Trinity United Church of Christ


by Theresa Dardanell

“No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.” Pastor Sean DeLawder and the members of the Trinity United Church of Christ truly believe that message. It is demonstrated in their worship, fellowship, and outreach.

Everyone is welcome to attend the weekly 11:00 a.m. Sunday service, which includes the exchange of peace, prayers, readings, and Pastor Sean’s sermon.  Organist Lana Sorenson plays the magnificent Mohler pipe organ, while the congregation sings hymns of praise. Rocky Birely plays the flute during many of the Sunday services. Communion is on the first Sunday of the month. The very talented Trinity Bell Choir, led by Linda Franklin, performs several times a year. A special Veteran’s Day service is held every year and is open to all Veterans in the community. The event includes dinner, music, and a color guard, and it honors Veterans from all branches of service.

Caring for church members, along with friends, family, and those in the community, is an important part of the outreach.  Every day, several people on the Prayer Team offer up prayers for those on the prayer list who are dealing with a hardship, health concern, or other need. The “Random Acts of Kindness” program gives members the opportunity to do a good deed for a neighbor or friend. Among other activities, the Worship, Fellowship and Education Committee members assemble and deliver “Sunshine Boxes” to members who are shut-ins and unable to attend church services. This summer, committee members joined with Weller United Methodist Church for Vacation Bible School. Volunteers from both congregations helped with the education, crafts, and activities. Local teens were invited to “Fuse” meetings during the summer; the church provided the building for the group to use as a place for activities, socialization, music, games, and conversation, with adult supervision and mentorship. Outreach also includes donations to the Thurmont Food Bank, Thurmont Ministerium, Blessing in a Backpack, the school supply drive, and One Great Hour of Sharing.

The Trinity United Church of Christ kitchen is a very busy place. Kitchen managers Tootie Lenhart and Russ Delauter are joined daily by church and community members, friends, and family. Together, they bake pies, cakes, and dumplings, and they cook chili, soups, slippery pot pies, and country ham sandwiches.

Pastor Sean said, “We are blessed to have people outside of our church come and help.” Proceeds from the kitchen ministry support the church and provide funds for community outreach. Soups and chicken pies are delivered to members who are sick. Lunches are provided after funeral services. At least once a year, they partner with the Thurmont Lions Club in an all-you-can-eat fundraising breakfast for someone in the community who is in need of financial help due to illness or hardship. The two organizations volunteer their time and share the expenses so that all proceeds go to the family in need. Lenhart said, “We feel very good doing it.”

Colorfest weekend is one opportunity to enjoy the delicious soups, sandwiches, and desserts prepared by the kitchen staff. You can also order food for pickup before Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Red velvet, German chocolate, chocolate, coconut, and yellow cakes are available; peach, cherry, apple, blueberry, and homemade mince are several of the seventeen varieties of pies; six soups, including cream of crab, Maryland crab, and chicken corn, are available. For the complete list, you can call Lenhart at 301-271-2655.

Social events provide time for relaxation. In the spring, the ladies enjoy appetizers, sandwiches, soup, and dessert, served by the men during the Women’s Tea. On Father’s Day, homemade chocolate chip cookies are a special treat for dads. An annual picnic and dinners during the year provide time for fellowship.

The original Trinity Reformed Church was dedicated on June 13, 1880, and began its mission with fifty-two founding members.  Expansion began in 1901, and electricity was added in 1911. In 1957, the United Church of Christ was formed; Trinity Reformed became Trinity United Church of Christ. The church is located at 101 East Main Street in Thurmont. The website,, provides information about their mission and statement of faith. You can also listen to some of Pastor Sean’s sermons, view the latest newsletter, and see photos of previous events.

Pastor Sean DeLawder and members of the Thurmont Trinity United Church of Christ.

“A Resting Place”

by Anita DiGregory

We all have our heroes, our role models, those who inspire us, and those who we aspire to imitate. Ever since I was a little girl, I had a special love for Mary. As the Blessed Mother, she was my heavenly mother; I confided in her, telling her my scariest fears, hopes, and dreams.

As I have grown older, my love and admiration for her have only grown. I still confide in her, asking her to whisper my prayers to her Son. But now that I am a mother myself, she has become to me the Model of Motherhood. Think about it; she has experienced it all!

Newly pregnant, she traveled (probably on foot) to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, where she stayed to help care for her, support her, and eventually assist her in the care of her newborn baby. Later, when she was in her ninth month of pregnancy, she accompanied her husband, traveling far from home to a foreign land where her husband would have to beg for shelter. As if that was not enough, she then gave birth in a manger.  She swaddled her baby, loved Him, and protected Him. A brand new mother, Mary held her Son in her loving arms, and she became his resting place.

What a mom! But it does not stop there. She had to relocate to a new home with her family. She suffered terribly when her young child was lost and could not be found for days. She had compassion for a young bride and groom who ran out of wine at their wedding feast, and she interceded for them to her Son.

She must have suffered silently when her Son grew older and traveled far from home, spreading a message that often earned him many enemies. And, I imagine after long trips away, he would return to her and receive her motherly love and care, and even then, she would become his resting place. Eventually, Mary witnessed her Son being bullied and tortured mercilessly. Helplessly, she watched him suffer a long, agonizing death.  And after, they placed his lifeless body in her arms, where she again became his resting place.

These days, I find more and more that she is my resting place as well. She gets it; she’s been there.  And with her I can (almost) exhale.

Let’s face it: this motherhood thing is super hard. Logically, you would think it would get easier as they get older. Maybe in some respects it does. But honestly, for me, as my children have gotten older and their struggles and challenges have gotten tougher, this motherly load has gotten a lot heavier. My mother-in-law was visiting recently and randomly remarked of her own experience, “As a mother, you never stop worrying…no matter how old they get” (and her oldest is 57).

Don’t get me wrong; it isn’t all doom and gloom. There are MOMents of unimaginable joy, celebrating in their happiness, successes, and triumphs! Recently, I had the absolute blessing of becoming a grandmother for the first time! The delight of watching my baby become a father is indescribable, not to mention the joy of meeting, holding, and loving my new grandchild. She is the most beautiful blessing!

But before she was born, I witnessed her mom suffer tremendously for months with terrible “morning sickness” morning, noon, and middle of the night. As my daughter-in-law suffered a long, hard pregnancy, she provided for this beautiful baby a safe resting place. After days in labor, with hours of pushing, their precious baby arrived. And when she was born, the hospital staff (who were all amazing) laid that sweet little one on her mom, skin-to-skin, where this newborn found her safe resting place.

I guess that demonstrates the exhilarating, exhausting rollercoaster ride that is motherhood: the sadness and tears, the worries and anxiety, the utter joy and celebration. This is the undeniable part of being a mother: to be a mother is to be a cheerleader, intercessor, consoler, crier, worrier, celebrator, confident, and resting place. (This is why, even at my advanced age, I still feel better when talking with my mom!)

Personally, this rollercoaster ride has been quite intense these past few months, lots of changes. As I try to prepare physically and emotionally for another little one leaving the nest, I must say it has been rough.  Today, at Mass, she laid her head on my shoulder, just like she had done when she was little…and I soaked in the joy of that MOMent…and again being her resting place.

by Valerie Nusbaum

Randy has a nemesis. It’s the mailman. Oh, I know the correct term is “letter carrier,” but my hubby refers to the person who delivers our mail as “the mailman” when he isn’t referring to him as “@#*$%.” I don’t know our current letter carrier, and I can’t say for sure if it’s a man or a woman because I haven’t seen or met him/her. Our former letter carrier, Steve Geer, is a very nice man, but he retired a while back.

Our current letter carrier is likely a very nice person as well, but Randy swears that “the mailman” is playing games with him. You see, Randy’s job is to fetch the mail from the mailbox every day. He enjoys it, I think. I don’t mind doing it, and sometimes I do, but whenever I do walk down to our mailbox, our neighbor Steve Fulmer tells me that I’m going to get in trouble for taking away Randy’s job.

Mail delivery usually happens around 4:00 p.m. on our street, and Randy gets home from work around 4:30 p.m., so he picks up the mail on his way into the house.  Oftentimes, though, the mailbox is empty when Randy goes to it.  He comes in the front door and announces, “No mail,” and then we hear the mail truck rounding the corner. This has happened enough times that Randy is quite sure the mailman is hiding somewhere and watching for Randy to make his journey to the mailbox and come back empty-handed. Randy stands at our front window and hurls insults as the truck passes our house, and I swear that a time or two I’ve heard laughter coming from outside.

Now, our letter carrier absolutely can’t be blamed for this…but one day not too long ago, Randy went after the mail and came back looking shell-shocked. He said to me, “I’ve really seen it all now,” and he held up the day’s mail. Someone had sent us a banana. Seriously. It was a real banana with a postage sticker and a mailing label attached.  No return address. Who knew that fruit could be mailed that way?  The banana wasn’t in a box or an envelope, and I must say it was in pretty sad shape by the time we got it. We don’t know who sent it or what the significance is, but I’m sure that someone had a lot of fun dreaming it up. It cost $3.75 to ship a 25¢ banana. I made Randy peel it just to make sure that the sender hadn’t put something inside, but we didn’t find anything. The banana was postmarked “Frederick.”

About two weeks later, we came home and found a cardboard box on our porch. Again, the package was sent through the mail, and again, I don’t blame our mailman for it.  In fact, he or she had to get out of the truck to put the package on the porch, and I believe it was raining that day. We took the box inside and, after making sure it wasn’t ticking, we opened it. Our surname was misspelled and the package was sent from Middletown. Inside the box, we found a roll of toilet tissue wrapped in bubble wrap. Written on the tissue were the words “I hear you like pi,” and when Randy began unrolling the roll (because at this point, why wouldn’t you?), we found a large portion of the pi sequence written on the paper at intervals, such as 3. 1  4, etc. Was this connected to the banana? My guess is that the same person or persons sent both. How does pi relate to a banana? I have no idea.  I figure that there’s no connection, but the sender(s) got really tickled thinking about us trying to puzzle it out. Maybe we’ll receive a banana crème pie next. I really don’t know.

A while back, I told you about the beautiful flower pot that showed up on our porch. Well, around the same time as the pi/banana incidents, a cute metal turtle flower pick showed up in the flower pot.  A week or two after that, we came home and found a sweet little frog riding a snail in our flowerbed.  What lovely surprises those were, and they had nothing at all to do with our mail. Randy and I both want to send our warmest thanks to our mystery friend(s) for these thoughtful gifts. You’ve brightened our days and our home.

We haven’t received any new puzzling items in the mail, and those are mysteries we may never solve.  I’m sure the person(s) behind all of these things have had nearly as much fun with it as we have. I’m also sure that one day in the not too distant future, Randy will be lying in wait for our letter carrier, and I want to be there with a camera. It’s not so much that I want to record the moment of their meeting for posterity; it’s more that I may be able to use the photos and video in court at Randy’s trial.

“Late Blooming Native Wildflowers”

by Christine Maccabee

By now, you have likely seen the beautiful golden flowers of goldenrods along highways and back roads, and any other place they managed to escape the summer mowings. This is the beginning of the final amazing showing of wildflower blooms before colder weather comes in October.  Presently, the yellow flowers of the wild evening primerose are blooming and have been since July, serving pollinators very well. One place they are growing profusely are on both sides of the railroad tracks through Thurmont, but especially on the Boundary Avenue side. The beauty of this is that no one planted them there. They are happy volunteers!

All wild native plants are in a real sense, volunteers. As humans we often volunteer our time and talents for good causes, but so do wild plants and flowers. Spreading as they do by both seed and root, they feed precious pollinators their essential nectar and pollen. Therefore, I allow them to grow profusely on my eleven-plus acres and encourage others to do the same. In my gardens and fields, I have four species of goldenrods, ample evening primrose, lovely purple flowering teasel (which has bloomed out by now), four varieties of wild aster, yet to bloom, and many others. All of these can be very tall, especially this year with all the rain we have had.

These essential late-blooming, tall—sometimes gangly—plants are by far the most misunderstood wild natives, and yet, critically important elements in a healthy eco-system. Without their late season nectar and pollen, bees would perish during the winter, and what a sad world it would be without the wondrous buzzing of busy bees and the variety of colorful butterflies, and, yes, hummingbirds and moths as well.

You may have seen the pinkish purple flower clusters of Joe-Pye weed, which grow best in wet areas, even marshlands; however, many plants I’ve seen in the past have been mowed down along the sides of roads up here where I live. Folklore tells us that an Indian, Joe Pye, used this plant to cure fevers and aided early American colonists when treating an outbreak of Typhus. Many wild plants have such herbal remedy qualities if used properly, such as boneset, which happens to be blooming now. Early herbal doctors used it to help set bones, and it can be made in to a tea to treat colds, coughs, and constipation. Personally, I mostly admire these plants for their beauty and usefulness as food for our pollinators, though I have not yet tried them to cure fevers or set bones!

Soon to bloom on my property are the amazingly tall and graceful woodland sunflowers, though I have seen a smaller variety blooming already behind the guardrail off Rt. 550. Unlike the common striped sunflowers, which can win prizes for their size at county fairs (or our Community Show), these plants have multiple one- to two-inch flowers up and down the stems, which my bees ravenously feed upon. Then, after tiny seeds develop on each flower stem, small birds such as goldfinch, peck away at them, loading up on nutritious food for the winter.

There are many plants that I would like to write about here, but I have limited space. At least let me invite you to travel down the length of Woodside Drive in Thurmont and marvel at all the wild aster beginning to bloom. They will be flowering all through September and in to October, and the bees will be busily buzzing with joy!

One of the highest callings we have as humans is to protect the earth’s biological and botanical diversity. To have dominion over creation does not mean to usurp and pollute and mow it until earth is uninhabitable. It means to take responsibility for it. Many people are heeding this high calling, which gives me hope. Won’t you volunteer some of your property for the botanical volunteers just waiting to serve our important pollinators? As we become servants of all by preserving and creating precious eco-systems we will be preserving our own health and future. Have we any choice?

Christine Maccabee stands along the side of the railroad tracks on Boundary Avenue in Thurmont, admiring the yellow flowers of the wild evening primerose.

The Train Derailment No Passenger Noticed

by James Rada, Jr.

The Western Maryland Railroad mail train left Hagerstown on time on August 26, 1913, just another day on the daily mail run. However, as it rumbled down the steep grade on Horseshoe Curve in Sabillasville, the driving wheels of the engine left the tracks.

“The engineer applied the air, but as the drivers on the engine were off the rail, the air was effective only on the five heavy coaches,” the Catoctin Clarion reported.

The engine plowed ahead, no longer riding on iron rails but on the railroad ties. The engineers kept applying air to the brakes. Finally, the engineer thought the engine was going to topple into a ravine and he jumped. As the coach cars became a greater drag on the engine, the train finally came to a standstill.

“Had the derailed engine skidded a few inches further it would have toppled over and fell into the deep ravine,” the Hagerstown Morning Herald reported.

The crew climbed out of the engine to check what had happened. They walked back along the track to locate where the engine had left the rails and tried to figure out what had happened. It appeared that the track had separated about two inches on the curve, which allowed the engine to leave the rails.

“They found that the train had virtually slid 61 rail lengths, or 2,013 feet, and that the flanges on the engine wheels had cut almost all the bolts in the plates which held the rails together,” the Catoctin Clarion reported.

Surprisingly, the engine hadn’t toppled over. Not all of the engine’s wheels had left the track. The pony and trailer wheels had remained on and provided enough guidance to keep the engine upright.

Although the engineer had been injured by jumping from the train, the Catoctin Clarion reported that “passengers scarcely knew anything had happened.”

The track remained blocked all night before the engine could be put back on the track.

It had not been a good summer for the Western Maryland Railroad in Frederick County. Although only one person was killed, there had been four accidents that delayed traffic along the railroad.

In late May, a westbound train had passed over the iron bridge west of Thurmont, when a refrigerated car loaded with pork jumped the rails and rolled down a 150-foot embankment. Somehow, it was the only one of eleven cars in the train to derail. The trucks stuck on the side of the embankment, and only the car went rolling to the bottom. It remained intact, and the 25 tons of meat was transferred to another rail car and later delivered.

At the end of July, an eastbound train ran into the iron bridge, destroying one of the engine wheels. The engineer applied the brakes and stopped the train before it got out onto the bridge. Although scared, none of the passengers were injured.

A couple weeks before the August 26 derailment, a flagman fell asleep on the tracks. A westbound train hit him and crushed his leg and back. He died soon after the after the accident.

Sabillasville Horseshoe Curve.


Joan Bittner Fry

The railroad through Sabillasville has always been a part of my life.  In the ‘40s and ‘50s, we would pick up Uncle Ned at the state sanatorium station, where he would visit our family from Baltimore. I recall a time when the train was stopped at Manahan’s Store. We were on our way home from school. The engineer said we could get on and see inside.  I was the only kid who wouldn’t get on. It was so big!

The Western Maryland Railroad had been transforming Western Maryland since the 1830s. The Baltimore and Ohio connected Frederick City and points west to Baltimore, creating tremendous economic opportunity; but the area north of Frederick City had to wait over forty years to connect with the railroad. The challenges of building in mountainous areas slowed progress.

On May 17, 1862, the builders of the Western Maryland Railroad caused “quite a stir” in Graceham by laying track near the outskirts of town, but the Civil War slowed all progress. It was not until later in the decade that the railroad pushed into Graceham. Not until 1871 did the railroad finally arrive in Mechanicstown (now Thurmont) and press through the rest of Frederick County. Its arrival brought monumental changes to Mechanicstown, according to the local newspaper:

“The sound of steam whistle twice a day in the suburbs of our hitherto quiet little town has awakened everything up to newness of life and a spirit of ‘go-aheadativeness’ which is quite refreshing.  We begin to put on city airs and learn city fashions; Baltimore is brought close to our doors and oysters and cav-back (canvasback) ducks and fresh fish can be produced and eaten daily as at one of the largest restaurants in the Monumental City (Baltimore).”

After its expansion to Mechanicstown, railroad workers began laying tracks westward to Sabillasville. The brand new Mechanicstown newspaper, The Catoctin Clarion, predicted that the new railroad would “whistle the inhabitants of Sabillasville from the Rip Van Winkle sleep into a new and creative existence.” Once completed, the railroad took a leisurely semi-circular route around Sabillasville, a ride that quickly became known as “Horseshoe Curve.”

The entire Horseshoe Curve could be seen from many vantage points around Sabillasville, especially the State Sanatorium TB Hospital. My siblings and neighbors crossed the tracks of Horseshoe Curve every day to and from the former Sabillasville Elementary School. The road is now the treacherous Fort Ritchie Road from Sabillasville to Route 491.  My biggest fear in those days was a train being parked on the track getting water from the tank. I can still remember those huge wheels as we crawled beneath or between the cars to get to the other side. A first grader’s legs are pretty short. I guess my brother Jim’s legs were even shorter than mine.

The Western Maryland main line pushed west across South Mountain from Union Bridge, and by August 28, 1871, it had reached Sabillasville. At Blue Ridge Summit, engineers encountered very hard rock and found it necessary to run the line into Pennsylvania. Rather than go through the time-consuming process of getting the Pennsylvania Legislature to grant a charter, the company purchased the land and laid the tracks on its own property. This amounted to several hundred yards of line at the station at Blue Ridge Summit and again at Pen Mar at the highway bridge.

In the spring of 1871, a strike by workers, demanding $1.75 per day and a ten-hour day, temporarily halted plans to extend the railroad to Smithsburg; but, soon, labor and management settled the strike and the new railroad was pressing onward toward Hagerstown. It reached Hagerstown in August of 1872.

On March 24, 1874, John Mifflin Hood became president of Western Maryland Railroad, a position he held until he resigned on February 27, 1902. When Hood became president, the railroad had but 90 miles of track, a basically muddy roadbed, worn-out rusting rail, and 12 mechanically exhausted locomotives that were inadequate for freight and passenger trade. During Hood’s presidency, the Western Maryland track grew to 270 miles of steel track. From Baltimore, the Pen Mar Express train left Hillen Station at 9:15 a.m. and reached Pen Mar Park before noon, with the trip returning at 9:15 p.m. It was said that the passengers would cheer when they reached the curve. After circling Sabillasville, the railroad briefly went into Pennsylvania at the top of the grade at Blue Ridge Summit.

Passenger stations along the line were also telegraph offices that provided communication over wires owned and maintained by the railroad. My late neighbor, Charles E. Shields, was a telegraph operator at Blue Ridge Summit.

The first Blue Ridge Station was built in 1871. From 1872 to 1957, passenger service was provided to Blue Ridge Summit. The second station was built in 1891. Later, a train shed was constructed at Blue Ridge Summit, along the station side of the track, to protect boarding and alighting passengers from the weather. Pen Mar Station had a similar shed.

In 1958, the railroad presented the deed to this station and one and one-half acres of land to Mrs. Robert Hearne, president of the board of directors of the library at that time, with the following statement:

“In the tradition of the good neighbor, the Western Maryland family deeds to all the families of Blue Ridge Summit this familiar community meeting place to be used as a free public library, thus continuing in a cultural sense, the close relationship between the railroad and the people.” This quaint library serves two states: Maryland and Pennsylvania; and four counties: Frederick and Washington in Maryland and Adams and Franklin in Pennsylvania.

Water service for steam locomotives was a very important requirement, particularly on a mountain railroad. There were water tanks at Thurmont, one on the Horseshoe Curve above Sabillasville, and two at Highfield. Most small stations had local boarding houses available at the time.


Boarding Houses at Sabillasville

Horse Shoe Bend — Mrs. W. Frank Birely (25 guests); Williar House — Mrs. Charles Williar (15 guests); Curve House — Mrs. S. W. Harbaugh (15 guests); Meadow Brook — Mrs. Linnie Crist (20 guests); Silver Springs Farm — Mrs. Wm. H. Naylor   (35 guests); Fair View Farm — Mrs. Samuel West             (30 guests); Mountain View Cottage — R. A. Harbaugh (not given); *Harbaugh Cottage —       Thos. H. Harbaugh (not given); Anders House — Mrs. Maud Anders (not given); The Eyler Cottage — Mrs. Bertha Eyler (not given). *The author now owns this house.

Boarding house rates were from $1.00 to $2.00 per day and $5.00 to $6.00 or $10.00 per week. The charge for children and servants was $3.00 to $5.00.

Throughout the country, as was the case on Catoctin Mountain, the railroad reached and transformed formerly remote areas. In northern Frederick and Washington Counties, the railroad opened tourism to the mountain area and revived agriculture and industry in the region. During the summer on Sundays and holidays, crowds jammed Hillen Station in Baltimore and spilled into the street, with lines sometimes stretching several blocks. City people were headed for vacation resorts at Braddock Heights, Pen Mar, Blue Ridge Summit, and other locations, which were built and prospered because of rail transportation.

Unfortunately, all of this cost money, and by May 1902, the railroad owed over $9,000,000 to the City of Baltimore. After Hood resigned, the city sold its interest in the Western Maryland Railroad to the Fuller Syndicate.


The WMRR Now

Since 2007, the Maryland Midland (MMID) Railroad in Union Bridge, Maryland, has been owned by Genesee & Wyoming Industries, a U.S.-based corporation that owns multiple railroad shortlines in the United States and Australia. The railroad is shaped like a giant cross, with the east-west lines longer than the north-south lines. The western end of the cross, the former Western Maryland main line, goes to the CSX interchange at Highfield. The train sometimes runs twenty to thirty cars, with as many as four locomotives often leading.

This view of Horseshoe Curve at Sabillasville is from a period image (c. late 1800s), according to WMRR Historical Society in Union Bridge. It is not a postcard but an early sketch issued in a small booklet entitled “Western Maryland R. R. Scenery,” measuring 3 x 5 inches.

Eggs By the Numbers

by Buck Reed

As popular as eggs are, each person in the United States eats about 270 per year. That still adds up to a $10 billion a year business that employs 125,000 full-time employees. That is certainly something to crow about.

As far as purchasing eggs for you and your family, free-range chicken eggs are better than mass-produced eggs. Free-range chicken eggs can cost 2-3 times more than those found in the supermarket, but are worth every penny in terms of flavor and freshness. A chicken who scratches out at least part of her nutrition from the backyard will produce a better egg. Scientifically speaking, happy chickens make better eggs. There is a ton of data to support this.

As far as the culinary world, eggs are an essential part of our world. A chef’s hat has a multitude of folds, each one representing a different way they can cook an egg. Omelets, scrambled, or fried are just a few of the many ways we can enjoy eggs every morning. In baking, eggs have an important function in stabilizing finished products, making them firm. As an ingredient, they also add richness and nutrition to everything they touch. This little miracle ingredient could be the most important part of any cook’s or baker’s repertoire.

As far as eating eggs safely, they have a dubious reputation. For every study that says they are good for you, someone will fund a study that says they are bad for you. To some extent, it is about the money. You won’t see the Egg Council fund a study saying eggs are dangerous to your health nor the Big Time Cereal corporations fund a study that says eggs are the wonder food for nutrition. That being said, you should monitor your health and eat eggs in moderation.

Eggs are best eaten fresh. The best way to determine freshness is to put them in a pot of water and see if they float. If they do float, they are old and should be discarded. The white or albumen part should have two distinct parts, described as thick and thin. After it is cracked the thick part surrounding the yolk should actually stand up looking like a mountain. As it ages, the thick albumen becomes thinner.

No matter how you eat your eggs, you should take the time to prepare them well. Just in case they really are super bad for you, you may as well make sure you enjoy them.

Autoimmune Diseases

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), autoimmune disease happens to be one of the top ten leading causes of death in females of all age groups up to sixty-four years of age.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates up to 23.5 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease and that the prevalence is rising. The AARDA states that it is more like 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease. According to AARDA, the discrepancy is because the NIH numbers only include twenty-four diseases for which good epidemiology studies were available.

Autoimmune diseases result from a dysfunction of the immune system. The immune system protects you from disease and infection. Sometimes, though, the immune system can produce autoantibodies that attack healthy cells, tissues, and organs. This can lead to autoimmune disease and can affect any part of the body. More than eighty autoimmune diseases have been identified; some are relatively well known, such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, while others are rare and difficult to diagnose.

Some autoimmune diseases are life threatening; most are debilitating, requiring a lifetime of treatment. There are treatments available to reduce the many symptoms and effects of autoimmune diseases, but most autoimmune diseases are rare and patients can often spend years seeking a proper diagnosis. Unfortunately, commonly used immunosuppressant treatments can lead to devastating long-term side effects.

The causes of autoimmune diseases remain largely unknown. There is growing consensus that autoimmune diseases likely result from interactions between genetic and environmental factors. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is supporting research to understand how these factors work together to compromise the body’s ability to defend itself and develop into autoimmune diseases.

Unraveling the connections between genetic predisposition and environmental triggers is a major focus for NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program (NTP), an interagency testing program headquartered at NIEHS. The good news is that progress is being made through multiple research efforts, some of which are noted below.

A 2012 study by NIEHS researchers found that over thirty-two million people in the United States have autoantibodies. Earlier studies have shown that autoantibodies can develop many years before the clinical appearance of autoimmune diseases. The study, which looked at the most common autoantibodies, antinuclear antibodies, found that they are most prevalent among women. This research suggests that the hormones, estrogen and progesterone might be affecting the immune system.

A study of residents in Libby, Montana, who have experienced significant exposure to asbestos minerals due to mining in the area, suggested a link between asbestos exposure and lesions in the lungs. Sixty-one percent of Libby residents tested had autoantibodies and were more likely to have two types of lung abnormalities.

An NIEHS study also found an association between ultraviolet radiation from sunlight and the development of an autoimmune muscle disease, myositis, particularly in women.

Low birth weight and low socioeconomic factors in childhood were associated with the later development of rheumatoid arthritis as an adult.

Recognizing that individuals are rarely exposed to one chemical at a time, NIEHS grantees studied what happens when mice are exposed to two suspected triggers for autoimmune diseases. Previous studies had shown that exposure to trichloroethylene, a solvent and degreasing compound, induced autoimmune hepatitis in autoimmune-prone mice. This study found that when the mice were also exposed to mercuric chloride, a compound used as a disinfectant and also used in photography, disease development accelerated, and a unique liver-specific autoantibody response occurred.

NIEHS grantees studying blood samples of Brazilian mothers exposed to methylmercury, an environmental contaminant passed on to humans by eating contaminated fish, found elevated levels of autoantibodies in the blood of both mothers and their fetuses.

NIEHS and NTP researchers demonstrated that a certain enzyme creates mutations in DNA and is a major player in the development of autoantibodies. The discovery of the role of this enzyme establishes it as a potential target for therapy in autoimmune disorders, such as lupus.

NIEHS brought together an interdisciplinary group of experts to evaluate the state of the science regarding the role of the environment and the development of autoimmune diseases. The experts have identified future research directions, identifying promising mechanistic theories and animal models, and identifying some specific environmental agents that may be involved in the development of autoimmune diseases. The findings included:

(1) Exposure to solvents, which are used in thousands of products, including paint thinners, cleaning supplies, and nail polish, contributes to the development of systemic sclerosis.

(2) Smoking contributes to the development of two types of rheumatoid arthritis.

(3) Exposure to fine particles of crystalline silica, a basic component of quartz, granite, and many other minerals, contributes to the development of several autoimmune diseases. Workers exposed to these minerals are particularly at risk.

(4) Eating gluten, present in wheat and some other grains, contributes to the development of celiac disease, a disorder that affects the small intestine and commonly causes chronic diarrhea and fatigue.

If you feel you are dealing with an autoimmune issue, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650. Dr. Lo uses a non-invasive way of analyzing the body to determine the underlying causes of illness, aches and pains. They also offer free seminars, held at the office on rotating Tuesdays and Thursdays. The office is located in Frederick. Check out the website at

Classified Advertising costs 40¢ per word with a minimum of $10 for line listings. Services Classifieds are $1 per word with a minimum of $25. Photo Classifieds are $20 per ad limited to 1” height. E-mail your written listing to To pay by check, mail payment to:  The Catoctin Banner at 515B East Main Street, Emmitsburg, MD  21727; to pay by credit card, call 301-447-2804; to pay in person, stop by E Plus Graphics, Printing & Promotions in the lobby of Jubilee Grocery Store in Emmitsburg.



Wanted: Any unwanted lawn mowers, tillers, snowblowers, or yard items. FREE pickup. Call 301-271-4266.

WANTED: Antiques & Collectibles like crocks, jugs, postcards, photographs, advertising items, old signs, old dolls, toys & trains (pre-1965), quilts, political items, guns, old holiday decorations, hunting & fishing items, jewelry and coins; gold, sterling, coin collections, etc., etc. Will buy one item, collection, or entire estate. 301-514-2631.

Donate your vehicle – any condition! Free towing, all proceeds benefit Catoctin Pregnancy Center. We are in need of donated clothing, sizes infant to 5 years. Call 301-447-3391 for more information.



How Would You Like To FEEL 25 Years YOUNGER and LIVE 25 Years LONGER? Go to! Read how VIVIX Cellular Anti-Aging Tonic is a REVOLUTIONARY BREAKTHROUGH in the fight against cellular aging. All natural. Order yours TODAY! Contact Jeanne at 301-305-1466.



Rick Hurley & Son Small Engine Repair Service. Call 301-271-2117 or 240-285-2494 (leave message).

PIANO LESSONS: Experienced professional musician and certified public school teacher. All ages; Adults welcome. Located in Thurmont. Call or text Beth at 240-529-8108 or e-mail

Tire Pros of Frederick: Free 1 year roadside assistance, **lowest price guarantee** sell all major brands: Good Year, Michelin, Continental, Bridgestone, and more! Visit or 301-663-6334.

Critter Care by Greta. Full Service care for all domestic and farm animals. Call for a quote. Prices based on individual needs. Call Greta at 240-367-0035.

DENNY BROWN CUSTOM PAINTING – Professional brush and roll. Free estimates. 240-674-7788.

Guitar Lessons with Brent. All levels, ages, and styles. Over 25 years experience. Learn in a low pressure, relaxed setting. Call, text or e-mail at 240-586-1128 or

Bookkeeping Services, QuickBooks, payroll, quarterly and annual filings, etc. 240-549-9991 or

For Rent


House for rent. Thurmont 3 bedrooms, full basement garage, big yard. $1,200 per month. Security deposit. No pets. 301-241-3333.

Ultra-Luxury 3 BR 2 FBA Home (3rd Street, downtown Frederick) ½ Block from Market Street (next to all Rest. & Bars) – fully furnished, nicely designed. Includes: WiFi, Cable TV, all utilities, linens, sheets, towels. Just move in. Nice Back yard. Over 2,500 s.f. of living space. Short-term Ok. $4,125/mo – could be reduced to $3,750/mo. with minimum 9 month lease. 410-810-4454,

Thurmont Senior Center for rent, evening and weekends. Call 301-271-7911.

HALL RENTAL: Weddings, Banquets, Events of any kind. Call the American Legion at 301-271-4411.

Looking for a place for a meeting, reunion, reception, picnic, or party?  St. John’s UCC in Sabillasville rents their pavilion or their parish hall.  For information, contact Donna Smith at 717-762-5297. Reserve early.

One and two bedroom apartments for rent in the Cascade, Md area. Call 301-241-4726.


Help Wanted

Help Wanted part-time to work, clean, help, learn in an auto repair shop. Preferably after school 2 hrs. a day or more. 301-447-2800.

Church Organist (part-time): Weller UMC Thurmont. Seeking permanent PT Church Organist. Requires successful candidate to read music, play acoustic & electronic piano and Church organ.  Approx. 10 hours per week; no benefits; salary based on experience; leave time provided. Time includes weekly Sunday 8:30 a.m. traditional & 11:00 a.m. contemporary services; and approx. 16 other special services. Organist expected for rehearsals of Weller UMC musical ministries and to attend Worship Team meetings. Interviews scheduled ASAP. Please e-mail questions OR to submit resume, three (3) references, and interest letter to: OR mail: SPRC Chair: Organist  101 N. Altamont Ave. Thurmont, MD  21788

Yard Sales

Huge Yard Sale, August 31 and September 1, 16143 & 16167 Kelbaugh Road, Thurmont. 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.

For Sale

6 rolls barbed wire 15.5 gauge, 1,320 ft/roll. $25/roll. 3 tubs of staples $10/tub. Never been used. 240-315-8694.

Car for sale: Aztek Pontiac, 2004, great condition, maroon color. $4,000. CALL 240-520-2758 or 240-469-7899.


Leatherman Tool. Lost 1 mile outside of Sabillasville on Harbaugh Valley Road. If found please call 240-315-8694.

September 2018

1…… Beef, Pork, Turkey & Ham Sandwich Sale, Thurmont Lions Club, 1 1/2 miles north of Thurmont (on west side of Rt. 15). 10 a.m. until sold out (or 3 p.m.).

1…… Explore & Create : Pie Around the World, Children’s Museum of Rose Hill Manor Park, 1611 N. Market St., Frederick, MD. 10-11 a.m. Ages 4-5. $8. Advance registration recommended: 301-600-2936 or

1…… Story Hour w/Miss Mary Anne, Blue Ridge Summit Free Library, 13676 Monterey Ln., Blue Ridge Summit, PA. 10:30 a.m. 717-794-2240. Also: Sept. 8,15,22,29.

2…… Summer Worship with Summerfest Program for Children: “Take Two Tablets and Call Moses,” Graceham Moravian Church, 8231-A Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. 9:15 a.m. All welcome.

2…… Annual John David & Anna Bell Keilholtz Reunion, Thurmont Community Park, Thurmont.

3…… (Labor Day) Served with Grace Free Community Meal, Graceham Moravian Church, 8231-A Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. 5:30-7 p.m. All welcome.

3…… Annual Labor Day Festival, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Church St., Thurmont. Noon-5 p.m. Raffles, bake sale, Bingo, 50/50, live music &more. Family-style dinner: $14/adult; $6.50/ages 6-12; Free/ages 5 & under.

3…… Clothes Closet, Thurmont United Methodist Church, 13880 Long Rd., Thurmont. 6-7:30 p.m. 301-271-4511.

3…… Zumba Gold (Senior Version), Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 10:15-11 a.m.  $24/8 sessions or $5/session. 301-271-7911.  Also:  Sept. 10, 17, 24.

3…… Free Movie Day: Gifted, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 1-3 p.m. 301-271-7911.

4…… Exercise with Alice Eyler (every Tues.), Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 9:30-10 a.m. $donation. 301-271-7911. Also:  Sept. 11, 18, 25.

4…… Line Dancing, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 10-11 a.m. Free. 301-271-7911.  Also: Sept. 11, 18, 25.

4…… Old Fashioned Bingo, VHC Activities Bldg., Creamery Rd., Emmitsburg. Doors open 5 p.m. $8 game pack. Benefits Vigilant Hose Co. Auxiliary. Shirley Little 301-447-2703.

4…… Scherenschnitte Class w/Bill Hammann, Blue Ridge Summit Free Library, 13676 Monterey Ln., Blue Ridge Summit, PA. 6-7 p.m. All ages welcome; children must be accompanied by adult. Please bring knife/board if participated before. 717-794-2240.

5…… Seton Center, Inc.’s Outreach Office Hosts Free Job Search Workshop: Hands-on Resume Writing for the Job Fair (Oct. 8 at Mother Seton School) Using the Maryland Workforce Exchange Resume Wizard, 226 East Lincoln Ave., Emmitsburg. 2-3 p.m. In partnership w/Frederick County Workforce Services. Open to public. Registration required: 301-447-6102 x 18.

5…… Coffee Club, Community Room, Blue Ridge Summit Free Library, 13676 Monterey Ln., Blue Ridge Summit, PA. 4-5:30 p.m. Coffee, tea, puzzles, board games, coloring books, etc. Food donations appreciated. 717-794-2240. Also: Sept. 12,19,26.

5…… VITT (very important teens & ‘tweens) Night, Community Room, Blue Ridge Summit Free Library, 13676 Monterey Ln., Blue Ridge Summit, PA. 6-7:30 p.m. Play Wii, board games, do puzzles, eat snacks, watch movies, make movies, etc. 717-794-2240. Also: Sept. 12,19,26.

5…… Free Blood Pressure Checks by Right At Home, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 10:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. 301-271-7911.

5…… 50/50 Bingo, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 1-3 p.m. Open to public.  Must be 18 to play Bingo. $5 to play, specials, pickle jar; $1 coverall last game, free snacks. 301-271-7911. Also: Sept. 19.

6…… Memory Café, Sponsored by a different sponsor each month, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. Noon-1 p.m.  Free lunch  & craft. Register: 301-271-7911.

7,8… Albert’s Yard Sale, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 17015 Sabillasville Rd., Sabillasville. Sept. 7: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sept. 8: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Rain date: Sept. 14-15.

7-9… 62nd Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show, Catoctin High School, 14745 Sabillasville Rd., Thurmont. Free admission/parking. Auctions, activities for kids, entertainment, food, exhibits & more. Times: Fri.: 6-9 p.m.; Sat.: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun.: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (exhibitor entries may be removed 3-6 p.m.). Sponsored by the Thurmont Grange, Catoctin FFA Chapter, Catoctin FFA Alumni, Maryland State Grange, and the Maryland State Agricultural Fair Board.

8…… Hunting Heritage Banquet, Monocacy Valley Chapter of National Wild Turkey Federation, Lewistown Fire Hall, 11101 Hessong Bridge Rd., Frederick. Doors open 4:30 p.m.; dinner 6 p.m. Tickets:

8…… Bingo Banquet, Union Bridge Fire Co., Union Bridge, MD. Doors open 4 p.m.; dinner 5 p.m.; games 6:30 p.m. $30/ticket (meal included). Call or text Melvin Smith 443-789-3823.

8…… Emmitsburg Volunteer Community Clean-Up Day, Memorial Park (behind Post Office), Emmitsburg. Light breakfast 8:15 a.m.; clean-up 9 a.m.-noon.

8…… Fall Festival, St. Stephen’s United Church of Christ, 25445 Highfield Rd., Cascade, MD. 2-7 p.m. Music, food, auction. Everyone welcome.

8…… Thurmont Grange’s Roasted Turkey & Country Ham Buffet Dinner, Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show, Catoctin High School Cafeteria, 14745 Sabillasville Rd., Thurmont. 3-7 p.m. $13/adult; $7/ages under 12; $5/ages under 5. Carryout: $14. Free admission/parking.

8…… Sportsman’s Bingo, Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Co., 13527 Motters Station Rd., Rocky Ridge, MD. Doors open 4 p.m.; meal 5 p.m.; games 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $40/person (meal included). Door prizes, 50/50, gun raffle. Buddy Stover 301-271-4650. No tickets sold at door.

9…… Catoctin FFA Alumni’s Chicken Bar-B-Que Dinner, Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show, Catoctin High School Cafeteria, 14745 Sabillasville Rd., Thurmont. Noon. $10/adult; $7/ages under 12. Carryout: $11. Free admission/parking. www.thurmontemmitsburgcommunity

9…… Lewistown Ruritan Chicken Barb-B-Q, Rt. 15 & Fish Hatchery Rd., Lewistown.

9…… 11th Annual 5K Trail Walk & 10K Trail Run, ThorpeWood, 12805-A Mink Farm Rd., Thurmont. 8-11 a.m. Register online:

9…… Graceham Moravian Church: Worship 8 a.m.; Sunday School for all ages 9:15 a.m.; Contemporary Worship w/Children’s Message, Little Church and Nursery 10:30 a.m. Prayer Day for Christian Ed. and Piano Dedication. 8231-A Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. All welcome.

9…… Teddy Bear & Grandparent Day, Children’s Museum of Rose Hill Manor Park, 1611 N. Market St., Frederick, MD. 2-3:30 p.m. $10 grandparent/child pair. Advance registration required: 301-600-2936 or

10…. Frederick Scottish Country Dancers, Walkersville Town Hall, Walkersville, MD. 7:30-10:00 p.m. Sept. thru Jan. Beginners 7:30-9 p.m.; dances for more experienced dancers 9-10 p.m. $60/semester. No partner required. Valerie 240-513-6048 or

10…. Prize Bingo, Sponsored by Frederick Health & Rehabilitation Center, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 2-3 p.m. Free to play; snacks provided. 301-271-7911.

10…. Summer Story Hour, Blue Ridge Summit Free Library, 13676 Monterey Ln., Blue Ridge Summit, PA.  4:30 p.m. Followed by Legos & Wee Build Imagineering until 5:30 p.m. 717-794-2240. Also: Sept. 17, 24.

10…. Monday Movies: (adults only movie): The King’s Speech (Rated R for language), Blue Ridge Summit Free Library, 13676 Monterey Ln., Blue Ridge Summit, PA. 6 p.m.  717-794-2240.

11…. Doghouse Sessions, Blue Ridge Summit Free Library, 13676 Monterey Ln., Blue Ridge Summit, PA. Zero, our wonder therapy dog, has returned from his travels and will be gracing us with his presence 5:30-6:30 p.m. 717-794-2240.

13…. Movie: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Rated PG-13), Blue Ridge Summit Free Library, 13676 Monterey Ln., Blue Ridge Summit, PA. 6 p.m. 717-794-2240.

13…. Monthly Birthday Party,  Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 12:30 p.m. Birth-day people get picture taken for Senior Moments in The Catoctin Banner. Cake & ice cream. All seniors welcome. Call day before to order lunch at Noon ($6). 301-271-7911.

13…. Ted & Susie’s Pickin’ and Grinnin’ Show, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 1-2 p.m. Free entertainment w/singing, clogging, playing instruments. 301-271-7911.

14…. Let’s Move — Scurrying Squirrels, Children’s Museum of Rose Hill Manor, 1611 N. Market St., Frederick, MD. 9:30-10:30 a.m. $5. Advance registration recommended: 301-600-2936 or

14-16. Worship & Healing Sessions, Deerfield United Methodist Church, 16405 Foxville Deerfield Rd., Sabillasville, MD. Kathy & Don Hershman, husband and wife ministry team. Fri.: Expressing Our Worship 7-9 p.m.; Sat.: Power of Worship 10 a.m.-noon, lunch noon-2 p.m., 2-4 p.m./7-9 p.m.; Healing session offered at end. Sun.: 10:15 a.m.-noon. 240-285-3402 or

14-17 Half-Way to St. Pat’s Day, Shamrock Restaurant, 7701 Fitzgerald Rd., Thurmont. Different Irish music groups each night.

15…. Emmitsburg Lions Club Presents Chicken BBQ & Yard Sale, Corner of South Seton Ave. & Rt. 15, Emmitsburg. Yard sale: 6 a.m. (spaces avail.; $5 donation appreciated). Chicken BBQ: 11 a.m. until sold out.

15…. Bingo Bash, Vigilant Hose Co., 17701 Creamery Rd., Emmitsburg. Doors open 4 p.m.; games begin 7 p.m. Tickets: $40 in advance; $50 at door. Includes 22 games, 3 jackpots & roast beef platter. Pam 240-472-3484 or Mary Lou 240-285-3184.

15…. Gateway to the Cure 5K Run/Walk, Eyler Road Park, 15 Eyler Rd., Thurmont. 8:30 a.m. $35 (pre-registered gets t-shirt). Register: (enter Gateway to the Cure 5K) or 615 E. Main Street, Thurmont (M-F, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.).

15…. Calling All Art Lovers to Thurmont’s 2nd Annual Plein Air Paint Event, either Loy’s Station or Roddy Road Bridges, Thurmont. 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Paint on location at either bridge. Event followed by reception/sale of artwork (Thurmont Main Street Center 2 p.m.). $20 entry fee. To participate (by Sept. 6):

15…. Annual Fall Festival, Wesley Chapel UMC, 654 Old Waynesboro Rd., Fairfield, PA. Noon-5 p.m.

16…. Graceham Moravian Church: Worship 8 a.m.; Sunday School for all ages 9:15 a.m.; Contemporary Worship w/Children’s Message, Little Church and Nursery 10:30 a.m. 8231-A Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. All welcome.

17…. Monday Movies: Nanny McPhee (Rated PG), Blue Ridge Summit Free Library, 13676 Monterey Ln., Blue Ridge Summit, PA. 6 p.m. 717-794-2240.

18…. The Summit Stitcher’s Quilt Club, Blue Ridge Summit Free Library, 13676 Monterey Ln., Blue Ridge Summit, PA. 5:30 p.m.  New members & new projects always welcome. Any skill level may attend. 717-794-2240.

18…. Clothes Closet, Thurmont United Methodist Church, 13880 Long Rd., Thurmont. 10-11:30 p.m. 301-271-4511.

18…. Pauline’s Pals, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 1-3 p.m. Crafters needed to make favors for next year’s Christmas party; all supplies provided. Meets third Tues. of each month. 301-271-7911.

19…. Seton Center, Inc.’s Outreach Office Hosts Free Job Search Workshop: Review Information on the Employers Participating in the Job Fair (Oct. 8 at Mother Seton School) & What to Wear to Stand Out in the Crowd (in a good way), 226 East Lincoln Ave., Emmitsburg. 2-3 p.m. In partnership w/Frederick County Workforce Services. Open to public. Registration required: 301-447-6102 x 18.

20…. The Dining Car Food Club, Blue Ridge Summit Free Library, 13676 Monterey Ln., Blue Ridge Summit, PA. 6 p.m. Food to sample from the country of Thailand.  New members welcome. Please come bearing food to share. 717-794-2240.

20…. Free Movie Day: Brooklyn, Thurmont Senior Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 1-3 p.m. 301-271-7911.

21…. Mommy & Me, Children’s Museum of Rose Hill Manor, 1611 N. Market St., Frederick, MD. 9:30-10:30 a.m. $5. Ages 1 1/2 – 2 yrs. Advance registration recommended: 301-600-2936 or

21…. Annual James H. Mackley Golf Day, Maple Run Golf Course, Thurmont. Shotgun 9 a.m. 301-271-4289.

21…. Kai Wiley Golf Tournament, Glade Valley Golf Club, 10502 Glad Rd., Walkersville, MD. 8 a.m. registration; 9 a.m. shotgun start. All proceeds benefit Kai Wiley’s medical expenses. $75/player or $300/team of 4.

21…. First Friday Fun — Little Bear, Children’s Museum of Rose Hill Manor, 1611 N. Market St., Frederick, MD. 9:30-10:30 a.m. $5. Activities and crafts for ages 3-4. Advance registration recommended: 301-600-2936 or

22…. Gospel & Bluegrass Music Festival, Mt. Tabor Park, Rocky Ridge, MD. 1-6 p.m. Free admission. Local talents & the Carroll County Ramblers and Hanover Express. Food avail.

22…. St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church’s 24th Annual German Dinner, Walkersville Vol. Fire Co., 79 West Frederick St., Walkersville, MD. All-you-can-eat buffet. $17/adult; $6/ages 5-12; Free/ages under 5. Carryout: $1 extra. Live Oompha Band. Bake table. Presale tickets: Russ & Amy Mildenstein 301-845-2037 or 301-646-3304.

23…. Graceham Moravian Church: Worship 8 a.m.; Sunday School for all ages 9:15 a.m.; Contemporary Worship w/Children’s Message, Little Church and Nursery 10:30 a.m. Prayer Day for the Church’s Ministry to Older Adults. 8231-A Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. All welcome.

23…. Praising Jesus – A Gospel Concert Featuring Forever Young, Thurmont Church of Brethren, 14 North Altamont Ave., Thurmont. 1 p.m. Light refreshments following concert. Free-will offering accepted. 301-271-2634.

23…. Tastefully Simple Make & Take Class, Rotary Park at Pavilion, West 9th St., Waynesboro, PA. 1-3 p.m. Bring 1 1/2 lb. boneless chicken breast. Make: Grilled Citrus Herb Chicken. Prep done at class; bake at home. RSVP by Sept. 20: Dawn Fisher 301-988-0247. tastefullysimple/web/dfisher5.

24…. Clothes Closet, Thurmont United Methodist Church, 13880 Long Rd., Thurmont. 6-7:30 p.m. 301-271-4511.

24…. Monday Movies: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Rated R), Blue Ridge Summit Free Library, 13676 Monterey Ln., Blue Ridge Summit, PA. 6 p.m. 717-794-2240.

24…. Free Movie Day: The Thrill of It All, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 1-3 p.m. 301-271-7911.

25…. Town of Emmitsburg Election Day, 22 E. Main St., Emmitsburg. Two commissioner seats. 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Write-in deadline: Sept. 18 at noon.

26…. Johnny Appleseed Day, Children’s Museum of Rose Hill Manor Park, 1611 N. Market St., Frederick, MD. 6-7:30 p.m. Ages 6-11. $8. Advance registration suggested: 301-600-2936 or

26…. Heroin’s Grip Documentary Film Debut, Frederick Community College JBK Theater. 7 p.m. Tickets:

26…. Myers-Durboraw Funeral Home from Emmitsburg Lunch & Learn Talk & Free Mtn. Gate Lunch, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. Noon. First 40 people to register get free lunch: 301-271-7911.

27…. The Train of Thought Book Club, Blue Ridge Summit Free Library, 13676 Monterey Ln., Blue Ridge Summit, PA. 6 p.m. Topic: “American Military History.” 717-794-2240.

28…. Free Meeting w/Elly (Jenkins) Williams, Dept. of Aging, Thurmont Sr. Ctr., 806 E. Main St., Thurmont. 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Call to make half-hour appt.: 301-271-7911.

29…. Cornhole 4 A Cause Tournament Fundraiser, Hosted by Barkers 4 Blood Cancer (benefiting Leukemia & Lymphoma Society), American Legion Post 168, 8 Park Ln., Thurmont. $20 donation per team. Teams of two; three-game guarantee; double elimination format. Doors open 10 a.m. Open to public. Cash prizes, raffles, 50/50, tip jars, silent auction. Registration:

29…. Quarters for Kit Kat, American Legion Post 168, 8 Park Ln., Thurmont. Doors open 11:30 a.m.; auction starts 12:30 p.m. $5/two paddles; $1/ea. additional paddle. Tickets: Leslie 240-299-6802 or at door.

29…. Health Screening Fair, Thurmont Regional Library, 76 E. Moser Rd., Thurmont. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sponsored by Thurmont Lions Club. Blood pressure/blood sugar screenings, flu shots, vision/hearing testing.

29…. Bingo, St. Anthony’s Upper Hall, 16150 St. Anthony Rd., Emmitsburg. Doors open 5 p.m. Benefit headstones at St. Anthony Shrine Cemetery.

29…. Acacia & Tyrian Masonic Lodge 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament, Cedar Ridge Golf Course, 1225 Barlow Two-Taverns Rd., Gettysburg, PA. Shotgun 8 a.m. $65/person; $240/foursome. Lunch & refreshments included. John Hagemann 301-271-2711 or Bobby Keilholtz 717-642-0011. Benefits High School Scholarship Fund.

29…. Cash & Gift Card Bingo, Woodsboro American Legion, 101 W. Elizabeth St., Woodsboro, MD. Doors open 12:00 p.m.; games 1:30 p.m. $20. Robin 301-271-3309.

29,30.. Pippinfest – 38th Annual Old Fashioned Street Festival, Historic Fairfield, PA. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Food, crafts, entertainment, Cruise-in Car Show (Sun.), pony rides & much more. Free admission & parking. or 717-642-5640.

30…. Graceham Moravian Church: Worship 8 a.m.; Sunday School for all ages 9:15 a.m.; Contemporary Worship w/Children’s Message, Little Church and Nursery 10:30 a.m. 8231-A Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. All welcome.

30…. Barn Dance, ThorpeWood, 12805-A Mink Farm Rd., Thurmont. 7-10 p.m. Featuring the Naptown Brass Band & food from Gambrill Mountain Food Truck. $15/adult; $10/ages 10 & under.

30…. Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser, Graceham Volunteer Fire Co. 18, 14026 Graceham Rd., Thurmont. 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. $8/adult; $6/ages 4-10; Free/ages 3 & under. Angela Helman 301-524-0078 or Julie Durgan 240-529-6229.

Eileen Dwyer

Located on the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania on South Mountain, Pen Mar Park became a prominent resort in the late 19th century. The owner of the Western Maryland Railroad felt the scenic location in the cooler Blue Ridge Mountains would entice Baltimore-area residents out of their city dwellings during hot summer months. And, utilizing his railroad, the city dwellers did just that.  Back in its heyday, Pen Mar Park boasted many first-class hotels, a dance pavilion, dining hall, playground, scenic overlook, roller coaster, Ferris wheel, carousel, penny arcade, shooting gallery, movie theater, beer garden and a miniature train.

The park was by far one of the most popular resorts in the eastern United States, with close to 20,000 visitors taking the 71-mile trip from Baltimore to Pen Mar each summer weekend. President Grover Cleveland, Dr. Walter Reed, and even actress Joan Crawford counted among the Pen Mar’s early visitors.

Unfortunately, by the end of the 1920s, the once-glorious Pen Mar Park began to lose its luster, as tourist numbers declined. Over the next few decades, the park fell into rapid decline.

In 1977, Washington County purchased the park, and it was re-opened in 1980. Currently, Pen Mar Park holds live music concerts during the summer in the multi-use pavilion (located at the site of the original dance pavilion). Visitors also enjoy the playground, rent the pavilions for gatherings, hike the Appalachian Trail, and take in the picturesque view from High Rock Summit.

It is like stepping back in time to visit the Pen Mar dance pavilion on Sundays between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m., where various musicians provide entertainment as part of the Jim and Fay Powers Music Series. Visitors of all ages dance or simply watch and soak it all in. Whether a seasoned professional of swing or ballroom dance or a complete uncoordinated amateur simply wiggling to the tune, this place and activity replicates the spirit of the Pen Mar Park of yesteryear. Twenty-five to fifty percent of those who attend are considered regulars, with dance groups from Pennyslvania, Viriginia, and Maryland.

On an afternoon at the dance pavilion at the end of June, where folks gathered to watch, listen, or dance to fifties music and easy listening provided by “Détente,” David Jacoby of Gettysburg was visiting. He took relatives on a tour of the area and included stopping at Pen Mar Park, Thurmont, Emmitsburg, and Gettysburg along the way. He said, “I just like this place. I’ll stop when I’m close by and have some fun.”

Doris Flax was raised in Emmitsburg, but currently lives in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She started visiting Pen Mar Park when she was just two years old and visits every chance she gets today. “My mother would bring us up here every Sunday, back then, to dance. Just like it is now.”

Shirley Rienks of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, especially remembers “Everybody’s Day” when she was a youngster. She said, “They had babies. I have a picture of that.” Everybody’s Day will be held on August 26 this season. It will feature the Ray Birely Orchestra. The Rocky Birely Combo is also one of the featured bands at Pen Mar Park. Rocky’s father, Ray Birely, was the original band leader at Pen Mar back in the day.

Joe Etter of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, has been dancing at Pen Mar “off and on for about twenty years.” A seasoned dancer, he’s known to be the local expert about everything Pen Mar Park. He recalled his favorites from childhood: the penny arcade and the carousel.

Vicky Anderson from Montgomery County, Maryland, grew up in the area. She returns when she can and makes a day of it by stopping for a meal in Thurmont, bringing a book to read, and then dancing, “It’s really nice. The view from High Rock is just breathtaking.”

The Pen Mar Park Music Series will continue through September 30 this season. Pavilion reservations and park information may be obtained by contacting the Washington County Buildings, Grounds & Parks Department at 240-313-2807.


Pictured are Doris Flax (left) and Shirley Rienks (right) at the Pen Mar Dance Pavilion.

Dancers enjoy swing and ballroom dancing at the Pen Mar Dance Pavilion on Sundays.

The reason for the name “Cunningham” being chosen as the name of the Catoctin Area’s local waterfalls, located west of Thurmont on Route 77, has become slightly clearer recently when following a reference from a May 2018 issue of The Frederick News-Post to an article from 1968.

Historically, the falls had been called Herman’s Falls (or Harmon’s Falls) and McAfee Falls after various land owners, and even Hunting Creek Falls after the stream that supplies water through the Falls.

Many locals still refer to the waterfalls as McAfee Falls, honoring the family who owned the falls at the time the federal government took ownership of the land in 1935 as part of Former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, which sought to use the land for recreational use and provide much-needed jobs in response to the Great Depression.

The McAfees were early settlers from Bute, Scotland, in the mid-1770s. The name had been changed to Cunningham Falls after the transition of ownership of the land from the federal government to the State of Maryland. There is no clarity as to how the name Cunningham stuck since there have been obvious efforts and intent on record to keep the name McAfee Falls.

A May 23, 2018, Frederick News-Post’s “Yesterday” post from “50 Years Ago” references that, “A mistake of more than 30 years standing (as of May 23, 1968) was righted recently when Maryland’s Commission on Forests and Parks renamed the falls in Cunningham Falls State Park. The official name is now McAfee Falls, honoring an old Frederick County family which settled in the area in 1790. As a logical follow-up the Forests and Parks Commission is now considering renaming the park Hunting Creek State Park.”

There are several theories about how the name Cunningham came to be the modern name of the Falls, but none are backed by a substantial amount of fact. Today, on the internet, it is stated that the falls “was apparently named after a photographer from Pen Mar Park who frequently photographed the falls.” Research shows that there is no evidence of a photographer of Pen Mar Park or Cunningham Falls by the name of Cunningham.

In a previous edition of The Catoctin Banner, a grandson of the Falls’ owner at the time of federal acquisition, Reuben McAfee, Rob McAfee of Foxville informed us that a local woman believed there was a Cunningham family who lived near the falls.

Most recently, the Frederick News-Post’s “50 Years Ago” reference led us to that May 23, 1968, article in the News-Post titled, “Cunningham Park Falls Renamed ‘McAfee Falls.’” In this article, written by Jim Gilford, the name Cunningham is referenced to, “honor a Department of Interior employee.”

Researchers still have yet to uncover the truth behind the mystery, but regardless, thousands of visitors enjoy the falls every year, which is the state of Maryland’s largest cascading waterfall, standing at 78 feet.

Jim Schlett

When our National Parks were first established, well over a century ago, painters and photographers created works that inspired Americans and people from around the world to journey and visit those areas and to generate interest in the parks. That practice lives on to this day. The National Park Service (NPS) still reaches out to potential “artists” through its Artist-In-Residency (AIR) program, which is available at over forty different locations.

After retiring from the Federal government with over thirty years of service, including the last fifteen as the director of administration for the Law Department, I decided to “refocus” on my photography. Through a very competitive application process, I was notified that I had been selected as the AIR at Catoctin Mountain Park for two weeks in May. Like other painters, my photos tell a story with images rather than words. I had been very fortunate to have been selected as the AIR at the Whiskeytown National Park Recreation Area in Northern California in 2016, so I had a good idea of what I wanted to accomplish and share with the Catoctin Park staff. Each park asks that the artist donate one piece of their work back to the Park after the residency is completed and to give a workshop/talk to the public during the residency.

My wife and I arrived on Sunday, May 6, 2018, in light rain, which created a bright spring green on our drive up from Virginia that I hoped would make for great photos over the next two weeks. That ride sparked a conversation about our great interest in our National Parks, dating back to the early 1980s with our first trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons,  now having visited over 140 sites to-date.

Based on my prior AIR experience at Whiskeytown Park, I kept a detailed journal of each day, touching on such activities as hikes, the people we met, and notes for future exploring. As part of the program, the park provides lodging to the artists. My wife and I were assigned housing at Camp Misty Mount, a historical complex of cabins built in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration. On our first day, we met AIR Coordinator Carrie Andresen, a dedicated park ranger, who provided us with an excellent overview of the park, potential workshop dates, introduced other park employees and volunteers, and also talked about on-going events of the park. Afterward, we unpacked the car in now heavy rain and settled into the cabin. I was able to take just a few images of the surrounding area and cabins for the first afternoon; we then made our way down to the Kountry Kitchen in Thurmont for a great dinner.

In addition to creating my own images of the park, I had made an offer to take photos of the park employees and volunteers during my stay. As a result, I managed to meet many employees and volunteers, who all went the extra mile in terms of reaching out to me and all of the visitors to the park. Catoctin Park provided space in the Visitors Center for the display of my photography; so, on the first Monday, we installed about fifteen of my canvas prints. I also provided a daily update of three to four new images for each day at the park, which were also posted at the Visitors Center, as well as on  their Facebook page and mine. Over the two weeks, we hiked essentially all of the trails, and some more than once. I was amazed at the quietness and peaceful feeling of just being in the park. I discovered what many of the locals must know, it really is a hidden gem in the National Park Service. Enjoying American history at the same time, I learned of the creation of the park and its legacy, including training grounds for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor to the CIA, during World War II.

It doesn’t take long in a National Park to find inspiration for creating new work. As an example, a simple, relatively easy walk along the Blue Blazes Trail would lead to hundreds of photos of the stream, trees, flowers and eventually the whiskey still. During one of my photo workshops, two of the participants were quickly laying down on the ground, capturing close-ups of what they described as a rare flower find by its scientific name. On a few days, a heavy fog and mist—which I was excited to see—provided unique lighting for new images. I find that light plays a critical role in finding photographs, and that is why I often go back to specific locations several times to try and capture just the right light. The light can make the difference between a good photograph and a great one. Wandering around also has its benefits when searching for new photographic opportunities, and I took full advantage of wandering while in the AIR program. Every morning involved a short walk from the cabin, within a 200-yard radius, that brought me in contact with many varieties of flowers, trees, and wildlife that often set the tone for the day.

My efforts were geared to try to take meaningful photographs of Catoctin that are so hard to put into words. It has been said that our National Parks are one of “America’s Best ideas,” and I truly feel that is so true. In our parks, I sense a re-connection to nature and the universe that is so needed in today’s fast-paced society and world. As John Muir said, “come to the woods, there is rest.” We were so enthralled with the park, we invited several of our friends from Northern Virginia to travel up to spend the day, and we became tour guides in exploring the park; they all greatly enjoyed the experience.

As Ansel Adams, a world-renowned photographer and friend of the National Parks, had remarked something to the effect … good photographs occur when you figure out the right place to stand. I spent a great deal of time looking for those “right places,” and part of the richness of the Catoctin is that the hiking journey gives as much inspiration as the destination, such as Chimney Rock or the Thurmont Vista. Most days, we walked six to ten miles within the park. With a full two weeks in the park, I never tired of exploring and heading out for more springtime photos, and yet the time raced by us until our departure on May 19.

Being in a National Park gives one time to get in touch with nature, and my time at Catoctin Mountain Park gave me that and much more. We had some time to explore other nearby areas, such as the covered bridges, the Seton Shrine, and the back roads, as well as the hospitality of the folks of Thurmont and the region. Even though the Residency came to an end too quickly, I have already made plans for more return visits, with the changing of the seasons at Catoctin. Since I took many images, one of the difficult and time-consuming tasks has been to edit my work down to the best ten to fifteen prints for future exhibitions. I am hopeful that people will respond to my work in ways that will benefit the park itself, such as new volunteers for Catoctin Park or the Catoctin Forest Alliance. I will also be exhibiting some of my photographs from the Catoctin experience at the ArtSpace Gallery in Herndon, Virginia, later this year.

More of my photographic images in individual galleries by subject matter can be found at

By artist Jim Schlett, taken in Camp Misty Mount, within 200 yards of his cabin. “The lighting at that early morning, with a light fog, created a sense of being invited in to the forest.”


James Rada, Jr.

Marines marched through Emmitsburg in 1922 on their way to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. They were fully outfitted in preparation for a historical reenactment and training maneuvers on the battlefield. The event turned tragic for two of the Marines when their plane crashed on the battlefield, killing both men on board.

On June 26, 2018, a memorial wayside, erected in Gettysburg to honor Marine Captain George W. Hamilton, a highly-decorated World War I Marine officer, and Gunnery Sergeant George R. Martin, was dedicated before a small crowd.

Marine Captain Hamilton, of World War I fame, survived the bloody Battle of Belleau Wood in 1918 (also known as the “Germans’ Gettysburg”), with honors, only to perish in a dive bomber crash on the Gettysburg Battlefield during Marine maneuvers held in 1922, along with Gunnery Sergeant Martin, a veteran of the Santo Domingo campaign.

On June 26, 1922, Captain Hamilton was piloting a de Havilland dive bomber over Gettysburg battlefield, with Martin, at the head of the column of 5,500 Marines arriving for training maneuvers and Civil War reenactments, when their airplane crashed while attempting to land on the Culp Farm, killing both aviators.

The deaths of the aviators were declared as line-of-duty deaths, resulting in their being the last such deaths to have occurred on the historic battlefield since the 1863 battle itself.

As part of the event, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has issued a proclamation declaring June 26, 2018, as Captain George W. Hamilton and Gunnery Sergeant George R. Martin Remembrance Day “in grateful recognition of their military service.”

Tammy Myers, president of the Gettysburg Heritage Center, said that the project to erect the memorial “was initiated and brought to us by our neighbors.” She said that the Heritage Center supported the project because it “tells a story beyond the typical Civil War story.”

The memorial is on property near the crash site and donated by the Gettysburg Heritage Center. The project began when Richard D. L. Fulton, co-author of The Last to Fall: The 1922 March, Battles, & Deaths of U.S. Marines at Gettysburg, happened to run into his neighbor, Ronald Frenette, who became the project manager of the memorial wayside. Both men live near the crash and talked about it. “Rick said we really should have a memorial for them, and the project was born,” said Frenette.

The memorial’s creation is the result of the efforts of Frenette, Fulton, Mike Tallent, Marine Corps League Gettysburg Battlefield Detachment #705, and the Gettysburg Heritage Center.

The memorial wayside is located at the corner of Culp Street and Johns Avenue, near the 1922 crash site.

Photo taken of Memorial Wayside near the 1922 crash site in Gettysburg, Courtesy of James Rada, Jr.