerated, which leads to toxic chemicals in our air and soil. The EPA estimates that 200-300 million pairs of shoes are thrown into our landfills each year, contaminating our environment.

Additionally, there are approximately 600 million people worldwide who do not even own a pair of shoes. GotSneakers redistributes wearable sneakers to those in need of shoes, which reduces the need for manufacturing sneakers. The manufacturing process also produces large amounts of CO2, which contributes to the serious effects of climate change and global warming.

Last year, GotSneakers recycled and reused 1.5 million pairs of sneakers.  Over the past two years, Thurmont Grange has donated 287 pairs of sneakers to GotSneakers. With your help, we can keep sneakers out of landfills and reduce toxic chemicals in our air and soil. Let’s make a difference together!

Thurmont Grange is collecting sneakers, any size, any condition, any brand.  Simply drop them off on the Grange Hall porch (gray block building), located at 17A North Carroll Street in Thurmont, or contact Niki Eyler at 301-471-5158, or email to arrange a pickup.

Thurmont Grangers Nancy Wine and Addison Eyler prepare to bag sneakers for shipment to GotSneakers

Alisha Yocum

Bud Eyler’s love for cars began as a child, and he specifically became fond of the 1955 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop as a teenager. His brother-in-law, who was in the Navy, left his black 1955 Chevy at their family’s home during deployment. The family’s home was located close to Rt. 15, and he remembers many people stopping to ask his father if they could buy the car. 

“I knew when I got old enough that is what I wanted [to drive],” said Bud.

In 1968, at age 17, Bud fulfilled his dream and bought his own 1955 Chevy Bel Air. However, his mother was not pleased and refused to let him get his driver’s license, even giving him the silent treatment for nearly a month. Patiently, Bud waited until he turned 18 to obtain his license independently.

The Bel Air was part of Chevy’s lineup that featured a bold stylish design with smooth, clean lines and a distinctive front grille. The 1955 Bel Air quickly became an icon of the 1950s, celebrated for its combination of style, power, and affordability.

Soon, he would be driving “The Circuit” in Thurmont with his high school friends, who also owned ’55 Chevys. It was during this time that Bud would ask his friend’s sister if she would go on a date with him. Nena agreed and soon the two would start dating, later marrying in 1972. Nena’s family also had a passion for classic cars, sharing Bud’s enthusiasm.

In 1973, the Eylers sold the car. Nena knew how much the car meant to her husband, and a few years later, she tracked the car down. The new owner lived in Emmitsburg and was using the car on their farm. Nena worked out a deal and soon Bud would be reunited with his beloved first car. However, a lot of work needed to be done to it, and the couple had the car restored to what it is today.

After being reunited with his first car, there was another ’55 Chevy that Bud had his eye on—a Nomad. Inspired by a concept car from the 1954 General Motors Motorama, the Nomad features a sleek, sporty design with a sloped tailgate and unique roofline, differentiating it from other station wagons of the era. It was one of the iconic Tri-Five Chevrolets, known for their innovation and popularity.

Nena, once again, went on a search and found a rusted-up Nomad in nearby Lewistown. While the couple jokes that the Nomad is “her car,” it was together that they decided to have a full restoration done on the Nomad. Two-and-a-half years later, the car was fully restored and is one that turns heads at car shows. In fact, the car has won top awards like third place in the Timonium Indoor Eastern Nationals and was named a top ten builds in the Good Guys Car Show in York, Pennsylvania.

The Eylers continue to attend as many local car shows as possible, proudly showcasing their ’55 Chevys.

Bud and Nena Eyler with their 1955 Chevys.

The hardtop when Bud first purchased it in 1968.

The Nomad when the Eylers purchased it in 2013.

James Rada, Jr.

Despite the popularity of youth soccer in the north county area, it can be difficult at times to get children to practices outside of the Emmitsburg area, particularly if the parent is returning home from work in Frederick, Hagerstown, or some other distant location.

Although Catoctin Youth Association Club practices in Thurmont, a group of parents is trying to form a youth league based in Emmitsburg.

“We think there’s enough interest in the area to make it a worthwhile program,” said Andy Crone, one of the parents working to form the league.

Currently, a lot of children are participating in leagues in places like Frederick, Taneytown, and Smithsburg. To have a league in Emmitsburg that many of them could even walk or ride a bike to would allow them the opportunity to play soccer that they might not have now.

Trone said the league is hoping to start with 40 children from pre-kickers up to U12. They may not be able to form a team at each level, but that is the goal so that children can grow up playing soccer in the local league, which will be called the Catoctin Mountain Futbol Club.

Parent Carlos Valerio of Emmitsburg has been working with the group forming the league. He told the Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners that the league’s biggest need is places to play and practice. They would like to use the field behind the Emmitsburg Community Center and fields at Emmitsburg Elementary School to play their games.

Open registration will be in July, with the goal to start playing a fall season that begins in August.

“We are open to partnerships with other leagues, and we’re reaching out to other areas to be part of games and tournaments,” Trone said.

When the parents presented their idea to the Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners earlier this year, they were met with interest and support. Mayor Frank Davis said it was a great idea that the parents had put a lot of thought into.

Jesse Ensor of Rocky Ridge supports the idea of an Emmitsburg soccer league. He has children who have to travel to Smithsburg to play.

“The main idea is to provide another option for another rec program and start to bring other rec programs to town,” Crone said.

Catoctin Youth Association Soccer Club (CYASC) ended its spring season at the URSL tournament on June 8 and 9.

There were a record number of players for the spring season. The season kicked off with a “scrimmagefest” at FSK to have games before the season started. The club’s U10, U12, and U14 teams participated in the United Recreational Soccer League (URSL) league for home and away games. To provide games for our U6 and U8 players, they partnered with FSK. There was a new program introduced, so players as young as three years old could participate and start learning all about soccer.

The U10 Hurricanes made it to the championship game at the end-of-season tournament. The U12 Comets won the division championship. Every team did wonderful, and the players learned a lot. All of our coaches, parent volunteers, and players worked hard to make the spring season successful. Thank you to all the volunteers for your time this spring!

CYASC’s mission statement: To provide and promote outstanding soccer programs to people of all ages and abilities. Through recreational and competitive soccer programming, CYASC shall aim to provide excellent instruction to youth players to maximize their enjoyment of the game and encourage all members to create ideals of good sportsmanship, honesty, loyalty, courage, respect, and a lifetime of involvement in sports and physical activity.

with Michael Betteridge

High school sports fans, now that the high school sports season has ended, let’s put a ribbon on the 2023-24 high school sports season with a few highlights, our local athletes of the year, and a personal July reflection.

2023-24 Season Highlights


Best Cougars football game of the year: September 22, 2023: Catoctin 35 at Tuscarora 6. Logan Malachowski opens up the game with a 35-yard touchdown catch from Quarterback Haydn Matthews. Then, Hunter Bradshaw, running out of a pro power set, scores, and Jake Bell pounds in a 15-yard touchdown run to give Catoctin a 21–0 halftime lead.

In a proud historic moment for Frederick County football, Oakdale beats Linganore in the 3A State football championship. This is the first time ever that two Frederick County teams met in a State high school championship football game. Cool Oldies 1450 WTHU covered the game live on the air.


Second year boys’ basketball Coach Zach Woodward took his team to the biggest win of the year at home against Boonsboro, where the Cougars boys basketball team had its biggest scoring output of the season for the win, 87–54. Oh yeah, and don’t forget that amazing Ben Krauss buzzer-beater at Brunswick for the win. That was spectacular! Thanks, Coach Zach, for all you did for our boys. Coach Zach has resigned. Please welcome our new head basketball coach, Coach Mike Wagner! Coach Mike is an amazing guy with tons of experience coaching all over the country and overseas. We are excited for the 2024-25 Catoctin boys basketball season.

Coach Amy Entwistle in her 20th season as the Lady Cougars basketball coach finished the season 23-4, ranking fourth in the entire 1A. What can you say about Coach Amy? She is a class act.

The Lady Cougars’ best game of the year was in the second round of the regionals at home against Surrattsville, with a domineering 55-18 win. Unfortunately, that was the same game they lost Taylor Smith to a season-ending knee injury.


Coach Mike Franklin had an uphill task this season after graduating his two ace pitchers, Joey McMannis and Peyton Castellow, last year. Seniors Garrett Worth and Gavin Watkins took up the mantle on the pitchers mound and led their team to a first-round win in the playoffs against Boonsboro 12-2, but then in the second round, they dropped a one-run loss to eventual State 1A champion Brunswick.

To all the Cougars baseball players and coaches, you can hold your heads up high when you meet the overall state champion early in the playoffs and lose by only one run!


The Lady Cougars softball team’s biggest win of the season was against the rival Walkersville Lady Lions.  The Lions would go on to eventually battle deep into the playoffs all the way to the State semis. The Lady Cougars crushed them 21-4. It was 7-0 in the first inning! Wednesday, April 24, was the day when the entire Cougars softball season came together at home in front of their new, beautiful scoreboard against the Lady Lions. A red letter day.

We Say Goodbye To Our Senior Cougars Athletes Of The Year

Football: Haydn Matthews, Logan Malachowski, Gavin Watkins, Charles Dougherty, Wayne Ferson, Brayden Bagent, and Ethan Robeson.

Boys Basketball: Haydn Matthews, Matt Offutt, Ben Krauss, Robert Ruch Jr., Peyton Cramer, and Gavin Watkins.

Girls Basketball: Grace Williams, Sam Orndorff, Peyton Davis, and Kylie Perhach.

Boys Baseball: Ethan Georgoff, Brayden Grable, Bryont Green, Hunter Long, Patrick Morlan, David Shipton Jr., Gavin Watkins, and Garrett Worth.

Girls Softball: Meghan Gray and Raegan Miller.

Catoctin Athlete Of The Year:  Gavin Watkins

Gavin played football, basketball, and baseball from August to June! He lettered in three sports and showed the Catoctin work ethic and character of a real teammate and athlete. Thanks, Gavin!

A Personal July Reflection

For most people, July is a time to kick back and relax. July is a time for celebrations, family get-togethers, BBQs, and more. I recently spent some time out on the Potomac River, wading in the cool water, fishing and just enjoying the peace and quiet, camping out at my favorite spot. We all need to recharge our batteries, and I hope you can, too.

Check out our July COOL Oldies 1450 schedule below and stop by and say “Hi” at one of our many summer events!