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Francis Scott Key, 1948

Richard D. L. Fulton

“First Day of Issue” cover of the Francis Scott Key stamp, issued on August 9, 1948, in Frederick.

“O say does that star spangled banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave…”

~ Defense of Fort McHenry, September 14, Frances Scott Key

lebrated Frances Scott Key, the composer of a poem, the words of which would ultimately become those of the country’s National Anthem, through the issuance of a three-cent stamp.

But nowhere was the issuance of the stamp celebrated more so than in Frederick, the city the United States Post Office designated as the site where the new stamp would be officially released for public sale, Frederick City having been the birthplace of Key on August 1, 1779.

Frances Scott Key was born in Frederick to John Ross Key and Ann Phoebe Dagworthy Charlton Key. The couple had six children, but only three survived into adulthood: Frances Scott Key, Anne Arnold Phoebe Charlton Key, and John Alfred Key, according to

John Ross Key had served in the Revolutionary War, beginning in 1775, as a second lieutenant in a Maryland rifle company, and subsequently, in 1781, served as the captain of a Frederick County cavalry company.

Key’s son, Francis, would be thrust into his own place in history on September 14, 1814, while being held prisoner by the British during the Battle of Baltimore.

The Battle of Baltimore was initiated by the British in the wake of their invasion of Washington, D.C., and the burning of and setting fire to a number of federal buildings, including the Capitol and the White House on August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812.

Following the British withdrawal, hastened by the appearance of a rare tornado that had passed through the District of Columbia, the enemy focused on attacking Baltimore from land and sea, beginning on September 12.

However, prior to the opening guns at the Battle of Baltimore, Keys joined in an effort to secure the release of William Beanes, a prominent Upper Marlboro physician who had been captured by the British and was being held on a British ship off Baltimore, according to the National Park ServiceKey and a compatriot managed to convince the British to release Beanes, but concerns that Key, a compatriot (Colonel John Skinner), and Beanes had seen too much of the deployment of the British ships, the British refused to allow them to return to Baltimore.

The initially victorious British ground forces suddenly found themselves facing some 10,000 troops, along with 100 cannons, that had arrived in time to check the British troops from advancing any further than the ground they had gained in the process of driving on towards Baltimore. 

The stalled British infantry would need help from their navy, and only a sole fort—Fort McHenry—guarding the Port of Baltimore, stood in the way. The British would have to silence the fort to engage the American infantry that had successfully checked the advance of the British troops.

The British navy began opening fire on the fort. During the course of the ensuing 27 hours of siege launched against the fort, the British fired more than 1,500 cannon balls, shells, and rockets at the fort, inflicting only minimal damage, according to

During the dawn of September 14, the American troops within the fort lowered a smaller “storm flag” and raised a 30-by-42-foot garrison flag, which had permitted Key to see that by dawn’s early light, and the flash of exploding British rockets, that the American flag was still there.

The British failed at driving the defenders of Fort McHenry off, and the land forces and British navy withdrew… opting instead to capture New Orleans, where they met with an even greater and more devastating defeat on January 8, 1815.

Key was released, along with some of his notes he had made in the form of a poem, which he called, “Defense of Fort McHenry.”

Key’s poem was subsequently set to the tune of “To Anacreon in Heaven,” and renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner,” according to “The Star-Spangled Banner” became the National Anthem of the United States in 1931.

If you’ve been reading The Catoctin Banner for the past few years, you have probably read the serial stories written by James Rada, Jr. “What Happens on the Mountain” is the one that is currently running in this newzine. Rada has now collected the horror serials, along with some new, unpublished stories in a collection called Shades & Shadows: Catoctin Tall Tales & Short Stories.

Catoctin Mountain lore tells of monsters like the snallygaster and dwayyo, creatures that haunt the dreams of children and adults alike. Shades & Shadows has similar stories of Catoctin Mountain. These nightmares are on and around the central Maryland mountain, incorporating its places and people into its legend.

In “The Anger of Innocence,”  millions of birds flocked to the small town of Graceham in 1972, destroying crops and annoying the residents. But what brought them to the town and for what purpose?

In “Cast from the Gods,” the U.S. government is building Site R or the Underground Pentagon deep beneath Raven Rock Mountain during the 1950s. When the complex was being built, workers found something else in the ground. It had been there for centuries. Its discovery released a danger that the U.S. Army nearly failed in controlling.

“Old Kiln Road” is a story about a mother dealing with grief and strange things that happen along Old Kiln Road in Thurmont.

“Fire, Fire” is the story of an arsonist who worked for Catoctin Furnace in the early 1800s and what drove him to madness.

Most of these stories appeared as monthly serials in The Catoctin Banner. The collection also includes three previously unpublished serials.

In “Set in Stone,” a stone carver in Thurmont finds blank headstones suddenly inscribed with the death information of murder victims. He becomes the suspect in their murders. He discovers that the truth is far more fantastic and horrific and dates back through generations of his family.

“Bon Appétit” is about a very special dinner at the opening of a new restaurant in Thurmont and how the owner gets revenge against his critics.

“Confessions” is about a man who has visions of murder victims who apparently have no connection to him.

The serial stories are based on a feature of newspapers from early in the 20th century that featured serial stories.

“When I was asked to write something for The Catoctin Banner’s Arts & Entertainment page, I decided to try to bring back the serial story,” Rada said. “My twist was that I localized the story so that they used actual places and/or events from Northern Frederick County.”

Rada’s first serial, “The Anger of Innocence,” was supposed to be the only story, but the feature proved popular, and he went on to write more stories in different genres.

“I switched up genres sometimes to be able to offer something for everyone,” Rada said. “Plus, I liked going outside of my comfort zone with what I was writing.”

He started coming up with ideas for possible stories and outlining them. Some of them might even be expanded into novels.

As the stories accumulated, he realized he had a nice collection of stories with more on the way. He decided to publish the collection as he has done with some of his non-fiction articles.

The problem he ran into was how to present it. The easiest way would have been to collect the published stories and release them as a multi-genre collection. The more he thought about it, though, the more he thought it wouldn’t fly.

“Readers tend to like certain genres,” he said. “My horror fans probably wouldn’t appreciate my romance serials and vice versa.”

He settled on releasing three Catoctin Tales & Short Stories, each which will focus on a single genre. Shades & Shadows is a horror collection. The other two will be a romance collection and a thriller collection.

“This doesn’t mean that I’m done with horror serials. It just means that I would need to write another set to come out with another title,” Rada said. “Meanwhile, I am working on the other two collections.”

Shades & Shadows retails for $18.95 and is available at local bookstores and online retailers. For more information about James Rada’s books, visit his website at

The Thurmont High School Alumni Association will hold its annual banquet on Saturday, June 10, at the Thurmont Event Complex, located at 13716 Strafford Drive, which is just off Lawyer’s Lane, from Route 550 (south of Thurmont).  Frederick County COVID-19 rules will be followed. 

New this year, we will recognize all cheerleaders to stand at some point in the program. Social hour will begin at 4:00 p.m. with the meal served promptly at 5:00 p.m. This year, the anniversary classes are those that end in 3 and 8.  Several basket raffles and a 50/25/25 raffle will take place. Special scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors related to Thurmont High School Alumni.

The cost for the evening is $25.00 per person, which should be mailed to Viola Noffsinger, 131 Cody Drive #33, Thurmont, MD 21788 (before May 24). All alumnus of Thurmont High School and Catoctin High School classes (1969-1974) and friends are encouraged to attend. Visit the alumni Facebook page: Thurmont High School Alumni Association. 

Courtesy Photo

On December 3, 2022, a fundraiser pickleball tournament for Brandi Bubzyck of Thurmont was held at the Talley Recreation Center in Frederick. Brandi is a two-time, double-lung recipient. In 2016, she attended the Transplant Games of American and took first place in the ping-pong competition. She wanted to return in 2020 to compete, but her lungs failed, and she had her second transplant at that time. She’s now determined to attend the 2024 games to compete in pickleball. The tournament was held to raise funds to be used for travel, food, lodging, and so forth.

The Victory for Brandi Pickleball Tournament was a huge success. Over $2,000 was raised, and the pickleball family showed up with smiles, laughter, and good will. Not only was money raised for Brandi’s trip, but the fundraiser also brought awareness to organ donation through The Living Legacy Foundation. Without it, Brandi would not be with us today.

The first-place winners were: Women’s 2.5—Marcia Geppert and Carin Hawkins; Women’s 3.0—Kathy Moreira and Mindy Davis; Men’s 3.0—John Peterson and David Stroh; Mixed 3.5—Royce Bruce and Tania Danner.

Donations are still being accepted for Brandi Bubzyck’s competition in the 2024 Transplant Games of America. Thank you to the fundraiser’s generous local sponsors: The Ott House, The Farmhouse Exchange, Catoctin Breeze Vineyards, Bollinger’s Restaurant, and Dragon Distillery of Frederick.

written by James Rada, Jr.

A new serial fiction story for your enjoyment

2: Learning the Rules

Tim Ross straightened up from the railing of the barracks-like housing unit at the Maryland Tuberculosis Hospital. He looked at his hands. They were shaking.

He wasn’t afraid. He knew that. It would take a lot more than a whispered warning to cause him fear. The air this high up was a little chilly, but not enough to make him shake. Had he lost his tolerance to cold? Or was it the tuberculosis (TB)? He had lost his speed and stamina to the TB that racked his body. His strength was going.

Tim focused on his hands and stilled the trembling. Then he closed his hands into fists and hammered them down onto the railing and was rewarded with a deep “wham” that seemed to vibrate through the wood.

Tim smiled. He might not be strong enough to fight any longer, but he was far from weak… and far from giving in to the TB. He would fight this, and just like with his boxing matches, he would win.

He left the pavilion and walked to the dining hall. He enjoyed the walk and paused occasionally for quick sets of deep-knee bends or to throw shadow punches.

The dining hall was a stone building connected to the rear of the administration building and was roughly in the center of the surrounding pavilions. He entered the building and paused. The room was filled with rectangular tables covered with tablecloths and surrounded with wooden chairs. People moved through a cafeteria line with trays of food.

What caught Tim’s attention was the people. They didn’t look sick, or at least not very sick. Should he take that as a good sign? They were young adults in their 20s to the elderly. Some were dressed as if this was a night out. Others looked like they had walked in from a garden.

Tim got in line with a tray and got an open-faced turkey sandwich covered in gravy, green beans, and mashed potatoes. He found an empty table and sat down. He ate slowly, paying more attention to the people in the dining room. They seemed too quiet. People were talking, but they acted as if they were in a library, whispering to each other. Some cast suspicious glances around themselves. More than a few watched Tim as if he was a threat as a new person at the hospital.

He had finished half of his sandwich when a man about his age sat down across the table from him.

“Hi, there. My name is Max Wenschof,” the man said.

“Tim Ross.” He reached across the table and shook Max’s hand.

“You’re the new guy. You don’t look too sick. Well, I guess if you were, you wouldn’t be in here. Where are you staying?”

“I’m in Pavillion Five. What do you mean if I was sick, I wouldn’t be in here? Doesn’t everyone in here have TB?”

“Sure, sure, but we either have mild cases or we’re on the mend. Some might even be ready to go home. The real sick patients stay in the receiving hospital. Nurses and orderlies bring them their meals.”

“Oh, it’s good to know I’m not too sick.”

Max clapped him on the shoulder. “Of course not. You can walk around.” Max cut into his sandwich and took a bite.“By the way, I’m in the shack right next door to you. Four.”


“That’s what everyone calls the pavilions. Too fancy schmancy. They’re shacks.” Max paused. “Are you from Baltimore? You sound like you might be.”

Tim nodded. “I lived out near Sparrows Point.”

“This place must be a bit of a shock for you, then.”

Tim snorted. “You don’t know the half of it.”

“Don’t worry. You’ll get along fine once you learn the rules.”

“That’s what I hear, but no one has told me what they are.”

Max chuckled. “They are vague on purpose. They would rather you break a rule and catch you at it, so they can correct you. And if you don’t break enough rules, I think they make them up, so they can punish you.”


Max nodded and concentrated on his feet.

Tim wondered what sort of punishment they could inflict, but Max seemed not to want to talk about it.

“So, what is there to do here?”

“Officially, you can go to the recreation hall. It has cards, games, and a radio, although you can’t pick up much up here on the mountain at night.”

“That doesn’t sound like much.”

“It’s not.”

“You said officially. Are there things to do that are unofficial?”

“Well…” Max looked around and then lowered his voice. “A good-looking guy like your yourself could probably find a cute nurse for a little romance. They’re not supposed to fraternize in that way, but it has happened. You could even find a woman among the patients. It depends on how much you want to kiss a gal with TB, but hey, I say, it can’t make you any sicker.” Tim didn’t point out that was exactly what Max was expecting the nurses to do.

“What if I just want a drink?”

Max drew back. “Officially, the word is that absolutely no alcohol is allowed on the property. Not only is it Dr. Cullen’s rule, but it’s the law.”

“And, unofficially?” Tim asked softly.

Max clapped him on the shoulder. “See? You are learning about this place already. We are near the Pen-Mar resort and far from police. There are stories of lots of stills and moonshiners in the woods on this mountain. They sell to the resort and places like Hagerstown and Frederick.” He slowed his speech. “Some of them are very close by.”

“Are you saying there’s a still on the property?”

“I would never say that. You can draw your own conclusions.”

Tim shook his head. “Why does everyone seem so nervous that they won’t talk directly?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He suddenly concentrated on his sandwich as an orderly walked past the table.            

“I just don’t get it,” Tim said.

Max sighed and looked around. “You seem like a nice guy, Tim, but you’ve got to be careful. You don’t want to be corrected too many times. Watch what you say and who you say it to. Don’t attract too much attention to yourself, but you also want people to notice if you are gone.”


“That’s all I can say.”

Tim shook his head. He didn’t need another cryptic warning. He needed answers. He wondered if he tried to leave the hospital and go elsewhere, would he even be allowed?

A cute red-headed nurse who still looked like a teen walked into the dining hall. She looked around and then walked over to Tim’s table.

“Mr. Ross?” she asked.

“That’s me,” Tim said with a forced smile.

“Dr. Vallingham will see you now.”

“Dr. Vallingham? I thought Dr. Cullen was in charge?”

The nurse smiled. “Oh, he is, but he can’t see all the patients here and run the hospital, too. Dr. Vallingham is the assistant director.”

Tim wondered why he had not heard of this doctor before now. Dr. Victor Cullen was the man credited for the hospital’s success. Not only had he saved the lives of many of the patients here, he had also recovered from TB himself. He was the one Tim wanted treating him.

Tim stood up. Max laid a hand on Tim’s arm. He glanced at the nurse, then back at Tim.

“Remember what I said.”

Tim nodded. “I will, and I will see you around.”

He turned and followed the nurse out of the dining hall. They walked through the hallway back to the administration building.

“You look barely old enough to be out of high school,” Tim said to the nurse.

The girl laughed. “That’s about right. I graduated last year. I go to the nursing school here.”

“Are all the nurses here students?”

“Most of them. Most of the nurses here are also former patients.”

Tim paused and stared at her. “You had TB?”

The young woman shook her head. “No, but my father did. He was a patient here until he died. I wanted to do something to honor him.”

“How do you like it here?” Tim asked, wondering if he would be given another mysterious warning.

“I enjoy it. People are sick but not as bad as a lot of patients in regular hospitals. It’s given me time to get used to dealing with ill people.”

“I guess that would be important.”

“Some of the pictures I’ve seen in class make me queasy, so I definitely need time to make the adjustment.”

She led Tim to an office on the second floor and knocked on the door.

“Come in,” said a voice from inside.

The nurse opened the door. Tim stepped inside and met the man whose hands his life was in.

Administration Building, Maryland Sanatorium

On October 13, 2021, Thurmont Grange #409 held its annual Veterans Appreciation Program. Grange member Niki Eyler stated that the Veterans being honored were, “all honorable, upstanding, and respectable members of their families, churches, and communities.” 

A special recognition of Veteran and past-Granger, Ralph Fornwald, was given by Cheryl Lenhart. Ralph was born August 30, 1924, the son of Charles and Hilda Fornwald. The Fornwald family moved to Thurmont when Ralph was 12 years old. He graduated from Thurmont High School in 1942, where he served as vice president of the graduating class. Not even a year after graduation, Ralph joined the Navy on March 10, 1943, serving until July 19, 1946, as Hospital Apprentice First Class. During his service, Ralph was awarded the WWII Victory Medal, the American Theatre Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. After his military service, Ralph became involved in his church and community. He was a member of Graceham Moravian Church, AMVETS Post 7, Thurmont American Legion Post 168, and Thurmont Grange #409. He also served on the Thurmont Library Board and Thurmont Park Commission. Ralph retired from NIH, and after retirement, worked at Jubilee in Thurmont. He enjoyed gardening and fishing.

In addition to this special recognition, Thurmont Grange will honor Ralph with a banner in the Thurmont Military Banner Program, sponsored by the Thurmont Lions Club. Also, members of Scout Troup 270 folded the American flag and presented it to Ralph’s children, Beverly Weddle, Debbie Fornwald, and Doug Fornwald in honor of Ralph’s service to our country.

The guest speaker for the evening was Priscilla Rall, who spoke of her involvement in the Frederick County Veterans History Project, which is a partner in the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. Priscilla started volunteering with the Veterans History Project in 2004 and was director for the last five years. Over the past 15 years, she has interviewed 120 Veterans, including Russ Delauter, one of the evening’s honorees. The interviews are video recorded and housed at the Library of Congress along with photographs, letters and diaries of veterans.

The evening’s Veteran recognition began with a roll call of those honored at the Grange’s previous programs. Those named were Frederick Tresselt, Robert Remsberg, Ralph Fornwald, Joseph G. Eyler, Raymond Ediger, John Hart, Joseph Moser, Russell Moser, Robert Wiles, William Zentz, Douglas Zimmerman, Larry Clabaugh, Maurice Wiles, Bryan Umberger, Alton Hoopengardner, Ed Gravatt, Raymond Long, Valeria Kilby, James Kilby, and Wayne Wireman.

Next, the evenings honorees were called: Carie Stafford (Air Force 91-05), Ed Superczynski (Navy 61-66), Pete Knill (Navy Seabee 76-82), Russ Delauter (Army 48-52), Bruce Rice (Army 75-00), Ken Angleberger (Army 52-54), Felicia Albert (Navy 75-95), Frankie Valentine (Navy 51-55), and Bernard Hobbs (Army National Guard 76-15). Honorees were met with a round of applause in appreciation of their selfless service in the United States Armed Forces.

Lastly, a moment of silence was observed for recently-departed Grange member and Air Force veteran, Joseph G. Eyler, as well as those who had lost their lives defending our country. Before parting for the evening, those in attendance enjoyed refreshments and fellowship. If you are interested in joining Thurmont Grange, please contact Rodman Myers at 301-606-9221.


Thurmont Grange Veterans Night: Honorees are (from left) Carie Stafford, Frankie Valentine, Ed Supersynski, Pete Knill, Russ Delauter, Bruce Rice, Felicia Albert, and Bernard Hobbs, with presernter Niki Eyler.

Blair Garrett

There’s no doubt that the way businesses have had to operate has changed forever.

More people than ever before are finding new ways to make their careers compatible with the world around us. The ability for so many different industries to work remotely has revolutionized the way businesses operate, and it may only be just the beginning.

Conversely, mobile businesses have found a niche in a wide variety of markets, bringing their products and services directly to the customers instead of having a traditional brick-and-mortar store.

Over the past few years, outdoor events like Colorfest, music festivals, and craft shows have seen growing numbers of food trucks catering to hungry event-goers with on-site food prepared almost hibachi-style right in front of your eyes.

The food market is a popular roving business, but it’s far from the only one meeting customers out in the wild.

Meet.Plant.Love is a brand new business, blazing the trails of mobile plant sales, operating at markets and events held locally in Maryland. “We kind of operate like a food truck, but we’re selling house plants,” said Lee Hufnagel, owner of Meet.Plant.Love.

Lee and Jackie Hufnagel kicked off their business in May, and in just a few short months, they’ve been able to spread plant love all over Frederick County.

“We discussed opening up a storefront, but that’s obviously a very big step,” Lee said. “We wanted to build around the whole experience of houseplants and taking care of them with the community, which is kind of how we got our name. That’s the ‘Meet’ portion of it, and that’s where the mobile part comes in.”

The two got their start in a unique way, too. At the start of a turbulent 2020, there was a lot of uncertainty about what the next few months might look like. With clear information at a minimum and panic at an all-time high, many people needed to latch on to things that brought them comfort.

For Jackie, that thing was houseplants. “Every time I would try to conquer feelings of anxiety, I would buy a houseplant,” Jackie said.

Little did they know, that her anxiety-relief tool would turn into their own mobile business, where they get to go out and meet tons of people interested in plants and share a bit of their expertise.

“We’re selling houseplants, cactus, succulents, hanging baskets, and things like that,” Jackie said. “During a few shows this summer, we offered outdoor plants; we’ve had mums and herbs. We like to have a little bit of something for everybody.”

Meet.Plant.Love often posts where they’ll be on their Instagram and Facebook accounts, and you may just catch them at a brewery, winery, or an event near you.

There’s nothing more relaxing than catching up with a few friends at your favorite pub over an ice-cold drink. But your favorite cocktail may be heading your way in the near future.

Mobile bars are a huge hit in beach towns like Ocean City, Maryland, and Wildwood, New Jersey.

A dozen partygoers and a liquor-loaded liaison hop onto a rectangular bar mounted on wheels, powered by the pedaling guests partaking in the festivities. It’s a great way to cruise a boardwalk in a fun environment while sharing a drink with your friends, but it’s far from the only mobile bar out there.

Similar to how food trucks are showing up and delivering meals on wheels, mobile cocktail bars are handcrafting your favorite Moscow mules, mojitos, and Long Island iced teas.

Presley’s Mobile Cocktail Bar in Philadelphia has renovated an old trailer and modernized the bartender-to-customer experience with the changing times. It’s a smooth transition to bring and drop off your bar to a location, craft a menu to fit the needs of the event, and then pack it up for your next adventure. Mobility allows companies like Presley’s to open up the base of clients to fit a huge market.  

Mobile bars are revolutionizing the way catering companies deal with weddings and work outings, and that is a trend that is not going away any time soon. So, be on the lookout for more to pop up in the near future.

Taking your dog to the groomer can be a tremendous chore to fit around your work schedule. If your pooch doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with other dogs, you may need to wait hours for your pet to be cleaned up and ready to go.

Mobile groomers and veterinary services are a rapidly growing business, offering options out there to contour to even the busiest of schedules.

Pets are often uncomfortable in the car or don’t handle being away from home or their owners, so mobile pet care can alleviate some of the stress for your beloved furry friends.

If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that people have to be adaptable and open to change. Many of the storefront businesses have taken the lockdown situation and unlocked a creative way to make their companies thrive, and this might be just the beginning.

Meet.Plant.Love’s mobile market has tons of houseplants sure to add color and beauty to any room in the house.

Photo by Blair Garrett

Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) Food and Nutrition Services started distributing “to-go” breakfast and lunch to anyone in the community, 18 years old or younger, in June. Those over 18 who are enrolled in an educational program for people with disabilities can also be served.

FCPS will distribute enough to-go breakfast and lunch meals for seven days, every Wednesday from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., at the following 11 schools: Ballenger Creek Elementary, Brunswick Elementary, Hillcrest Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Middletown High, Spring Ridge Elementary, Sugarloaf Elementary, Thurmont Middle, Walkersville Elementary, Waverley Elementary, and Whittier Elementary.

An adult, such as a parent or guardian, may pick up meals for a child. Children do not have to be present. The last day of summer meals service to the community will be Wednesday, August 11.

FCPS also serves breakfast and lunch to students enrolled in summer-school programs while they are at school. To-go breakfast and lunch for Friday through Sunday are offered to students before they leave for the day every Thursday during the summer-school program. 

Information about FCPS facilities offering food to students learning virtually during the 2021-2022 school year will be available at a later date. If you have questions, contact FCPS Food and Nutrition Services at 301-644-5061.

Stories of What It’s Like Returning Home After 25 Years

by dave ammenheuser

How do you honor the death of a loved one in the midst of a pandemic?

It’s not easy.

When my parents, John and Elizabeth Ammenheuser, died in the last few months of 2020, our family faced many difficult decisions. Among the toughest: How do you inform family and friends of their deaths?  

 Neither parent died from COVID-19. Dad’s heart gave out on September 1; Mom lost her battle with cancer on December 19. Both left behind clear legal instructions on what they wanted done with their bodies. Per their wishes, they were cremated and their ashes were placed in separate urns.

More than eight months after Dad’s death and more than five months after mom’s, we are finally gathering on June 13 to honor them.

The coronavirus impacted our decisions. Finding a location to hold a service was difficult. Our first choice (and second and third and fourth) were not possible, as policies prohibited indoor gatherings of any notable size. While we don’t expect hundreds of folks to attend the event, even an expected crowd of several dozen is not currently permitted indoors due to safety concerns.

So, we waited until the spring, warmer weather, and the anticipation of vaccinations before deciding on the details of a Celebration of Life (or in this case, Lives) event. 

 Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird offered the perfect solution: A pavilion at the Thurmont Community Park. During a recent visit to my parents’ house (where he bought a paint sprayer from the estate), he told me that the town recently built a new pavilion near the basketball courts. Knowing that the park pavilions are booked far in advance for family reunions, I was astonished to find out the new pavilion was available. But, as we’ve all learned, this hasn’t been a normal year or two.

Thus, we booked the pavilion for June 13 (As a side note, the $50 fee the town charges for the full-day rental is quite the bargain).

Now that the location was chosen, informing folks of the event was the next arduous task. My mother’s address book was terribly out-of-date (her address for me was one in Southern California; my family moved to Nashville in 2012).  

After thumbing through the dilapidated book, I started addressing and stamping the postcards that I had ordered.

Certainly, there are some of my parents’ friends and former co-workers whom I missed. Apologies to them. There hasn’t been a week that’s gone by when I haven’t talked to one of their friends who were surprised to learn that my parents had died. If you’d like me to mail you a postcard to remind you of the event, please email me at

After Joe Wolf, deacon of Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish, offers an opening prayer, we’ll share stories and celebrate John and Liz’s lives.

It’s been a difficult time for all of us. Not just my family. But I’m sure for yours, too.

We all have friends and neighbors who have been impacted by COVID-19. Some have lost jobs; some have been out of work for months; some have lost loved ones. Thankfully, the country appears to be turning the corner. 

However, life will never be the same. At least not in our household. And likely, not in yours either.

Photo by Dave Ammenheuser

New pavilion at Thurmont Community Park.

On Saturday, March 20, 2021, the Easter spirit was evident at Thurmont United Methodist Church (TUMC)! From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the Easter Bunny and Duck paid a visit to TUMC and took pictures with children from the Thurmont Community. With a little help from Catoctin High School (CHS) cheerleaders and members of TUMC, the church had an egg hunt for the kids!

There were 500 eggs hidden in the field of TUMC. Among the fun, there were a couple of prizes to be won. CHS Class of 2021 had a gift basket from Gateway Candyland to raffle off. The winner of the basket was Brandi Thomas. TUMC also had a “guess the number of jellybeans in the egg” contest, and Serinity Zebroski won with a guess of the exact number of jellybeans: 323 jellybeans in the egg!

Everyone had lots of Easter fun on March 20 at TUMC! The church would like to thank the CHS Class of 2021 for bringing the Easter Bunny and Duck to the church for pictures, as well as the CHS cheerleaders for filling some eggs and hiding the eggs for the kids to find!

The children eagerly await the Thurmont United Methodist Church’s Easter egg hunt to begin, with over 500 eggs hidden.

Recently, members of the Thurmont Grange met to prepare fruit baskets for area shut-ins for the holiday season. Approximately 40 fruit baskets, containing fruit, canned items, apple butter, crossword puzzles, and other canned and packaged items, were made and distributed to various persons in the surrounding area. Many thanks to Catoctin Mountain Orchard for donating a half-bushel of apples along with the gift boxes that were used for the fruit baskets.

Grange members also adopted a needy family through the Thurmont Food Bank and purchased items the family requested for the holiday season. They also donated canned items to the Thurmont Food Bank as part of a community service project. 

In addition, the Grange will be sending a care package to Elijah Moser, grandson of Russell and Sidney Moser, who are members of the Grange. Elijah is in the service and is presently stationed in England. 

Several members were recognized for their membership in the Grange: Ethel and Alan Brauer (50 years), Sandy Moser (60 years), and Mary Kathryn “Peg” Long (70 years). Congratulations to all of these members for their Grange membership. 

We also are deeply saddened by the recent loss of Grange member, Gail T. Powell, who was a very active member in the Grange. She could always be found helping out during the Community Show dinner and also during Colorfest and other activities. Her smile and willingness to assist wherever needed will be greatly missed.

Thurmont Grange members prepare fruit baskets for area shut-ins.

Girl Scout Troop 81069 volunteered at the Black Mountain View Farm Draft Rescue in Thurmont in October to complete their Bronze Service Award.

The girls learned all about the horse rescue on Whates Lane in Thurmont, which takes in draft horses from auctions, kill pens, neglection, and from people who cannot care for them anymore. Black Mountain View Farm Draft Rescue rehabilitates horses that arrive malnourished or with other health problems. The rescue, run by Kelly Black, provides critical care and a loving environment to nurse the horses back to good health and find them new homes.

The troop, along with rescue volunteers, helped with twice-daily grooming, brushing, hoof care, feeding, stall mucking, and sweeping chores. The girls from the troop enjoyed learning about the rescue and its needs and about caring for the horses. The troop looks forward to continuing to volunteer with the rescue.

Pictured from left are Andi Bentz, Lauren Kelley, Katelyn Veronie, June Norton, Hannah Mosiychuk, Monkey (Horse), Bree (Black Mountain Volunteer), Grace May, Elizabeth Blank, Ruby Norton, and Faith May.

Courtesy Photo

Deb Abraham Spalding

You may have wondered what the chain link “cages” are in Emmitsburg Community Park. They’re actually the “holes” that you “shoot” for in a game of golf—disc golf, that is!

Like the game of golf that is played with clubs and balls, this version plays with discs like Frisbees®. Tally the number of throws it takes to get the disc in the cage, and you’ve created a competitive game of strategy. The winner is the player whose disc lands in the target cages with the fewest throws.

This is a leisurely game that gives the player plenty of exercise, walking from hole to hole. Emmitsburg’s 18-cage course is a little over one-mile long. A set of discs of different weights can increase the strategic complexity of the game. The heavier discs travel further; lighter ones, not so far.

I was introduced to the game of disc golf in the late 1980s in my college days in Baltimore. At the time, I met some disc-golf enthusiasts who provided a glimpse into the little-known-to-me sport. That experience inspired the disc golf course in Middletown District Park when I worked at Frederick County Parks and Rec. I was pleased to see the addition of this feature in Emmitsburg and applaud the Emmitsburg’s Parks and Rec Commission for this use of park space. In addition to Emmitsburg Community Park, disc golf courses may be found in Middletown Park in Middletown, Heritage Farm Park in Walkersville, and Woodsboro Regional Park in Woodsboro.

On October 24, 2020, a grand opening of Emmitsburg’s disc golf course was hosted by the Town of Emmitsburg in cooperation with Fredrock Disc Golf. Amateurs and seasoned players took part in play. Congratulations to all the winners of the disc golf tournament. First place winners were: MPO—Jay Gobrecht; MA1—Nathan Ellgren; MA3—Billy Bob Vigil; FA3—Diana Heaney.

More information about disc golf leagues and meetups may be found at

Photo by Grace Eyler

Community members gathered behind a disc golf cage to celebrate the official opening of Emmitsburg’s disc golf course in the Emmitsburg Community Park.

James Rada, Jr.

For the first time since the Frederick County Board of Education put off making a decision about whether to close Sabillasville Elementary School (SES), the board discussed the topic during its work session.

Some of the possible ways to keep the school open include:

Using the school as an agricultural center;

Turning it into a magnet school;

Adding career and technology services;

Adding a RISE program to the school; and

Making the school an “open enrollment” school.

Superintendent Theresa Alban cautioned the board in its approach to saving the school. She said during the board’s October work session, “I don’t want to go down the road of ‘let’s find ways to fill up the building.’”

The major problem facing the school is that it has seen declining enrollment. Last year, around 70 students were in a building rated for 160 students.

When the possibility of closing the school was raised last school year, the Sabillasville community rallied to fight the closure. The board relented and decided to address the issue later after examining possible ways to keep the school open and utilize the extra space. The school remains open this school year, but the board’s goal is to make a final decision on what to do by December.

The option of turning Sabillasville into a charter school seemed to be the idea that has the most support among the board.

Carroll Creek Montessori Public Charter School was considering the property, but Superintendent Theresa Alban said the school is also considering other locations.

However, Alisha Yocum, president of the Sabillasville Elementary Parent Teacher Association, said the community’s concern about the school becoming an existing charter school is “it really doesn’t become a community school at that point because we’re not really being involved in the decisions.”

She said community members and parents are developing the idea of creating a new charter school that would be located at Sabillasville Elementary.

If the board pursues this option, it would take time and raise additional questions of how students would be accepted to attend the school. It would also want to ensure students living in Sabillasville could still remain in their community school.

“The chartering process is quite lengthy and complex,” Board President Brad Young said.

If the school were to become an open-enrollment school, where students from overcrowded schools could attend, those students would come from outside of the Catoctin High School district because all of the schools in Northern Frederick County have excess capacity. This means the transportation costs would increase, and those students would have very long bus rides to and from school.

The board is planning on surveying parents of students in overcrowded schools to see how many of them would be willing to send their students to Sabillasville.

Board documents about the options indicate using the school as an agricultural center has problems. “To operate this center and maintain the elementary school operation would be challenging; it would also not address the dwindling enrollment numbers for SES. This option does not change the deferred maintenance needs,” according to a review of options in a document on the board’s website.

Expanding career and technology programs into the school would require modifying the school without addressing the declining enrollment program.

“I just want to commend everybody for thinking outside the box. The school is really a jewel in your community, and I’m all in favor of keeping community schools as long as we can,” said Board Member Lois Jarman.

The board will take up the issue again this month once it has had time to get feedback from parents in other schools about their interest in sending their students to Sabillasville.

Deb Abraham Spalding

Catoctin-area natives, Kevin Wantz and Andy Adelsberger, know what it’s like to be through boot camp. Having served in the United States Marine Corps and as a policeman with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department, Kevin carried the integrity of his duty to become the foundation of the construction company he started in 2012, called Blue Line Home Improvements (BLH).

After working with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Bureau and then various roofing companies, Andy Adelsberger joined his friend Kevin in May 2020 to open a business called Blue Line Roofing and Exteriors (BLR) that complements and strengthens Blue Line’s core services.

While BLH builds and renovates kitchens, bathrooms, additions, decks, basements, and so on, BLR installs asphalt shingles, metal roofing, flat rubber roofing, vinyl siding, fiber cement, gutters, downspouts, windows, and provides soffit and facia work. The two business entities and businessmen share an office on Creamery Road in Emmitsburg.

In the face of competition in the roofing and construction fields, these self-proclaimed “brothers” pride themselves on running a smaller company that’s local and knows their customers. Andy grew up in Emmitsburg, attended Mother Seton, Catoctin High, and Mount St. Mary’s. Kevin grew up in Thurmont and attended Catoctin High before entering the military and then the Frederick County Police Academy.

Fully licensed and insured, Kevin and Andy are operating Blue Line the right way. Kevin said, “You get what you pay for. A lot of times, homeowners sacrifice a quality job for the cheapest price.” He suggested, “Homeowners should get three quotes and do their homework by looking up the construction company that they employ to verify their licensing.”

Andy explained that a company that pays for licenses and insurance usually won’t be the low bid because they pay the costs of those assurances. He said, “We’re priced right in the middle. We won’t leave the customer hanging.” Blue Line can help with storm-damage claims and handle the insurance company interactions for the customer.

Blue Line gives really good labor warranties backed by GAF. Andy assured, “It’s a good set up. This is a way to serve the community by giving homeowners the best warranties and the best installs. We have about 25 years of combined experience.”

Blue Line’s service area runs from Hagerstown to Taneytown, and most of the Maryland metro area, to Chambersburg, Fairfield, Green Castle, Waynesboro, and Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.

If you’re a first responder, law enforcement, or military, you get a discount. “We take a lot of pride in having integrity, earning trust, and being honest with the community and customers. In the end, it pays off.”

For more information, call 240-367-0331, visit bluelineroofingand, and check out customer reviews on Facebook, Google, and Yelp.

(left) Blue Line Home Improvement’s Kevin Wantz is pictured with “Chaos Coordinator” admin. professional Kendra Fittery, and Blue Line Roofing’s Andy Adelsberger.

(right) Andy Adelsberger and Kevin Wantz team up to provide home improvements and roofing services throughout the area.

The Jack and Shirley Little Scholarship Fund at Mother Seton School (MSS) will continue to help families seeking an affordable Catholic education for years to come, thanks to the efforts of the Little Family. Tony Little, Scott Little, Pam Bolin (Little), MaryLou Little, and Ed Little presented MSS Principal Sr. Brenda Monahan, D.C. with a check for $19,000, the proceeds from the annual Angels Above Alumni Golf Tournament. The event was held on October 5, 2018, at the Mountain View Golf Club in Fairfield, Pennsylvania.

The tournament began as a promise made to their dying father that the Little siblings would do something to repay the generosity shown their parents when they sent their six children to MSS in the 1970s and 1980s. Tony, a graduate of MSS in 1978, followed through with that commitment, and with his siblings— Tim, MaryLou, Pam, Scott, and Ed—launched the golf tournament as a means to raise money for the Jack and Shirley Little Scholarship Fund at Mother Seton School. To date, the tournament has raised over $150,000 for the fund and helped numerous families afford the cost of tuition to MSS. “We want to continue to help Mother Seton School grow and thrive, and not have money be an issue (for families who wish to enroll their children),” Mr. Little said.

“We are grateful to the Little Family for their generosity and continued commitment to Catholic education,” said Sister Brenda. “In keeping with the legacy of our Foundress and Patron Saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, our mission at Mother Seton School is to provide solid academics and solid Christian values for all who desire it, regardless of financial means. Thanks to the support of the Little Family, we can meet the growing demand for financial assistance so that families can choose and remain in a Catholic School.”

Tony Little remains humble about the family’s contributions. “None of us do this for recognition, only to keep mom and dad’s dream alive. For that reason, we will continue our efforts to contribute to the scholarship fund.”

The next Angels Above Alumni Golf Tournament will be held on October 4, 2019.

Pictured from left are Sister Brenda Monahan, D.C., principal of MSS; MaryLou Little; Ed Little, Scott Little; Kim Bolin; Tony Little; Pam (Little) Bolin; and Mason Bolin.

What Goes Up Must Come Down

by Christine Maccabee

The chilly, windy rainstorms of May and June are over, with much flooding and sadly loss of life and property in Ellicott City, Frederick City, and elsewhere.

The humid weather has now set in, which, of course, breeds gnats, mosquitoes, and other tiny flying pests; yet, swallows and blue birds need them to feed their newly hatched babies, as well as themselves. So, I try to appreciate them, even as I  transplant my peppers and tomatoes, which should have been planted a month ago, if the rain had just abated.

Many gardening friends, both professional and serious hobbyists, have expressed frustration about the quantity of cold rain this spring. Having read a bit from good sources, and even as I use my own intuition, I now believe I know what is happening. All during that cold, rainy spell, I kept saying “What goes up must come down.” I would say it to people I met as we ran into the Food Lion or CVS, sometimes taking time to explain my theory, which at this point is no theory at all, but actual. The earth’s natural air-conditioning system is disappearing as the many amazing glaciers, Greenlands white snow/ice shield and the polar ice caps are melting. Everything is melting three times faster than expected. (Once it is all melted, then we will see even hotter weather with wildfires and drought, already occurring in many places out west.)

Some of this melting ice flows into the ocean, and some evaporates into the atmosphere. All this is simple science, which even my twelve-year-old grandson understands. The Earth is becoming confused, and so are we. Human stress levels are soaring and suicides increasing. Yes, we can no longer deny what is happening on many levels, and many people are becoming more aware. Truth is, levels of CO2 emissions (and methane, as well) remain high and our lifestyles contribute to it daily. Did you know that mowing acre upon acre of grass on large estates is one of the greatest contributors to CO2 pollution? So, who cares, you ask.

Actually, we all should care. Even if many people in our own country do not care, many of us do and are working towards positive changes, such as alternative energy use and conservation practices. Yes, when the rain comes down it affects us all, even those of us who care, and it is not getting any better. According to studies made at the University of Pennsylvania, future hurricanes will be qualitatively different than ones we have seen thus far, possibly even worse than past ones. Allow me to explain.

Due to more moisture in the atmosphere and disruption of climate patterns, hurricanes are moving more slowly and linger longer over larger areas, thus perhaps all the very cold rain and wind we saw this spring in our part of the world. Future hurricanes, due to continuing melting of ice and snow (even our beautiful snow-capped mountains are in trouble these days) could see winds up to 200 mph or greater. Recent hurricanes, such as Irma, saw 185 mph winds in the Virgin Islands, and Patricia went as high as 200 already. These are winds far beyond a category 5. Experts are saying they are in a new category: 6.

Pope Frances, a wonderful advocate of caring for Creation, invited leading oil executives to a two-day conference at the Vatican. No matter your feelings about the Pope, he says it straight, and he said it there to CEOs of ExxonMobil and other energy producers. He said we can and must do better, and though “Civilization requires energy, energy must not destroy civilization,” and he encouraged innovation. I am sure he would also encourage living more conservatively, more simply.

So, as the rains continue to fall on us all, and the winds get stronger and sea levels rise, and fires and drought increase, we will all need to be inventive and conservative in order to survive. As for me, I will persist in growing my own food and herbs, support local farmers, provide  habitat for wildlife, and mow less. I will also vote.

Such a wonderful country and world we have. I thank God for the beauty and mystery of Creation every day as I work with it and explore it. I hope you enjoy it—gnats and all—and never take anything for granted, for it is a precious gift we should all cherish and protect.

It was a long time coming, but a new Mr. Catoctin was chosen on April 5, 2018. Scott Little earned the title after displaying talent, creativity, and an ability to fundraise for Catoctin High School Safe & Sane at the 6th Annual Mr. Catoctin Pageant.

“The experience was pretty awesome, and, obviously, I’m pretty excited about being chosen,” expressed Little.

The event had originally been scheduled for March 2, but it had to be postponed twice: once for wind and once for snow. However, the delay didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd and the competitors in the Catoctin High School Auditorium on a Thursday evening.

Besides Little, Corbin Deviney, Cameron Hewitt, Matthew Imes, James Kempisty, Sean Miller, Noah Olson, and Noah Wivell had been selected by teachers to compete. Mr. Catoctin is not a beauty pageant, bodybuilding competition, or talent show. It is a fun event to raise money for Catoctin Safe & Sane, on organization that works to help seniors have a safe and fun prom, without drugs and drinking.

The eight competitors were scored on Spirit Week votes (10 percent), program ads and ticket sales (10 percent), donations and auction items (10 percent), the Mr. Catoctin opening number (5 percent), teacher impressions (10 percent), talent (25 percent), formal wear (10 percent), and onstage Q&A (20 percent). Little said that he knew that he had raised the most money among the competitors for program ads and sponsors, but he felt that he did his best with the talent competition, which was a song and dance number that included six back-up dancers.

“I was originally supposed to have twelve back-up dancers,” Little said. “But with the delays, people had to drop out because of sports and other things; I had to make things bigger and better.”

Little explained that he had started planning his talent number very early because of the choreography he wanted.

The weather delays made him both more anxious and more excited about performing, but Little didn’t disappoint as he made his spotlighted entrance from the back of the auditorium to join his dancers on the stage.

Scott Little (chosen as Mr. Catoctin) and Haleigh Bowling, performing at the Mr. Catoctin Pageant in April.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.

August 2017
by James Rada, Jr.
Town Election Coming Up
The Emmitsburg Town Election will be held on Tuesday, September 26. Registered voters in Emmitsburg will be able to vote for mayor and one commissioner seat, from 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Votes can be cast at 22 East Main Street.
As of August 8, only Don Briggs had registered to run for mayor, and Jennifer Joy had registered to run for commissioner. While the deadline for filing to run will have passed by the time this is published, September 19 is the deadline for write-in candidates.

Briggs Starts Mayor’s Corner
Mayor Don Briggs has started posting short videos called “Mayor’s Corner” on the Town of Emmitsburg YouTube channel. The first video, which runs just under eight minutes, is a recap of what is happening in town and a look at some upcoming events, as well as a review of the upcoming town meeting agenda.

Hydrants Getting Painted
The Boy Scouts will be working in conjunction with Emmitsburg town staff to paint about fifty fire hydrants in and around Emmitsburg.

Planning and Zoning Appointments
Pat Boyle and John Howard were reappointed to the Emmitsburg Planning and Zoning Commission in August. However, Boyle is expected to serve only until the first of the new year. At that time, he will step down, and Wayne Slaughter is expected to take over his duties.

Amendments to Public Services Ordinances Discussed
The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners discussed some proposed changes to the town ordinances Title 13 Public Services. Some of the changes would codify where the town assumes responsibility for repairs to the water and sewer lines and make it consistent throughout Emmitsburg. Other changes would place more responsibility on the property owner to maintain water meters on their property, such as not allowing them to freeze.
These changes will be voted on in a future meeting.

Zoning Ordinance Changes to Have Public Hearing
The Thurmont Planning and Zoning Commission prepared their opinion on proposed zoning changes. One involves residential clustering that “allows for zoned property to group the actual building in one segment of the zoning area without breaching what is allowed,” according to Chief Administrative Office James Humerick. He added that it is used in subdivisions to allow for smaller lot sizes, while maintaining the same density in that district. The other issue had to do with signage in town.
Both of these issues will have a public hearing this month, and you can find out more information about them from the Thurmont Town Office.

Thurmont’s New Police Officer
Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird swore in Thurmont’s newest police officer, Christopher Smith, on August 8. He is a native of Walkersville, and has served as a county correctional officer and a sheriff’s deputy.

Maggie Doll Makes Thurmont Proud
Maggie Doll of Gateway Liquors was presented with a “You Make Thurmont Proud” certificate on August 8, for winning Frederick Magazine’s Best of the Best Reader’s Choice Awards, and Gateway Liquors for “Best Liquor Store in Frederick County.”

Kathy Toomey Makes Thurmont Proud
Kathy Toomey, with the Thurmont Child Care Center, was presented with a “You Make Thurmont Proud” certificate on August 8. The Thurmont Child Care Center was voted one of the five awardees in the 2017 “Best Places To Work” in Frederick County by Frederick County Work Force Services, the Frederick Chamber, Frederick County Office of Economic Development, and Thrive Frederick. The Frederick County Best Places to Work Awards campaign is a countywide program to increase the quality of life opportunities for Frederick County employees. Thurmont Child Care Center, Inc. won the Small Business category award.

New Town Brochure Available
A new Walk-Bike-Drive brochure is available highlighting points of interest in Thurmont and the area. Main Street Manager Vickie Grinder spearheaded the project, along with volunteers, Nancy Dutterer, Dick Lee, Joann Miller, Robert Eyler, and Joe Fontana. The group was recognized on August 8 by Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners, when the brochure was debuted. The brochure was funded by a TRIPP grant from Frederick County Tourism and Criswell Chevrolet, which paid the matching funds needed for the grant.

Applying for a Grant to Beautify Railroad Bridge
The Town of Thurmont is applying for a $20,000 Community Legacy grant through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to help refurbish the railroad bridge across North Church Street. The town will use results from a survey of area residents to help decide how the bridge should be refurbished. The bridge could have a mural painted across the abutment, LED lights with colors that could be changed for holidays, or painting the letters THURMONT across the bridge. Commissioner Martin Burns has been spearheading the efforts to find a way to use the bridge as a way to beautify the town.


by James Rada, Jr.


East Street Parking Concerns

Thurmont residents who live along East Street have expressed the parking concerns they have to Mayor John Kinnaird and the town commissioners. Because of a lack of defined spaces along the street, parking can be “a little bit jumbled.” Many residents would like to see the parking spaces along the street marked.

Commissioner Wes Hamrick expressed concern that cars might not be able to turn around at the end of the street, but this can be solved with the elimination of a parking space or two at the end of the street closest to the carnival grounds.

Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick also stated that a stop sign will be placed on Center Street at East Street, which will turn the intersection into a three-way stop.

Per citizen suggestions, “one way” signs will be placed on Center Street and at the top of Church Street and East Street. Also, a “Do Not Enter” sign will be posted at Center Street and East Street.


Thurmont Helps Little League Champs

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners recognized the Thurmont Little League team for winning the District 2 championship. They went 4-0 in the district and hit 22 home runs. The team’s expenses to compete in the state championship is about $20,000. The commissioners agreed to contribute $1,500 to the effort.


Update on Mural Project

Artist Yemi showed the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners the preliminary drawings for the mural project that he is painting for the town. He told the commissioners that it is still on track to be unveiled in the spring of 2018. Fundraising for the project is ongoing, and Yemi will be using local residents as models in the mural.


Town Approves Purchase of New Pumps

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners approved the bid of C. Schultes of Maryland to replace the well No. 7 pumps for $32,200. This was an item for which the Water Department had been budgeting.


Commissioners Get Merger Update

Vigilant Hose Company Chief Frank Davis and Emmitsburg Ambulance Company President Mary Lou Little updated the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners on the progress of the two companies. Members from both companies voted unanimously to proceed with the merger. Since Saturday, July 8, ambulances have been operating out of the Vigilant Hose Company building on West Main Street.

“Since these mergers have started, we have not failed on a single call,” Davis said.

The goal is for the merger to be completed by January 1, 2018.


Protecting Utility Lines

Ashley Shiwarski with Utility Service Partners, Inc. spoke to the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners recently about the National League of Cities Service Line Program. The program partners Utility Service Partners with municipalities and participating residents to protect water and sewer lines that break that are on their property. Typically, if there is a line break on private property, it is the responsibility of the property owner to pay for the repairs. Those insured by the program can receive up to $8,500 per incident.

“This could really benefit Emmitsburg, because we have a lot of residents who don’t have a lot of money to pay for stuff,” said Commissioner Cliff Sweeney.

Three different types of policies would be offered, and each one would cost less than $10.00 a month. The commissioners are considering offering the program in Emmitsburg. Thurmont and Taneytown already offer the program to their residents.


Emmitsburg Multi-User Trail Work Day

There will be a work day on the Emmitsburg Multi-User Trail on August 5, from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Volunteers should dress for work, and tools will be provided. Volunteers will also be provided coffee, orange juice, bagels and cream cheese, fruit, and more. After the work session, volunteers will be provided lunch. For more information, contact Commissioner Tim O’Donnell at


Yard Waste and Recycling Drop-off

The next yard waste and recycling drop-off for Emmitsburg will be on August 19, beginning at 9:00 a.m. This event is held every third Saturday. Items can be dropped off at the site on Creamery Road. Recycling is available to any Frederick County resident, but the yard waste drop-off is only available to people who have an ID or driver’s license that shows they live in the 21727 zip code.


Last Town Block Party for the Summer

The last of the three block parties that the Town of Emmitsburg has been sponsoring this summer will be held on Friday, August 18, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The party will be held at the Community Park and is free for everyone.


Deadline to Register to Vote Approaching

August 28 is the last day that you can register to vote in the upcoming Emmitsburg Town Election. You can register at the town office.

Fresh Fruits: Champion – Kylie Robertson (Sugar Giant Peaches); Reserve Champion – Kylie Robertson (Honey Crisp Apples) • Fresh Vegetables: Champion – Brian Harbaugh (Yellow Corn); Reserve Champion – Charles Sayler (Watermelon) • Home Products Display: Champion – Roxanna Lambert; Reserve Champion – Charlotte Dutton • Canned Fruit: Champion – Donald Stanley (Canned Pears); Reserve Champion – Carolyn Hahn (Whole Yellow Cherries) • Canned Vegetables: Champion – Carolyn Hahn (Whole Tomatoes); Reserve Champion – Carolyn Hahn (Yellow Tomato Juice) • Jellies & Preserves: Champion – Denise Shriver (Peach Preserves); Reserve Champion – Paul Miller (Pepper Jelly) • Pickles: Champion – Stephanie Ott (Dill Pickle); Reserve Champion – Joanna Fuss (Corn Relish) • Meat (Canned): Champion – Ann Welty (Canned Fish); Reserve Champion – Ann Welty (Canned Quail) • Home Cured Meats: Champion – Robert McAfee (Ham); Reserve Champion – Catoctin FFA Alumni (Ham) • Baked Products (Cake): Champion – Maxine Troxell (Hummingbird Cake); Reserve Champion – Maxine Troxell (German Chocolate Cake) • Honorable Mention (Cake): Burall Brothers Scholarship – Sherry Flohr (Coconut Cake) • Bread: Champion – Carolyn Eyler (Banana Bread); Reserve Champion – Debbie Wiles (Biscuits) • Pie: Champion – Denise Valentine (Apple Pie); Reserve Champion – Denise Valentine (Shoo Fly Pie) • Sugar Free: Champion – Roxanna Lambert (Diabetic Bread); Catherine Miller (Apple Pie) • Gluten Free Baked Product: Champion – Elizabeth Ruppert (Honey Oat Bread); Reserve Champion – Ann Welty (Bread) • Sewing: Champion – Peggy Vandercruysen (Quilt); Reserve Champion – Constance Smith (Infant Layette) • Flowers & Plants: Champion – Roxanna Lambert (Side Table Arrangement); Reserve Champion – Roxanna Lambert (Silk Arrangement) • Arts, Painting & Drawings: Champion – Penny Keilholtz (Acrylic); Reserve Champion – Johnny Kempisty (Drawing) • Crafts: Champion – James Garman (Handcrafted Furniture); Reserve Champion – Mary Connecher (Collage) • Photography: Champion – Debbie Swing (Color Photo – Action); Reserve Champion – Debbie Swing (Color Photo – Animal) • Corn: Champion – Matt Clark (Yellow Corn); Reserve Champion – Bridgette Kinna (Indian Corn) • Small Grain & Seeds: Champion – Rodman Myers (Shelled Corn); Reserve Champion – Rodman Myers (Wheat) • Eggs: Champion – Jen Sayler (White Eggs); Reserve Champion – Audrey Downs (Brown Eggs) • Nuts: Champion – Edward Hahn (English Walnuts); Reserve Champion – Edward Hahn (Black Walnuts) • Rabbit: Champion – Laura Dutton (Rabbit and offspring); Reserve Champion – Paige Baker (Female Breeding D’Argent Champagne • Poultry: Champion – Ann Seiss (Rooster); Reserve Champion – Jerry Seiss (Hen) • Dairy: Champion – Joseph Hubbard (Ayrshire Winter Calf); Reserve Champion – Robert Hahn (Milking Shorthorn Summer Yearling) • Dairy Goats: Champion – Olivia Dutton (Doe 2 years and under 3 years); Reserve Champion – Rose Froelich (Doe 3 years and under 5 years) • Hay: Champion – Matt Clark (Alfalfa Hay); Reserve Champion – Sam Topper (Orchard Grass) • Straw: Dallas McNair (Wheat Straw); Reserve Champion – Rodman Myers (Wheat Straw) • Junior Department: Caroline Clarke (Sewn Item – vest); Reserve Champion – McKenzi Forrest (Artwork) • Junior Department Baked Product: Ryan Martin (Chocolate Cake – Frosted); Reserve Champion – Jayden Myers (Cookies) • Youth Department: Champion – Alex Bollinger (Paper Craft); Reserve Champion – Gabriella Ferraro (Gel Pen Drawing) • Youth Department Baked Product: Justin McAfee (Peach Pie); Reserve Champion – Ruby McAfee (Bread) • Beef: Champion – Margo Sweeney; Reserve Champion – Travis Fields • Lamb: Caroline Clark; Reserve Champion – Kaitlynn Neff • Swine: Champion – Wyatt Davis; Reserve Champion – Ray Martin, IV • Market Goat: Katie Glass; Reserve Champion – Joseph Hubbard • Decorated Animal Contest: Peyton Davis (Dorothy & Scare crow); Reserve Champion – Laura Dutton (Goat – Bumble Bee) • Pet Show: Tracy Beeman (Pomeranian Dog); Reserve Champion – Pam Kaas (Dog) • Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull: Champion – Ryan Martin; Reserve Champion – Caroline Clark.
Pictured from left seated are Jessica Valentine, Susan Free, Susan Trice, Gene Long, Karen Young Myers, Maybelin Cruz, Carrie Wivell, Bridget Nicholson, Ashley McAfee, Becky Myers Linton; standing, Mark Valentine, Brian D. Glass, Principal Quesada, Dr. Terry Alban, George Bollinger, Ray Martin, Gene Bollinger, Bob Valentine, Barry Burch, Daniel Myers, Joe Kuhn, Rodman Myers, Shawn Shriner, Tyler Donnelly, Bob Fraley, Randy Valentine for Ray Valentine, Dave Harman, and Stacey Ridge.

Left side top to bottom: Flag bearers line up for the Opening Ceremony Procession of Flags.
Matthew Offutt’s dog, Maddie, won first place (Prettiest Dog).
Abby Stouter and Kaylee Smith from the Thurmont Riding Club lead a pony ride for little Emily Roberts.
Three-year-old Rebecca Schectman enjoys the sweet dwarf bunnies in the Ag area.
Right side top to bottom: Maxine Troxell (Grand Champion Cake baker) is shown with (buyers) Gateway Candyland & Liquors, Grant Kelly, Maggie Doll, John Doll, Jamison Doll, and Eva Doll.
Bob Valentine (Community Show vice-president) and Rodman Myers (Community Show president) are shown with the 2016-17 CHS FFA Ambassador, Maybelin Cruz.
Josie Martin (six years old) enthusiastically peddles to the finish line.
2016 Reserve Market Goat Champion, Joseph Hubbard, is shown with his Boer goat, Dom.


Harold and Peggy Long (donors of FFA Scholarship Hog) are shown with Catoctin Colorfest President (buyer) Carol Robertson, David R. Young (The Long’s grandson and CHS Senior), and Maybelin Cruz (2016-17 CHS FFA Ambassador).

Horseshoe Tournament participants shown are: Gary Miller, Gary Hoffmaster, Gary Willard, Rich Willard, Carl Willard, John Holt, Dick Glass, Jim Shubert, Bill Klunk, Gil Lue Kenbaugh, Dave Miller, John Smith, Dale Kaas, Donnie Kaas. Tournament winners were: 1st Place — John Holt and Dale Kaas, 2nd — Rich Willard and Carl Willard, 3rd — Gary Willard and Donnie Kaas.

Officer Duhan (Thurmont Police Department) is shown with his dog Buddy. They did a demonstration and placed in the Pet Show.

Caroline Clarke showed the Grand Champion Lamb.

The Catoctin-Ettes, Inc., also known as the Catoctin-Aires, will be hosting its annual free, four-week introductory baton twirling course for beginner twirlers.

The course will highlight basic baton twirling skills and marching over the four-week course. It is a wonderful opportunity to determine interest and talent for twirling, with no costs whatsoever! Batons are loaned free of charge for class time. Certificates of completion are presented to all who graduate the course at the final class of the session.

These classes will run on consecutive Monday evenings at the Emmitsburg Community Center Gymnasium, beginning on October 17, 2016.

An exciting new opportunity for the very young is starting this year. A new baby doll class is forming. This class is for tiny twirlers, ages three to five years old. This special class runs from 6:00-6:30 pm.

Following the baby doll session, beginner twirlers, ages six and up, will meet from 6:45-7:30 p.m.

Participants must be pre-registered. For registration or more information, please contact Donna Landsperger, the program director, at 301-271-4326 or
In addition to baton twirling, the group also sponsors competitive Pom Pom teams; Dance-Twirl teams; competition Percussion Line; and competition Color Guard, consisting of rifle spinning and flag twirling.

Those interested in these activities may register at the above mentioned contact points.

Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company is hosting a Bingo Bash on September 17, 2016. Twenty-two games pay out $250 each, with three big jackpots, plus a meal!

CYA Lacrosse Registration Now Open

It’s a new year—try a new sport! Lacrosse is known as the fastest game on two feet for good reason—you’re never sitting still! The Catoctin Youth Association (CYA) Lacrosse league is happy to say that it’s that time of the year again to start gearing up for another fun and exciting spring season of lacrosse. Anyone can play lacrosse—big, small, boys or girls—the game rewards coordination and agility. There is a rise in the number of teams that play, both in Maryland and nationally. CYA Lacrosse strives to provide a fun, educational, family-driven experience. In recent years, they have been fortunate to produce a number of competitive teams, including last season when their U11 Cougars—with half of the players never having played before—went to the championship.

CYA Lacrosse offers opportunities for school-age children, ages five to fourteen. They have established teams in the boys’ division, and they are happy to announce that this year they have added a girl’s division. Many of their coaches are U.S. Lacrosse certified, and with a certified coach in each division, even children with no experience will be in very capable hands to grow in the sport. Starting a new sport can be an undertaking, and an investment. For those who are interested in trying the sport, they have equipment available.

Registration is now open; they have multiple ways for you to register—even from home. You can visit them at to learn more about the sport and to register; you can also find registration forms to print and mail to P.O. BOX 374 Thurmont, MD 21788.

Questions? They have answers. Email them at or give them a call at 240-342-6238.

Just want to see what CYA Lacrosse Cougars are up to this season? Make sure to be social with them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Thurmont Little League is Gearing Up for an Exciting Season of Baseball

The cold weather has arrived, but Thurmont Little League is gearing up for their 65th Season of Thurmont Little League baseball. Registration is open and is in full swing until March 1, 2016. Visit their website at to register.

Players from Thurmont, Sabillasville, Emmitsburg, Rocky Ridge, Woodsboro, Taneytown, and Union Bridge are welcome to register. Come be a part of the Little League experience: #playLittleLeague.

At the Tee-ball, Instructional, Minor, and Major divisions, all of their games are played in-house at the Thurmont Little League Complex. This provides families the convenience of not having to travel around the county during school nights for games.

2016 League Divisions: Tee-Ball (ages 4-6): typically, seven to ten teams; Instructional League (ages 5-8): typically, six to eight teams; Minor League (ages 7-11): typically, eight to ten teams; Little League Major (ages 9-12): six teams.

Thurmont Little League is looking forward to seeing your player on the Little League Ball Fields. Feel free to call Ed Lowry at 267-664-5059 with questions or email

Mount St. Mary’s University to Host 16th Annual Maryland International Youth Rugby Festival in April

Mount St. Mary’s University (MSM) will be the site of the 16th Annual Maryland International Youth Rugby Festival on April 23-24, 2016. The entire community is invited to come out and see some of the best boys and girls high school rugby teams from the United States and Canada.

Event Chairman Dan Soso stated that the event was moved to MSM because of the outstanding facilities, the championship caliber play of Mount St. Mary’s rugby program, and the friendliness of the entire Emmitsburg community. “It’s an amazing opportunity for us to showcase our event, the scenic beauty of our state, and the outstanding program at Mount St. Mary’s. It is a win-win for everyone involved, and we can’t wait to bring first-class high school rugby to the Mount.”

Catoctin-Ettes Hosting Free Introductory Baton Twirling Course

The Catoctin-Ettes, Inc., a local non-profit youth organization, is again hosting its free, four-week introductory baton twirling course set to begin on Monday, February 1, 2016, at the Emmitsburg Community Center Gym (on the first floor). Each class will operate for 45 minutes and run on consecutive Monday evenings, from 6:30-7:15 p.m. The course, geared for the beginner twirler from age five and up, is completely free. Additionally, batons are loaned for class-time free of charge.

The course is designed to teach beginner baton twirling skills and marching while introducing this growing sport to the community’s youth. Classes are taught by experienced coaches within the organization in an exciting and fun atmosphere. This is an exceptional opportunity to bring baton twirling to families with no costs whatsoever and to determine a child’s interest in twirling without membership commitments. All students must be pre-registered. Please contact Donna Landsperger at 240-405-2604 or