Currently viewing the tag: "Creagerstown"

by dave ammenheuser

On December 13, 1969, a couple and their young children (two pre-teens and an infant) moved into their newly constructed home along Creagerstown Road.

Prior to moving into the home, that family—my parents and my brothers—had lived for a few years in an apartment building on the square in Creagerstown.

On August 30, 2021, a couple and their young children (two pre-teens and an infant) moved into the same home along Creagerstown Road.

Prior to moving into the home, that family—whom I had never previously met—lived in the same apartment building on the square of Creagerstown where my family did in the 1960s.

Sometimes life can go full circle.

After both of my parents died in 2020, I spent the next 12 months clearing my childhood home. It was emotionally difficult selling their possessions and treasures. It was even more difficult signing over the house deed to Rachel Kirkpatrick and her family on August 30, just two days short of the one-year anniversary of my father’s death.

Without any advertising, we had many offers for the house. In this booming real estate market, I turned down dozens of “cash-only” deals from brokers and flippers. I chose not to use a real estate agent and to sell the home myself.

I met Rachel purely by chance. Her mother-in-law went to school with my brother, Bob. Rachel and her family asked if the house was available. The house negotiation was quick and easy.

By our third meeting, there was no doubt in my mind that it was the right choice.

How did I know? On this particular visit, Rachel came for the septic test. She brought along her two pre-teen boys. While the septic test was conducted, the two boys ran around the backyard, chasing each other. At one point, the older boy pulled out his smart phone and started chasing something that I couldn’t see.

I asked Rachel what he was doing. Oh, he has a phone app for ghost hunting?

“Mom, I found one,” the boy shouted. “It says he was born in 1930-something.”

My jaw dropped. I stared at the boy. Stunned, I looked at Rusty Yates, my late father’s best friend and next-door neighbor who had dropped by to chat.

My father was born in 1938. My father was an avid ghost hunter, who bought all kinds of “Ghostbuster” gizmos to track ghosts on the Gettysburg battlefields.

Was my father sending me a message?

After a year of upheaval and sadness, was my father giving me a message that the toughest year of my life was over?

That he’d watch over the property, and it was time for me to resume my life?

My father was a firm believer in the afterlife.

Me? Meh. At least, not until that recent summer day. Rachel Kirkpatrick and Dave Ammenheuser in front of Rachel’s new home (and Dave’s childhood home) near Creagerstown

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

by dave ammenheuser


Everything has fallen apart around here without you!

A little boy’s one-sentence note, preserved in an envelope, dated June 27, 1974, addressed to his mother at Frederick Memorial Hospital, where she had been admitted for emergency surgery. 

Turn the clock ahead more than 46 years, and that little boy is now turning 59.

Sitting in my parents’ home near Creagerstown, I’m sorting through piles of documents. Reading through love letters that my parents sent to each other in 1959, when mom was in nursing school and dad was at Army reserve training. Thumbing through a great-grandmother’s Bible. Glancing through family holiday photos. Figuring out what to do with the 1,392 glass pigs my mom collected over her 79-year life.

Yet, it was this one-sentence note, in the yellowed envelope, with its 10-cent postage stamp, that caused the stream of tears on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of January 2021.

My mother, Elizabeth Irene Ammenheuser, is gone. She died on December 19, just a few days before Christmas and just three months after my father, John, died.

Muz was the nickname that I gave to my mother when I was a pre-teen. It was my quirky way of combining the words Mom and Liz together.

To Thurmontians, she was Liz. The friend. The bingo player. The volunteer. The friendly neighbor. The former Moore’s (now RR Donnelley) graveyard-shift worker. The nice lady who lived with the cranky guy with the vintage cars in the driveway along Creagerstown Road.

She was so much more. Few know that she gave up her desire to be a nurse to raise three young boys. For more than 40 years, she worked the midnight to 8:00 a.m. factory shift, so she could be home when those boys bounced off the school bus. She was there when they needed a ride to Little League games and Boy Scout meetings.  She attended the school plays and beamed with pride at my Eagle Scout ceremony and my college graduation.

My mom’s life was never about her. It was all about helping others and running a seemingly endless list of errands for my father.

She wasn’t a very good cook. She didn’t keep a tidy house. But that didn’t matter. She was the best mother.

She stopped driving several years ago when doctors deemed her dementia made her a hazard on the road to herself and others. She battled cancer in 2020, first in her breasts, then in her spine. She was recovering from spine surgery at Frederick Health Hospital on the day my father died at home. She then spent a month rehabilitating at Homewood. Because the COVID-19 pandemic limited her number of family visits at Homewood, mom moved to Newfoundland, Pennsylvania, in October to live with my brother, Bob, and his wife, Emily. They took wonderful care of her and were with her when she died.

Due to the pandemic, our family chose not to hold a public memorial service for her after she died. We are hoping to hold an event for her in May if the pandemic’s constraints on the community weaken.

So, this month, a final note to my mother. Yet this time, a tad more public.


Everything has fallen apart without you! But, I am the man I am today because of the life lessons you taught me. Our community was blessed to have you as a member. Love you.

Dave Ammenheuser visiting his mother, Elizabeth, in late 2020. She died a few weeks later.

Dave Ammenheuser’s 1974 note (and envelope) to his mother when she was in the hospital recovering from surgery.

Don’t Take Any Wooden Bullets!

by Priscilla Rall

No doubt you have heard of wooden nickels, but have you ever heard of wooden bullets? Well, Lawrence C. “Abner” Myers learned about them the hard way. He was one of five children, born in 1920 in Unionville to Lewis and Evelyn Wetzel Myers. The family soon moved to Creagerstown.

Life was hard for the Myers family, as Lewis suffered from heart trouble brought on during his time in the military in WWI. When Abner was 13, he was “farmed out” to his aunt and uncle’s farm, as his parents could no longer care for their large family. There, he milked cows and drove a team of horses, plowing and cultivating the fields. He returned home every other weekend, and Abner remembers Creagerstown as a fun-loving community that had dances, picnics, and even boxing matches! Mr. Stull had a fine grocery store on the corner, and above it was Lewis’s harness shop. The community’s doctor, Dr. Birely, drove a spring wagon pulled by one horse and would drive to his patients’ homes when needed. There were bootleggers all around, and “you could get it anywhere,” according to Abner.

In July 1940, he joined the Maryland National Guard and trained every other weekend. That all changed in February 1941, when the National Guard was nationalized, and suddenly these fair-weather soldiers were in the 29th Division of the U.S. Army. Abner trained at Ft. Meade, and then at Ft. A. P. Hill in the “Carolina Maneuvers” under Captain Anders (whom he considered the best).

Soon the 29th was sent on the Queen Elizabeth for more training in England. Landing in Scotland, they soon entrained to Cardiff. From there, they could visit London, where Abner experienced the German Blitz, which killed thousands of British civilians. Then his regiment, the 115th, moved to Plymouth, where they stayed in an ancient castle and could watch the RAF planes constantly flying over.

As men, material, and machines crowded the small island nation, it came as no surprise that eventually an invasion of enemy-held France would soon begin. Abner was loaded on a troop ship on June 4, 1944, but the weather delayed the invasion until June 6. From the top of his ship, Abner could see the armada of ships, Allied planes, and barrage balloons strung from vessels to discourage enemy planes.

The 116th Regiment of the 29th Division went in first, and was decimated by enemy fire. The brass then moved the 115th planned landing area several miles to a more-protected area. Abner recalled with dismay seeing supposedly waterproof tanks circling, waiting to land. One by one they sank, taking their crews with them.

As his landing craft drew closer to Omaha Beach, Abner could see German soldiers running across the top of the cliffs and being felled by Allied guns. Only a few crafts were in front of his, but he could see the bodies of soldiers who had not made it off the beach. The water was red with blood. In this wave of 29th-ers were Donald Null, Henry “Pete” Ponton Jr., Richard Fox, Alton Schaff, James Marceron, and others from Frederick.

It was complete chaos, and Abner still marveled at “how we survived.” The men had to weave their way through a mine field, where scores of soldiers lay dead. At some point during his rush to get off of the killing beachhead, a wooden bullet fired from a German rifle struck Abner’s thigh. Finally off the beach, he rested in a German foxhole for the night, not daring to sleep. The next morning, his thigh had swollen up severely, but he continued on with his company. Someone told him that he had been hit by a wooden bullet, which he had never heard of. The wood splinters exploded on impact and caused massive infection and swelling. Apparently, as the enemy was short of ammo, they used wooden bullets for practice for the untrained soldiers dragooned from the countries that they had invaded.

On the third day, Abner was standing near a lieutenant colonel when a shell from an 88 mm hit the officer. He was instantly killed and Abner suffered a severe closed head injury, collapsing on the dead officer. Medics soon moved him to a field aid station, where doctors decided he needed to be evacuated by plane to a hospital in England; he stayed there for two weeks.

Instead of returning to his company, Abner joined Company C, 397th Railroad MP Regiment, marching into Paris as the Germans marched out. Later, he was sent to Holland and then Belgium. Eventually, he was assigned to the 794th MP Battalion before returning home on a Liberty ship.

PFC Lawrence Myers was discharged in October 1945.

Many men who had been in combat came home with both external and internal scars. Abner’s father had died at age 49 from the effects of WWI. His brother, Alton “Peanut” Myers, a machine gunner in the Philippines, never fully recovered from the trauma he experienced there. Abner also suffered from what we now call PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Fortunately, he received help from the VA at Martinsburg, West Virginia.

After WWII, it was tough to get a job, with so many ex-servicemen looking for employment. Abner worked as a mechanic at a lumber mill in Woodsboro, and after a time of unemployment, at Ft. Detrick.

He met Clara Dewees in Thurmont in 1945, and they were married in 1949. Together they had three children, eventually moving to Graceham, where he enjoyed his family, going to yard sales, and trips to the beach. Abner died peacefully on July 1, 2007.

So, take it from Abner, don’t take any wooden nickels and certainly no wooden bullets!

If you are a Veteran, or know a Veteran, who is willing to tell his or her story, contact the Frederick County Veterans History Project at

Lawrence C. “Abner” Myers

Blair Garrett, Gracie Eyler, and Deb Abraham Spalding

“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come… I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise…”

These words are part of a Proclamation done at the City of Washington, the Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth by the President: Abraham Lincoln.

President Lincoln was not the first president to proclaim Thanksgiving, and he wasn’t the last. Today, although the pace of our daily business has changed with the ease of technology, it is important that the foundation of thanks be reminded and put into practice universally, for it is a basic part of humanity.

For 126 years, almost as long ago as President Lincoln’s Proclamation, members of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Creagerstown have provided a community Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day in their parish hall. This year, the room was full consistently, as family-after-family gathered to share the homemade meal throughout the day.

Courtney Topper, a twenty-one-year-old member of the Seiss family, one of the long-time member families deeply involved with this tradition, has helped since the age of four. She said, “I’d rather do this than anything on Thanksgiving Day.”

Thirty-seven volunteers served over five hundred dinners and over one hundred carry-out orders. Linda Seiss, Courtney’s grandmother, coordinated the event. She said, “It’s the giving and joy and love that make this event so great! Everybody came in so jolly and happy… and so thankful. It’s a wonderful thing!” Linda tried to name all of the volunteers because, “That’s important,” she said, “Phyllis Kolb is known for her sweet potatoes. Everyone is overwhelmed by them. Then there’s…let me see, Madeline Valentine, Glenna Wilhide, Dick Wilhide, Bill and Regina Dinterman, Sherry and Melanie Topper, Vicky Troxell and her daughters Kelsey and Payton, Nancy Heyser, Judy Zimmerman, Betty Seiss, Dot Lare, the Ferrell Family, the Thayer Family, and my husband Frankie Seiss. We can’t forget about him.”

Linda said she hopes that the Thanksgiving Dinner event, “makes it to 200 years of Thanksgivings someday.”

At the Ott House Pub in Emmitsburg, the Ott family, extended family, friends, and sometimes people right off the street, gather to enjoy a pot-luck Thanksgiving feast. This year, one hundred and four gathered for this tradition at the family’s restaurant.

Their tradition started when Bernard Ott, a painter by trade, and his wife, Evelyn, opened the Ott House in 1970 as a hobby and “something for their son, Pat, to get into,” said Chris (Ott) Wilson. They had nine children, Buddy (deceased), Pat (deceased), Dave, Susie, Chris, Cathy, Bobby, Rosie, and Ritchie. Today, four are still heavily involved in the day-to-day operation of the business. At the time, the family had grown too large for any one’s house to host Thanksgiving dinner, so the restaurant was the perfect alternative.

To this day, the Ott House Pub still operates with about half of the work force comprised of family members. Most Ott family and extended family members have worked at the pub at some point during their lives. It is truly a family-run business. The Otts, Susie, Bobby, Chris and Rosie, and the greater Ott House family and staff wish the community a happy holiday season and expressed, “Thanks for all of your support.”

This year, as always, after our Thanksgiving feasts were consumed and our family members filtered home, the chaos of Black Friday arrived. The season of thanks continues and becomes the season of giving as the holiday shopping frenzy builds.

Many families see the end of Thanksgiving as the beginning of Christmas, pushing moms and dads to flock to the stores in search of the perfect holiday gift for their children. The transition from November to December brings lights, candy canes, and plenty of holiday cheer, but what is it that spurs shoppers nationwide to begin checking off those holiday lists one by one?

The holiday deals cannot be denied, with stores around the world slashing prices to entice customers to spend their hard-earned cash in their stores. Parents often begin gathering ideas for gifts as early as summer, officially beginning the countdown until the holidays. The holiday crunch is finally here.

There are a few different types of holiday givers, with each finding different ways to make their shopping and gifting all come together for their families.

The extremely prepared are the early birds who have their holiday gifts purchased and wrapped months in advance, hiding them in a locked-away safe place, away from the eyes of the kids. Then, there are the extremely unprepared procrastinators, who are scrambling to grab the latest and greatest gifts fifteen minutes before the doors close for Christmas Eve.

But, the majority of givers fall somewhere in the middle, picking a weekend here and there to peck away at their shopping lists, grabbing the final items just in time for family get-togethers. Though disguised in the materialistic shopping game, the togetherness and camaraderie of being surrounded by the people you care about most is what excites people about this time of year.

Events like “Christmas in Thurmont” and “An Evening of Christmas Spirit” in Emmitsburg give people a reason to cook, celebrate, give thanks, and give to others. But…don’t forget to take a moment, take a breath, reflect upon history, remember loved ones who have passed, celebrate the moment, plan the best future, notice the little things, invite the big things, live life fully, and appreciate family and community. Be thankful. Be giving.

John and Fay Holdner, Angel and Mike Clabaugh, Randy Welty, Mary Elle Goff, Jaylyn Shaw, Jess Shaw, Bill Thurman, Alice Thurman, Larry Gladhill, and Brooke Gladhill sit together to enjoy the community Thanksgiving Day meal at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Creagerstown.

Linda Seiss is shown with fellow volunteer, Russell Long, in the kitchen at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Family, extended family, and community members gather at the Ott House Pub and Restaurant for a Thanksgiving feast. A tradition since 1970.


Lyman Stambaugh

Spec 4 U.S. Army, Co. A 2nd Battle Group 28th Inf., 24th Div.

by Jim Houck, Jr.

Born December 15, 1936, in Thurmont in the old Rouzer Home Place (still standing today) to Maurice Melvin and Ethel Favorite Stambaugh, was a son they named Lyman. Lyman had four sisters: Francis, Doris, Lois, and Cecelia; and a brother named Charles, who died at an early age; and a stepbrother, Lee, who was killed in Korea in 1951, and is buried at Creagerstown, Maryland. The family moved to Woodsboro, Maryland, and Lyman went to school there through the third grade. His family then moved back to Thurmont, where Lyman was born. Lyman finished his schooling at Thurmont, where he excelled at playing baseball for the school team for three years, starting as short stop the first year and moving to third baseman for his last two years. He also subbed for the catcher, losing two teeth, and he was also on the school’s soccer team until he graduated in 1955. Lyman delivered newspapers and then started to work for Vernon Myers at the old Shell station in 1953, while in high school, and then continued to work there after graduating school.

In December 1959, Lyman joined the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne and went to Fort Polk, Louisiana, for four weeks of basic training; he then went on to Fort Hood, Texas, where he was assigned to the 2nd Armored Division (Lyman didn’t like jumping from planes, so they left him out of that). Following that assignment, he went to Fort Dix with orders for Korea; however, after the orders were changed, he went to Fort Hamilton and was put on the U.S. Darvy for fourteen days, headed for Germany. He was to be stationed right outside of Munich, Germany, in a little place called Henri Concern, and then was assigned to Berlin, where he pulled guard duty while the Berlin Wall was being finished. He then returned to Munich, Germany; while there, he took leave to visit Spain (Barcelona, Madrid) and ran with the bulls. He was then sent to Cairo, Egypt, for some problems that needed police action. Lyman was getting ready for discharge in 1961, but the Bay of Pigs incident developed. He was put on an airplane and flown to the Congo, where he was squad leader for a while, but he didn’t like it. He then went to Rome, Italy, where he was inoculated before he could return to Germany. When Lyman returned to Germany, he was awarded the CIB Badge—a Good Conduct Badge—and a Sharpshooter Badge. Lyman got out in May 1962. However, at that time, it was mandatory to stay in the reserves, in case there would be a call to action in Vietnam, if necessary. A full Honorable Discharge was awarded to Lyman in 1965.

Lyman returned to Thurmont and went back to work for Vernon Myers at the gas station. He decided to go to work for Moore’s Business Forms, where he stayed for thirty-one years and then retired. After retiring, he went back to work at Moore’s for another fourteen years as a temporary employee, for a total of forty-four years. He also continued to work for Vernon Myers fourteen years part-time, while working full-time for Moore’s. Lyman has been married forty-nine years to Betty Lou Smith Stambaugh and has two children: Kim Cromwell, and her husband, Jim; and Lyman C. Stambaugh, and his wife, Carol. Lyman also has three grandchildren: Jamie West and husband, Curtis; Megan Miller and Corey; Samantha Stambaugh; and a great grandson, Curtis C. J. West. He remembers his first car was a 1941 Chevrolet with vacuum shift. He met his love, Betty Lou Smith, at Donald Lewis’s Confectionary on the square, where she worked behind the counter. I’m sure if that old Chevy could talk, it would tell a lot of stories. Lyman, Betty Lou, and the kids lived in Sabillasville, Maryland, for thirty-four years, and then moved within walking distance of his full-time job.

Lyman is a life member of AMVETS Post 7 Thurmont and a life member of the American Legion Thurmont, where he was Post Commander for two years in 1985 and 1986. He is a member of Post 7 Honor Guard and marches in most parades, stands guard at funerals, and fires at graveside services. He is a life member of South Mountain Rod and Gun Club, and likes to fish and hunt. He is seventy-five years old, going on fifty, and I am proud to know him. He is energetic, intelligent, funny, and an extremely pleasant and easy-going man. I can picture him at one hundred years old, marching in parades with that big smile on his face. Thank God for such a positive good-hearted Veteran as Lyman Stambaugh.

God Bless the United States of America, God Bless the American Veteran, and God Bless You.

Lyman Stambaugh, Spec 4 U.S. Army

Courtesy Photo

by Theresa Dardanell

Graceham Volunteer Fire Company — An All-Volunteer Company

100% Volunteer Fire & EMS Corporation
Pictured from left are William Morgan, Amy Morgan, William Ott, Timothy Lott, Kenneth Simmers, Sterling Seiss, Michelle Powell, Louis Powell Jr, Brian Boller; (standing on 184) Julie Durgan and James Kilby.

Fighting Fires is their job, but preventing fires is their passion. The members of the Graceham Volunteer Fire Company (VFC #18) take every opportunity to educate the community about fire safety and fire prevention. Each year during Fire Prevention Week, they visit the students at Thurmont Primary School and distribute fire safety information packets. The children get to see and touch the firefighters’ gear so that they learn not to be afraid if they are ever involved in an emergency situation. To make it fun, the firefighters have a race to see who can be the first to put on their gear. Company members also distribute fire prevention literature for adults at many locations and events. During the fall, they set up a table at the Lawyer’s Farm corn maze. Graceham Moravian Church is another location where the members distribute information. In 1994, Kathleen Grady, one of the members, was named Miss Frederick County Fire Prevention Queen, and was later selected as Maryland State Fire Prevention Queen First Runner Up.

Although Graceham VFC #18 was actually incorporated in 1960, the original fire company joined the Frederick County Firemen’s Association in 1936. The station, still in its current location on Graceham Road, was built in 1963, and serves an area that includes Graceham, Creagerstown, and Thurmont Primary School.

The original building had two bays, but renovations added an additional bay. A 100-gallon hand-pulled Ajax tank was one of the first pieces of equipment used by the original fire company. Today, the company has several vehicles: Engine 183 with a 1000-gallon tank, Engine Tanker 184 with an 1800-gallon tank, and a brush truck. They also have two vehicles to provide EMS service.

The most impressive fact is that the department has paid off the mortgage on the station and does not currently owe any money for the apparatus. This is due to the hard work and dedication of the members, as well as the tremendous support from the community. However, the twenty-six-year-old pumper will need to be replaced in the near future. Fundraising is critical. The 25 Club, raffles, and turkey shoots provide the funds needed for new equipment and expenses. The 25 Club is held twice a year and gives the community an enjoyable event, as well as an opportunity to support the department. It includes a dinner and a chance to win cash prizes. Gun raffles are held twice a year and turkey shoots are monthly events. Event dates and times can be found on the Facebook page for Graceham VFC #18.

The department has responded to many different fires and emergency situations over the years. One incident recalled by the members was the 1991 Loys Station Bridge fire. A car on the bridge was set on fire, and Graceham VFC #18 was one of the many departments that responded to the call. The bridge was unfortunately destroyed but was later rebuilt.

The membership of the department includes Administrative Officers: Louis Powell, Jr.—President; William Morgan—Vice President; Hilary Blake—Secretary and Fire Prevention Chairperson; Julie Durgan—Assistant Secretary; Sterling Seiss—Treasurer; Brian Boller—Assistant Treasurer. Operational Officers are: James Kilby—Chief; Louis Powell, Jr.—Assistant Chief; Valaria Kilby—Captain. Board of Directors members are: Hilary Blake, Brian Boller, Kenny “Doc” Simmers Sr., Eugene “Sonny” Grimes, Sterling Seiss, and Amanda “Katie” Miller. Other members include fundraising staff, kitchen committee, and junior members.

More volunteers are always needed and welcome. Assistant Chief Louis Powell would be happy to talk with anyone who is interested in joining the group. If you are interested, you can contact him at

Thurmont Thespians Present Summer Musical Seussical Jr.

Seussical Jr.The Thurmont Thespians present their summer musical, Seussical Jr. Calling all people, boys and girls, sneetches and Whos, anyone happy and anyone bluecome see forty young birds, elephants, jungle creatures and Whos (all under the age of fourteen) go on adventures from the mind of Dr. Seuss. From the jungle of Nool to the River Walloo to New York City and Whoville too, this tale is sure to suit your imagination.

Come see the show at the American Legion in Thurmont on July 16-18, 2015, and July 23-25, 2015, at 7:30 p.m.; and July 19 and 26, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 each.

Don’t miss out on seeing Seussical Jr. All your well-known friends are no longer just on a page; come see them come to life on stage. Call 301-271-7613 for reservations.


Peach Festival at Mt. Tabor Park

Mt. Tabor Church of Rocky Ridge is holding a Peach Festival at Mt. Tabor Park (home of the big slide) on Saturday, July 18, 2015, from 4:00-9:00 p.m. Event will feature music by Full Effect. Everyone is welcome.

Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Events

The Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association in Fairfield is hosting many events in July, including a Cash Bingo on July 12, with doors opening at 11:30 a.m. and bingo beginning at 1:00 p.m.; a Horseshoe Tournament on July 19 at 11:30 a.m. and an Archery 3D Shoot; and Nominations and Quarterly Meeting on July 21 at 7:00 p.m.. Hall, barn, and pavilion rentals available.

Lewistown Fire Department’s Sportsmans Bingo

Lewistown Volunteer Fire Department’s Sportsmans Bingo will be held on Saturday, August 22, 2015. Doors will open at 4:00 p.m.; buffet meal will start at 6:00 p.m.; and games will begin at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $40.00 per person (includes dinner, ice tea, and beer). Advanced ticket sales only.

The King Strings Coming to Creagerstown in August

The King Family, consisting of John and Cindy King and children, expressed excitement about bringing their musical abilities to our area. The fantastic family will be at the Union Church in Creagerstown (8619 Blacks Mill Road on Sunday, August 2, at 3:00 p.m. Their musical talents will bring smiles to your face as you enjoy the air conditioning and exceptional acoustics of the historic building.

The Kings Strings, formed in 2004, is based in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, but have traveled the eastern seaboard performing music from the hammered dulcimer, mandolin, ukulele, drums, and anything that produces musical sounds.

The Kings Strings have been called “The Von Trapp family with instruments.” Each program is different including a wide variety of music. Everyone is welcome.

For more information call Viola 301-898-9898 or visit their website at

Guardian Hose Company’s Annual Carnival

Bring the whole family out for the much-anticipated annual Carnival in Thurmont, sponsored by the Guardian Hose Company, to be held July 6-11, 2015, at the carnival grounds on East Main Street in Thurmont. Event features live music every night, a variety of fun and thrilling amusement rides, raffles throughout the week with prizes, games for all ages, a parade, and much more!

Guardian Hose Company’s First Annual Cornhole Tournament

The first annual Double Elimination Cornhole Tournament will be held on Saturday, August 22, 2015, at the Thurmont carnival grounds, located at 123 E. Main Street in Thurmont. Registration will start at 9:00 a.m.; tournament will begin at 10:30 a.m. The cost is $50.00 per team or $15.00 per spectator. Event features cash prizes, tip jars, music, raffle, and much more! Tournament benefits Thurmont’s Guardian Hose Company.

Live Grill Demonstrations at Zurgable Brothers Hardware

On Friday, July 3, 2015, from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., and on Saturday, July 25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., Zurgable’s will hold live grill demonstrations.

Fox Haven Field Day

Fox Haven Organic Farm and Learning Center in Jefferson, Maryland, will host a Field Day on Saturday, July 11, 2015. Nature walks, children’s programs, farm-based education, and tours will be featured along with special focus on solar powered irrigation, planting through crimped cover crops, riparian buffer zones, and nutrient recycling systems and soil health.

3D Target Shoots at Indian Lookout

The Indian Lookout Conservation Club in Emmitsburg will host 3D Target Shoots on Thursday nights, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. The cost is $5.00 per adult; children ages twelve and under are free.

Total Kid Summer Camp at Well-Fit in Thurmont

The Total Kid Summer Camp, presented by the Youth Wellness Organization, will be held at the Well-Fit Aerobics and Fitness Center in Thurmont. The camp is for children (ages 8-14) and features four sessions: June 22-July 3; July 6-17; July 20-31; August 3-14. Cost is $75.00 per week; $150.00 per session. Registration will be held on Saturday, June 6, 13, and 20, from noon-1:30 p.m. For more information, visit

Thurmont Farmers Market Opens for Another Season

The first Thurmont Main Street Farmers Market of the season kicked off on Saturday, June 13, 2015. Vendors brought their home-grown local products to the market, including kale, onions, strawberries, homemade preserves, zucchini, cucumbers, beets, and home-baked varieties of sourdough breads.

The new location for the Thurmont Main Street Farmers Market is the Municipal Parking Lot adjacent to Main Street. Every week brings us closer to more and more of the juicy fruits and vegetables of the season! Farmers Market is open Saturdays, 9:00 a.m.-noon, from June through September.

To become a vendor, or for more information, contact or visit their website at

Guardian Hose Company Yard Sale

The Guardian Hose Company is sponsoring a yard sale on May 30, 2015, at the Thurmont carnival grounds on 123 East Main Street in Thurmont. Spaces are $5.00 each.

Vigilant Hose Company’s Spring Fling

The Vigilant Hose Company’s Annual Spring Fling will be held on Saturday, May 16, 2014, at the ARCC Athletic Complex area at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg. This annual event features horseshoes, great food, live music, 50/50 tip jars, and much more. It’s great fun for everyone! Tickets are $60.00 each (good for two people). Get your tickets today; there are limited tickets remaining. Spring Fling gives $30,000 away in prizes! Benefits the Vigilant Hose Company and VHC Explorers Post.

Concert at Germantown Church of God

Germantown Church of God Presents Rich Kiser—a solo, finger-style guitarist—in concert on Sunday, May 17, 2015, at 6:00 p.m., at 16924 Raven Rock Road in Cascade. Admission is free.

Lewistown Fire Department Sportsmans Bingo

The Lewistown District Volunteer Fire Department, located at 11101 Hessong Bridge Road in Frederick, Maryland, will be holding a Sportsmans Bingo on Saturday, August 22, 2015. Doors will open at 4:00 p.m.; buffet meal will begin at 6:00 p.m., and games will start at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $40.00 per person (includes dinner, ice tea, and beer). Advanced ticket sales only.

Creagerstown Community Dinner

The Creagerstown Community Dinner will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2015, from noon-5:00 p.m. Dinner will feature pot pie, fried chicken, country ham, and more. The cost is $16.00 per adult, and $8.00 per child. Proceeds will benefit the upkeep of Creagerstown Cemetery and street lights.

Zurgable Brothers Holds Grill Demo

Stop by Zurgable Hardware, located at 1663 Old Emmitsburg Road in Emmitsburg, on Saturday, May 16, 2015, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. See demonstrations of Holland Grills.

Old Field Woodworking Open House

Spring is a great time for an Old Field Woodworking Open House! Come see handcrafted and original designed furniture, or order custom-designed furniture on Saturday, May 9, 2015, at 13333 Graceham Road in Thurmont, from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

John Dowling, Kathy Dowling, Theresa Keeney, and Jack Cogan will be on hand to assist you. Receive 10% off of your purchases when you show their advertisement from page 29 of this issue. Call 301-271-4439 for more information.

Fun Festival

Don’t miss the Fun Festival at Victory Tabernacle, located at 6710 Kelly Store Road in Thurmont, on May 30, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Event features games, crafts, face painting, live music, clowns, and much more!

Guardian Hose Company’s Flower Sale & Chicken BBQ

Don’t miss the Guardian Hose Company’s Flower Sale and Chicken BBQ event on May 8, from 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., and May 9, from 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Thurmont Senior Center Yard Sale — May through September

Join the Thurmont Senior Center for a yard sale on the second Satruday in May through September. Reserve your spot for just $10.00.

Thurmont Art & Wine Walk

Come on out to the Art & Wine Walk on Main Street in Thurmont on Friday, May 8, 2015, from 6:00-8:30 p.m., for an art, wine, cupcake, and appetizer walk! The event will feature local artists.

All About Birds Art Exhibit

Don’t miss the All About Birds Art Exhibit on June 5-6, 2015, from 2:00-5:00 p.m., at the studio, located at 14726 Old Frederick Road in Rocky Ridge. Original paintings, photographs, prints, and cards will be available by local artists. The event benefits the Catoctin Forest Alliance.

Take-a-Tour Tuesday at Mother Seton School

Visit Mother Seton School for Take-a-Tour Tuesday on May 12, 2015, from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. Mother Seton School is located at 100 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg.

Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Events

The Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association in Fairfield is hosting many events in May, including a Final Wagner Shoot on May 2, 2015; a Cash Bingo on May 3, 2015, at 1:00 p.m., with doors opening at 11:30 a.m.; a Kids Fishing Rodeo on May 9, 2015, for ages 2-17 years old, with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.; and a Crab Leg Feed on May 23, 2015.

His Place Car Show

Mark your calendar for the 6th Annual His Place Car Show, being held on Saturday, May 2, 2015, at Mother Seton School, located at 100 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Event features three awards each, for five categories; raffle, food, door prizes, and more.

Thurmont Anytime Fitness Offers “Free Workout Saturdays” Throughout May

Get ready for some outdoor fitness fun! Anytime Fitness of Thurmont is hosting fun-infused exercises—tug-of-war, relay races, obstacle courses, and more—at Thurmont Community Park at 11:00 a.m. every Saturday during the month of May.

The five consecutive “Free Workout Saturdays” will be led by certified personal trainers and are designed for people of every fitness level. They are open to all adults, not just Anytime Fitness members. The concept, inspired by grassroots efforts of a few Anytime Fitness clubs that regularly offer free outdoor “boot camps,” has grown into a nationwide campaign to promote physical fitness.

“We want our community to be as healthy and active as possible, and we hope that the Free Workouts Saturdays will show folks that exercise can be fun,” said George Puvel, owner of Anytime Fitness Thurmont. “We hope this is the jumpstart and motivation to continue their own personal healthier lifestyle journeys.”

Anytime Fitness Thurmont is one of more than 1,000 Anytime Fitness clubs across the United States that will host the free outdoor exercise classes.

View a Free Workout Saturday video at

“At Anytime Fitness, we’re passionate about helping people ‘get to a healthier place,’” said Puvel. “That can mean different things to different people. For some, it’s losing weight or gaining strength. For others, it’s improving balance or flexibility. The important thing is to find physical activities that you enjoy, so being active is something you look forward to—rather than dread.”

The Taney Corporation Welcomes Special Guests to Tour Facilities

The Taney Corporation, located in Taneytown, Maryland, welcomed U.S. Congressman Andy Harris’ Chief of Staff, Kevin C. Reigrut, and Community Liaison Mary O’Keeffe, to tour their office and plant facilities on February 5, 2015. 

Established in 1958, The Taney Corporation is a family-owned business considered to be the premier stair and rail manufacturer in the Mid-Atlantic market. Owned by Eric, Jeff, and Brian Glass, The Taney Corporation sells to dealers and builders throughout Maryland, Virginia, D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.  Nancy McCormick, director of economic development for the City of Taneytown, was instrumental in coordinating the visit of Reigrut and O’Keeffe, and accompanied the congressman’s staff on their visit to The Taney Corporation. 

Mary O’Keeffe writes, “The state of Maryland is fortunate to have a manufacturing company like yours remain in operation. The motto on your card reads, ‘Over 50 years of excellence’ and after seeing the craftsmanship of what you do, I am a true believer in The Taney Corporation.” 

The Taney Corporation manufactures straight stairs, circular and spiral stairs, pre-built rails, handrails, balusters, and newels in all wood species, including red oak, yellow pine, white oak, poplar, walnut, hickory, and many others.  They employ over sixty-five people, and pride themselves on their fine craftsmanship and dedication to excellence.

Pictured from left are Community Liaison Mary O’Keeffe; Chief of Staff Kevin Reigrut; Taneytown Economic Development Director Nancy McCormick; The Taney Corporation Vice-President Brian Glass; The Taney Corporation President Jeff Glass.

Lindsay Brandt

emma jean store nowA new general store has opened in Creagerstown. However, Emma Jean’s General Store isn’t your everyday store. Yes, it has the usual milk, bread, and eggs, but you may be surprised to learn that it is also an antique store.

Emma Jean Goldberg and her son, Chuck Johnson, had the same kind of store open in West Virginia, but when they had an opportunity to purchase the old building in Creagerstown, they felt it would be a perfect spot to open up a new store. “It’s an authentic 1800s store; it’s the nostalgia of old things, and we are trying to make it as authentic as possible,” describes Emma Jean.

The property was on the market several times; it went to auction, had no bidders, and then eventually went into foreclosure. That’s when a friend of Emma Jean and Chuck informed them about the 118-year-old building. So the pair packed up their West Virginia store and headed to Creagerstown.

While strolling through the store, the sense of history and the feeling of nostalgia are noticeable. The store’s shelving, the 24-foot store counter, and the grand staircase leading up to the antiques are all original to the turn-of-the-century building. The additional pieces of furniture that are now housed in the store come from many types of stores and include seed counters, nail bins, cheese cases, shirt display cases, and bread cases. There is also a selection of furniture from old hardware, mercantile, and general stores. They are hoping that the store will become a tourist attraction.

“I’ve always liked general stores. We take old store fixtures and use them in the house. They just have a look that we prefer. It’s solid furniture. We have a bunch of old ice boxes in the store. We just like the look,” Chuck said.

Some of the many antique items that are for sale include advertising antiques, industrial pieces, an old teller station, antique ice boxes, display cases, a revolving nail bin, displays, vintage mannequins, a workbench, old toys, signs, and milk bottles. Whether you are an avid collector or just like to look at old unique pieces, this store will appeal to anyone who appreciates antiques.

Emma Jean’s General Store is already helping to keep local antique historical items in the community. Emma Jean and Chuck purchased several items from the Cozy Restaurant auction that are now being used to enhance the history of the store. Some items acquired are a lamppost, an enormous Christmas wreath, and holiday angels.

“It’s different, almost like a tourist thing,” Chuck said. “We’ve been pleasantly surprised by people showing up. It was packed for Colorfest. We weren’t ready, but we had to let people know that we were here.”

Along with managing the store, both mother and son are working to get involved with local charities in the area. They hope to get the community into the holiday spirit by hosting Santa! Santa will be visiting the store December 13, 2014, starting at 4:30 p.m. The donations received will go to local charities.

In addition to hosting some community activities, they want to service the community. “In winter time, if people can’t get out, we’ll have things to keep people going,” stated Chuck. “If somebody calls at closed hours, and they say they need some milk or something, of course, come on up and we’ll meet you at the door! If we are here, we won’t turn you away. If we can accommodate the people, this is fun for us.”

Emma Jean’s General Store is located at 8636 Blacks Mill Road in Creagerstown (technically) Thurmont. Call 240-288-8778 for more information.

Store hours are Wednesday through Sunday, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.