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Emmitsburg’s Gem Theater

Emmitsburg’s lone theater, which was located at 125 West Main Street, provided not only theatrical entertainment to the community but also hosted social events and fundraisers.

The earliest mention of Emmitsburg’s Gem Theater appeared in the November 1933 edition of The (Hanover) Evening Sun, when according to the Sun, “Fire broke out in the projection room of the Gem Theater about 10 o’clock Saturday during the last show,” adding, “The flames caused quite a commotion among those in the theater.”

However, the flames were extinguished by projectionist. Arthur Elder, using an “emergency fire exterminator.”  The newspaper noted that the fire did not cause “much damage.”  The causation of the fire was attributed to “a broken film (that was) ignited by an arc light.”

Beginning in  December 1934, the management of the Gem Theater had initiated an annual tradition by offering local children an opportunity to attend free movies during the Christmas season festivities being held in Emmitsburg.  Specifically, in December1935, the children were treated to a free western, according to The (Hanover) Evening Sun, a luxury for the children whose families were financially caught-up in the Great Depression.

In 1940, the owner/manager of the Gem Theater was identified as having been Harry T. Bollinger. Also in 1940, as the United States slid toward an inescapable collision of nations comprising the Second World War, the Gem Theater focused on local needs, and during July 1940 that a special two-night movie would be shown for the benefit of an Emmitsburg playground, The Sun reported. 

In 1952, The Sun identified a new owner of the Gem as being John G. Miller, who also owned the Taneytown Theater and a soon-to-open “open air” theater at Bridgeport. 

The Gem apparently continued to operate normally until the summer of 1954, which “had been closed most of the summer,” according to The Sun, but before it had reopened, the theater was leased by Miller to Clifford “Kayo” Keilholtz and William Rogers. 

Whatever transpired in the wake of that arrangement, it was not noted that the theater would re-open until November 2, 1955, under the new management of “Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Clem.” However, The Sun reported that the theater had been upgraded with a new wide-screen, and an enlarged concession stand.

But the end of the Gem was rapidly approaching. The (Frederick) News reported in October 1960 that the Gem Theater, “which has been closed for several years” will reopen on October 21, and is presently now under new management, and that the theater had undergone “extensive remodeling and improvements.” 

By December 1960, the theater reopened under a new name, the “MG Theater,” according to The News. No explanation was provided regarding the change of franchise, but the newly re-dubbed theater was going to continue with the Christmas holiday tradition of free movies for the area children, a tradition which was continued into 1963.

Bruce Hollinger, II, formerly of Emmitsburg, stated that his father was a partner in the theater operation going into the 1960s, during the effort to save the Gem/MG Theater, noting that the effort  was to have been “more of a benefit to the residents, rather than a profit-making endeavor.”

In spite of those efforts, in 1964, the Gem/MG Theater closed its doors forever, and the building was subsequently converted into apartments.

Emmitsburg area resident David Little recalled that, “The (theater seat) cushions were brown and thick, and you walked in aisles (to get to them) , and then to sit, you pushed the back-up, (whereas), nowadays you push the seat down to sit.”

Little and his family lived above the bowling alley at the time when the Gem was still in business and noted that whenever the doors of the theater were opened, “ We could smell the buttered popcorn from across the street.” He said admission for a matinee showing was ten cents. “My mother would give me a quarter for a Saturday afternoon matinee movie, candy, and a coke.”

 The former 125 West Main Street location of the Gem Theater.

Alisha Yocum

Local resident, Chasity Cool, first learned about Japanese Head Spas through a YouTube video. As its name suggests, this treatment originated in Japan and quickly gained traction in China and Korea before reaching the United States. Cool says TikTok videos have driven its popularity over the last few years.

After researching the new trend, Cool opened Orchid Oasis Day Spa inside Flat Top Suites at historic Fort Ritchie in Cascade.

The service combines traditional Japanese methods with contemporary haircare practices to address scalp and hair concerns. Throughout the treatment—in addition to shampooing and conditioning—water is directed to pressure points on the head, enhancing relaxation and promoting better blood flow to the scalp. According to Cool, while many clients seek these treatments for relaxation purposes, they also offer significant benefits for individuals dealing with hair loss or thinning, psoriasis, stress, or those recovering from chemotherapy treatments.

Cool has over 25 years of experience as a nurse in dermatology and is a licensed Esthetician. With her background, Cool created what she calls a Scalpacial, which includes the head spa, facial, and massage, giving you the ultimate spa relaxation package.

Although Cool just opened the spa in 2023, she has already added a second spa bed, and she hopes to add a third soon.

In March, a client’s TikTok video went viral, allowing Cool to quit her job in dermatology and work full-time at the spa.

“This is my dream and what I want to do, and I am finally doing it,” said Cool.

The spa offers a variety of services for men, women, and teenagers, in addition to those mentioned above, including waxing, eyelashes, beard conditioning, teen facials, and foot facials. 

Cool is also proud to support other women-owned businesses and sells those products in in her spa.

The spa is open Monday, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; Thursday, 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.; Friday, 12:00-9:00 p.m.;  Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.

Check out her website at orchidoasis.glossgenius.com or Facebook for upcoming events and specials, including Father’s Day specials!

Chasity Cool, owner of Oasis Orchid Day Spa, located at Fort Ritchie in Cascade, offers Japanese head spas and other spa services.

James Rada, Jr.

Although Wellspan Family Medicine in Thurmont is closing this summer, patients do not need to worry. A new family medicine practice opened in March to care for patients in the area. Evergreen Adult Medicine has its office at 20 Frederick Road, across from Community Park.

“We will be able to offer a supportive alternative,” said Dr. Talbot Smith, who runs the practice.

Smith has been a board-certified family physician since 2005. He earned his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore and has two undergraduate degrees: a B.S. in Biological Resources Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from St John’s College in Annapolis.

Smith works with Physician Assistant Meagan Weaver. She has more than 15 years of experience. She earned a B.S. in Molecular Biology from Juniata College and an M.S. from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

They both formerly practiced at Apple Ridge Adult Medicine in Gettysburg. However, Smith decided to close that practice and open his new practice in Thurmont.

“I live in Maryland, and I’m originally from Baltimore,” Smith said. “I like the area, and I like the town. It’s closer to my home.”

Smith and Weaver can diagnose and treat a wide range of chronic and acute medical conditions in adults. They are also able to certify patients for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania and, eventually, Maryland.

“We can help adult patients with long-term health issues,” Smith said. “We are a private practice that offers our patients consistency of care and a focus on patient needs.”

Closing the Pennsylvania practice after 20 years was a big change; although, many of their patients have followed them to Thurmont. Switching states also required some other changes besides location. They had to change their state license, federal license, and insurance information.

Things locally have been much easier, though.

“We’ve had a great experience with the small-business community here,” Smith said. “Vickie [Grinder] with economic development and the town council have been very supportive.”

Evergreen Adult Medicine is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can reach them at 301-979-9636 or 717-334-8165 or by visiting www.evergreenadultmedicine.com.

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.

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. The town engineer and staff will meet with the developer again to discuss.

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) — Updated Plans, including lighting plans, have been received and reviewed. 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.

Rainbow Lake Parking Lot — The project is being reviewed by Frederick County.

Emmit Ridge — The town engineer and town staff are reviewing the sketch plat. There is an ongoing discussion regarding the setback requirements.

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.

The Slagle Hotels I & II

Richard D. L. Fulton

The three-story building that was once the Slagle Hotel still stands at the Emmitsburg Town Square and presently serves as a 16-unit apartment building. Over time, the 150-year-old building has undergone several name changes.

The Slagle Hotel did have two previous names: one being the Western Maryland Hotel (since railroads apparently built a number of hotels along their lines) and the other name being Hotel Spangler. 

The (Frederick) News reported on April 10, 1899, “The Western Maryland hotel at Emmitsburg was recently purchased by Dr. C. G. Spangler… The entire hotel has been remodeled and will be known hereafter as Hotel Spangler.” The hotel was actually acquired by the doctor in 1898 for $4,000.

James A. Slagle acquired the Hotel Spangler shortly before his death from appendicitis on December 19, 1910, and had become the proprietor of the newly dubbed Slagle Hotel a short time before his demise. It was announced in the August 5, 1911, edition of The (Frederick) Daily News that Slagle “a short time ago had succeeded as proprietor of Hotel Slagle.”

Following his death, the administration of his estate was assigned to his wife, Annie M. Slagle.  In December 1912, Annie Slagle decided to sell all the furnishings of the hotel and the equipage of the attached livery. The sale included all the family’s horses and vehicles associated with the hotel. It appears that the sale was for the purpose of disposing of all unwanted items as a prelude to reestablishing the Hotel Slagle in a new soon-to-be-announced location.

The readers of the advertisement in the December 12 edition of the Daily Record and Blue Ridge Zephyr were directed to contact either Slagle or L.L. Mondorff (Lawrence L. Mondorff was Slagle’s son from her first marriage). 

Beginning sometime around April 1913, George W. Biddinger rented the Slagle Hotel while Slagle’s widow, Annie Slagle, continue to operate it, Biddinger having stated in an article published April 26, 1913, edition of The (Frederick) Daily News that “Mrs. Slagle was now conducting the Slagle Hotel, which she would run until May 1.”

The newspaper noted that the soon-to-be former Hotel Slagle had been rented by George W. Pittinger (to make matters as confusing as possible, the name is also spelled as George W. Bittinger in some news accounts), and that Annie Slagle will be quitting as manager of old Hotel Slagle and will be taking charge of the new Hotel Slagle opening at the Emmit House.

It is here that basically the story of the Slagle Hotel (at the town square) ends… somewhat.  According to the March 29, 1913, edition of the Adams County News, which reported. “The Emmit House at Emmitsburg has been leased by Lawrence L. Mondorff and that well-known hostelry will shortly become the new home of Hotel Slagle…” 

Mondorff applied for a liquor license for a saloon at the “New Slagle Hotel” in April 1913, and it appears to have opened a Pandora’s Box in the process. 

The request had immediately fueled opposition, some claiming that liquor sales at the hotel had been taking place after midnight on Saturdays into Sunday mornings, that some of the liquor that was being sold was being served to minors, and that rooms at the hotel were being used for gaming and gambling. 

The effort to secure a liquor license apparently was unsuccessful.

Annie Slagle passed away in September 1921 at age 53. According to her obituary, she still owned(?) both the buildings that had contained the old Slagle Hotel, and the building that contained the newer one (the Emmit House).

According to the August 1922 Woodsboro-Walkersville News-Journal, the end of the Slagle Hotel finally came in 1922, when the buildings containing the (newer) Slagle Hotel was sold to William Roberts, at which point in time the building was then reverted to its previous name, the Emmit House.

An advertisement for the Emmit Hotel, under the management of Roberts, appeared in the August 13, 1922, edition of The Baltimore Sun.  The final demise of the old and new Slagel Hotel had arrived.

For the eighth consecutive year, the Town of Thurmont has been recognized as a Tree City USA. To become a Tree City USA, a community must have: A tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observation and proclamation. The Thurmont Green Team, Thurmont Parks and Recreation Commission, Town staff, and other community organizations hold tree-planting events throughout the year.

Since 2014, the Town of Thurmont has planted over 1,200 trees. In addition to the Tree City USA recognition, Thurmont is also recognized for achieving the Growth Award for the fourth consecutive year. Thurmont is among a small group of cities (less than 15 percent of all Tree Cities) that earned a Growth Award for going above and beyond the four standards of Tree City USA this year.

“This recognition is a huge testament to the exceptional efforts put forth by our dedicated staff and volunteers,” said Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick.

The town is currently working on tree-planting projects that are affiliated with the 5 Million Trees Program, sponsored by the Maryland Forest Service. A community tree-planting project at East End Park scheduled for April 4 was canceled due to weather. A future date will be scheduled. Visit www.thurmont.com.

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.

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.

Emmitsburg Distillery (East Emmitsburg Industrial Park II Lot 4) — The Town Engineer and Staff had more comments regarding the updated Improvement Plan, especially regarding the size of the water pipe line and associated flow and pressure. Staff and Town Engineer met with the developer to clarify Town requirements.

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) — The applicant has yet to satisfy all the conditions of approval. The town received updated plans on March 26.

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

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.

Emmit Ridge — The town engineer and town staff are reviewing the submitted sketch plat.

Rainbow Lake Parking Lot — The project engineer has yet to satisfy the town engineer and staff comments.

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

Alisha Yocum

Beth Ohler & Co. recently started as a new team of J&B Real Estate. Ohler, who has been an agent for J&B Real Estate for seven years now leads her team out of the company’s office in Walkersville. Ohler says opening her new company allows her to maximize the team’s reach and allows for more flexibility in providing all the great services they offer!

Ohler’s team will include three additional agents and an administrative/marketing assistant. Combined, the team has over 14 years of experience.

Whether you are looking to sell or looking to buy your first home, a farm, land, or a townhouse, Ohler says she is ready to help you. The company even offers discounts for first responders!

When asked what advice Ohler had for the current real estate market, she advises sellers to use someone local who knows the market, so they can develop a strategy to maximize your sale. For buyers, she had similar advice: Don’t wait. Contact a realtor as soon as possible, even as much as a year out, so you can make sure everything is in order for when you are ready to buy.

Ohler resides on her farm in Thurmont with her husband, David, and two daughters, Madison and Jordyn.

When not selling real estate, you will find her around town at the softball fields or showing livestock her family raised on their farm. Ohler is also known for her support of the local community.

In December, Ohler connected with her parents at Kelco Plumbing and brother at Bulletproof Roofing to provide a Santa’s Workshop event for the community. Ohler says she hopes to do more events like this in the future, as giving back to the community is an important part of her business.

For more information about Beth Ohler & Co., view the advertisement on page 24.

Beginning mid-April, the YMCA of Frederick County, working with the Town of Thurmont, is bringing several six- to eight-week-long classes to the town of Thurmont, as well as a one-day youth basketball clinic.

The YMCA of Frederick County has two branches and seven locations (including Camp West Mar in Sabillasville), but provides programs and services out of about 40 locations throughout the county, including before/after school care in 25 elementary schools and 8 Head Start classrooms. And, now, they are bringing programs to Thurmont, using Thurmont Regional Library and Thurmont Community Park. Programs will include:

Painting and Drawing, Mondays, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Thurmont Regional Library.

Youth Run Club, Thursdays, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Thurmont Community Park.

Let’s Get Healthy, Wednesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Thurmont Regional Library.

Flying Cows Basketball Skills Clinic, May 14, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (incl before/after care), Thurmont Community Park.

This is not the first time the YMCA has brought programs to Thurmont, but it is the first time in about two years. During COVID, the YMCA offered some one-day, family-friendly events outside at Thurmont Regional Park, but this is the first time the YMCA is bringing full-session, long programs, spanning a variety of program departments, including Arts & Humanities, Youth Sports, and Healthy Living.

The YMCA has been working with the Town of Thurmont to approve programs, find locations, and market the upcoming services. They recently attended the Thurmont town meeting and presented about the YMCA and the offered programs.

“We are so excited to be working in collaboration with the YMCA of Frederick County to bring the “Y On The Fly” programs to Northern Frederick County. The programs being offered for the spring session cover a wide range of interests for all ages. There is something for everyone,” says Vicki Grinder, economic development manager for the Town of Thurmont.

As part of its strategic plan, the YMCA is focusing on “offering vital Y programs and services throughout Frederick County by expanding programming.” The YMCA has hired Jon Watkins as director of Community Outreach to build and expand relationships with local governments and other organizations and nonprofits.

“Our mission is to provide critical services to those in underserved communities. We are excited about re-engaging in the town of Thurmont and look forward to learning more about the needs and interests of Thurmont residents,” says Chris Colville, president and CEO of the YMCA of Frederick County.

The YMCA is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and provides programs to build a healthy body, mind, and spirit for all. Through their annual campaign, they provide financial assistance, ensuring everyone has access to programs and services to learn, grow, and thrive. To learn more about financial assistance or programs and services offered, please visit frederickymca.org.

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.

Seton Village — The applicant is seeking planning commission approval of a subdivision plat to convert two condominium units into two recorded lots. Town staff met with the applicant to discuss the forest conservation requirements.

Emmitsburg Distillery (East Emmitsburg Industrial Park II Lot 4) — Update plans have been received, and town staff is reviewing them.

Christ Community Church (Creamery Road) — The applicant has resubmitted site plan for review. A landscape plan stamped by licensed landscape architect and a final review of the lighting plan are still pending.

Mount St. Mary’s University E Wing Improvements (South Seton Avenue) — The planning commission conditionally approved the plan, and staff provided additional comments for the applicant to address. The applicant has yet to satisfy all the conditions of approval, particularly regarding the lighting plan.

St. Joseph Church (North Seton Avenue) — Applicant summited an improvement plant for the installation of a ramp that meets ADA standards. Staff is currently reviewing it.

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.

Emmit Ridge — Town Staff will meet with the DRB Group regarding a sketch plat.

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

James Rada, Jr.

After two years of meetings for planning and approvals, the new, larger Goodwill retail store in Thurmont is under construction. While not complete, the end is in sight.

The new 17,850-square-foot store on Thurmont Boulevard, behind the Taco Bell/KFC, is expected to be finished by the end of November, with a grand opening sometime after that. The location is part of 2.95 acres in the Thurmont Business Park, according to planning documents.

The new, larger store will replace the current store on East Main Street and is conveniently located near shopping, banks, and restaurants.

The concept plan was first presented to the Thurmont Planning Commission in January 2022. The preliminary plans were presented in May and June of that year.

All new Goodwill stores, including store relocations like in Thurmont, will have drive-thru donation centers, according to a statement from Kristen Jones, senior manager of marketing and communications for Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley.

“We know that larger stores with more square footage will provide our shoppers with more product offerings at an affordable price,” the statement said. “[W]e’re committed to making a positive economic impact in Frederick and Carroll County, which includes increased employment opportunities for community members. Last year, we provided more than 300 jobs in the communities our stores serve.”

Mayor John Kinnaird said the Planning and Zoning Commission has handled reviewing and approving development plans, and the Board of Commissioners hasn’t provided much input on this project.

Kinnaird said the current Goodwill location has a “horrendous” parking situation, and there isn’t much room for the business to grow.

“Some nights, it’s surprising how many people are shopping at Goodwill, so I’m sure that their own customers’ needs have probably driven them to look for another location,” he said. “Any business that expands is great. It shows there’s a need for it, and they have the customer base to justify the expansion.”

Thurmont Town Planner Kelly Duty echoed Kinnaird and said the current Goodwill location has consistent problems with parking. When she passes by the store, it’s busy, she said.

“I think this definitely will be a benefit to the community at large. This will take a business where parking is an issue, it’ll move it to the general business district,” Duty said. “It’ll be easier to access by all.”

When Tamara Manahan of Sabillasville decided to open a business with her daughters, Mallery Sheppard and Jordan Reaver, it only seemed fitting to pick a name that indicated a change in direction. Manahan was looking for a new location for her permanent makeup business, and Sheppard, a hairstylist, had just moved back to the area after her husband completed six years as an airborne combat medic at Ft. Bragg. Reaver had also just completed her nail technician training. Together, they came up with the name Studio Veer, which is located at 204 Chambersburg Street in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. They believe that God had sent them in this new direction, with an opportunity to provide personalized care to their clients in a comfortable and intimate setting. Manahan says she doesn’t see this as just a business, but as a ministry. They love hearing their clients’ stories and journeys and helping them feel beautiful and confident.

Manahan has been doing permanent makeup for over eight years and offers services such as micro-blading, brow shading, combination brow, permanent eyeliner and lip color, tattoo removal, and, her newest service, fine line tattoos.

If you are looking for hair care, the studio offers full hair-care services, but Sheppard , who has been licensed since 2016, specializes in low-maintenance color, lived-in blondes, fashion shades, and gray blending. Reaver offers complete nail services, including manicures, pedicures, and beautiful nail art.

These ladies are proud to be women and a family-owned business, but they are also proud and passionate about their “Sunshine Project.” This program is for those who may need a little extra ray of light in their lives. Perhaps, someone is struggling through illness, the death of a loved one, divorce, financial struggles, and more. Studio Veer is asking for nominations of someone who could be blessed with a little extra sunshine in their life through a manicure, pedicure, haircut, etc. Text 301-302-6632 to make a nomination.

Studio Veer is open by appointment only. See their advertisement on page 12 for more details.

Alisha Yocum

Brad Nesbitt and his cousin, Troy Nesbitt, grew up watching their dads run a painting business, and the two recently decided to start their own venture, Nesbitt’s Painting.

The duo offers interior and exterior painting, drywall repair, deck and fence painting, and more. Brad says they mostly take on jobs in Frederick, Washington, Carroll, and Franklin counties, as well as parts of West Virginia, but they will travel further if requested.

Brad grew up in Sabillasville and now resides with his wife and their three kids in Smithsburg, while Troy and his wife are raising six kids in Keedysville.

When the two cousins aren’t sprucing up walls with a new paint color, you will find them deeply involved in their communities. Brad said that just like they both watched their dads run the painting business, they also learned the importance of community from them as well. Brad serves as a local youth minister, and Troy is an Army Veteran and is currently studying to become a minister. 

For more information, view their advertisement on page 32.

James Rada, Jr.

Taylor McCrea and Jean Churnesky in the Cracken Catering kitchen at the carry-out location in Blue Ridge Summit.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.

Taylor McCrea has worked in catering since he was 17. For nine years, he worked with a catering and convenience store in the Blue Ridge Summit area. He took a break from it for two years to work in heating and air conditioning, but his heart was still with the food industry.

“I had an idea that I wanted to have a food truck, and then I found one for sale locally,” he said.

He bought it and started selling meals from it in August 2022. A little over a year later, Cracken Catering opened. He is helped by Jean Churnesky, who has worked with him since the start. The business not only offers catering and food truck service, but it also has a carry-out business on Buchanan Trail East in Blue Ridge Summit.

They are starting to be seen regularly at local events, making customers happy. One thing customers like is the home-cooked food.

“A lot of our menu is made to order,” McCrea said.

Besides Cajun offerings, steak subs, and chicken, you can also find specials of the day on the menu, such as pot pie or the Cracken Cubano, which is grilled ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, and remoulade on a toasted French bread roll.

McCrea said he especially enjoys the catering side of the business. He can go to a customer’s event, set up on site, offer good food, and make the event less stressful and more enjoyable for his customers.

“That’s what gets me up in the morning,” he said.

The restaurant is located at 14085 Buchanan Trail East in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania. Carry-out is available Thursday through Sunday, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. You can check the daily specials on their Facebook page.

Alisha Yocum

Ryan Ely is shown outside of E Plus in Emmitsburg.

As a kid, Ryan Ely said that being around his dad’s business, C Ely Signs & Graphics in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, he never really saw it as a future career for himself. However, after dabbling in other jobs, he realized that working in signs and graphics was what he wanted to do.

At just 22, Ely took over managing E Plus Graphics & Promotions in January and is looking to bring the community more! While they will still offer all their existing services, he plans to offer more large format signage, the ability to print on any substrate or material, and faster turnaround on apparel printing. Ely said he thinks Emmitsburg offers lots of opportunities to grow with all the businesses that are in the area. While they are planning to grow, E Plus will remain community-oriented, and long-time staff members, Blair and Grace, are still at the store helping customers.

E Plus is located at 1 E. Main Street in Emmitsburg. The store is open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Alisha Yocum

Steve and Dawn Harbaugh, owners of Harbaugh Memorials.

Photo Courtesy of Dawn Harbaugh

Steve and Dawn Harbaugh, residents of Smithsburg, were driven to start a new business venture, Harbaugh Memorials, in September, based upon what they think is a need in the community.

Specializing in the sales and installation of high-quality granite memorials, the couple offers a diverse selection of headstone designs available in various granite colors. Beyond their commitment to craftsmanship, the Harbaughs say they are dedicated to simplifying the memorialization process for grieving families. Acknowledging the challenges of busy schedules, they hope to offer a flexible solution by doing custom design work that can be conveniently reviewed and approved via email. This approach accommodates individuals with busy schedules or those who may not be local to the area.

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:

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 U.S. 15) — Groundbreaking for this project was held last month.

Seton Village — The forest conservation and delineation applications need to be updated.

Emmitsburg Distillery (East Emmitsburg Industrial Park II Lot 4) — The planning commissioner conditionally approved the site plan and improvement plan. Staff are waiting for the applicant’s response to their comments.

Development Pipeline/ Applicant Interest

Frailey Property Annexation — The DRB Group has expressed interest in developing this property with single-family homes/duplexes.

Emmit Ridge — The DRB Group has expressed interest in developing this property with single-family homes.

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

James Rada, Jr.

Don’t be surprised if you missed the opening of the Seton Avenue Barber Company in Emmitsburg. Paula Socks was able to open her new business in one month.

Socks is a familiar name to many residents of Emmitsburg. She cut hair at another business in town for two-and-a-half years.

“I left for four months, but I realized I missed the town,” Socks said. “It has the most genuine and kind people I’ve ever met.”

When she decided she wanted to return to Emmitsburg, she saw the space available and started planning her comeback to town.

She had a lot of what she needed. Her son deals in antique furniture, so she was able to get a couple pieces from him, such as an antique buffet that now serves as her counter. Other things like a barber chair and waiting seats, she was able to order quickly online.

“Things fell into my lap very quickly, and we opened in 30 days, which is very quickly,” she said.

The shop opened on November 13, 2023. The only hiccup she found was that by the time she opened, a lot of people had already had their hair cut for the holidays.

Although Socks lives in Hagerstown, she is happy to be back in Emmitsburg. During the four months she was away, she worked as a military barber in Thurmont.

“I like the people here, and it’s a bit slower pace than Hagerstown or Frederick,” she said.

As word gets out about the shop being open, she is seeing some of her former customers, as well as new walk-ins.

Socks has been doing hair for 30 years. “I give a really nice haircut at a fair price.”

That price is $16.00, although women’s hair is a bit more because they tend to have more of it. She also does Veteran’s haircuts for a donation, if they let her know they are a Veteran.

The Seton Avenue Barber Company is located at 130 S. Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg. It is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and on Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Photo of Paula Socks by Deb Abraham Spalding

James Rada, Jr.

Dr. Olumide (Olu) Bolarinwa (pictured right) used to drive by Emmitsburg Family Dentistry on his way to go skiing at Liberty Ski Resort. It caught his attention because he was a fellow dentist. He then got to know Dr. Timothy Bringardner, and the two became friends.

So, when Dr. Bringardner retired, it wasn’t too surprising that Dr. Olu took over his practice even though he had a practice in Mt. Airy.

Under Dr. Olu’s care, the Emmitsburg Dental Center has been thriving, and it continues the tradition of patient-centered dentistry that Dr. Bringartner started.

Dr. Bringardner retired in January 2023 after nearly 40 years as a dentist. Dr. Olu took over at the end of February 2023.

He still lives in Mt. Airy with his family and takes the back roads to get to Emmitsburg. “I was already used to the drive because I would come this way to ski, so it doesn’t feel far and I enjoy the views on my drive,” Dr. Olu said.

Dr. Olu is a Nigerian immigrant. He came to America in 2006 and attended Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine at Boston University to get licensed as a dentist in the U.S. He obtained his DMD in 2016. He also received a Master’s in Global Health and one of several residency trainings in Dental Public Health, both at the University of California, San Francisco (USCF).

He wound up in Frederick County because he fell in love.

“I met my wife there (Boston University),” he said. “She was studying for her Ph.D. She had grown up in Mt. Airy, and she liked it there.”

He wound up taking over a practice in Mt. Airy, so when he took over Dr. Bringardner’s practice, he had prior experience and knew what to expect. This made it easier and helped make the transition more seamless for the patients.

Besides general dentistry, he also performs extractions, implants, child sedation, and other procedures.

While dentistry has become his calling, Dr. Olu didn’t always want to be a dentist. He wanted to be a professional soccer player. He still enjoys playing the sport, but when he was a young man in high school, his parents had to set him straight.

“They told me that while they weren’t opposed to me playing soccer, it wasn’t a career,” Dr. Olu said. “They said not a lot of people become professional soccer players, and I needed something I could make a living at.”

Being an obedient son, he looked at where his strengths were with his academics (the sciences), and started to look into medicine, eventually settling on dentistry. It is a decision that has benefitted not only him, but his many patients.

The Emmitsburg Dental Center is located at 101 S. Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg. For an appointment, call 301-447-6662.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.

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 U.S. 15) — Groundbreaking for this project was held last month.

Village Liquors & Plaza Inn (Silo Hill Parkway) — A preconstruction meeting is pending.

Seton Village — The forest conservation and delineation applications were received, and town staff are reviewing them.

Emmitsburg Distillery (East Emmitsburg Industrial Park II Lot 4) — Town staff are reviewing the site plan and improvement plan applications. Staff are waiting for the applicant’s response to their comments. The planning commission reviewed the application last month.

Development Pipeline/ Applicant Interest

Frailey Property Annexation — The DRB Group has expressed interest in developing this property with single-family homes/duplexes.

Emmit Ridge — The DRB Group has expressed interest in developing this property with single-family homes.

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

Deb Abraham Spalding

Ritchie Revival’s John Krumpotich was pleased to announce that the new Nisei Gallery on Fort Ritchie is now open in one of the finger buildings.

“Every time we turn the lights on in a building that has been dormant for 25 years, it renews the excitement,” said Krumpotich.

Visitors can’t help but notice the long line of identical buildings, set along the main street that is straight ahead upon entering the former Army base’s gate. Krumpotich said they’ve started a new “finger building” project that is a combination of boutique apartments, overnight rentals, and small commercial shops. 

He said renovations and leasing are going faster than they thought they would. The salon is open, an automotive shop is opening on January 1, and two additional buildings are leased with businesses coming soon.

Fall on the Fort wrapped up with Fall Fest. This event was entertaining for everyone, with arm wrestling competitions, pumpkins, hayrides, bands, and tours of the museum and gallery. 

There is plenty to see at the Ritchie History Museum and the new Nisei Art Gallery. Stop by soon or call Ritchie Revival at 301-241-2009 for leasing information.

The new Nisei Gallery is open for shoppers on Fort Ritchie in Cascade.

Photo by Deb Abraham Spalding

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 U.S. 15) — A preconstruction meeting was held on October 18.

Village Liquors & Plaza Inn (Silo Hill Parkway) — A preconstruction meeting is pending.

Seton Village — The subdivision application has been received. The town is waiting for the forest conservation application.

Emmitsburg Distillery (East Emmitsburg Industrial Park II Lot 4) — The site plan and improvement plan applications have been received.

Development Pipeline/ Applicant Interest

Frailey Property Annexation — A meeting has taken place with a potential traffic engineer for this development of single-family homes/duplexes.

Emmit Ridge — Interest in developing 48 single-family homes.

Rodney McNair Property Annexation — Residential and Neighborhood Commercial potential zoning.

The U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) presented a thank you certificate in November to Dan Hanagan of Spike Auto Care & Tire Center in Emmitsburg for supporting NFA/ATF Fire Investigations classes on campus.

The commendation was presented to Dan Hanagan in recognition and appreciation of his support of the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy and the U.S Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Fire Investigation and Arson Enforcement Division, recognizing his ongoing assistance to investigators from law enforcement and fire agencies attending the Fire Investigations training classes to have access to vehicles for use in hands-on scenarios.

Pictured from left are Kevin Oliver, NFA Fire Investigations Training Specialist; Dan Hanagan; and Eriks Gabliks, NFA Superintendent.

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 U.S. 15) — A preconstruction meeting is pending. Zoning permit was issued on August 23.

Village Liquors & Plaza Inn (Silo Hill Parkway) — A preconstruction meeting is pending.

Seton Shrine Museum Entrance (South Seton Avenue) — The deed of easement is pending. A zoning permit was issued on August 17.

Tenant Fit-out for Daughters of Charity Ministries (South Seton Avenue) — A zoning permit was issued on August 21.

Mount St. Mary’s University School of Health Professions (South Seton Avenue) — A zoning permit was issued on August 21.

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 U.S. 15) — A preconstruction meeting is pending. Zoning permit was issued on August 23.

Village Liquors & Plaza Inn (Silo Hill Parkway) — A preconstruction meeting is pending.

Seton Shrine Museum Entrance (South Seton Avenue) — The deed of easement is pending. A zoning permit was issued on August 17.

Tenant Fit-out for Daughters of Charity Ministries (South Seton Avenue) — A zoning permit was issued on August 21.

Mount St. Mary’s University School of Health Professions (South Seton Avenue) — A zoning permit was issued on August 21.