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by James Rada, Jr.

December 1923, 100 Years Ago

Infant Drowns in Creek Near Home

The funeral of Charles Hewitt, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Hewitt, of Thurmont, who was drowned Saturday afternoon when he fell into a small stream near his home, will be held this afternoon.

The child, who was aged one year, four months and 22 days, while playing about on Saturday afternoon, wandered away and it is supposed that he he fell into a small stream near his home. The child was found by his mother.

                                – Frederick Daily News, December 24, 1923

Dr. Kefauver Leaves Thurmont

After having served many of the citizens of Thurmont and the surrounding community for 32 years Dr. E. C. Kefauver has given up the practice of medicine there to take up his new duties as county health officer of Frederick county. The doctor and his family will leave on January 1, and take up their residence in Frederick. Dr. Kefauver’s successor is Dr. Levin M. Irving, of Chicago, who will occupy the office in the Masonic Building, Thurmont.

                                – Frederick Daily News, December 22, 1923

December 1948, 75 Years Ago

Local Girl Takes Sisterhood Vows

At a ceremony Saturday morning at 9 o’clock in the Chapel of the Monastery of the Visitation, Frederick, in the presence of a number of relatives and friends, Sister Mary Angela Saffer, formerly known as Margaret Mary Saffer, pronounced her perpetual vows which made her a permanent member of the Order of the Visitation.

Sister Angela is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Saffer, of Emmitsburg. Rev. James M. Hogan, pastor of St. John’s Church, performed the ceremony as delegate for His Excellency, Most Rev. Lawrence J. Shehan D.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore. Present also for the occasion were Rev. Roger K. Wooden, of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Thurmont, and Rev. Charles Stouter, C.M., Emmitsburg. Rev. Fr. Hogan preached the sermon preceding the ceremony.

                                – Emmitsburg Chronicle, December 10, 1948

Thurmont Baby Show Proves Interesting Affair

Twenty four children of preschool age were entered in the Healthy Baby Show held in the Firemen’s Room of the Town Hall at Thurmont last Wednesday at 1:30 o’clock. Ten babies ranging in age from two months to one year, and fourteen from one year six years, were in the group. Under the direction of the County Health Nurse, Mrs. Susan Ward, and sponsored by the Thurmont Grange and the Guardian Hose Company, the show was held to promote more interest in the health clinic which the Grange is sponsoring.

                                – Emmitsburg Chronicle, December 20, 1948

December 1973, 50 Years Ago

Kiddies’ Treat To Be Held Saturday at 2

This Saturday, December 22, at 2 p.m., Santa Claus will visit Emmitsburg in front of the VFW Home and bring candy and oranges to all local children. Parents are urged to have their children attend. The party is sponsored this year by the Francis X. Elder Post 121 American Legion, and VFW Post 6658 of Emmitsburg.

                                – Emmitsburg Chronicle, December 20, 1973

Libraries Offer Audio Cassettes

A new and exciting thing is happening at the Public Libraries in Frederick County. Any registered Frederick County Public Library borrower in good standing may sign up to borrow Audio Cassettes of music, plays, information and instruction. Applicants must sign a separate card for cassettes registration. An interesting selection of cassettes is being offered… In case you do not have a cassette player, there will be a player in each library. You may not borrow the cassette player. It is assumed that you will have one in your possession either your own or a borrowed one. We anticipate the starting of this program in early January.

                                – Emmitsburg Chronicle, December 27, 1973

December 1998, 25 Years Ago

New After-School Program to Begin in January

Emmitsburg officials, working since June with the Frederick County Bureau of Parks and Recreation, have developed a comprehensive after-school youth program which will include homework assistance, supervised recreation, and social skill development.

“We now have a youth program!” said Mayor Carr. “Under Deborah Spaulding (sic), a county parks and recreation employee, Emmitsburg’s youth program will start in January, 1999.”

                                – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, December 1998

Community Service

The Town of Emmitsburg would like to thank Mr. Don Briggs (Coach) and the Mount Saint Mary’s rugby team for their recent community service efforts. On Saturday, November 7, 1998, Coach Briggs and the rugby team volunteered their services to paint many of the curbs for the Town’s no-parking zones. This kind of interest and community service demonstrate just what an asset Coach Briggs and these young men are to their team, Mt. St. Mary’s, and our community.

                                – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, December 1998

Deb Abraham Spalding

Jim Adams (pictured right), Postmaster at the Thurmont Post Office, officially retires on November 30, 2021, after 22 years with the United States Postal Service.

While retirement will provide Jim with more time with family and opportunity for travel, that doesn’t mean he won’t miss the great team of postal workers at the Thurmont Post Office. About them he said, “I’ve been very blessed, and I will never ever take them for granted.”

He explained, “I don’t care what the challenge is from one day to the next, we all pull together and get the job done each and every day.”

With the cumulative goal for postal workers being to get a letter or a package from its point of origin to its destination as efficiently as possible, Jim said, “Our focus is to be fully engaged and providing nothing but outstanding service to our customers, and each and every member of our team has the same commitment and focus every day they come to work.”

Jim is one of six children and was raised in Elyria, Ohio. While working his way through college at Cleveland State University, Jim lost his job and moved in with his sister and brother-in-law in Baltimore, where work was plentiful.

With a fresh degree in psychology from UMBC, it was the degree, not the field of study that charted his postal career. “There wasn’t a tremendous amount of opportunity with that degree,” he explained.

While living in New Market, Maryland, he responded to a big “Help Wanted” banner in front of the post office and was hired as a rural carrier associate by Pat Sortino. Pat served as a mentor and nudged Jim along as he worked his way up towards management.

He rose within the profession, serving as the Retail and Bulk Mail Supervisor in Frederick, Officer in Charge of the Rocky Ridge Post Office, and then left there for an Associates Supervisor program where he received very extensive postal training.

He started his management career as a level 15 supervisor at the Hagerstown Post Office. After about seven years, opportunity knocked again, and Jim went to Frederick.

The piece that was missing in his career was retail, but his bulk mail experience in Frederick set a foundation for his move to Thurmont.

After 11 years at Thurmont, the step for retirement is now. “I have five grandchildren who have me wrapped,” Jim said.

Family is important to Jim, he’s very close with his brothers and sisters, and they are celebrating his decision to retire right along with him.

Jim and his wife, Ellen, have a blended family, with his daughter Jessica and her three children, Ashley Brianna, and Curtis. Truly one family.

Jim is ready to celebrate family and already has trips planned to spend quality time together.

The plan for Jim’s replacement had not been announced at the time of this interview, but Jim assures that there will be a seamless transition for a new postmaster.

He said, “I only hope that as the Postmaster that I have provided outstanding customer service to each and every individual that I was responsible for in Thurmont, and also the Rocky Ridge, Sabillasville, and Cascade zip codes. It’s my hope that whoever comes in behind me has that same passion and that same focus of providing nothing but outstanding service. That’s all that we have to offer.”

Jim has been very passionate about the postal service.

“I was raised in a family where it’s always important to show appreciation. It’s been an honor and a pleasure.”

Photo by Deb Abraham Spalding