Currently viewing the tag: "the catoctin banner"

by Deb Abraham Spalding

The McAfee family (pronounced Mack-a-Fee), originally from the Island of Bute, Scotland, planted roots in Frederick County, Maryland, around 1774 from Franklin County, Pennsylvania, staking a homestead on land that is now known as Cunningham Falls. Daniel McAfee was the original settler of this land, and transferred the ownership to his son, David McAfee, in 1799. According to Professor John Means in the 1995 printing of his book, Maryland’s Catoctin Mountain Parks, “‘Cunningham Falls’ and 350 acres surrounding it were purchased on September 16, 1807, by Archibald McAfee, Sr. The McAfee family lived near the top of the falls, and the original foundation of the homestead still stands. The family owned the land until it was acquired by the Federal government in 1935.”

The purchase of the land by the Federal government was part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal,” where workers with the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps transformed the area for recreational use. This area was, according to Thurmont’s late Official Historian, George W. Wireman III, “…one of 33 nation-wide federal demonstrations of submarginal land for public recreation.”

Wireman wrote in his book, Gateway to the Mountains, “On September 15, 1888, Archibald McAfee’s widow had sale and the property including the Falls was purchased by her grandson Reuben McAfee, who maintained ownership until the property was acquired by the Federal Government in 1935, as part of the Catoctin Recreation Demonstration Area. Later the State of Maryland acquired an additional 250 acres of land from the McAfees. This made a total of 750 acres which the McAfees surrendered for park use. At one time they owned over 1,000 acres of mountain land.”

On July 15, 2017, today’s McAfee descendants held a reunion that ended with a photo session on the Falls that loosely replicated photos of their ancestors circa 1890.

Some may wonder why McAfee Falls is now called Cunningham Falls. After extensive research by many historians and genealogists, including hundreds of hours of research by the late Dr. Bowman of Garfield, Maryland, the reason for the name Cunningham remains a mystery. If you have insight, please e-mail to share.

Robert McAfee of Foxville recently mentioned, “My grandmother, Rose Ann, always called the Falls Hunting Creek Falls.” In his book, Professor Means printed, “The Falls were never owned by anyone named Cunningham and were known as McAfee Falls until the 1940s or the early 1950s.”

In our research, the earliest reference to the Falls as “Cunningham Falls” appears in a May 20, 1920, Catoctin Clarion article, where there is a reference to a group having lunch at “Cunningham Falls, several miles west of town.” Just one year prior, on May 8, 1919, the Falls were referred to as “McAfee Falls” in the same publication. This is contradictory to Professor John Means’ research.

Of course, there is plenty of speculation about the justification in re-naming the Falls. The most sited is that “Cunningham” was a local photographer; though, this is not confirmed nor dated. Other theories include the possibility that Cunningham was a little-known politician at the time the government took ownership. If the Catoctin Clarion was correct in 1920, this theory is not plausible.

In his book Gateway to the Mountains, Thurmont’s official historian, the late George W. Wireman, wrote, “Many people have been under the impression that Cunningham Falls was named after an early owner, but this is not true. Dr. Harry D. Bowman, a friend of the author, has spent many hours of research on this subject, and it is now an established fact that at no time was the falls owned by Cunningham. Records to support this claim may be found in the land records of Frederick County. The first purchase of the land, which included the falls, consisted of 350 acres and was deeded to Archibald McAfee, Sr. on September 16, 1807. A map in the Frederick Library, dated 1858, clearly shows that the McAfees lived at the top of the falls and the property was owned by John McAfee at this time. The McAfees referred to the falls as Hunting Creek Falls but all others called it McAfee Falls, after the owners.”

Regardless of the name, the seventy-eight-foot waterfall, located four miles west of Thurmont on Route #77, is a destination for thousands of visitors that want to see the largest cascading waterfall in Maryland.

Reuben McAfee, grandson of Archibald McAfee, stands at the top of “McAfee Falls”. The original foundation of the McAfee homestead still stands, not far from this site.

Robert McAfee (front), grandson of Reuben McAfee, stands at the top of “McAfee Falls” on July 15, 2017. Pictured left to right are Jeff, Ashley, Justin, Bob and Robin Portner, Becky Hurley, and Barbara and Jerry Grove

McAfee family patriarchs James and Robert are shown as youngsters in this photo. Their Dad Robert Hunter McAfee is in the white hat.
Young Robert is sitting on his grandfather Reuben’s lap.
James is in the background in white.  Their Aunt Sadie Delauter is also shown.

James’ and Robert’s father, Robert Hunter McAfee (born 3-11-1911; died 3-10-1968), is pictured.

The McAfee families are still well known present day. You will notice many of them involved in agricultural pursuits while farming and showing farm animals.  The McAfee families were well known in American pioneer history.

The McAfee Reunion Photo from July 15, 2017

Picture from left:(back row) Bob Portner, Hailey Stinefelt (being held by Michael Stinefelt), Michael Hurley, Jeff McAfee, Justin McAfee, Elias Robert Grove (on Justin’s lap), Jeremy Grove, Matt Bowman, Elijah Bowman (in front of Matt), Joshua Grove, Jerry Grove; (third row) Robin Portner, Megan Stinefelt, Sadie Hurley, Karen McAfee, Trista Grove (holding Wyatt Grove), Tim Bowman, Heather Dula, Dan McAfee (holding Emilia McAfee); (second row) Aaron Shilling, Amy Shilling, Brenda Shilling, Grace McAfee, Ruby McAfee, Ashley McAfee, Barbara Grove, Robin McAfee, Tim McAfee, Paula Bowman, J.D. Bowman, Dana Bowman, Colleen McAfee, Becky Hurley (holding Zoe McAfee, pink dress); (seated) Dot McAfee (holding Evelyn Stinefelt and Hannah Hurley), Robert McAfee (holding Kayla Hurley), James McAfee, and Pauline McAfee (holding Elizabeth McAfee)

James Rada, Jr
McKenzie Forrest of Thurmont is only ten years old, but she is a veteran at showing animals. This was her second year showing rabbits at the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show.

“I like rabbits because they’re nice and you get to hold them,” grinned McKenzie.

She also likes the competition of preparing the rabbits for the show and the hopes of winning a blue ribbon.

For sixty-one years, the Thurmont and Emmitsburg Community Show has been highlighting the role of agriculture in Northern Frederick County and spotlighting the talents of area residents. This year’s show was held at Catoctin High School on September 8-10. More than $13,000 in prizes was awarded to the hundreds of exhibitors.

The show started with the 42nd annual opening ceremony, where many volunteers from over thirty community organizations carried their flags in a procession to begin the ceremony.

Superintendent of Frederick County Public Schools Dr. Teresa Alban, was the guest speaker. She shared her honor for being invited to the show, “There’s always something about the show that inspires me. I value all of the traditions, but each year, something happens or someone says something that really resonates and connects with what I have to say.” She gave recognition to the many facets of community support that the Community Show inspires, referencing patriotism, honor, support, recognition, care, service, leadership, and education.

She concluded her speech by suggesting that the legacy shared from the past is inspiring the future in the Community Show. The legacy of the community can be exemplified at Catoctin High School, where the school has been named as the Maryland State Character Education School. Not only did they win it this year, but it was the fifth time Catoctin High School has received that recognition.

Stacie Brown Hobbs announced Catoctin’s FFA Ambassador, Stephanie Moreland. To conclude the opening ceremonies, the fiftieth anniversary of two community organizations were recognized: WTHU Radio Station and St. John’s Christian Preschool.

In the show ring, Connie Palmer was a judge for some of the categories. She comes up from Frederick each year to be a part of it and loves it.

“It’s a fantastic show,” Palmer said. “It’s one of the best in the State of Maryland.”

The weekend’s events featured livestock auctions, a petting zoo, music, pony rides, pet show, horseshoe pitching contest, log sawing contest, and more.

Russell Kaas used to exhibit products he grew in the community, and now his children are continuing the tradition and exhibiting their own items. He’s not sure that they will become farmers, but he said, “It gives them something to think about when they try to figure out what they want to do.” Kaas compares the Community Show to the Great Frederick Fair, but without the rides.

“We do have a fair atmosphere because it’s fun,” Rodman Myers said.

Myers expressed that he was pleased to see a lot of new faces in the crowds, moving around inside and outside of Catoctin High. He was also thrilled that new people continue to want to help as volunteers to make the Community Show great.

The Community Show is sponsored by the Thurmont Grange, Catoctin FFA Chapter, Catoctin Area FFA Alumni, Maryland Agricultural Fair Board, and the Maryland State Grange.

Community Show Champions and Reserve Champions
Fresh Fruits: Champion – Martha Hauver (Peaches), Reserve Champion – Robert Black (Crimson Apples); Fresh Vegetables: Champion – Richard Manahan (Watermelon), Reserve Champion – Jean Brown (Zucchini Squash); Home Products Display: Champion – Roxanna Lambert, Reserve Champion – Charlotte Dutton; Canned Fruit: Champion – Linda Franklin (Canned Peaches), Reserve Champion – Pamela Long (Dark Chocolate Cherry Dessert Topping); Canned Vegetables: Champion – Carolyn Hahn (Whole Green Beans), Reserve Champion – Dorothy Stanley (Tomato Sauce); Jellies & Preserves: Champion – Donald Stanley (Blackberry Jelly), Reserve Champion – Deborah Howd (Lavender); Pickles: Champion – Dawn Hobbs (Whole Beet Pickles), Reserve Champion – Deborah Howd (Pickle Relish); Meat (Canned): Champion – Ann Welty (Canned Mincemeat), Reserve Champion -Ann Welty (Canned Chicken); Home Cured Meats: Champion – Robert McAfee (Country Ham), Reserve Champion – Dale Hurley (Country Ham); Baked Products Cake: Champion – Dawn Hobbs (Chiffon Cake); Reserve Champion – Dawn Hobbs (Devils Food Cake), Honorable Mention Cake Burall Brothers Scholarship – Cheryl Lenhart (Chocolate Cake); Bread: Champion – Deborah Howd (Asiago Cheese), Reserve Champion – Bridgette Kinna (Pumpkin Muffins); Pie: Champion – Deborah Howd (French Apple Pie), Reserve Champion – Deborah Howd (Pecan Pie); Sugar Free: Champion – Joyce Kline (Diabetic Cake), Reserve Champion – Nancy Wine (Peanut Butter Diabetic Cookies); Gluten Free Baked Product: Champion – Stacey Smith (Cookies), Reserve Champion – Ann Welty (Cake).

Sewing: Champion – Melinda Cool (Women’s Evening Gown), Reserve Champion – Peggy Vandercruysen (Quilt); Flowers & Plants: Champion – Roxanna Lambert (Side Table Arrangement), Reserve Champion – Roxanna Lambert (Holiday Arrangement); Arts, Painting & Drawings: Champion – Pennie Keilholtz (Acrylic), Reserve Champion – Megan Dewees (Pastel Drawing); Crafts: Champion – Gene Long (Hand Crafted Wood Craft- Nanny Rocker), Reserve Champion) – Charlotte Dutton (Felting Cat); Photography: Champion – Deborah Howd (Color Photo Collage), Reserve Champion – Debbie Swing (Black & White Photo).

Corn: Champion – Sherry Ramage (Indian Corn), Reserve Champion – Robert McAfee (Hybrid Corn); Small Grain & Seeds: Champion – Matt Clark (Soybeans), Reserve Champion – Matt Clark (Wheat); Eggs: Champion – Laurie Atwell (Brown Eggs), Reserve Champion – Kathy Dobson (White Eggs); Nuts: Champion – Edward Hahn (Black Walnuts), Reserve Champion – Edward Hahn (English Walnuts).

Rabbit: Champion – Olivia Dutton (Breeding Rabbit and offspring – New Zealand), Reserve Champion – Laura Dutton (Breeding Rabbit and Offspring); Poultry: Champion – Hope Rice (Rooster), Reserve Champion – Jerry Seiss (Seven Hens); Dairy: Champion – Blaine Lenhart (Jersey – March Calf), Reserve Champion – Jonathan Hubbard (Brown Swiss Spring Calf); Dairy Goats: Champion – Laura Dutton – (Doe 3 years and under 5 years), Reserve Champion – Olivia Dutton (Doe 2 years and under 3 years); Hay: Champion – Jonathan Hubbard (Mixed Hay), Reserve Champion – Matthew Clark (Timothy Hay); Straw: Preston Clark (Wheat Straw), Reserve Champion – Daniel Myers (Barley Straw).

Junior Department: Champion – Madison Ott (Wall Hanging), Reserve Champion – Aiden Reese (Watermelon); Junior Department Baked Product: Champion – Sophia Ruby (Orange Chiffon Cake), Reserve Champion – Cora Coblentz (Pound Cakes); Youth Department: Champion – Abigail May (Model Homemade), Reserve Champion – Zoe Willard (Crochet Item); Youth Department Baked Product: Champion – Ray Martin (Hummingbird Cake), Reserve Champion – Charles Dougherty (Chocolate Cake); Beef: Champion – Austin Ridenour, Reserve Champion – Hayden Hahn; Sheep: Champion – Kaitlynn Neff, Reserve Champion – Caroline Clark; Swine: Champion – Logan Long, Reserve Champion – Wyatt Davis; Market Goat: Champion – Gavin Valentine, Reserve Champion – Katie Glass.

Decorated Animal Contest: Champion – Laura Dutton (Ketchup and French Fries – Goat), Reserve Champion Caroline Clark (Eat More Chicken – Sheep).

Pet Show: Champion – Mary Dal-Favero (Chinese Crested Dog), Reserve Champion – Stacy Flanigan (Aussie Dog).

Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull: Champion – Cora Clabaugh; Reserve Champion – Desean Brown.

Community Show Pet Show Results
On Saturday, September 9, the Pet Show was held at Catoctin High School, sponsored by the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show. Dave Harman served as chairman and was assisted by Patty Johnston.

Serving as a judge was Mary Ann Harbaugh of Thurmont. She and her late husband, Roscoe, owned Ross-Mar Australian Shepherds for twenty-seven years. They had numerous Best In Shows and the top twenty-one of the breed. Also serving as a judge was Stephanie Torres, an art teacher from Walkersville.

Participants received food coupons, courtesy of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and pet food, courtesy of Thurmont Feed Store.
To begin the show, Maxine Medaglia of Bark Busters gave a presentation on dog obedience.

The judges selected a Chinese Crested dog owned by Mary Dal-Favero of Thurmont as Grand Champion. She received a rosette ribbon and gift certificate donated by the Thurmont Feed Store.

They selected an Australian Shepherd, owned by Stacey Flanigan of Rocky Ridge, as Reserve Champion. She received a rosette ribbon and gift certificate, donated by Main Street Groomers.

Stephanie Moreland, the 2017-2018 Catoctin FFA Ambassador, presented ribbons to the winners listed as first, second, third, and honorable mention, respectively. Cat with Prettiest Eyes—Chelsea Dawson, Larry and Andrew Duble, Angie Swailes, Audrey Downs; Cat with Longest Whiskers—(tie) Larry and Andrew Duble, Angie Swailes, Audrey Downs; Cutest Cat—Larry and Andrew Duble, Chelsea Dawson, Angie Swailes, Audrey Downs; Best-Trained Pet—Rose Weedy, Val Kilby; Dog with Wiggliest Tail—Mary Dal-Favero, Ashley Robichaud, Amber Smith, Stacey Flanigan; Prettiest Dog (25 lbs. and under)—Mntana Herr, Rose Weedy, Kelly Schildt, Cole and Carly Hahn; Prettiest Dog (26 lbs. and over)—Stacey Flanigan, Sila and Christy Wahl, Abby Ewing, Leah Morgan; Best Costumed Pet—Cole and Carly Hahn, Montana Herr, Audrey Downs, Warren Schaefer; Pet with Most Spots—Peyton Davis, Abby Ewing, Kelsey Mathias; Largest Pet—Abby Ewing, Leah Morgan, Silas and Christy Wahl; Most Unusual Pet—Makenzie Lewis, Warren Shafer, Luanne Ewing; Smallest Pet—Makenzie Lewis, Montana Herr, Warren Schaefer, Cole and Carley Hahn.

Opening Ceremonies honored the fiftieth anniversary of WTHU Radio and St. John’s Christian Preschool. Pictured from left are: (front row) Tammy Tingley, Dr. Stacey Brown Hobbs, Wanda Mathias, Manah Beard, Stephanie Moreland, Ann Kruhm, Janice Gramms and Rachel Mosey; (second row) Dave Harman, Principal Quesada, Superintendent Dr. Teresa Alban, Bob Valentine, Rocky Birely, Rodman Myers, Kevin Bream, Gayle Spahr, Hollis Zimmerman, Dottie Valentine, Donna Betteridge, Amy Poffenberger, and Daniel Myers.

ESP Community Show table: Mya Harrington, Leila Casamassina, Tierney Burns, Jack Estep, Olivia Ecker, Mya Horman.

Carol Long won a first place ribbon in the Adult Photography category.

Auctioneer Josh Ruby is pictured with his son, Jameson, and his daughter, Sophia, with her Champion Cake.

Pet Show participants are shown with their pets.

Kiddie Tractor Pull: (Age 7-8) Kyle Stine; (Age 9-10) Grand Champion—Cora Coblentz; (Age 5-6) Reserve Champion—Desean Brown.

Horseshoe Contest: pictured are Jeff Powell, Ray Helsley, Gary Hoffmaster, John Holt, Richard Brown, Bernie Hobbs, Jim Shubert, Rick Willard, Dave Wivell, Johnny Burhman, Dick Glass, Dale Kaas, and Donnie Kaas (knealing).


Denny Black

Pouring fresh, chilled milk from a disposable container that was conveniently purchased at a grocery store is something that all of us take for granted these days. Few people remain who remember the time when small local dairies delivered bottled milk to our doorstep. This is a short article about the dairies that once served our Catoctin community— The Dairies of Catoctin—and my interest in collecting and preserving the artifacts that remain from those local dairies.

By the early 1900s, door-to-door milk delivery was established in American cities and most small towns. The milk route and the milk man who delivered the product in glass bottles became a part of our American culture. The businesses, usually farmers, would bottle their milk and deliver it to customers within their local communities.  Through a constant cycle, the milk man would deliver fresh milk to a customer and return the “empties” to the dairy for cleaning and reuse the next delivery day. Local dairies prided themselves on the quality of their milk, and their glass bottles and paper caps usually included the name of the dairy. Many times, their local advertisements included a slogan.  For example, one of our local dairies advertised that “Careful Mothers Use Our Milk – It’s Safer.” Another local dairy advertised its product as “Pure fresh milk and cream, electrically pasteurized and refrigerated, at your door each morning.” As advances in refrigeration allowed for the transportation of mass-produced milk for convenient stocking in grocery stores, the local dairy and its milk man became a historic footnote by the early 1960s.

My interest in collecting artifacts pertaining to our local dairies started about twenty years ago, when my friend, Larry Hauver, took me to my first antique bottle show. I had no idea at the time that there was such a thing. But there I was, one early winter weekend morning, standing on the gym floor of a northern Baltimore college among endless rows of milk bottles. I was mesmerized by the sight—as far as you could see—of a wonder-world of beautiful glass objects of every color in the rainbow. There were milk bottles of all types and sizes from nearly every state. After a short time there, I quickly learned about the different kinds of milk bottles, including embossed (letters molded in the glass), pyro-glazed (letters painted on the glass), generic (no letters on the glass), and the wax cone (a primitive waxed paper container in the shape of a miniature megaphone). I also learned that dairies used a combination of bottle sizes, including the half-gallon, quart, pint, half-pint, and the much sought-after “gill” (quarter-pint). It was at that bottle show that I became aware of a small group of local dairies that distributed milk door-to-door over the years in and around Emmitsburg and Thurmont.

To date, I have acquired artifacts and information pertaining to the following nine local dairies that provided daily delivery of fresh milk and milk products to homes and businesses in our Catoctin community: Emmitsburg — Bollinger’s Dairy, Castle Farms Dairy, Harvey E. Miller – Fairview Farm Dairy; Thurmont — Bollinger’s Dairy, Gall & Smith Dairy, Emory L. Moser Dairy, Harry S. Simmers Locust Grove Dairy, Homarway Dairy, Munshour’s Jersey Dairy.

The history of our local dairies has yet to be written. The artifacts displayed in The Dairies of Catoctin collection include milk bottles of every type and size. One local dairy (Gall & Smith Dairy) used both embossed and pyro-glazed glass bottles over the years. Another (Emory L. Moser Dairy) only used a generic glass bottle with an advertising cap, while another (Castle Farms Dairy) used a primitive wax cone container. The only artifact that I have been able to locate to date for one local dairy (Munshour’s Jersey Farm Dairy) is an advertisement placed in a Thurmont baseball team scorecard from the 1940s. Then, there was a local dairy (Homarway Dairy) that created its name by combining those of the three local Thurmont families (Hobbs, Martin, and Weybright), who partnered in that business. As with every collection, there is a story behind finding each item.

The Dairies of Catoctin collection has been greatly enhanced by the generosity of Russell Moser and the late Kenneth “Doc” Simmers, who contributed rare artifacts from their grandfathers’ dairies, not to mention the many local milk bottles and related artifacts that Larry Hauver located for me.

As many collectors do at some point in their lives, I recently became concerned about what will happen to my milk bottle collection in years to come. I turned to my friend Erin Dingle, administrator of the Thurmont Regional Library/Emmitsburg Branch Library, for suggestions. Part of our local library’s mission is to maintain the Thurmont Center for Agricultural History.  The purpose of the Center is to serve as a repository of materials that reveal the rich agricultural heritage of Frederick County and our surrounding area. Erin and I quickly agreed that a perfect solution would be to permanently display my milk bottle collection in the main reading room of our library, to complement the Center. With further guidance from Mary Mannix, Frederick County Public Libraries, The Dairies of Catoctin collection is now on permanent display at our Thurmont Regional Library for everyone to enjoy.

Please stop by to see the collection, enjoy the beauty of the artifacts, and learn about the nearly forgotten local dairies that served our Catoctin community. It is a unique part of our local history, captured in glass. As with any collection, it is never complete.

If you have any information or artifacts that would expand our knowledge of The Dairies of Catoctin, we would be grateful if you would contact us. I can be reached at 301-271-4297 or Erin can be reached at 301-600-7212 or

September 2017

by James Rada, Jr.


Creamery Road to be Closed for VHC Spring Fling

Anticipating that the Vigilant Hose Company and Emmitsburg Ambulance Company will be combined by the end of this year, next year’s Spring Fling for Vigilant Hose Company will be held at the ambulance company building on Creamery Road. In the past, this event has taken place at Mount St. Mary’s University and has drawn crowds up to 2,000 people.

Vigilant Hose Company President Frank Davis asked the commissioners to close Creamery Road from Quality Tire to Creamery Way from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the day of the event next spring. It is felt the closure is needed to deal with the amount of traffic that will be in the area for the Spring Fling.

Maryland State Highway Administration has already given their approval since the closure is far enough away not to impact traffic on the state roads.

The Emmitsburg Commissioners approved the temporary closure.


Employee Handbook Changes

The Emmitsburg Commissioners approved recommended changes to the town employee handbook. Because it has been some years since it was last updated, the handbook needed to be brought into compliance with current state and federal laws. It also incorporated some best practices and was made easier to read and understand.


New Water and Sewer Truck Approved

The Emmitsburg Commissioners voted in September to replace a GMC Sonoma used by the water and sewer department. The Sonoma was fourteen years old and had 110,000 miles on it. The new truck will be a Chevy Silverado with a snow plow attached. The winning bid of $46,996 came from Wantz Chevrolet in Taneytown.


Work Continues On Dog Park

The grading for the new Emmitsburg dog park has been completed. The town has also received all bids to install the fencing for the park, but has not yet accepted a contractor to do the work.


Vote in the 2017 Town Election

October 3 is the last day to register to vote for mayor and two commissioners in the upcoming town election. Absentee ballot applications will be available on October 6, and the election will be held on October 31 at the Guardian Hose Activities Building, located at 123 East Main Street. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Anyone in line at the time of closing will be permitted to vote.


Colorfest Parking Restrictions and Road Closures

Colorfest will be held on October 13-15. With it, comes a lot of traffic that the town must accommodate. No parking will be allowed on the east side of Apples Church Road, from Carroll Street to Eyler Road, during the weekend. Thurmont Police have been directed to strictly enforce these restrictions. No parking will be allowed on East Moser Road, North Church Street, North Carroll Street, and all ramps leading onto and exiting Route 15. The “No Parking” areas will be marked with signs.

The following streets will be closed from 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday: Frederick Road (from Moser Road to Water Street); Water Street (from Summit Avenue to Main Street); S. Center Street; Park Lane; Municipal Alley; Polley’s Alley.


Commissioners Look to Spur Growth in Thurmont

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners have begun speaking about ways to provide developers with “a little incentive for them to come to Thurmont and do some development.” The town hasn’t seen any significant growth since 2007.

Currently, home builders have to pay $12,660 in fees when they make their application to the town to build. Mayor John Kinnaird suggested that some of the fees could be delayed. Some of these deferred fees could be the impact fee, the wastewater impact fee, the roads fee, and the parks fee. These could be deferred until settlement since that is when the new home starts to have an effect on these items.

The connection fees would still need to be collected up front because the town spends money to have its crews make the connections to the town’s water and sewer systems.

Commissioner Bill Buehrer said that the town’s Economic Development Committee has also been considering similar things to promote development, and will be making some recommendations to the town.


Colorfest Services Approved

Each year, the Town of Thurmont incurs costs related to Colorfest. These services are security, trash, port-a-potties, and buses. They are paid for with the permit fees that the Colorfest vendors pay.

This year, only one company submitted a bid for each service, and they are businesses that have worked with the town in the past.

“They’ve always provided an excellent service for us, and they are very dependable; they know Colorfest in and out,” said Chief Administrative Officer James Humerick.

May Security of Frederick will provide twenty-nine security guards and a supervisor for both days of Colorfest at a cost of $13,224. This represents no increase over 2016.

Key Sanitation of Dickerson will provide the toilets at a cost of $9,936, and trash service at a cost of $2,264. This also represents no change over 2016.

Rills Bus Service of Westminster will provide eight standard buses and one wheelchair accessible bus on Saturday and six standard buses and one wheelchair accessible bus on Sunday at a cost of $12,464. This is an increase of $576 over 2016.

The commissioners unanimously approved the bids.


Board of Appeals Vacancies

Thurmont has openings for a regular member and an alternate member on its board of appeals. Anyone interested in serving should contact the Thurmont Town Office at 301-271-7313.


Volunteers Needed for Halloween in the Park

The Town of Thurmont is seeking volunteers to help with the annual Halloween in the Park event. This year’s event will be held on October 28. If you would like to help, please contact the town office at 301-271-7313.


Mayor John Kinnaird

October brings a lot of activity to Thurmont! The month of October is Breast Cancer awareness month, and Thurmont is participating with our Annual Gateway to the Cure Fundraiser. During the entire month, residents are encouraged to burn pink light bulbs in their porch lights to show support for this effort. Pink bulbs are available at ACE and Hobbs Hardware. The 3rd Annual Gateway to the Cure 5K will be held on Saturday, October 21, beginning at 8:00 a.m., at Eyler Road Park. Be sure to come out to participate or to cheer on all the walkers and runners. Many local businesses will be running specials this month, with a portion of the sales being donated to the cause. Help make this a successful fundraising event by making a donation at the Town Office. All proceeds from this month-long program are going to help the Patty Hurwitz Fund at FMH.

Colorfest is fast approaching and will be held October 14-15. As always, yard sales will be a draw for Thursday and Friday, October 12-13. The big days are Saturday and Sunday, and with good weather, we could be hosting upwards of 50,000 or more visitors each day. Be sure to visit all the craft areas and enjoy the good times, amazing crafts, delicious food, and friendly crowds of Colorfest! Be on the lookout for some new parking restrictions and be careful driving through Thurmont on Colorfest weekend.

Town Elections will be held on October 31, 2017. Three positions are up for election this year: two commissioner seats and the mayor. Be sure to come out and vote for the candidates of your choice on Tuesday, October 31, at the GHC Activities Building, from 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Remember these important dates: October 3 is the last day to register to vote, absentee ballot applications will be available on October 6, and the Election will be held at the GHC Activities Building on October 31. Remember, your vote counts, so be sure to come out and cast your vote for the candidates of your choice. Let’s get as many registered voters out as possible!

As you may have noticed, the trolley trail has been blacktopped and new bollards installed at the intersections. This is an amazing improvement to the trail and will allow all residents to utilize the trail, including those in wheelchairs or walkers. If you have not been on the trail recently, be sure to take a walk and check out the improvements!

We recently installed crosswalk warning signs on several crossings on East Main Street, Frederick Road, Poplar Avenue, and Moser Road. These are bright yellow signs, placed in the center of the road, to remind drivers that they are required to STOP for pedestrians in the crosswalks. Since the installation, I have noticed that many more drivers are extending the right of way to pedestrians.

I recently attended the Spirit Ride ceremony at the GHC Carnival Grounds. This event is meant to draw attention to the nationwide Slow Down, Pull Over laws, now adopted by all 50 States. There are over 100 deaths per year on our roadways involving first responders, tow truck drivers, and public works employees. These workers are assisting with accidents, fires, medical emergencies, vehicle break-downs, and public service calls; they deserve your full attention as you pass by them. The law requires that you Slow Down when approaching emergency vehicles, tow trucks, and service vehicles working at the side of the road and, if possible, Move Over one lane. One death is one too many for our first responders; let’s make our roads safe for these brave men and women as they assist others.

Questions, suggestions or comments? You can call me at 301-606-9458 or drop me an email at I hope everyone has a safe and healthy October.


 Mayor Don Briggs

With a blink, the cascade of fall sports, activities, programs, and the 61st Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show were all seamlessly underway to the all-too-quiet and assuring backdrop of Catoctin Mountain and the proud fall crops below. Unseen in the alchemy were the months of behind-the-scenes work by administrators, teachers, coaches, students, and volunteers. Congratulations and thank you. All is vibrant and exciting. It’s no wonder Catoctin High School, for the fifth time, received the Maryland “Character Education” award. If that wasn’t enough, the school was also recognized for its sportsmanship of not only its teams but also its fans— students, families, and friends.

With the exciting reality of the school events, to our youth in action also came a somber reality. Almost unnoticed is the suffering in other parts of the country hit by Harvey and Irma. There they were, back and forth to the locations hit, from the different states, moving south along US Rt. 15, the caravans of power company trucks with their boom lifts—solemn, sobering processions.

The Seton Center held its third “Getting Ahead” program graduation, with six program participants. Congratulations. The program centers on making participants aware of the different resources available to them to enhance their lives.

If you are looking for a job or an employer looking for workers, mark your calendar for the Seton Center “Job Fair” on Tuesday, October 9, 2017, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Another opportunity to get ahead. Call Missy Miller at 301-447-6012 ext. 11 or 12.

Frederick County Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources Program Coordinator Lisa Orr made a presentation to the town green team. Lots of good information on how the town can make residents aware of more innovative ways to reduce their home energy costs was provided. Soon, we hope to be posting information on new programs on the town website and Facebook.

On September 18, I had the privilege to be a part the “U.S. Constitution Day Celebration” that the Mount St. Mary’s University Office of the Institute of Leadership (iLead) program held in the Patriot Hall student dining area. My part was to read the Preamble of The Constitution.

Libby and I attended the Town EBPA-sponsored breakfast for town businesses (forty-five businesses) and the Mother Seton School grandparent’s day.

As mentioned last month, coming up is the 36th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, held October 7-8, 2017. As in the past, thousands of people will be visiting our town. It is an honor to be a part of this tribute, so let’s welcome all. For a schedule of events, Google “National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend.”

Mark your calendar and follow up for details on the town website for Emmitsburg’s Annual Halloween Parade and Party at Vigilant Hose on Tuesday, October 31. The parade will start at 7:00 p.m. The annual event is sponsored by local businesses and organizations.

There are many community project updates. Pool construction is back on track and steadily progressing. The Square revitalization and sidewalk project is moving at a good pace (weather permitting), along the south side of East Main Street. We were not awarded the second grant for the Dog Park, so we are in need of donations. With the site cleared, we will probably install the perimeter fence this fall. Flat Run Bridge has seen slow, difficult work around a Chesapeake Bay feeder. The State Highway Administration is working with their contractor about the location of town water line.

Come have a great dinner and help raise funds for the Frederick County 4H Therapeutic Riding Program. Have you started your Christmas shopping?  With over 600 items to bid on, you will surely find something for that special person.

Their Annual Silent Auction/Spaghetti Dinner, in memory of Carol Devilbiss, will be held at the Lewistown Fire Hall, from 5:00-8:00 p.m., on Saturday, October 28, 2017. The event will also feature 50/50s, vacation raffles, cash beer and wine, and more. Tickets are $10.00 at the door and $8.00 if purchased from a member or at the farm. Call the program office 301-898-3587 and leave a message for more information.

Some of the items up for bid will be antique radios,  weekend at the Outer Banks, beginner snowboarding lessons, tickets to the MET, jewelry, Ravens and Orioles sports memorabilia, and much more.

The Frederick County 4H Therapeutic Riding Program  provides more than just an opportunity for special needs individuals to ride a horse. Its mission is to incorporate the elements of physical and occupational therapy, education, socialization, communication, self-reliance, and recreation into the riding experience. View the advertisement on page 25.

Trinity United Church of Christ in Thurmont invites you to the 4th Annual Veterans Day Celebration & Luncheon on Sunday, November 5, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. Luncheon for all attendees will follow the service, from 12:30-2:00 p.m.Veterans, and all others planning to attend, must RSVP by November 1 with their information so that enough food can be planned for the event. Call 301-271-2305 or email Everyone is welcome! View the advertisement on page 47 for more details.

The Guardian Hose Company’s Holiday Bazaar will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2017, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., at the Thurmont Activities Building at the carnival grounds. Crafters are needed; if interested, please contact Patty at 301-788-0432. View the advertisement on page 23 for more information.

Don’t miss the best apple dumplings and ice cream at Colorfest, October 14-15, 2017! Visit the Thurmont Town Park and look for the Thurmont Community Ambulance Company’s booth. Also, this is the last call for tickets for the Gun Bash, being held October 7. View the advertisement on page 46 for more information and for how to get your Gun Bash tickets today.

Don’t miss Wesley Chapel’s 15th Annual Art & Craft Show on Saturday, October 28, 2017, from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., at the Urbana Fire Hall (indoor)Event features sixty-five vendors, and will be serving breakfast and lunch. View the advertisement on page 16 for more information.