Currently viewing the tag: "Sabillasville"

Deb Abraham Spalding

Adam Trawick of Sabillasville jumped at the opportunity to move from the New Market Dynamic Automotive location, where he worked as an auto technician, to become the manager at the new Dynamic Automotive location on Creamery Way (formerly His Place) in Emmitsburg.

Trawick has been working on cars “since he could hold a wrench.” As a teenager, he built his first car behind his dad’s shed, so he had something to drive, a gray 1979 Mustang.

To gain auto repair experience, he worked at various auto shops in Frederick while in high school. Then, he attended Lincoln Tech to earn his certificate in auto repair. Today, he’s a master certified ASE technician with a Maryland State Inspection license. Transmissions, brakes, and more, Trawick prides himself on being a pretty good diagnostic technician. He said, “I like a problem. I like to see if I can fix it.”

Trawick is joined by Gwen Delauter, Jesse Johnson, Dennis Smith, and Brady McKenzie (student) to provide any, and all, general auto repair, to include anything from tire repairs to engine replacements and advanced diagnostics.

“The community is awesome. I’ve gotten to know the businesses and I’m a fan. The community and first responders are important, and we support them,” said Trawick.

There are five locations of Dynamic Automotive: New Market, Urbana, Libertytown, Emmitsburg, and Frederick.

Dynamic Automotive has earned Frederick Magazine “Best of Frederick” designations for several years.

Dynamic’s hours are 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Customers can schedule service online at www.dynamicautomotive.net/emmitsburg/or by calling 301-447-2800. Night drop is available.

Pictured are Jesse Johnson, Gwen Delauter, and Adam Trawick of Dynamic Automotive in Emmitsburg.

PFC Clyde Jacob Smith

by E.A. EYLER

Photo Credit to Richard Starbird

When I was six months old, my uncle Jake moved in with us. We lived in a small house alongside Rt. 491 in an area called Lantz. At least it was Lantz until the1960s when the Lantz Post office closed, and our postmark became Sabillasville. The truth was we lived in neither. Just out in the country on a mountain saddle between the South Mountain and Catoctin ranges. My grandparents’ farm was a half mile back the road, where, on maybe 15 acres of tillable land, they raised a family of twelve children. Jake and my mom, Mildred, were born somewhere in the middle. And now, Jake had fallen out with his parents and left home.

Jake had knocked around after leaving school. He worked at Victor Cullen Sanitorium as a dishwasher and occasional projector operator, but, mostly, he had worked on the family farm and for his brother-in-law, Glenn (Junior) Willard, on his farm a mile back the road.

But, Jake was dissatisfied. He wanted to do something more with his life. He wanted to see the world and start a career. It was 1951 and there was a war in Korea. He wanted to join the Army. Trouble was, he was only 17. And, at 17, you needed your parents to sign off, and they refused. Likely, my grandmother put her foot down. She ran the roost. So, Jake moved in with my parents.

Jake was persistent, however, and after six months, tempers cooled, and his parents reluctantly agreed to sign.

He took basic training at Fort Meade and then shipped out to Germany. Unhappy with his assignment there, he requested a transfer to Korea and arrived there on July 14, 1952.

On August 7, 1952, he was assigned Fire Direction Liaison Operator with the 57th Artillery Battalion, Charlie “C” Battery. Finally, he requested to join a Forward Observe Team and was assigned to the 31st Infantry Regiment 3rd Battalion “K” Company as a Wire Corporal. His duties were to keep communications open via radio between his Forward Observation team and the gun battery.

Per a letter received by Jake’s parents from Colonel R.A. Risden, Major General Wayne Smith’s chief of Staff:

“On 17 October 1952, (during the battle of Triangle Hill in the Iron Triangle), friendly forces engaged in an extensive offensive action against a strategic enemy-held hill, were subjected to an intense enemy mortar and artillery barrage. Private Smith was with the Forward Observer Party relaying vital communications when the radio suddenly failed. Ignoring the fierce enemy fire, Private Smith left his position of relative safety, and, moving through the impact area, secured additional batteries so communications could be restored. Upon his return, Private Smith, noticing several wounded men in danger of falling over a cliff, rushed to their aid and helped in evacuating them. Again returning to his position, Private Smith, with complete disregard for his personal safety, answered a call for volunteers to help defend the friendly positions and moved in to the forward trenches (with Riflemen of the Infantry units), where he valiantly fought off numerically superior enemy forces until he was mortally wounded by enemy fire (an artillery shell landing close to his position).”

He received the Silver Star and the Purple Heart, posthumously. He was buried January, 8, 1953, in Germantown Bethel Church Cemetery.

 According to Lt. Richard Starbird and Sgt. Howard Nease, who served with him, “Smitty was a good soldier, well-liked by his buddies. He chewed Plow Boy brand tobacco and loved the Hershey Bars in his rations. Clyde was a strong man who was good at “Tapping the Box” (keeping the radio working). He loved being a soldier. He looked forward to mail from his family and a girl named, Jennie.”

Joan Bittner Fry

Recently, I was invited to a place less than five miles from my home in Sabillasville that I didn’t know existed. I found one of the most uplifting surprises. There, in plain view, was a sign that said Heroes Ridge at Raven Rock.

In the past, you may have known it as Raven Rock Lutheran Camp.  Heroes Ridge now provides a retreat for wounded, injured, and ill-combat Veterans, first responders, and their families. 

The reason for my visit was to take a picture of a few of the fellows from the Sons of American Legion of Post 239 in Cascade, who were presenting a check to Operation Second Chance’s Heroes Ridge. We were met by Cindy McGrew, CEO and Founder of Operation Second Chance (OSC), which began in 2004.

Cindy’s interest in Veterans began early in her life, but was fully realized as she supported seven injured soldiers and their families at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. As OSC helps heroes move on, Heroes Ridge provides rest, recreation, and tranquility for Veterans, first responders, and their families. Since May, 268 persons, including 6 firefighters from Sarasota, Florida, have stayed at the camp, as well as Veterans, families, and Gold Star Mothers (women entitled to display a gold star on a service flag as the mother, stepmother, adoptive mother, or foster mother of a United States Armed Forces member who died while engaged in action against an enemy recognized by the Secretary of Defense).

Heroes Ridge came to be through the generosity of Mrs. Nahrgang, widow of a Marine, who made the purchase of Heroes Ridge a reality in 2019. The family lived in Columbia, Maryland, with their only child, who passed away in a car accident before his 19th birthday. When Mrs. Nahrgang passed away in her nineties, she graciously left her estate to OSC. This was the foundation for building the Veteran retreat, a property that was originally a church camp and privately owned since 2007.

Mrs. Nahrgang felt a connection to Cindy McGrew after receiving a warm letter of thanks and a token of appreciation after the donation of some simple furniture. The power of kindness, appreciation, and support for our Veterans is how Heroes Ridge was created.

There are many ways for you to get involved: providing professional assistance, volunteering for an Eagle Scout project, mailing a check, joining the OSC mentoring leadership program, volunteering, or providing Immediate or Phase 2 needs. Contact info@operationsecondchance.org for further information.

Needless to say, the gift from Sons of American Legion to Heroes Ridge was graciously accepted and those who visited that day know it will be put to good use. 

Pictured are Cindy McGrew, founder and CEO of Heroes Ridge at Raven Rock, and members of Post 239 Cascade American Legion, Jim Bittner, Larry Sanders, and Butch Wilhide.

Raymond Sanders

by Deb Abraham Spalding and James Rada, Jr.

Photo by Richard L. Dougan, Jr.

When Raymond Sanders first came to Sabillasville, it was because his family was growing and they needed space to expand. They found a two-story home at the end of a dead-end road and set down roots.

“It’s a nice place to live”, Sanders said. “The dead end road was good for the children, and my wife’s father and stepmother lived nearby.”

His children started attend Sabillasville School when it was still in the building that is now Walkersville Christian Fellowship Church. At that time, local students up to grade six all fit into a four room school. For high school, the students were bussed down the mountain to Thurmont High.

“I didn’t worry about them going down to Thurmont,” Sanders said. “People were careful on the road, and there were no accidents.”

Sanders was born December 11, 1923, in Iron Springs, Pennsylvania. He is one of eight children to Lloyd and Ruth Gertrude Riley Sanders. His family moved to Fountaindale, Pennsylvania, when he was six. From there, they would eventually move to Charmain, Pennsylvania, and Highfield, Maryland.

Although his military service would take him far from Catoctin Mountain, all of his homes are no more than a 10-mile round trip.

“I’ve been working since the time I was twelve,” Sanders said.

His early work was with Mr. Leisinger on a huckster truck hauling and selling vegetables, but he has also been a fruit picker, worked at the pipe and nipple factory, Landis Machine, and Frick Company. His longest lasting job was as a heavy engineer equipment mechanic at Fort Ritchie. He worked there for 22 years, retiring in 1975 because off a back injury. He said, “They wouldn’t give me another job and I couldn’t work anymore because I couldn’t pull wrenches.”

Instead, he wound up retiring at age 52. He was also a member of the Maryland National Guard and was able to continue his service for five more years before he needed to retire from that as well. Together, his service in the National Guard and in the Army, Sanders served 33 years in the military.

Sanders is also a Veteran of World War II. He was never drafted. His son, Larry, explained. “He didn’t get called up for the draft while his friends and brothers were being called. His mom took him to Hagerstown to ask why and they couldn’t find his records. Turns out he was in the dead file – they would never have called him up.”

He enlisted in the Army on March 18, 1943, and trained with the 8th Armored Division. However, when he shipped out to Europe, he was sent as part of the green troops, being sent to replace the soldiers who were dying in the war. Once in Europe, though, he never saw combat. “I was close to being called up a couple of times, but it never happened,” said Sanders.

He mustered out after three years and returned home, which at the time, was in Highfield. About his service, he said, “It has done me a wonderful good.”

The following year, he “really met” Betty Jane Fox. He had first met her when she was 10 and he was 15, but that was just in passing because he was friends with the boys in her family. 

Sanders was in Waynesboro one time with Betty Jane’s uncle, when her uncle tried to convince Sanders to come to Frederick with him to a dance. Sanders wanted to go, but said he didn’t have a date. Betty Jane’s uncle then fixed her up with Sanders and the two hit it off. They were married on September 13, 1947.

Together, they raised seven children (Debbie, Rita, Becky, Larry, Mary, David, and Jim), and one grandson (Jeffrey). They also have 12 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great grandchild, 2 step-grandchildren, 5 step-great-grandchildren, and 5 step-great-great-grandchildren.

“When we had family picnics, we would have 45 to 80 people show up,” Sanders said.

Raymond tells a humorous story about delivering a bowling ball to his grandson, Jeffrey, who was stationed in Germany while in the military. Jeffrey told Raymond that he could bowl a better game if he had his own bowling ball from home. Raymond hopped a military transport plane in Dover, Delaware, and flew to Jeffrey with the bowling ball. Raymond said, “Oh, he was surprised!”

Raymond has always enjoyed living in Sabillasville and says that he has pretty much anything he might need nearby. He attends church at St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Blue Ridge Summit. He belongs to the Cascade American Legion, Waynesboro VFW, and Knights of Columbus.

“I think we have the nicest people that any community could have up here,” expressed Sanders. “They make great neighbors.”

Betty Jane passed away in 2016, and while Sanders now lives alone, he still has plenty of family looking out for him and plenty of memories.

He clearly remembers, “I have a good family and I’ve had a good life!”

Raymond was honored at a recent Veteran’s event at the Cascade American Legion where he was a founding member. Following his military service in addition to Jeffrey, mentioned above, are three grandchildren who are also war Veterans. Raymond was the recipient of the Legionaires Award at the Veteran’s Day event at the Cascade American Legion

During the 39-year history of the John A. Cliber Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by the Northwestern Frederick Country Civic Association of Sabillasville, 56 awards have been awarded to Catoctin High School graduating students from the Sabillasville Elementary-feeder school.

Two 2021 graduates have each received a $1,000 award for their continuing education. Both recipients, Rachel Pastor and Zander Sharpe, are enrolled for the fall semester at Frederick Community College, pursuing their goals of obtaining degrees in business.

It is time to recognize that special teacher who has made an impact on your child’s life and on your school community. Each year, the Thurmont Lions Club honors the teachers of the Catoctin High School and the feeder schools (Thurmont Primary, Thurmont Elementary, Thurmont Middle, Lewistown Elementary, Emmitsburg, Sabillasville, and Mother Seton). Anyone can nominate a teacher—parents, students, fellow teachers, and administrators. 

All nomination forms are due to Lion Gayle DiSalvo no later than Sunday, April 18, 2021. They can be emailed to Rogadodi@aol.com or mailed to Lion Gayle DiSalvo, 142 E. Hammaker Street, Thurmont, MD  21788. Please include “2021 Teacher of the Year” on the subject line if emailing. Forms are available online at www.thurmontlionsclub.com or by contacting Lion Gayle DiSalvo at Rogadodi@aol.com.

The Thurmont Lions Club 2021 Teacher of the Year will be selected from the eight finalists by a committee of community leaders and will be announced at the Thurmont Lions Club’s Education Night meeting on May 12, 2021. If you have any questions, please contact Lion Gayle DiSalvo at Rogadodi@aol.com or 301-271-5355.

Scatter Come Together

by Priscilla Rall

The motto for the 190th Field Artillery Long Tom Battalion (FAB) refers to its cavalry history going back to the Civil War. It reflects the cavalry tactics for a hard fought battle. But instead of horses, the 190th FAB used modern artillery pieces. A member of battalion’s headquarters group was a farm boy from near Sabillasville. Walter Leon Harbaugh was born on December 29, 1916, on the small farm in the home of Murry and Minnie Brown Harbaugh. The local area is named for his family, Harbaugh Valley. Walter had a large family, one of five children, and there were many chores to do each day. The family butchered hogs and then smoked the meat. Walter remembered they used sassafras and hickory chips for the fire. For two straight days, they had to make sure the fire did not break out into flames or “blaze up.” They also had two cows to milk, and had to cut wood for the cookstove and heat. They would use a cross-cut saw and then drag the log with horses to the mill. By age eight, Walter was using horses to plow. Thankfully, Maude and Colonel were gentle giants. At first, Walter went to a one-room school on Quirock Road and then to the school in Sabillasville. By his early teens, the Great Depression was in full swing. He left school at age 15 to work in construction and help the family.

But, soon, war loomed over the world, and Walter was drafted in June 1941. He was to serve one year. But after six months, war came to the United States, and he was in for the duration.

Walter trained at Fort Sill and then for 13 weeks at Fort Shelby in Mississippi. Finally, he set sail on the Queen Elizabeth as it zig-zagged across the Atlantic to avoid German subs. In seven days, they landed in Glasgow and soon crossed the Irish Sea in old cattle boats. He continued his training in mechanics, as the company had 6x6s, weapons carriers, prime movers, and jeeps. His unit was part of the 1st Army V Corps and was, by its nature, extremely mobile so that it could support the troops wherever they happened to be. While in Scotland, he managed to visit Belfast, but because of the black-out, he “couldn’t even find a pub.”

Walter was chosen to complete commando training taught by British soldiers who had recently been in North Africa. He was impressed by the British soldiers and got along well with them. With their stiff upper lip, they didn’t let anything bother them. In training, they used live ammunition, and one lieutenant was accidently shot in the ankle, but it could have been worse! For one of their exercises, they were taken outside at night and given just a map and a flashlight and had to find their way back to the base. They regularly made 25-mile marches, but that didn’t bother this tough farm boy. Back with his unit, they practiced beach landings after waterproofing their vehicles. They’d go out at about at 2:00 a.m. with a stove pipe extending from the exhaust pipe to keep the water out. Another time, they were left in the moors, but were not told the 110th Airborne was also there trying to “ambush” them. At the end, if you had a chalk “X” on your back, the troopers had gotten to you!

Finally, it was D-Day. Walter and his battalion were in a staging area and soon loaded in boats to cross the choppy channel. The 190th FAB landed on D-plus 2 at Omaha Beach. By 9:00 a.m., Battery A was firing at the enemy. Harbaugh was with the Group Headquarters Battalion and was soon fighting through the hedgerow country. The 190th supported the 29th Division in Normandy until St. Lo. There, Walter went to a hillside and looked down on the devastated city; he could see only a few church steeples sticking out from the ruins. They then fought their way across France, assisting in the Falaise Pocket. Then they stopped just for a day to participate in the victory parade through Paris. Then, through Aachen, where they faced heavy enemy resistance. Later, at St. Vith, there were three men in one foxhole. A shell hit the foxhole dead-on and killed the man in the middle, but left the ones on each side unharmed. In November, they spent 25 days giving support to the units caught up in the hellish battle in the Hurtgen Forest. In Walter’s words, “your life wasn’t worth a plugged nickel.” After that, the 190th was called on to help out in the Battle of the Bulge. As the Army crossed into Germany, the 190th found themselves at the Remagan Bridge. By this time, Harbaugh had enough points for a 45-day furlough. Fortunately, while he was in the good old USA, the war ended.

After taking a little time off to decompress from the war, Walter went back to working construction. Some of you may know of the Rocky Ridge Brick plant. Well, he was the foreman for that huge job.

Walter met Molly Emma Gates at a dance, and they were married soon after. They had six children. Son Leon was in the Vietnam War, and son Lamont served in the National Guard—a family that certainly served our country well and faithfully.

Walter Harbaugh died on December 30, 2017, at the age of 101. The last time I saw him, less than a year before his passing, he refused to let me get a ladder, and he picked the apples he wanted to give me himself! Rest in Peace, dear friend.

Courtesy Photos of Walter Leon Harbaugh

Denny Black reported that he had a wonderful time joining Jack Harbaugh and his family on a tour of Harbaugh Valley on June 11, 2020. Jack is an eighth generation grandson of Jacob Harbaugh (Feb. 5, 1730 – Apr. 28, 1818) who helped settle Harbaugh Valley in the 1760s. 

For our area football fans, you will know that Jack was the head coach of Western Michigan University and Western Kentucky University, and is the father of coaches Jim and John Harbaugh.  During their tour of Harbaugh Valley, Denny took Jack and his family to visit the grave of their ancestor Jacob Harbaugh who is buried in the Jacob Harbaugh Family Cemetery located on the Royer Farm near Sabillasville.

Pictured from left to right are Jack Harbaugh (Jim’s son), Jim Harbaugh (Head Coach of Michigan and prior Head Coach of the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers), Denny Black, and Jack Harbaugh at the Jacob Harbaugh gravestone at the Jacob Harbaugh Family Cemetery in Sabillasville.

Pictured from left to right are Jim Harbaugh, Jack Harbaugh (Jim’s son), Jay Harbaugh (Jim’s son and Running Backs/Special Teams Coordinator for Michigan), and Denny Black. at the Jacob Harbaugh gravestone at the Jacob Harbaugh Family Cemetery in Sabillasville.

Joan Bittner Fry

The following article was taken in part from the 1992 Annual Report of Waynesboro Hospital. This story seems timely. It is about the role played by our local community’s beloved Dr. Harvey C. Bridgers, who had a private practice in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania. He was a doctor on the staff at the State Sanatorium Tuberculosis Hospital in Sabillasville (the first TB hospital in Maryland), as well as the Waynesboro Hospital. His battle against the Spanish Influenza was indeed valiant.

From: Part 2 Plus, a self-published book by Joan Bittner Fry of Sabillasville in 2009

Dr. Harvey C. Bridgers (1885-1965)

“The Autumn of the “Spanish Lady”

In 1918, buried behind the headlines of war, a mysterious flu virus quietly hopscotched across the world, growing to epidemic proportions then vanishing as quickly as it appeared—leaving millions dead. This virus killed more than 22 million people. This estimate includes half a million Americans—more than the total number of lives lost in World Wars I and II, Korea, and Vietnam combined. Despite the ever-mounting death rate during the course of the epidemic, health officials fought to keep publicity at a minimum to avoid panic.

The first documented cases in the United States came in March 1918 from Fort Riley, Kansas, where 522 soldiers were affected. The Army continued training two million men and shipping them across the North Atlantic to France, England, and then Spain, where eight million Spaniards died. It came to be known as the “Spanish Influenza.” Although many blamed Spain for hosting the virus, in truth, the first outbreaks in the United States occurred at about the same time as Spain’s. The disease was confined to the Army for several months until early September when the first civilian case was documented in Boston.

No town is immune to the ravages of the Spanish Influenza. Waynesboro and nearby communities are devastated, while a tenacious young doctor battles the virus. Out of the record numbers of dead rose the need for a community hospital.

“It Can’t Happen Here”

When Spanish Influenza struck Waynesboro at the end of October 1918, the community didn’t panic. They had already battled tuberculosis and scarlet fever. By the time the flu was in full swing in Pennsylvania, Dr. Kinter, who had been appointed by Dr. Benjamin Royer, Acting Commissioner of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, found that Pennsylvania had been hit hard. A total of 5,000 people died in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia alone, with more than 500 bodies piled up awaiting burial in Philadelphia in just one day.

By the second week in October, Franklin County had reported 1,300 cases, with 60 cases reported the following week and a warning that the disease was spreading. By mid-October, The Record Herald reported that there were several local families in which every member was sick. The newspaper made a plea for volunteers to keep fires going at families’ homes where there were sick, and to help get food to quarantined victims. Emergency hospitals were hastily set up in the Waynesboro YMCA and on the second floor of the Firemen’s Hall, with patients filling every bed and cot available. From October 1 to 16, forty people died in Waynesboro, the highest number of deaths ever tabulated in this area for that length of time.

During the first part of November, The Record Herald made no further mention of the flu, the headlines busy now with news of the war. On November 20, the epidemic made news again in the headline “Influenza is Again Manifest in Local Life,” and 20 new cases were reported. Those who suspected they might have the flu were advised to call a physician; although, by this time, most doctors simply could not take on any new patients.

Dr. Harvey C. Bridgers, a physician in Blue Ridge Summit from 1917 to 1952, wrote the following account of his experiences with the epidemic:

“After I had been practicing about a year and a half, the great influenza epidemic of 1918 struck our community. It began in October, and during that winter, spread to an alarming degree. People died in numbers so appalling as to make it remembered as one of the most disastrous epidemics in the nation’s history.

In the influenza epidemic, each doctor had to proceed according to his own knowledge and experience. Many doctors used stimulants, especially whiskey, to bring their patients through the crisis of the disease. I did not use whiskey because I felt that such a temporary stimulant could not accomplish a prolonged improvement.

Usually, the influenza patient, upon examination, appeared to have some unknown virus, poison or toxemia. It occurred to me that if that poison could be diluted and taken rapidly enough from the body through the skin, kidneys, and bowels, the patient would have a good chance of recovery. 

Now that our modern antibiotics have come into use, my method will never be resorted to again; but for the record, I shall describe it here, especially because out of so many, only one of my influenza patients died during that epidemic in 1918.

To force the fluids out of the body to lower the fever is a process known as “antipyretics.” For this function, I had our pharmacist put up for me drugs in the proper doses, and I took large quantities of these around with me.

The reaction of one of my patients to my prescribed method of treatment was so extraordinary that, above all others, it will be hard to believe. A man I visited one afternoon had a temperature of 103 degrees. He was delirious. I prescribed the method of treatment stated above. When I saw him the following day, perspiration was dripping on the floor even under his bed. It had soaked through the bed linen and through the mattress.  However, the patient’s temperature had become normal, and he wanted something to eat.

People died so quickly and in such unprecedented numbers that, in some areas, fire houses were used as places for the dead, which were awaiting their turns for embalming and interment.”

Dr. Bridgers himself became infected after visiting a family where seven members were ill in bed—all in the same room. But there were still scores of patients to be treated, so the doctor accepted a local boy’s offer to drive his car for him to make more rounds. Dr. Bridgers wrote the following account of that day:

“As the day wore on, I became more ill and enfeebled. In the last house I visited, I remember only putting some capsules on the bureau in the bedroom. That loyal boy got me back to my office, where many patients were waiting for me. My wife saw that I was ill and telephoned to Dr. Victor Cullen at the Maryland State Sanatorium. He drove me from my office and took me upstairs to bed. There, propped on pillows, I wrote prescriptions and sent them downstairs until Mrs. Bridgers closed the door on any and all comers. When I heard Mrs. Bridgers telling a man that I was ill, I remember calling through the window, ‘tell Jesse Black to go home and go to bed—he has pneumonia!’  My own illness became complicated with pneumonia. It was some weeks before I could take up duties at my office again.”

          In December, when the last victims were finally recovered, the local people decided that another such disaster must not occur without the proper facilities to deal with it. The epidemic had ended the long-standing community debate over whether or not a hospital was needed in Waynesboro. After three grim and exhausting months of confronting the Spanish Lady, the opposition was won over. Four years from the flu’s outbreak, on October 2, 1922, Waynesboro Hospital first opened its doors to the community.

Joan Bittner Fry

The following rendition of the story of the Newey murders that occurred in Sabillasville on New Year’s Eve in 1830 is one that I don’t recall seeing before.  This account is detailed and sometimes gruesome. The location of the action is about a half mile from where I was born. The internet states a Newey cemetery is located in the Harbaugh Valley, just south of the Washington County line on Fort Ritchie Road in Frederick County.

In the late Virginia Kuhn Draper’s book, Dandelions, Mushrooms and Moss-Covered Stones, she tells of being fortunate enough to be taken to the Newey graves in the woods up on the mountain. Paul Wade and Thad Calimer raked the leaves off the fieldstones that marked the graves. They found more stones than the three or four that her mother-in-law, Ona Draper, had seen in 1959.

Later, she and her sister, Jeannette, with Thad Calimer as a guide, found the moss-covered stones marking the foundations of the Newey cabin and barn.

The Newey Family

John Newey, his wife Lydia Tressler Newey, their children, Ruth and Ann Newey, and an unborn child were murdered around midnight, between New Year’s Eve in the year 1830, and January 1st, 1831 in Frederick County, Maryland.  Also present were Lydia’s father, Jacob Tressler, who was visiting in the log home, and John Coombs, an indentured servant.  Lydia’s husband, John Newey, was having problems with a nephew, John Markley, who had been accused of taking property from his home in December 1825. John Markley was arrested and sent to prison for five years. John Markley threatened his uncle, saying that when he got out he would burn their home to the ground.  John Markley broke down their door with an axe around midnight the last day of 1830.  He killed everyone in the home then burned it to the ground.  John Markley was the first person in Frederick County, Maryland to be tried, convicted, and sentenced to death based on circumstantial evidence. He was sentenced to be hanged.

The story as written: In our frantic age, one can scarcely imagine a more sequestered spot than the site of the George Flautt home on the top of South Mountain. Except for the arrivals of the wagons and their boisterous drivers seeking food and rest or an organized hunt for the predatory fox or wildcat, the spot, practically surrounded by forests must then have been as quiet as the grave; however, on Wednesday night, December 31, 1830 a tragic event broke the silence, stirred the mountain community to its very foundations, and is, even now, 137 years later, heatedly discussed when mountain folk get together.

On land adjoining Buck Range, at a point about one quarter of a mile from the Flautt home in the depression between the top of the mountain and the entrance to Harbaugh Valley, John Newey had built a cabin for his family which consisted of himself, his pregnant wife, Lydia, two small children, his father-in-law, and an apprentice boy.  On the night of December 31, 1830 all were murdered and the cabin set on fire.

For very valid reasons, the finger of suspicion was immediately pointed to one John Markley as the perpetrator of this dastardly crime. Five years before, at the time of the marriage of John Newey and Lydia Tressler, Markley and a cousin were accused of stealing a wedding suit, a watch, and $250 from the bridegroom, their uncle. On testimony of the bride, both were found guilty and sentenced to terms in the penitentiary, Markley receiving the longer sentence.  Markley never forgave Mrs. Newey’s damaging testimony and vowed that when free, he intended to kill the whole family. When the cousin was released from custody he warned the Neweys that Markley intended to carry out his numerous threats.

Markley was released from the penitentiary on November 25, 1830 and soon appeared in the vicinity of the Newey home. After the murder, Markley was apprehended in Baltimore and during his examination there, these facts of the case emerged (as reported in the Frederick Herald January 22, 1831, as copied from the Baltimore Patriot).

“That Markley was thought to have an accomplice described as a stout, good looking fellow, fair complexion, sandy hair and whiskers, and about 5 feet, 10 or 11 inches high, and is supposed to have accompanied Markley to Baltimore after the murder. This man was later identified as Christian Frydinger and was tried and found innocent of any part in the Newey murder.  That when arrested, Markley had in his possession a pair of velvet pantaloons, identified by their singular appearance as having belonged to John Newey.

That Markley was seen the day before the murder and arson was committed within two miles of Newey’s dwelling, and made inquiry whether Newey still resided in the same place, threatening that he would destroy the whole family and then give himself up to be hung.  On the night after Markley and his companion stayed in Smithstown (Smithsburg), distant by six miles from Newey’s house.  They sat up all night and departed by daybreak the next morning.

After this testimony, Markley was remanded to jail to await a later trial in Frederick, Maryland.  Newspapers of that time from the Gettysburg Star to the Washington, DC Spectator gave wide coverage to the story of the murder on South Mountain, some claiming that Markley had made a full confession but which was completely untrue. Reporters, then as now, tried to color the news, condemn the prisoner before the trial began, and sway public opinion to their own wills. One reporter described Markley as a man of the most athletic and vigorous frame, and, quoting Shakespeare, painted him as “a fellow by the hand of nature marked, to do a deed of shame.” Another reporter described Markley’s features as indicating mildness and ignorance, rather than the diabolical passions.

The trial began in Frederick, Maryland on May 18, 1831 before Chief Justice Buchanan. Markley was arraigned on two indictments, one for the murder of John Newey and the other for the murder of Lydia Newey. James Dixon was the State’s Attorney and William Ross and Joseph Palmer were appointed to represent the defense which could not produce a single witness for Markey’s behalf.

George Flautt, Newey’s nearest neighbor, was the first witness for the state.  His testimony follows in part as reported in the Fredericktowne Herald May 21, 1831.

Witness:  In the morning I called up my boys early, a few hours before day – when my wife arose from bed she looked out the window and remarked that there was a great smoke over toward Newey’s – one of my boys ran down and returned with one of Mr. Newey’s horses and told us the house was all on fire and he saw no one about. I went down – the house was on fire. We had a good view of all the inside of the house and saw Newey lying on the floor with his feet towards the bed and his head towards the door – the hair was burned off his head and the skull and skin appeared quite white. And on the right side of his head there was a hole – it appeared to have been done with an axe. The skull was broken in – there were small cracks from the main wound like the cracks of an egg shell. I examined it particularly, as I expected I would have to testify on the subject.

Question:  Did you examine the skull clearly?

Witness:  I did not as the house was burning. I sent my son to collect the neighbors. I also blew a horn but it did not bring them together directly. By the time the neighbors came up, the head of Newey was entirely burnt to ashes.

Question:  Did you see Mrs. Newey while the house was burning?

Answer:  I did see her after the neighbors came up – she lay in the bed downstairs – her head was burned off – she was otherwise much burned – old Mr. Tressler was burnt up entirely – the infants were less burnt – the bound boy was nearly consumed. I saw the linens of Mrs. Newey’s which had three holes in it as if made by a knife. (The counsel for the prisoner objected to the validity of this testimony.) After some discussion among counsel the witness was permitted to proceed.

Witness:  I did examine the linen, the linen was bloody – I examined the stab wounds on the body, particularly one about the abdomen – the rent (hole) in the linen was crosswise and seemed to have been cut – we applied the linen to the body and the holes in the lines corresponded with the wound in the body.  Later, Mrs. Newey’s body was exhumed and this testimony was proved to be correct.

Question:  Was there any report in the neighborhood about Markley when you went to the Newey house?

Witness:  There was.  I heard that Mr. Newey was warned to be on his guard for his house to be burnt down.  When the witness testified that though the floor of the cabin was burning he could clearly see the bodies, this question was put to him:

Question:  Could it be possible if the floor was burning all around him that there was no smoke near the body to obscure it?

Witness:  The smoke was in the heavens – there was none about the body – when we burn trash, there is smoke enough in the clouds, but none about the flame.

George Flautt further testified that when he saw Newey’s body, the clothing had been removed.

The second witness was John Flautt, George’s son, who corroborated his father’s testimony.  Having reached the fire first, he said that it appeared to him that the house had been set on fire at both the top and the ground floors.  Jonas and John Manahan and Daniel Benchoff all gave similar testimony concerning the wounds on Mrs. Newey’s body.

The third witness, John King, a son of Mr. Newey’s sister, Sarah King, testified that at Markley’s first conviction he said he would have revenge.  John Williams was at the jail on the day of Markley’s former sentence and testified that the prisoner had said “The states attorney and the judges were no better than Newey and the witnesses or they would not have believed them” and swearing very hard to it: “If ever I get out I will have the satisfaction if I have to kill and burn up the whole of them.”

Another witness, John Black, who lived on the road leading from Emmitsburg to Waynesboro, stated that Markley had come to his place on the evening of December 21 seeking supper and lodging for the night.  He gave his name as John Markley and said he lived in the Middletown Valley and had taken sheep and hogs to Baltimore.  He wore a yellow ‘warmuss’ and left the next morning without paying his bill.  Black identified both Markley and his warmuss at the trial.

Barnard W. Wright of Smithstown (Smithsburg), Washington County, testified as follows:  The first Friday after Newey’s murder about sunset Markley came to my house, 7 miles from Newey’s. Another man was with him. Markley had a knapsack, roughly sewed and well filled with clothing.  He gave it to me to keep. They took supper and both seemed very hungry – told me they came from Huntington County, Pennsylvania. Newey’s murder was known.  After these men went to bed and myself also, I reflected that they might be the murderers. I became alarmed, got up, and set up all night – they arose before day.  Markley pulled out his purse containing perhaps seven or eight dollars in silver.  I noticed Markley’s purse particularly and thought it the very purse that I saw Mr. Newey have at my house about two weeks before.  When they left my house, they said they were going down the New Cut Road towards Frederick – spoke of stopping at Jacob’s Tavern on that road – has no doubt that this is the man at his (Wright’s) house.  Testimony proved that Markley proceeded to Baltimore and stopped at the tavern of one Joshua Kelly, paying in advance for a week’s board and lodging which amounted to $2.50 – gave his name as John Markley and opened in the bar a bundle of clothes from which he selected a blue coat which he took out with him to be scoured.  While at the tavern he read and discussed with other patrons the story of the Newey murder. 

The next day, Sunday, January 10, Markley was arrested and given a hearing before James Blair, magistrate, who held him for a jury trial.  Before this magistrate, he said that he had been born near Hagerstown, Maryland – that he had never been arrested before nor had he been in the penitentiary and that he had been in Chambersburg on the night of the murder.  However, he testified before Judge Shriver that he was in the neighborhood of Chambersburg on Monday previous to the murder, and at Westminster on Friday after the event.  When pressed as to his whereabouts on the night of the murder, he answered – If I must tell the truth, I was on a spree from the Tuesday previous to the murder until the Friday after and can’t tell where I was.

When he was then asked why many articles of clothing in his pack were too small for him, Markley could give no satisfactory answer.  The bundle of clothes which Markley carried with him to Smithsburg and to Baltimore proved to be his undoing.  Mr. King, son of Newey’s sister, Sarah, identified the pantaloons found in Markley’s pack as belonging to his uncle, John Newey, and said that on the day of his uncle’s wedding he had borrowed them to wear to the ceremony and that his mother, finding a tear in the side, had mended it with white thread, The stitches of which King identified.  Mr. Manahan also identified the pantaloons as having been the property of Newey.  Sally Manahan stated that the handkerchief found in the bundle and bearing a yellow patch had belonged in the Newey home where she had washed it during her service there.

A Mr. Nichols testified that two vests taken from the bundle had belonged to Newey and Mrs. Newey’s brother stated that another vest had belonged to the apprentice who was killed with the family.

From a mark on the handle, Mr. Oyster identified a razor in Markley’s possession, also a shaving box and razor strop.  He testified that while Newey was a stout man, he was not as large as Markley.

Other witnesses gave testimony similar to that given above, all detrimental to the prisoner after which the jury retired to return after a deliberation of half an hour with a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree.

After an impassioned castigation of Markley for his heinous act, Chief Justice Buchanan sentenced him to pay with his life for the murder of the Newey family – to be hanged by the neck until you are dead.

While waiting at the barracks in Frederick for execution, Markley admitted to his court-appointed confessor, the Rev. Mr. Shaeffer, the commission of every conceivable sin except that of murder.  On the scaffold on June 24, 1831 he was twice given the opportunity to admit his guilt but each time he protested that he did not know who killed the Newey family.  And so John Markley went to his death never admitting the murder.

Several members of the Flautt family have had the entire account of this murder and trial sent to them by Dr. Bowman.  A copy will also be filed with the Flautt papers in the Maryland Historical Society.

Out of compassion for the Newey Family and an intent to preserve local history, Dorothy Buhrman, owner of the old Newey property, designed and funded the marker shown above that marks the Newey burial site that is several miles away from the home site.

Joan Bittner Fry

This is interesting information published in 1878 as a Frederick County, Maryland, resource. It makes one realize just how much things have changed in more than 100 years.

Frederick County ranks with the largest Maryland counties, having an area of 642 square miles, and is bounded on the north by Pennsylvania, on the east by Carroll, south-easterly by Montgomery, south by the Potomac River and Virginia, and on the west by the Blue Ridge, or South Mountains, separating it from Washington County.

This is one of the richest and most beautiful counties in the state. The soil is mostly limestone, with some slate and considerable “red lands.” The surface is undulating, partly mountainous — the Catoctin Mountains dividing the county into two broad valleys that to the westward being known as the Middletown Valley, which is drained by the Catoctin River and its branches; and that east of the Catoctin range is the valley of the Monocacy. Both rivers flow southward into the Potomac.

emmitsburg

Emmitsburg is situated at the terminus of the railroad of that name, and 7 miles from Rocky Ridge on the W. M. R. R. The location is in a fertile and diversified country, the surroundings of which are rich in mountain and valley scenery. To the west, Jack’s Mountain and Carrick’s Knob may be seen towering hundreds of feet in the skies and then sloping in graceful lines to the productive and beautiful valley below. The magnificent scenery, purity of the atmosphere, good mountain water, cordiality and refinement of the people make it a great place of summer resort; it is also enriched by educational institutions of great merit and celebrity. St Joseph’s Academy, conducted by the Sisters of Charity, and Mount St. Mary’s College, an institution of high endowment and character, are both near the town. There are also two public schools for whites, one for colored, and a Catholic Parochial School. The land adjacent is composed of red sandstone, quartz, and limestone; varies in price from $20 to $60 per acre, according to location and improvements; yields 15 to 30 bushel wheat, 20 to 40 oats, 50 to 150 potatoes, 20 to 50 corn; and 2 tons hay. Massasoit Tribe 41, I. O. R. M.; Junior Building Association. Population 900. Samuel N. McNair, Postmaster.

Pastors: M. E., Rev. H.P. West; Presbyterian, Rev. Lutheran, Rev. E. S. Johnston; Reformed, Rev. A. R. Kramer; Roman Catholic, Rev. Father Daniel McCarthy.

Town Officers: Burgess – John Hopp. Commissioners – Wm. Lansinger, J. H. T. Webb, Daniel Sheets, Isaac Hyder, Thomas Fraley and R. H. Gelwicks. Bailiff – Wm. Ashbaugh.

Agent R. R. and Express: Zimmerman, E R.

Barber: Parker, S A.

Basket Maker: Ellower, John.

Bakers and Confectioners: Hoke, Peter, Seabrook, J A, Tawney, JAS.

Blacksmiths: Adams & Zeck.

Brick Makers: Bell & Keilholtz.

Brick Masons: Lingg & Myers, Seabrook, Samuel.

Boot and Shoemakers: Bishop, George, Gelwicks, Theopholis, Hopp, J. F., Hoover, John, Lantzer, Jacob, Rowe, Jas. A.

Broker: Horner, WG.

Cabinetmakers: Bushman, Thomas, Sweeney, Martin.

Carpenters and Builders: Snouffer, Joseph, Tyson & Lansinger.

Carriage and Wagonmakers: Baker, L A F, Baker, Nicholas, Harley, Wm, Hess & Weaver, Houck, Wm H.

Cigars and Tobacco: McNair, SN, Scheek, Francis.

Clothing, Hats, & C: Rowe, J & CF.

Constable: Gillelan, Geo L.

Dentists: Bussey, JT.

Druggists: Eichelberger, CD, Elder, James A.

General Merchandise: Annan, IS & Bro, Bussey, Mrs. JP, Helman, JA, Rowe, GW & Sons.

Groceries and Produce: Hays, JT, Hoke, Peter, Waddle, JS, Zeck, Dietrick.

Hotels: Emmett, CS Smith.

Western Md: DG Adelsberger.

Justices of the Peace: Adelsberger, MC, Knauff, James, Stokes, Henry.

Livery and Sale Stables: Guthrie & Beam.

Lumber, Coal: Motter, Maxell & Co.

Marble Worker: Lough, N A.

Machinists: Praley, Thos & Son, Rowe, Nathaniel.

Millinery and Fancy Goods: Hoke, JL, Offutt, Miss H, Winter, Miss SA.

Millers: Bell, John M, Grimes, Charles, Hovise, Francis, Maxwell, Samuel, Motter, L M, Myers, Jacob, Sell, Peter, Septer, James.

Photographers: Rowe, J & CF.

Physicians: Annan, Andrew, Annan, RL, Brawner, John B, Eichelberger, CD, Eichelberger, James W, Eichelberger, James W Jr.

Restaurant: Lawrence, Daniel.

Saddles and Harness: McGuigan, James S, Stokes, Henry.

Stoves and Tinware: Adelsberger, Jas F, Hays, JT.

Tailors: Favorite, H J, Webb, J H T

Tanner: Motter, Lewis M

Watches and Jewelry: Eyster, G T & Bro.

foxville

Foxville is situated near the Washington County Line, 4 miles from Smithsburg on the W. M. R. R. Land ordinary, one-half cleared; sells at from $10 to $30 per acre, produces 14 bushel wheat, and 40 corn. M. E. and Lutheran Churches. Two public schools Population 250. Harvey Buhrman, Postmaster.

Attorney at Law: Harbaugh, John C.

Blacksmiths: Krise, E, Weller, Jacob.

Carpenters: Wolf, Henry, Wolf, Upton.

Constable: Hayes, H Clay.

General Merchandise: Brown, H , Fox, Thomas C, Ridenoner, Jacob.

Justice of the Peace: Fox, George H.

Physician: Buhrman, Harvey.

Shoemakers: Prior, Emanuel, Renner, Elias.

Timber Merchants: Brown, WB, Bussard, Samuel, Fox, George L. Moser, Ezra, Wyant, Yost.

lewistown

Lewistown is situated on the Emmittsburg Road, 10 miles from Frederick and 5 from Harmony Grove. Land, red clay, and limestone sells at from $10 to $100 per acre; produces 12 to 30 bushel wheat, 50 corn, 40 oats, 100 potatoes and 2 tons hay. Crops are generally good. M.P. Church and two public schools. Population 175. A.N. Cramer, Postmaster.

Blacksmiths: Layman, Jacob, Weller, J P.

General Merchandise: Cramer, AN, Zimmerman, GT.

Justice of the Peace: Cator, Henry.

Physician: Leatherman, ME.

Boots & Shoes: Bishop, Jacob, Shaeffer, Jno FD.

Hotel: Clemm, Geo. H.

Millers: Gonso, George, Leatherman, Daniel, Taylor, CW.

Saddles & Harness: Maine, HM.

mechanicstown

Mechanicstown (now Thurmont) is on the W.M.R.R., 56 miles from Baltimore, 15 by pike from Frederick and 27 by rail, and three-fourths of a mile from the Catoctin Mountains. The nearest streams are the Hunting and Owing’s Creeks; it is located in a pleasing and thriving country. The climate and health are good, business fair. Soil is of red shale, yellow slate, alluvial, and some limestone. The land is principally cleared, ranges in prices from $30 to $60 per acre, and yields 8 to 20 bushel wheat, 10 to 40 oats, 80 to 50 corn and 1 to 2 tons hay. The Catoctin Furnace is within 2 miles and in operation. The timber now remaining consists of oak, hickory, walnut, chestnut, poplar and beech. Population 700. John Root, Postmaster.

Agent-R. R. & Express: Horn, WA.

Barber: Lucas, Amos.

Blacksmiths and Wheelwrights: Firer, Benj F, Hess, Wm, Horn, Wm Loy, Wm, Webb, Wm.

Bricklayers: Eigenbrode, Dan’l, Moser, Cyrus.

Brick Manufacturer: Fleagle, John A.

Butcher: Damuth, Wm.

Carpenters & Undertakers: Creager, James, Dorsey, Geo B, Shaw, Thomas, Smith, E M, Weddle, Joseph A, Weller & Creager, Weller, Simon A.

Cigar Manufacturers: Orndorff, AF, Whitmore, KS.

Confectionery: Martin, JE, Constables, Peddicord, Caleb, Renner, John A.

Dentist: Radcliffe, Dr. HG.

Druggists: Gilds & Co.

Flour, Feed & Fertilizers: Cassell, Chas E, Stocksdale, Geo W, Witherow, SH.

General Merchandise: Gilds, NE, Johnson, Geo H, Root & Groff.

Harnessmakers: Freese, Joseph, Martin, DC.

Hotels: Central, Jacob Sprow, Gilbert, John B Gilbert.

Huckster: Damuth.C A

Justice of the Peace: White, Frederick.

Marbleworker: Hammaker, BF.

Millers: Jones, John, Martin, J & DC.

Milliners & Dressmakers: Gernand, Miss Jennie, Hesson, Miss Kate, Lony, Miss Mary, Stokes, Miss Susan.

Millwrights: Biggs & Carmack.

Painters: Adelsberger, Jas, Mackley Bros.

Photographer: Boblitz, BL.

Physicians: Marsh, Wm H, White, Wm, Zimmerman, AK.

Shoemakers: Cover, BN, Cover, JH, Picking, Leonard, Stull Bros.

Stock Dealers: Anders, Thomas, Barton, Isaac N

Stoves and Tinware: Osler, VP.

Surveyors: Landers, John, Picking, Leonard.

Tailor: Sleek, AB.

Tanner: Rouner, John.

Telegraph Operator: Horn, WA.

Wagonmaker: Stokes, Joshua.

Watches & Jewelry: Hoff, David T.

rocky ridge

Rocky Ridge is on the W. M. R. R., at the junction of the Emmittsburg Road, 51 miles from Baltimore and 7 from Emmittsburg and 16 from Frederick City. The soil is red slate and is valued at from $20 to $50 per acre; produces 8 to 25 bushel wheat, 15 to 30 oats, 80 to 40 corn and 2 tons hay. Lutheran, Reformed and Baptist Churches and public school. Population 60. H. D. Fuss, Postmaster.

Agent Express & R.R.: Eichelberger, MJ.

Blacksmith & Wheelwrights: Appold, George, Campbell, JE, Wood, Basil.

Carpenter & Builder: Engler, OA.

Commission Merchants: Biggs & Eichelberger.

General Merchandise: Fuss, HD, Lickle Bros.

Hotel: Ecker, Hanson.

Justice of the Peace: Norris, AL.

Millers: Biggs, Joshua, Martin, Jeremiah.

Shoemaker: Troxell, Frederick.

sabillasville

Sabillasville is on the W. M. R. R., 66 miles from Baltimore. Land is mostly cleared, can be purchased at from $15 to $40 per acre, and produces 12 to 25 bushel wheat, 20 to 50 oats, 100 to 200 potatoes, 20 to 40 corn, and 1 to 2 tons hay. German Reformed Church, Rev. H. Wissler; United Brethren, Rev. Mr. Freed; and a public school. Population 50. H. S. Duphorne, Postmaster.

Blacksmiths and Wheelwrights:  Arnsparger, Dallas, Freshour, Nelson.

Broom Manufacturer: Stein, Henry.

Carpenter: Willard, Joel.

Constable: Stotelinger, JC.

Dressmaker: Homerick, Susan, Manahan, Jane.

General Merchandise: Crawford & Bro, Hiteshew, Charles.

Hotel: Stern (Stem), John.

Justice of the Peace: Luckett, WF.

Miller: Kenna, Simpson.

Physicians: Luckett, WF Watson, J.G.

Shoemaker: Duphorne, RS.

From 2009 to 2013, Joan Bittner Fry of Sabillasville composed three books of local interest. From The State Sanatorium at Sabillasville from 1908 in 2009 to Part 2 Plus in 2010 to Did You Know? in 2013, in which a wealth of information about local communities is collected. 

By gleaning photos from an extensive postcard collection, relaying stories from family and friends, and living in the area all her life, Fry offers extensive familiarity of her subjects.  

The first self-published book was dedicated to the late Clara Schumacher (1922-2019) of Thurmont, who was a patient at the sanatorium and who later became a nurse there. Clara was generous with her information and gave first-hand knowledge of The State Sanatorium, the first tuberculosis hospital in Maryland.

The second book was dedicated to the late elementary school teacher and dear friend, Naomi Waynant (1911-2012) of Sabillasville. This book continues with more information about the sanatorium and includes informational stories about local schools, businesses, churches, boarding houses and hotels, and famous and not-so-famous people and places.

The third book was dedicated to the memory of family member Bill Messner (1944-2003), a very special cousin. It contains information about historical places; i.e., Sharpsburg, Antietam, Mason-Dixon Line, C & O Canal, Camp/Fort Ritchie, The National Road (Route 40), and Western Maryland Railroad, as well as many other local places of interest.

A limited number of copies is again available for purchase. The cost is $20 each or $50 for the series of three. Copies are available from the author at jofry241@yahoo.com; E Plus Graphics and Promotions in the lobby of Jubilee Foods in Emmitsburg, where the books are being printed; or the Fort Ritchie Community Center in Cascade. 

Although Edward Bowman Coleman was born in Port Republic, Virginia, in 1924, he has lived most of his life in the Blue Ridge Summit and Sabillasville areas.

In the early 1920s, his father rented a farm in Virginia, earning $1.00 a month, two hogs, and a house to live in. Later, the family moved north and rented farms that the banks had foreclosed on during the hard times of the Great Depression. When the farm was sold, the Colemans moved on to another foreclosed farm. Once the Colemans lived next to the Browns, the mothers would do their Monday laundry together because Edward’s mother had a gas-powered washer! Edward did not notice at the time the Bowman’s 13-year-old daughter….but he would later!

Edward’s father worked at the Crown, Cork and Seal Co. until he broke his leg, resulting in one leg being shorter than the other. His father then moved to Baltimore to work at the Martin Marietta Plant and would return home to Sabillasville on the weekends. Edward attended the brick school at Sabillasville through seventh grade, and then went on to Thurmont High School, where he graduated in 1942.

Edward followed his father to Baltimore to work at Martin Marietta as well, but with war engulfing the entire world, the U.S. Army drafted Edward in February 1943. After training, he was assigned to Company A, 149th Infantry, 38th Division, nick-named the Cyclone Division. In January 1944, the division shipped out as part of a large convoy that traveled through the Panama Canal on its way to Hawaii. The wrecks of the ships the Japanese sunk on December 7, 1941, were still visible, and his company patrolled the beaches until they were sent to New Guinea for “mopping up” operations. Luckily, they did not encounter any enemy troops, but Edward did notice that the native women did not wear bras!

Then they traveled to the Philippine Island of Leyte, where the American troops first invaded the island nation. Ironically, Leyte is where a Japanese sniper severely injured Graceham native, Sterling Seiss. Before Edward arrived, they encountered a bizarre quirk of nature: a fine white powder that reduced visibility to zero suddenly engulfed their ship. Without warning, their ship beached on a coral outcropping just beneath the sea with no land in sight! Unable to get the ship off the coral, the troops boarded other smaller landing crafts. They eventually discovered a volcanic eruption miles away that caused the white cloud.

Once again, Edward’s company performed “mopping up” operations. The enemy had abandoned a strategic landing strip, and Edward’s company was there to protect it. Edward and a comrade dug a foxhole and two slit trenches to rest in while another soldier kept guard. They switched jobs every two hours. Edward had just finished his duty and was trying to get a little rest when a grenade exploded right in front of his buddy, killing him instantly. In the battle that followed, Japanese paratroopers attempted to regain the airstrips. They failed, but the Japanese killed 18 men in Edward’s company.

With Leyte finally secure, the 149th was loaded up and sent to Subic Bay in Luzon. Manila had finally fallen, and 100,000 Filipinos died in the horrific fighting there. Gen. Douglas MacArthur then declared the Philippines secure, neglecting to mention the thousands of enemy troops still in the mountainous north. Once more, Edward’s regiment was sent to “mop up” northern Luzon. They were still fighting when the Japanese surrendered after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Because of their battles on the Bataan peninsula, they are called the Avengers of Bataan.

After spending nearly two years abroad, Coleman was finally discharged in November 1945, having earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Star. He returned home to meet his youngest sibling, a sister, born when he was in the Pacific.

Jobs were hard to come by after the War, and Edward worked at Fairchild in Hagerstown and at Martin Marietta. Then, using the GI Bill, he attended an aeronautic mechanic’s school. Martin Marietta rehired him, and he spent the rest of his career with the company, even moving to Orlando, Florida, in order to keep his job.

In 1949, he married the now-grown-up Doris Brown, whom he had met so long ago. They had three daughters: Denise, Donna, and Darlene.

When Edward’s father died, Edward bought his house in Sabillasville, where he now spends the summer enjoying the peace of the Catoctin Mountains. However, when the cool winds begin to blow, the family returns to their home in Orlando. In good health, Edward enjoys the mountains and still gardens with the help of his nephew. He revels in the love of his family that now includes four grandchildren.

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 priscillarall@gmail.com.

The Catoctin Banner is distributed via direct mail to approximately 8,500 households in Emmitsburg, Thurmont, Sabillasville, Cascade, Lewistown, and Rocky Ridge, Maryland. It is placed for free pick-up in surrounding towns in high-traffic areas. Those towns include Woodsboro, Taneytown, Detour, and Smithsburg in Maryland and Blue Ridge Summit, Waynesboro, and Fairfield in Pennsylvania.

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Sabillasville

by Theresa Dardanell

“Small but mighty” was the way that the parishioners described St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Sabillasville, when I met with them after a recent Sunday service.

Their Facebook page gives this description: “We are a small church. But, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Small churches can provide a level of intimacy of family that might be missing in a larger setting. That is, by far, what we do best at St. Mark’s. We are diverse, and yet, close as sister and brother.” 

Interim Pastor Ray Shriver said that the warm and caring members are very open and welcoming to new people.

Their small congregation is very involved with community outreach. They provide financial support to the HELP Hotline, an organization which serves people in Sabillasville, Cascade, Blue Ridge Summit, and the surrounding areas, with a food and clothing bank, as well as limited financial assistance with electric, heat and rent bills. They provide financial assistance to the Community of St. Dysmas, a Lutheran congregation in the Maryland Correctional System; they also visit the prisoners and participate in the after-care program for released prisoners. Monetary donations are provided to the Emmitsburg Council of Churches to benefit medical mission trips to Kenya.   

Young people of the parish participate in service to the community and have fun at the same time. The Mountain Top Youth Group is sponsored by St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, St. John’s United Church of Christ in Sabillasville, and Living Word Ministries in Blue Ridge Summit. The young people cook food for shelter residents, help with outdoor and indoor chores for elderly neighbors, and donate Christmas gifts to the HELP Hotline. They enjoy camping trips, paint events, parties, and an annual “lock in,” where they can stay up all night (with the help of adult chaperones) doing crafts, playing games, watching movies, and just hanging out with friends. Children are not the only ones who enjoy activities at the church. On the third Thursday of every month, retirees are invited for food, fellowship, and Bingo during the Senior Lunch.

Fundraising events support the church and the community outreach projects. The popular Strawberry Festival and yard sale held in May each year features soups, sandwiches, and baked goods, and, of course, strawberry pies and shortcake. The members keep very busy baking at other times during the year. Look for their bake tables at the Sabillasville Elementary School MountainFest in October and at the Ft. Ritchie Community Center Holiday Bazaar in December. 

St. Mark’s history began with services held in the home of Levi Lichtenberger in 1892. The church was built the following year; many of the original parishioners helped to build the church. The membership eventually grew to 100 active members, but gradually declined. The current membership is between 20 and 30, and their numbers include lifelong members and young families with children.

Sunday morning worship services are held at 9:15 a.m. The regular Sunday services, with traditional hymns and organ accompaniment, are held in the church. 

Once a month, Muffins with Ministers, a more informal service, is held in the social hall; it begins with a delicious breakfast of casseroles, fruit, pastries, and beverages, and continues with contemporary music, the scripture readings, prayers, and the Gospel.  

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church is located at 17015 Sabillasville Road in Sabillasville. 

Visit their website at www.stmarkssabillasville.org for directions to the church and for contact information.

To see lots of photos and get information about previous and upcoming events, please visit the Facebook pages @stmarkssabillasville and @mountaintopyouthgroup.

Members of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, along with Interim Pastor Ray Shriver (front row on left) and visiting Pastor Carl Fulmor (front row on right).

Tristan Rice, of Sabillasville, is a sixteen-year-old junior at Catoctin High School and an HVACR/Plumbing student at the Frederick County Career and Technology Center. This busy student is also a dedicated athlete who throws the shot put during the school year for the Track and Field Team at Catoctin, and works out several times a week at Anytime Fitness in Thurmont, honing his powerlifting skills and increasing his strength.

Tristan recently set two national powerlifting records and an unofficial world record. His national records include a 502.6 lb. squat and a 510.4 lb. deadlift recorded in the USPA 16-17 Year Old 275 LB Weight Class and his world record was in the IPL 15-19 Year Old 275 LB Weight Class. The Records were set August 18, 2018, at CrossFit Frederick during the Maryland Drug Tested State Championship meet.

Tristan is traveling to Las Vegas for the IPF Drug Tested World Championship where he will officially compete for two world records in the squat and deadlift.

Tristan explained that, “Powerlifting is something that I’ve done in football and shot put and I decided to pursue this summer while working as a full-time plumber.”

“After seeing what the records were, I decided to start powerlifting and see what limits I could push myself to. I work very hard in this and want to go to the world championship and do my very best.”

Tristan’s parents, Penny and Russell Rice are very proud of him. They indicated that this is something Tristan has done on his own and he is very passionate about it. “It was great watching him train for this and watching his numbers climb week by week,” Penny said, “Sometimes he’d go to the gym at 11 o’clock at night just to get his workout in.”

Deerfield United Methodist Church

Sabillasville

Once a year, a little country church with a small congregation hosts an event that is standing room only. Joined by members of several churches and the community, Deerfield United Methodist Church brings a 2000-year-old event to life. “The Journey to the Cross”, a live passion play, is performed on Palm Sunday and Good Friday every year. The production covers miracles and other events in the life of Christ through his last days and resurrection.

During the rest of the year, members of the congregation worship together at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Along with readings, prayers, hymns, and a message by Pastor Ray Dudley, everyone enthusiastically participates in “passing the peace of Christ” with handshakes and hugs. A communion service, held on the first Sunday of the month, is followed by refreshments.

Community service is an important part of their ministry. Pastor Ray said, “If there is a need that arises in the community, we go ahead and help as much as we can with it. There was a need for a chair lift and we gave funds to help buy that chair lift.” Several families in need are provided with food for a meal at Thanksgiving and gifts for children and the elderly at Christmas. Teachers at Sabillasville Elementary school, which is located less than a mile from the church, are treated to a “back to school” luncheon each year. Kate Krietz, Sabillasville Elementary School Principal, said that the staff is very grateful for the annual home-cooked luncheon and they appreciate the generosity of the church. Deerfield United Methodist also supports families doing mission work. Colorfest gives the church members the opportunity to raise funds to support these outreach programs. With the help of friends, they not only have a food stand, they also park cars and rent spaces to vendors.

The tight-knit group enjoys social activities throughout the year. The Mother’s Day Tea is a family event. Appetizers, soup, scones, sandwiches, tea and desserts are served to the ladies by husbands and children. Of course, there is a Father’s Day breakfast for the dads. The annual summer picnic is held in the Thurmont Community Park. In the fall, everyone enjoys a hayride and bonfire complete with hot dogs and marshmallows. During the Christmas season, they go Christmas caroling at nursing homes and at the homes of shut-ins. During the cold winter months, there are movie nights in the church hall.

The history of the church began in 1878 with revival services held in a log school house in Smithfield (which later became Deerfield). In 1879, the Smithfield United Brethren Church was built on land purchased for the sum of $25. The church became the Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1946. The final name change occurred in 1968 when they joined with the Methodist Church. The Deerfield United Methodist Church is located at 16405 Foxville Deerfield Road near Sabillasville. Join them for the 10:15 a.m. Sunday service. You will feel very welcomed.

Pastor Ray Dudley (back row on the left) with members of the Deerfield United Methodist Church.

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.

Rev. Bob Kells

The last day of school is always filled with excitement for the students of Sabillasville Elementary School, as they prepare to head out for their summer break. For the past four years, several local churches have made this an extra special time by bringing the children books to read over the summer.

It started in 2015 when I joined the school’s volunteer program, along with several members from Weller UMC in Thurmont where I am the pastor. Volunteers at Sabillasville work with the children for an hour or more each week. We help them with reading and math, and whatever other tasks the teachers have for them. The work is personally fulfilling for the volunteers and is fun for the children, who look forward to working with the adults.

In the spring of 2015, I was volunteering with the kindergarten class. Summer was approaching and, as their teacher shared with me, summer is a time when the children are at risk of losing ground in many of the skills they developed during the year. Reading is one of those skills. I also learned some of the children do not have many books to read at home. That last piece of information got me thinking that this was something the church could help with.

After talking it over with Sabillasville Elementary School Principal Kate Kreitz, I asked our Missions Team to organize a book drive for the kindergarten class. The Thurmont Lions Club, which I joined the year before, has as one of its missions to promote literacy.  The Lions Club pitched in and donated book bags. The response was tremendous. We collected enough books that first year that each kindergartner got to take home seven books.

After the first year, the book drive grew to cover the entire school. We got some additional support from Deerfield UMC in Sabillasville, who agreed to cover the kindergarten books, while two other churches from nearby Rocky Ridge joined in to collect books for the other grades. Once again, the results were impressive. On the last day of school, each of the 120 children received a Lions Club book bag and three books of their choice.

The school book drive is fast becoming an annual tradition for these churches and the school they support.  This year, all of the children received three or four books; pencils and stickers; a book bag; and a card from the churches, wishing them a good summer and “Happy Reading!”

Not only is the book drive helping with the school, but Deerfield UMC has begun hosting a luncheon for the teachers and staff at Sabillasville at the start of the school year. “It’s a great time for the teachers to relax, to unwind, and to just socialize before classes start,” said Deerfield’s pastor, Ray Dudley.

The teachers help to shape the lives of the children to make the world a better place. By serving a luncheon, Deerfield shares the love of Jesus in the community.

The book drive and the teachers’ luncheon are just two ways local churches can give to the community. Both keep the churches engaged with their communities, and both contribute to the education of the children.

The children are the focus of these efforts. My hope and prayer is that they receive more than just the books. My hope and prayer is they’ll remember that in addition to their teachers and administrators, they have local churches that love them with the love of Jesus and want to see them to succeed—in school and in life.

Pictured from left: (standing) Pastor Ray Dudley (Deerfield UMC), Pastor Bob Kells (Weller UMC), Par Alexander, Henry Alexander, Joan Staub, Jim Monroe; (kneeling at table) SES Principal Kate Krietz; and four Sabillasville Elementary students.

 

Area churches and organizations in Emmitsburg, Lewistown, Rocky Ridge, Sabillasville and Thurmont are working to provide students in need with school supplies for the 2017-2018 school year.  This program is to assist students attending the Catoctin Feeder Schools. These schools include Emmitsburg Elementary, Lewistown Elementary & Pyramid Program, Sabillasville Elementary, Thurmont Primary, Thurmont Elementary, Thurmont Middle and Catoctin High.

The Annual Catoctin Community School Supply Drive is going to be held on Tuesday, August 21st  from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Graceham Moravian Church located at 8231 Rocky Ridge Road in Thurmont.

If you would like to donate to this program, please drop off school supplies, cash donations or gift cards (Walmart) to the church on August 15th from 9:00 a.m. until Noon.

Any questions or concerns, please contact coordinator, Jennifer Harbaugh at 301-639-9970 or caringind@aol.com.

Jim Bittner of Sabillasville is proud of his grandson, Calvin Bittner, son of Aaron Bittner and wife, Linda, of North Carolina.

Calvin is currently dancing and choreographing with a company called Vivid Ballet, in Hartford, Connecticut. He danced at the White House in December. “It was a very last minute, out-of-the-blue opportunity. I was quite nervous, but also very excited to have the opportunity. We had a few moments in the space to rehearse before the event, and the flow of the event was taken from the First Lady’s movements. She was very pleased with the event, clapping and laughing for us at the end.”

Calvin Bittner lifts a ballerina during a dance in the White House. Melania Trump looks on.

James Rada, Jr.

Rifle use has been known to cause hearing damage, but Thomas Worthington’s Armstrong rifle once helped restore Worthington’s son’s hearing.

Worthington, who lives in Sabillasville, was born and raised in Annapolis. His family lived with his grandparents, because a month after Worthington was born, in September 1929, the stock market crashed, heralding the start of The Great Depression.

“We were in bad shape financially, so we all lived together,” Worthington said.

As his family struggled to make ends meet, Worthington’s world was the streets of Annapolis.

His father enjoyed reading outdoor magazines. Once, when Worthington was looking for something to do, he found one of the magazines. The cover showed a man fishing in a beautiful mountain stream.

“I’d never seen anything like it before,” Worthington said. “It was just gorgeous. I’d never seen a mountain before then because I had never been out of Annapolis.”

Worthington decided that he wanted to learn to fly fish like the man in the picture. He asked his father to help him. His father didn’t know how, but he did find a man who was a customer of his insurance business. The man agreed to have the eight-year-old Worthington come to his house twice a month on a Saturday morning. Worthington began to learn to tie flies, cast, and fish.

Once Worthington had learned the skills, the man took him fishing in Frederick County.

“We rode in a Model A,” recalled Worthington. “It took us about four hours. There were no superhighways or anything like that. We rattled along at 35 miles per hour, and usually, there’d be a flat somewhere along the line.”

They went to a spot on Big Hunting Creek at the base of McAfee Falls. They waded into the water, and Worthington started trying to cast where his instructor told him to. The problem was that he kept pulling the fly back before it hit the water. The instructor told him to let the fly land.

“No sooner did the fly hit the water, then the brook trout hit the fly,” said Worthington.

He remembers that his first fish was so red that he thought it was bleeding, but he learned that it meant the trout was a spawning male.

The trip to Frederick County began an annual trip that Worthington would make with the man.

Back in Annapolis, he soon discovered another passion.

Often, he would run errands for people to make a little extra money. Two of the men who he ran errands for were Confederate Civil War Veterans. He would do chores for them and listen to their stories.

At some point, said Worthington, the Veterans “decided to teach me to shoot a musket, in case they had trouble with the Yankees again.”

So they pulled out their old weapons and began instructing the young boy on how to care for them, load them, and fire them. Not that they could fire the weapons in the city, though. For that part of the instruction, the Veterans and Worthington traveled to a farm owned by Worthington’s uncle.

“I was too small to shoot, really,” said Worthington. “I had to stand on a kitchen chair to load the musket.”

Using a reduced charge, the young boy was allowed to fire at a target. He discovered that not only was he good at shooting, but he also loved it. On his fishing trip, he told his instructor about the thrill of shooting a rifle.

Instead of going to Hunting Creek that year, they went to visit the instructor’s friend, who lived in Emmitsburg. They fished on the man’s property. When the man learned of Worthington’s interest in shooting, he told the boy that he thought he had an old muzzleloader in his attic that he would be willing to sell him.

Worthington agreed, and he returned to Annapolis on a mission. He spent the next year running more errands and saving his nickels and dimes. By the time the next year rolled around, he had saved $24.00.

After fishing up in Emmitsburg, the man brought out not one, but two old rifles. One was a flintlock, and the other used a percussion cap. They were covered with soot and years of coal dust. The man offered to sell the percussion cap rifle for $10.00 and the flintlock for $8.00. Worthington agreed and had purchased his first rifles at ten years old.

“They were so long, we couldn’t fit them in the Model A,” Worthington said. “We had to put some sacking on them and put them in the rumble seat.”

When they got back to Annapolis, Worthington and his fishing instructor began cleaning the rifles, exposing the wood curves and metal inlays. They also discovered that the barrels had been filled with beef tallow to keep them from rusting. They held the rifles with the barrels pointed down over a hot stove so that the tallow melted and drained out, leaving the barrels clean and rust free.

In examining the rifles, they determined that Emmitsburg gunsmith John Armstrong made the flintlock. Melchior Fordney, a Lancaster gunsmith, had made the percussion cap rifle.

Worthington held onto his treasures. He never hunted with them, but he did shoot them in competitions. When he was in his late twenties and married with two children, one of his sons had a traumatic hearing loss. He was told that it could be treated, but it would cost $18,000, which was a huge sum in the mid-1950s. He wasn’t sure what he would do until the doctor’s medical partner, heard about Worthington’s rifles.

Worthington showed him the rifles and told him their story. The doctor offered him $4,500 for each one, on the condition that he never tell anyone who the doctor was or the farmer that sold him the rifles. Apparently, there was some bad blood between the families.

Worthington accepted the offer, and he never saw the rifles again. However, with half of the money for the operation raised, the bank was willing to loan the family the rest. The operation was a success, and Worthington’s son’s hearing was restored.

“I’ve always missed that Armstrong rifle, though,” expressed Worthington. “It was such a beauty.”

In fact, he missed it so much that he commissioned a copy to be made that he has hanging in his living room.

 

Thomas Worthington and his Armstrong rifle replica.

 

Catoctin Banner Resolution 2017 Spotlight #1

Being a new contest, identifying our resolution contestants has been an adventure. We’re introducing our first contestant in this issue, and we will introduce another in our next issue. Then, we’ll give progress reports through the year to measure progress and capture their story.

Rachel Mohler is a thirty-nine-year-old artist and mother of three small children (four-and-a-half years, three years, and seven months). She moved to Sabillasville last November and has resolved to paint one tiny painting a day that is inspired by the view out the window of her new home. Each painting is created on a 2 1/2” x 3 1/2” piece of watercolor paper.

She has defined her objectives as: (1) to try and stay creative in the wake of small children, sleep deprivation, and all the chaos that comes with being a mom, wife, and business owner (she and her husband own a land surveying business); (2) to remind her to pause each day and take in the wonder that is nature and to be grateful for such a lovely place to live; (3) to watch the colors of the seasons change and to learn nature’s palette; and (4) to be open to the lessons this resolution has to teach and to have a record to share with her children when they get older.

Rachel has already begun her daily paintings as of January 1 (see samples below) and is looking forward to sharing her progress with the readers of The Catoctin Banner.

Theresa Dardanell

Hundreds of colorful school supplies filled the basement of Graceham Moravian Church on Monday, August 8, 2016. The Catoctin Community School Supply Drive, coordinated by Jen and Laura Harbaugh, collected donations from churches, organizations, and individuals from Emmitsburg, Thurmont, Lewistown, Sabillasville, and Rocky Ridge.

Volunteers from Harriet Chapel and Graceham Moravian Church, along with members of the Harbaugh family, sorted and counted the supplies and purchased additional items with money and gift cards that were also donated. On distribution day, 271 students from ninety-nine families in the Catoctin feeder area chose supplies from tables stacked with backpacks, notebooks, crayons, markers, scissors, glue sticks, pencils, and more.

According to Jen Harbaugh, students were very excited to pick out their own supplies. “I just like to see the kids get what they need to go to school and their smiles when they get it,” said Laura Harbaugh.
SCHOOL-news--Teresa-Dardane
Pictured are volunteers Jen Harbaugh, Don Clabaugh, Pat Plum, Timothy Bentz, Fran Hennessy, and Paige Sweeney.

by James Rada, Jr.
20160808_143927When Raymond Sanders (pictured right) first came to Sabillasville, it was because he needed a bigger house. His family was growing, and the Sanders needed space to expand. They found a two-story home at the end of a dead-end road and set down roots.

“It’s a nice place to live,” Sanders said. “The dead-end road was good for the children, and my wife’s father and stepmother lived nearby.”

His children started attending Sabillasville School when it was still in the building that is now the Walkersville Christian Fellowship Church. At that time, local students up to grade eight all fit into a three-room school. For high school, the students were bussed down the mountain to Thurmont High.

“I didn’t worry about them going down to Thurmont,” Sanders said. “People were careful on the road, and there were no accidents.”

Sanders was born in Iron Springs, Pennsylvania in 1922, but his family moved to Fountaindale, Pennsylvania, when he was six. From there, they would eventually move to Charmain and Highfield.

Although his work would take him far from Catoctin Mountain, to travel to all of his homes is no more than a ten-mile round trip.

“I’ve been working since the time I was twelve,” Sanders said.

His early work was hauling vegetables for a farmer, but he has also been a fruit picker, worked at the pipe and nipple factory, Landis Machine, and a brick factory.
His longest-lasting job was as a truck driver for Fort Ritchie. He worked there for twenty-two years, retiring in 1975 because of a back injury.

“They wouldn’t give me another job, and I couldn’t work anymore because I couldn’t pull rigs.”

Instead, he wound up retiring at age fifty-two. He was also a member of the Maryland National Guard. He was able to continue his service for five more years, before he needed to retire from that as well. Between his service in the National Guard and in the Army, Sanders served thirty-three years in the military.

Sanders is also a Veteran of World War II. He enlisted in the Army on March 18, 1943, and trained with the 8th Armored Division. However, when he shipped out to Europe, he was sent as part of the green troops, being sent to replace the soldiers who were dying in the war.

Once in Europe, though, he never saw combat.

“I was close to being called up a couple times, but it never happened,” said Sanders.

He mustered out after three years and returned home, which at the time, was Highfield. The following year, he “really met” Betty Jane Fox. He had first met her when she was ten and he was fifteen, but that was just in passing because he was friends with the boys in her family.

Sanders was in Waynesboro one time with Betty Jane’s uncle, when her uncle tried to convince Sanders to come to Frederick with him to a dance. Sanders wanted to go, but said he didn’t have a date. Betty Jane’s uncle then fixed her up with Sanders and the two hit it off. They were married on September 13, 1947.

Together, they raised seven children (Debbie, Becky, Rita, Larry, Mary, David, and James), and one grandson (Jeffrey). They also have twelve grandchildren and twenty-two great-grandchildren.

“When we had family picnics, we would have forty-five to eighty people show up,” Sanders said.

He has always enjoyed living in Sabillasville and says that he has pretty much anything he might need nearby. He attends church at St. Rita’s Catholic Church in Blue Ridge Summit. He belongs to the Cascade American Legion, Waynesboro VFW, and Knights of Columbus.

“I think we have the nicest people that any community could have up here,” expressed Sanders. “They make great neighbors.”
Betty Jane passed away last year, and while Sanders lives alone now, he still has plenty of family looking out for him and plenty of memories.