From 2009 to 2013, Joan Bittner Fry of Sabillasville composed three books of local interest. From The State Sanatorium at Sabillasville from 1908 in 2009 to Part 2 Plus in 2010 to Did You Know? in 2013, in which a wealth of information about local communities is collected.
By gleaning photos from an extensive postcard collection, relaying stories from family and friends, and living in the area all her life, Fry offers extensive familiarity of her subjects.
The first self-published book was dedicated to the late Clara Schumacher (1922-2019) of Thurmont, who was a patient at the sanatorium and who later became a nurse there. Clara was generous with her information and gave first-hand knowledge of The State Sanatorium, the first tuberculosis hospital in Maryland.
The second book was dedicated to the late elementary school teacher and dear friend, Naomi Waynant (1911-2012) of Sabillasville. This book continues with more information about the sanatorium and includes informational stories about local schools, businesses, churches, boarding houses and hotels, and famous and not-so-famous people and places.
The third book was dedicated to the memory of family member Bill Messner (1944-2003), a very special cousin. It contains information about historical places; i.e., Sharpsburg, Antietam, Mason-Dixon Line, C & O Canal, Camp/Fort Ritchie, The National Road (Route 40), and Western Maryland Railroad, as well as many other local places of interest.
A limited number of copies is again available for purchase. The cost is $20 each or $50 for the series of three. Copies are available from the author at firstname.lastname@example.org; E Plus Graphics and Promotions in the lobby of Jubilee Foods in Emmitsburg, where the books are being printed; or the Fort Ritchie Community Center in Cascade.