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James Rada, Jr.

Jim Wisotzskey considers himself the luckiest guy in the world. He is ninety-three years old and is still going strong. He has lived in Thurmont all of his life, except for a few years in the 1940s during World War II. He survived the war, barely missing several times when he could have easily been among the casualties—this is why he considers himself so lucky.

After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, Jim, like many Americans, rushed off to join one of the Armed Forces. The problem was that he was seventeen years old at the time, and he couldn’t enlist without his parents’ signature.

Grinning, Jim recalled, “I know they wanted to get rid of me, but they wouldn’t sign.”

When he turned eighteen, he enlisted in the Marines and was shipped off to Parris Island. Apparently, it wasn’t as grueling a time for Jim as it was for other Marines. He actually said that he liked his drill instructor.

At the end of his basic training, all of the enlistees were taken into a hall and given a test. This was the first time where Jim’s luck helped him out.

“I was raised by a storekeeper, and the test was all about storekeeping things,” he said.

He figures he must have aced the test, because of the ninety-four Marines in his group, he was the only one sent to Quartermaster School in San Diego. The rest were sent off to fight. Once Jim learned how to be a quartermaster, he was shipped off to Hawaii.

Three days after arriving, he and the other Marines were told to line up to get their orders to ship out to an island where they needed to build an airstrip. The problem was that the Japanese were on the island and intended to remain there.

While he was in line waiting to board the plane, a bicycle messenger pedaled up with a message for the officer in charge. The officer read the piece of paper, looked at the line of waiting Marines, and cut it off at a point ahead of Jim. He and the other Marines behind the cut-off were told to return to their barracks.

Jim thought that he would just be taking another plane out the next day, but Hawaii became his duty station.

“Of that first batch of Marines that went out, only seven came back,” Jim said. “It was my name that saved me. We were alphabetical, and I’m always near the end of the line.”

Jim’s job in Hawaii was to gather orders. Each morning, he was given a list of supplies and parts that he needed to collect. Usually, he would go out to Barber’s Point to meet the incoming supply ships and see if they had what he needed. If they didn’t, he still needed to find the items. He would scrounge through junkyards, and also admitted to “borrowing” them from Navy planes without asking the permission of the Navy.

Another instance of his luck saving him was during the West Loch Disaster. On May 21, 1944, a mortar round on a landing ship exploded, which set off a chain of explosions and fires at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base. Over the next day, 6 landing ships sank, 163 people were killed, and 396 people were injured.

“We had fallout raining down on our camp for seven days,” Jim said.

The incident was kept classified until 1960, and so it is not a well-known incident from WWII. Jim could have easily been one of the casualties that day, but he was working elsewhere.

“Friends told me they saw Marines holding onto railings with their heads missing, but they were still standing,” remembered Jim.

One time where his luck failed him was when it came time to return to the states. As he was waiting to board the ship that would take him home, he got horrible stomach pains and doubled over. He was taken to sick back with an acute appendicitis, so severe that a doctor had to be brought in to operate immediately on Jim.

Meanwhile, the ship sailed without him, and it had all his papers. He was forced to spend the next three months recovering in a tent area on Hawaii until his papers made their way back to him and he could leave for California.

As the war wound down, Jim got two weeks leave, which he spent in Thurmont, getting married. He and Lilalee Caton had known each other before the war started; although, she had been fourteen and he seventeen when they met. She wrote to him while he was in Hawaii and sent him care packages. Now they were both adults and decided to marry on July 4, 1945.

The war was already won in Europe, and the focus was on ending the war in the Pacific. After his leave, Jim had to return to California for six more months. He was discharged as a sergeant at the end of the war and returned home to his wife.

He became a carpenter, and he and Lilalee raised three children. Lilalee passed away last year, but she did not leave Jim alone. Besides their three children, they have seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

Jim Wisotzkey is shown in front of a display of the many puzzles he has put together and mounted as an art display at Moser Manor.

Mike Jensen of Mike’s Autobody in Thurmont hosted the Spirit Ride at the Guardian Hose Company’s carnival grounds on Saturday, September 6, 2017. The Spirit Ride ceremony paid tribute to first responder men and women who have lost their lives while assisting motorists along the highway. Whether they be police, emergency, fire, tow responders, highway and DOT workers, or good samaritans, the Spirit Ride’s mission is to raise public awareness about the risk that first responders face and increase motorists’ compliance with the Slow Down/Move Over Law that exists in every state that requires motorists to slow down and move over when they pass motorists along the highway.

Representatives from several tow, fire, and police companies were in attendance at the event. Special guests gave comment. The main feature of this program was a casket representing the first responders who are killed on our roads each year. There are 100 deaths per year, sixty percent of those deaths are tow operators. After the ceremony, the tow trucks, fire equipment, and police officers headed to Urbana in a convoy to draw attention to this deadly issue. See more photos from the 2017 Spirit Ride here:

Local Artist Yemi Fagbohn announced in spring 2017 that he would be completing the mural project on Main Street, on the former electric building, after the Thurmont Commissioners approved the project to proceed. The current Main Street murals depict Thurmont’s historical buildings, natural resources, and trolley history, which were completed in collaboration with the Thurmont Lions Club, Yemi, and the town of Thurmont. There are four panels left to complete on the building, and Artist Yemi’s aspiration has always been to ensure every empty panel is framed with a mural!

“Thurmont is one of the most beautiful places in the USA! The Catoctin Mountains are the backdrop, with tall majestic trees, the beachfront lake at Cunningham Falls State Park, wildlife, clean air, cycling, hiking, fishing, Catoctin Colorfest, and Camp David! Not too many communities can say they live or recreate with the president of the United States!” expressed Yemi.

The Main Street mural project will be completely financed by donations and grants. Dr. Jon Moles of Gateway Orthodontics is leading the mural project journey, and serves as general project chairperson and sponsor. Dr. Jon Moles and Artist Yemi are pleased to announce, “We are getting close to reaching 50 percent of our funding needs for the Thurmont Celebration Murals!”

In addition to Chairperson Dr. Jon Moles, the following associates have engaged their efforts to assist with the Thurmont Celebration Mural Project:

  • Dan Ryan Builders in Thurmont—major project partner and sponsor and will participate in unveiling activities.
  • Ausherman Family Foundation—signed on early as a matching grant sponsor.
  • George Delaplaine—signed on as a major sponsor.
  • Marlene and Mike Young—signed on as advisors and sponsors.
  • Catoctin Colorfest—signed on as advisors and sponsors.
  • Several anonymous donors have signed on to the project so far.

The Main Street murals are a celebration of the scenic beauty and tapestry of history for a picturesque town, located at the foothills of the Catoctin Mountains in Northern Frederick County.

“My goal is to have the viewers of the completed murals come away appreciating Thurmont as the jewel it is, and, hopefully, come to visit us often while rejuvenating their spirits in the mountains—relax, shop, dine, worship, and enjoy!” exclaimed Yemi.

Yemi Fagbohn was born in Ibadan Nigeria to S. I. Fagbohun and J. T. Fagbohun. His father was a well-known custom men’s tailor, his mother a wedding dress maker. Yemi came to New York, where he attended Pratt Institute and received both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Science in Art and Communications Design. For the years he has been an artist, he has done drawings for more than one hundred of the Fortune 500 companies.

For more information on the Thurmont Celebration Murals, you can contact Yemi at or 240-409-5728.

The Emmitsburg commissioners approved some changes to the town’s zoning ordinance that affect where churches can be built in the future, after changing references of churches in the zoning ordinance to “places of worship.” This term is more inclusive and would not allow someone to say that a mosque or a synagogue is not a church.

Town Planner Sue Cipperly then presented the planning commission’s recommendation to not include places of worship in most of the town’s residentially zoned areas. The exception would be R-5 areas, which are large lot residential areas.

Currently, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church is the only church that Emmitsburg has in a residentially zoned area. Cipperly pointed out that it is because the church predated zoning in the town, and she also noted that the parcel where it sits could also be zoned B-2 because of its location and use.

Rev. John Talcott with Christ Community Church told the commissioners, “I really don’t think churches should be excluded anywhere.”

Places of worship would also be allowed in the town B-2 general commercial zone area. Cipperly explained that places of worship needed to be included in this zoning because auditoriums and theaters were. All three have similar land requirements and generate similar amounts of traffic. To then not include churches could be seen as a violation of federal law, which protects places of worship from zoning discrimination.

The same reason that places of worship needed to be included in B-2 areas is also the reason why they don’t fit in most residential zone areas. They require larger parcels and generate more traffic than is seen in the average subdivision, according to Cipperly.

“If you allow churches in the residential areas, you have to allow the theaters and the auditoriums, too, and we didn’t think that would be an appropriate use,” stated Commissioner Clifford Sweeney.

The zoning changes came about after two local churches—Christ’s Community Church and Emmitsburg Community Bible Church—both approached the town about places where they could construct new buildings.

The commissioners had no problem including places of worship in the B-2 area, but Commissioners Elizabeth Buckman and Joseph Ritz, III, voted against excluding them from residential areas. Commissioners Sweeney, Tim O’Donnell, and Glenn Blanchard voted for the change. Both zoning changes and the language changes all passed.

A special service will be dedicated to the life of Henry Harbaugh, D. D., a descendant of the founders of Harbaugh’s Valley. It will be held Sunday, October 22, 2017, at St. John’s UCC, located at 16907 Sabillasville Road in Sabillasville, at 11:00 a.m. Service will be followed by a light lunch in the church and, weather permitting, a tour of the Harbaugh Cemetery on the Royer farm. An SUV or truck will be the best means of transportation to and from the cemetery.

Rev. Harbaugh lived only fifty years, from October 28, 1817, to December 28, 1867. This service will emphasize his nearly inexhaustible works in the Reformed Church during his short life.

A pamphlet, compiled by Joan Bittner Fry, will be presented to those in attendance at the commemorative service. Pastor Mike Simane will deliver the message.

The Frederick Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), will dedicate a historical marker to honor Harriet Chapel, following the 10:30 a.m. Sunday Worship Service on October 22, 2017, at 12625 Catoctin Furnace Road in Thurmont.

Harriet Chapel is located on the edge of the Catoctin Furnace Historic District, which includes the structures of the Iron Works furnaces, several workers living quarters, the Forgeman’s house, an African American cemetery, and the ruins of the Iron Masters mansion. The Chapel’s history is intertwined with the significant growth and development of the American iron industry that took place in the region, as well as its diverse workforce. It fostered a sense of community to those who attended the religious services during the industrial period of expansion at the Furnace.

The Chapter’s Historical Marker Program commemorates historical sites, events, and personalities throughout Frederick City and County. Through the program, the wealth of Frederick history is made accessible to the public, as these markers provide on-the-spot history lessons of interest for the local community as well as tourists.

The annual Mount Tabor Church Big Picnic and Baby Show was held on Saturday, August 12, 2017, at Mt. Tabor Park in Rocky Ridge. A total of forty-two babies—twenty-two girls and twenty boys—participated in the show. The youngest baby was eight-week-old Faithlon Mathias, daughter of Heather and Andrew Mathias of Rocky Ridge. Madeline Petko, seventeen-month-old daughter of Josh and Jenny Petko, traveled the farthest distance from Pasadena, Maryland. There was one set of twins in this year’s Baby Show: Makenzie and Makayla Wagner, five-month-old daughters of Tammy Stone and David Wagner of Hagerstown. Babies placed in three categories: prettiest girl, cutest boy, and chubbiest baby, in five age categories, from one day old to twenty-four months old.

There were three babies in the one day to three-month-old category. The prettiest girl was Adalynn Hanson, two-month-old daughter of Nick and Emily Hanson of Keymar. The cutest boy was Emmet Platt, three-month-old son of Shayna Beard of Sabillasville. The chubbiest baby was Faithlon Mathias, two-month-old daughter of Heather and Andrew Mathias of Rocky Ridge. There were eight babies registered in the next age group. The prettiest girl in the four- to six-month-old category was Tinsley Young, four-month-old daughter of Heather and James Young of Thurmont. The cutest boy was Logan Naylor, five-month-old son of Jason and Katie Naylor of Rocky Ridge. The chubbiest baby was Ryder Fogle, five-month-old son of Christine and Bud Fogle of Thurmont.

Of the sixteen babies in the seven- to twelve-month-old category, Ava Grace Lawrence, twelve-month-old daughter of Tabitha Turvin and Sheldon Lawrence of Woodsboro, was judged the prettiest girl. The cutest boy was Fox Maker, eleven-month-old son of Emily and Nathan Maker of Orrtanna, Pennsylvania. Carson Lingg, twelve-month-old son of Emily and Danny Lingg of Thurmont, was named the chubbiest baby. In the thirteen- to eighteen-month-old category, there were ten babies. Madeline Petko, seventeen-month-old daughter of Jenny and Josh Petko of Pasadena, Maryland, was judged the prettiest girl. The cutest boy was Easton Muse of Middletown, thirteen-month-old son of Reanna and Hunter Muse. The chubbiest baby was Matthew Lutman, thirteen-month-old son of Shannon and Mat Lutman of Frederick.

In the nineteen- to twenty-four-month-old category, there were only five babies. Olivia Beard, twenty-four-month-old daughter of Nicole and Travis Beard of Keymar, was named the prettiest girl. Easton Shuff, twenty-four-month-old son of Kelsey Kerns and Sean Shuff of Thurmont, was named the cutest boy. The chubbiest baby was Molly Smith, twenty-two-month-old daughter of John and Patti Smith of Rocky Ridge.

Please join us again next year, on the second Saturday of August, at Mt. Tabor Park. You may register your baby (or babies), ages one day old up to twenty-four months old. Watch your local newspaper for more details including registration time.

Four-month-old Tinsley Young, daughter of Heather and James Young of Thurmont, wins prettiest girl in the four- to six-month-old category at the Baby Show at the Mount Tabor Church Big Picnic.

They were only calling for a heavy rain on Friday night, August 4, 2017, but what they got in the Deerfield Valley was nearly deadly. According to the Potomac Edison line worker who talked with Dicky Manahan on Saturday morning, August 5, it started in Hagerstown with a high-pressure system about 100 feet up that traveled a 22-mile path, up and over South Mountain, touching down on the high end of Manahan Road at the lower end of the Harbaugh Valley.

“I heard a loud bang,” Dicky’s wife, Patty, said. “Dicky slept through it, but I couldn’t sleep. I heard someone’s grill blowing away.” The power went out. Early the next morning, Dicky and Patty went out in the truck to check on the cows, because they had not come in. One calf was missing.

That was when Dicky saw his field corn with a large swath flattened by the tornado. If his crop was destroyed, how was he going to feed his cows? Would his insurance cover the crop loss?

They began to survey the damage. Not only was the corn down, but a 200-foot-wide hole had also been carved out of the forest on his land, above the house and cornfield, with huge trees down in every direction.

“That hole in the forest will be there the rest of my life and probably my great grandchildren’s lives,” Dicky said, pointing out the distant trees on the other side of the hole. “It must have lifted up as the land went down the valley. That might be why it didn’t do more damage, but took the tops of the trees as it went forward.”

Among the trees down was one that nearly fell on his neighbor’s house, and two that fell on his sawmill, breaking all the trusses in the roof. All that kept the roof from collapsing on his Cyclo Air 800 corn planter was the stack of skids that reached up to the rafters. “I have to get the corn planter out of there before the roof collapses,” Dicky warned.

The sweet corn was down, too. Patty and Dicky had just spent the better part of Friday loading up at least six feedbags full of sweet corn for the Thurmont Farmer’s Market Saturday morning, storing them in a neighbor’s cooler. The money, tables, and signage were ready to go, but with all the devastation and power outage Saturday morning, they couldn’t get the corn to market, and it would never keep another week until the next market. “All that work, and we couldn’t sell any of it,” Patty shared. So they have generously been giving it away to their neighbors.

Their neighbors down Manahan Road, Mike and Denise Dujardin, heard two loud whines and bangs in the middle of the storm. As soon as it appeared safe, around 4:00 in the morning, they, and their daughter Jennifer, went out with flashlights to survey the thicket of trees that were down in the woods, very near their house. Many of them were snapped off about 20 feet up. “As soon as we heard about the damage at Dicky’s, we went up to see how we could help,” Denise said. “He was very shaken and crying. I could hardly bear watching it,” she said with much feeling.

Back on the farm, surveying the loss of forest, crop, calf, and barn, Dicky was devastated. He kept trying to call the insurance, but had not yet heard back about what might be covered. “He cried all night,” Patty told me.

However, Sunday morning, they took a deep breath and counted their blessings, sharing and praying with friends and neighbors at the Deerfield United Methodist Church. No one was hurt, and not a shingle was off a roof anywhere in the valley. What’s more, although the Catoctin Mountain Park Owen’s Creek Campground was full up Friday night and many trees blocked the Foxville–Deerfield Road past the entrance, no campers were hurt, and the Catoctin Mountain Park rangers had cleared the roads.

Farther down Manahan Road, Louise Delauter and another neighbor had large pine trees down; but, thankfully, Louise’s nearly 10-foot circumference silver maple was not damaged. Although a tree had fallen on another neighbor’s car, he was not hurt.

To multiply blessings, as the sun came out on Sunday, the calf came home and the corn began to stand up again! “He must have gotten tangled in the downed trees and took a while to find his way out,” Dicky explained. “I believe the corn will be alright.”

Thanks be to God, all turned out well, despite the sawmill barn damage. “Some of us have been considering how we can have a barn-raising for Dicky and Patty,” neighbor, Denise, hinted. “He does so much for all of us, mowing and plowing snow and all…”

Surely, this is a sign of a community that cares and really means it.

Dicky Manahan points out the 200-foot-wide hole in the forest on his land after the tornado came through on August 4, 2017.

Among the trees down, two trees fell on Dicky’s sawmill, breaking all of the trusses in the roof.

The 61st Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show will be held at Catoctin High School, located at 14745 Sabillasville Road in Thurmont, on September 8-10. All activities and entertainment are free all weekend!

Entry of exhibits will be Thursday, September 7, from 6:00-9:00 p.m., and Friday, September 8, from 8:30-11:30 a.m., in the new gymnasium and in the agriculture department area. Commercial exhibits may be entered on Friday, September 8, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. The show will open to the public at 6:00 p.m.

On Friday night, the 2017-2018 Catoctin FFA Chapter Ambassador will be announced. In addition, the 42nd annual community flag ceremony will be held; this year’s program will honor the 50th anniversary of St. John’s Christian Preschool and the 50th anniversary of WTHU Radio. The baked goods auction will begin immediately following the program at 8:15 p.m., and the grand champion cake, pie, and bread will be sold at 9:00 pm.

On Saturday, September 9, the show is open from 9:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.  Activities include a Market Goat, Beef, Sheep and Swine Fitting & Showing Contest, from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., at the school’s Ag Center.

At 10:00 a.m., the Blue Ridge K-9 will present a dog obedience demonstration and Canine Citizen program on the front lawn of the high school, followed by the Pet Show at 10:30 a.m. Categories include: cat with prettiest eyes; cat with longest whiskers; cutest cat; best trained pet; dog with wiggliest tail; prettiest dog (25 pounds and under); prettiest dog (26 pounds and over); best costumed pet; pet with most spots; largest pet (by height); most unusual pet; smallest pet.

On both days, there will be a petting zoo, from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., with face painting by Kathy McBride and pony rides sponsored by the Thurmont Riding Club. The farm animals display will include “Abel” a Brown Swiss, who is fourteen years old and weighs approximately 2,600 pounds, owned by Joe and Ruth Biser; Alpacas owned by Lynn Cherish of Baggy Britches Farm, LLC; Emus owned by James and Peggy Royer of Old Orchard Emus; and a sow and litter of pigs owned by Chip Long. John Kinnaird of Thurmont will have many historical pictures from the Catoctin area displayed in the small gym.

At 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Elower-Sicilia Productions will have a dance program in the auditorium; at 4:00 p.m., Noble Path Martial Arts will have a program in the small gymnasium. The Thurmont Grange will serve their roasted turkey and country ham buffet on Saturday night, from 3:00-7:00 p.m. Musical entertainment will be performed in the auditorium by the Catoctin Mountain Boys (6:00-7:00 p.m.) and Taylor Brown’s Elvis Tribute Show (7:00-9:00 p.m.).

The 43rd Annual Catoctin FFA Alumni Beef, Sheep & Swine sale will begin on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in the Ag Center.

Activities begin on Sunday, September 10, at 9:00 a.m. with the Dairy Goat Show, then the Dairy Cattle Show, followed by the 20th Annual Decorated Animal Contest at noon. The Catoctin FFA alumni chicken barbque will be held in the cafeteria at noon. At 1:00 and 2:00 p.m., the Thurmont Academy of Self Defense will have a martial arts program in the small gymnasium. The 38th Annual Robert Kaas Horseshoe Pitching Contest will begin at 1:00 p.m. near the softball field, and the Log Sawing Contest will be held at 1:00 p.m. in the Ag Center area tent. Another new and fun feature is a kiddie pedal tractor pull (for ages 5-10) at 1:30 p.m. in the Ag Center area, with prizes being awarded. The Catoctin Mountain Boys will perform from 12:30-1:30 p.m., and Taylor Brown’s Elvis Tribute Show will be from 1:30-3:00 p.m.

Food and refreshments will be available throughout the weekend by the Thurmont Lions Club and the Catoctin High School Cheerleaders, while the Catoctin High School Junior Class will be selling ice cream.

Exhibits must be removed on Sunday, September 10, between 3:00-6:00 p.m. Any remaining entries must be picked up on Monday, September 11, from 9:00 a.m.-noon in the Ag Department behind the school.

For more information about this year’s classes to enter and the activities schedule, visit, and click on “Exhibitor Entry List” and “Schedule of Activities.” Entry tags will also be available for exhibitors to complete and bring with their entries at the Thurmont Library, Thurmont Feed Store, Thurmont Economic Development Office, and Eyler’s Flea Market, located in Thurmont; and at Eplus, Jubilee Market, and Zurgable’s Hardware in Emmitsburg.

The Community Show is sponsored by the Thurmont Grange, Catoctin FFA Chapter, Catoctin FFA Alumni, the Maryland State Grange and the Maryland State Agricultural Fair Board.

James Rada, Jr.

The Thurmont Historical Society needed $60,000 to repair the Creeger House, which houses the historical society.

Ethel Creeger donated the house to the historical society in 1989. The original portion of the house is a log cabin built in the 1920s. Col. John Rouzer, a state senator and Civil War soldier, called the building home. It is not only a historical structure, but it contains artifacts, documents, and genealogy of local interest.

The house currently needs lots of refurbishing. The exterior bricks are deteriorating and, in some cases, turning to sand. The brick cladding on the log cabin is also threatening to pull away in some places. The roof has holes in it, through which sunlight can be seen.

The society hoped to get half of the needed money from a Maryland Historical Trust matching grant. The needed $30,000 was raised, including a $15,000 donation from the Town of Thurmont.

When the Maryland Historical Trust awarded nearly $2.7 million in grants for fifty projects in the state in July, the Creeger House was not among them.

“We were discouraged, disappointed, and I’ll say it, angry,” said Historical Society President Donna Voellinger.

In Frederick County, the following grants were awarded: Catoctin Furnace Historical Society won a $90,000 development grant for the Museum of the Ironworker; Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area won a $100,000 management grant; Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area won a $45,000 marketing grant; The Historical Society of Frederick County History won a $10,095 grant for an activities exhibit room.

The historical society hasn’t given up on the Creeger House. They can’t. The repairs need to be done.

“We still have to do the repairs,” Voellinger said. “We have no choice. We’ll get it done. We raised the original amount in less than four months, so we can do it.” She explained that the historical society has a full board, including some new members who bring new ideas and new energy to the society. That energy has helped develop a set of programs to help raise the remaining $30,000 needed for the Creeger House repairs.

These programs include: a yard sale; a silent auction at the Community Show; and a beer garden during Colorfest weekend.

“Donations are still trickling in, but we’re getting a lot of things ready to raise funds,” Voellinger said

Seton Center, Inc., a leading community resource for the residents of Northern Frederick County, held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new center on Friday, August 18, 2017. The groundbreaking took place at the Seton Center’s new location, 226 East Lincoln Avenue in Emmitsburg. Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, including Sister Martha Beaudoin, D.C., Executive Director of Seton Center, and Sister Catherine Mary Norris, D.C., Provincial of the Daughters’ Province of St. Louise, were on hand to help “dig.” Seton Center, Inc. is a sponsored work of The Daughters of Charity.

“We are very excited about Seton Center’s future here in Northern Frederick County,” shared Sister Martha. “We expect construction to last eighteen months and are excited that we will be able to expand our program offerings and serve more of our neighbors in a beautiful, welcoming and efficient space. The new Center will be a boon for everyone in the valley!”

Founded in 1969 by the Daughters of Charity, Seton Center provides emergency support services and strives to be a catalyst for systemic, long-term change. From July 2016 through June 2017, Seton Center served 328 persons. Nearly 100 volunteers gave 4,957 hours valued at over $81,000.00 in support of the Center’s mission. You can learn more about Seton Center on its website at

Pictured from left are Mayor Don Briggs; Doug Gray, Morgan Keller – General Contractor; Sister Catherine Mary Norris D.C., Visitatrix Province of St Louise; Scott Bowen, MSB Architects – Architect; Sister Jane Graves, D.C., Board Chair, Seton Center Inc.; Sr Martha Beaudoin, D.C. , Director, Seton Center Inc.; Justin Doty, Frederick Seibert & Associates, Inc. – Civil Engineer.

James Rada, Jr.
National Night Out has been around since 1984; but, this year, Emmitsburg participated for the first time in the event on August 1.
“It brings the community together, and we want to support the community and show that the police aren’t the bad guys,” said Deputy Whitehouse, one of Emmitsburg’s community deputies.

One of the attendees agreed, saying it was a nicer way to interact with the police than seeing flashing lights in your rearview mirror.
Initially, National Night Out involved citizens sitting out on their front porches to show they were united in the fight against crime. The event has grown to include block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts, and safety demonstrations, in more than 16,000 communities.
The Town of Emmitsburg used the parking lot behind the town office as its location for National Night Out. Kids could sit in the vehicles used by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Vigilant Hose Company, and Emmitsburg Ambulance Company. They could also enjoy a bounce house or try their hand at games.

Community Organized Recovery Efforts (CORE) and a group giving away doses of Narcan had tables set up to educate the community.
Hot dogs, lemonade, and popcorn were available to enjoy, and midway through the evening, magician Michael Cantori performed for the crowd.
Joanna McGraw came to the event after she saw a flyer in the library. “I’ve never come to something like this before,” she said. “It’s pretty exciting.”
People came and left throughout the two-hour event. All in all, probably more than one hundred people visited.
“I think it’s a good turnout for our first time,” said Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs, who was serving hot dogs and lemonade to anyone who wanted them.

Sam Pollitt, age five, and his mother, Amy, are pictured with Frederick County Sheriff Deputy Whitehouse at the Emmitsburg National Night Out.

A threatened species from Madagascar just got a little less rare with the addition of two Fossa pups, born at Catoctin Wildlife Preserve June 17, 2017. Only five zoos in the United States have successfully bred and raised this rare species.

Now ten-weeks old, the male and female pair of pups are the second group born at the Preserve in two years. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the species as “Vulnerable,” with their greatest threat in the wild coming from habitat destruction.

The pups are being hand-raised by the Preserve’s certified veterinary technician, Laurie Hahn, who was also responsible for successfully raising the two pups born in 2015. For unknown reasons, the Fossa mother rejected her pups a few days after birth. Since they are born blind and helpless, the pups would certainly have perished if not for staff intervention.

Raising baby Fossa requires feedings every two hours, around the clock, for their first two weeks. The pups now weigh over 500 grams and are beginning to eat solid foods, in addition to their special liquid formula. The Fossa pups will be available for viewing beginning Labor Day weekend.

The cat-like carnivore became known to many after appearing in the animated Dreamworks film Madagascar. Slender and long-bodied, Fossa resemble small cougars and are closely related to mongoose. They are the largest mammalian carnivore on the island of Madagascar.

The Preserve is currently expanding the Fossa Forest facility and welcome sponsors and donations for the materials and labor to complete this important project.  To make a donation, please contact Executive Director Richard Hahn at 301-271-3180.

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve is located at 13019 Catoctin Furnace Road in Thurmont.

To find out more, visit their website at

Carie Stafford

Boy Scout Troop 270, Troop 1011, and Venturing Crew 270 planned and trained for a whole year for an eleven-day backpacking experience at Philmont Scout Reservation in the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) range of the Rocky Mountains in Cimarron, New Mexico.

The groups planned a twenty-six-day adventure that took them across the United States to Cimarron, New Mexico, and back home. On the way out to New Mexico, they stopped at President Lincoln’s home and toured the museum dedicated to him in Lincoln City, Indiana; stopped at the Eagle Scout Memorial Fountain in Kansas City, Missouri; The Gateway Arch in St. Louise, Missouri, which is the largest arch in the world; Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Arches National Park in Moab, Utah; Dinosaur National Monument in Dinosaur, Colorado, where the visitor center was built around real dinosaur fossils in the rocks; Pikes Peak (14,110 feet above Sea Level) in Cascade, Colorado; and Great Sand Dunes National Park in Mosca, Colorado, where they sandboarded down the dunes and then took a ride on an antique steam engine from Durango to Silverton Colorado on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Upon arriving at Philmont Scout Reservation, the three groups split into two crews and experienced two different hikes. Crew 702-R01 took on itinerary 9 and hiked sixty-one miles, and Crew 702-R02 took on itinerary 17 and hiked sixty-seven miles through beautiful back country for eleven days. Their treks were similar in routine, but different in scenery and activities. In those eleven days, they backpacked in the morning to a new camp each day, and each camp offered something different. They learned search and rescue skills, trek survival skills, fly fishing, horseback riding, lassoing cows, chuck wagon dinner, COPE course, archery, knot tying, gold mining, the Civil War, blacksmithing, shooting muzzleloader & .30-6 shotguns, branding, drinking homemade root beer, rock climbing, and rappelling.  They also did a conservation project along the way, which included stump removal, rock moving, and trail work. Their hikes brought them up to 11,000 feet above sea level and gave them the most beautiful overlooks of the Rocky Mountains.

Each trek allowed for beautiful views and rugged mesas. Hiking Mount Philips and the famous Tooth of Time to the Trail of Tears, working as a team and learning that you are only as fast as the slowest person in your trek. Meals were similar to MRE’s of the military, and they packed those in and out. Each person backpacked their own gear and food. They set up a camp every night and bear bagged their food in the trees. After days on the trail and surviving the Trail of Tears, ice cream and a shower was heaven.

The morning heading out of Philmont Scout Reservation was bittersweet, but more adventures were awaiting.  The next stop on the journey was at the Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian, Amarillo Texas; Palo Duro Canyon in Canyon, Texas, which is the largest canyon in Texas, where they learned how Texas became Texas; Oklahoma City National Monument, Oklahoma City; Memphis Tennessee to the largest Bass Pro Shop in the United States; and lunch at B.B. King’s on Beale Street. Did you know that Beale Street in Memphis Tennessee is a National Historic Landmark? Then they were on to Adventure Science Center, Nashville, Tennessee; Cooter’s Garage of the Dukes of Hazard TV show, Nashville, Tennessee; and to Mammoth Cave National Park, Mammoth Kentucky, where they took an incredible tour of 792 steps and learned about cave and natural rock formations. The final stop was Thurmont, Maryland—Home Sweet Home.

This trip could not have been possible if not for the support of the Acacia Lodge No.155 AF & AM, Thurmont Ambulance Co., the Thurmont Community, Boy Scout and Venturing Crew Leaders, and Mr. John Ruppel. Thank you, to all of you who made this trip of a life time possible for Boy Scouts in Troop 270, 1011, and Venturing Crew 270.