By James Rada, Jr.

February 1919, 100 Years Ago

Homecoming Association Organized

In order to form some definite plan for welcoming home the boys who enlisted or were drafted into military service by Uncle Sam and who have seen service overseas or been in camps in this country, a call was made last week for representatives from all the churches, lodges and other organizations in Mechanicstown District to meet in the Club Room, Thurmont Bank Building, Tuesday evening of this week.

In response to the request 35 person assembled. Rev. E. O. Pritchett called the meeting to order, after some discussion it was determined to make a permanent organization to formulate plans for the home-coming celebration.

Maj. Geo. T. Castle, a veteran of the Civil War, was nominated and unanimously chosen president of the association. Mr. L. Birely and Rev. E. O. Pritchett were elected vice-presidents; H. D. Beachley, Secretary; J. Roscoe Mackley assistant secretary, and Rev. C. E. Wolfe Treasurer.

The official title of the organization is “The Thurmont Home-Coming Association.”

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, February 6, 1919

Fire At Graceham

Last Saturday at about 6:30 p.m., the cry of fire was heard on the streets of Graceham, and in a few minutes, the barn of Mr. George Fox was in a blaze. Mr. Fox had just gone to the village store. He rushed to the barn just in time to save the two horses that were already surrounded by fire. It was too late to rescue two pigs, and the buggy was badly damaged by the fire when it was pulled out. The fire extinguisher, kept in the barn of Adam Zentz, was rushed to the scene, but it was too late to save the barn so a stream was turned on the summer house at the home of Mrs. Agnes Colliflower and Miss Ella Weller, as also upon the woodshed. These buildings were only about 20 feet from the fire and were covered with shingle roofs. It was due to the fact that the wind was blowing from the north and also to the heroic efforts of the men of the village who kept pouring water upon these buildings that the same were saved as they caught fire several times but the blaze was at once put out. If the fire had gone to these buildings it would have been impossible to save the home.

The origin of the fire will no doubt remain a mystery. There was only $75.00 insurance on the barn. A good many tools were destroyed which Mr. Fox had stored in the barn for the erection of a blacksmith shop. He also suffered the loss of grain and fodder in the barn and a stack of hay on the outside.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, February 13, 1919

February 1944, 75 Years Ago

Thurmont District Over the Top In War Bond Sales

A total of $53,050 in War Bonds has been purchased in Thurmont during this Fourth War Loan Drive, according to a report given out Wednesday by Thomas E. Steffey, cashier of the Thurmont Bank.

Of the total amount, $20,700 worth were sold by nineteen members of the senior class of Thurmont High School. These seniors solicited sales throughout the town and the splendid result shows the fine patriotic spirit which prompted them in serving their country.

                                          – Catoctin Enterprise, February 11, 1944

Received Pumper From OCD

A pumper was received from the Office of Civilian Defense last week and has been tested by the firemen with very satisfactory results. The pumper, which pumps 500 gallons per minute, is mounted on a trailer and will be attached to a truck which the firemen have purchased for that purpose. It can be used any time it is needed, OCD Headquarters announced and not alone in the event of an enemy attack.

The firemen now have first aid kits, lanterns, helmets, gas masks, 400 feet of 2 ½-inch hose, a 34-foot extension ladder and various other necessary items. A number of other items are yet to come from the OCD.

                                          – Catoctin Enterprise, February 11, 1944

February 1969, 50 Years Ago

Commissioners Refuse Funds For Renovations

Gloom has fallen here. The County Commissioners have refused to grant the funds for the renovation of the high school which will soon be vacated by the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades when they move to Catoctin High.

Heralded by the Board of Education as “necessary physical structure in the concept of modern education,” the new middle school would have housed 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. The original plans for the project were presented to the commission November 29, 1967. At that time they gave approval for architect’s fees of $6,000 to plan and execute renovation which was estimated to cost $100,000. Since that time, the estimated cost of renovation has ballooned to $850,840, according to a recent estimate. The Commissioners said that since Catoctin High School, which will house students from both Thurmont and Emmitsburg, is due to open February 10, they felt steps to create a middle school should wait.

                                          – Catoctin Enterprise, February 7, 1969.

Miss Heatherly Is “Homemaker Of Tomorrow”

Charlotte Heatherly has been named 1969 Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow for Thurmont High School because she achieved the highest score in a homemaking knowledge and attitude test which she took along with other senior class girls in her school December 3, it has been announced. She will be awarded a special Betty Crocker silver charm.

Also, her paper has been entered with those of other school winners in the state in competition for the title, State Homemaker of Tomorrow. The winner of this honor will be granted a $1,500 scholarship from General Mills, Inc., sponsor of the annual program and her school will be awarded a complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica by Encylopedia Britannica, Inc. The state runners up will be granted $500 scholarships.

                                          – Catoctin Enterprise, February 14, 1969

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