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Frank W. Albaugh

KIA Lorraine Campaign

Frank W. Albaugh was born on December 26, 1923, in Thurmont, to Maurice, World War I Veteran, and wife, Margaret Albaugh. He and his parents’ address was given in the 1940 Census as simply being “Main Street,” Thurmont; also seen elsewhere as having been “31 West Main Street.” 

Albaugh’s father’s place of employment was stated as having been Woodsboro Savings Bank, where he worked as a banker.

The 1940 Census also stated that Albaugh had a younger sister, Mary C Albaugh, who was 11 years old at the time of the census, and Albaugh was 16 years old.

Albaugh was a graduate of Thurmont High School, and at age 18, he registered for the draft on June 30, 1942. At that time, he had already been enrolled in the University of Maryland and had been attending classes there for two years when he entered into the military service on February 12, 1943, at 20 years of age.

His statistics at the time of his enlistment were recorded as his having been 5’8” in height and weighing 193 pounds, with brown hair and eyes and a “ruddy” complexion.

Albaugh enlisted as a private. He had achieved the rank of staff sergeant before meeting his untimely death on the killing fields of France in 1944. 

Albaugh was dispatched to Europe as a member of the Army’s 137th Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division, which landed on Ohama Beach during D-Day operation, deploying on July 7 through July 9. 

As the 137th Infantry Regiment pushed through France in pursuit of a retreating German Army, Albaugh was wounded by enemy fire in August 1944, in which he was “slightly wounded,” treated, and was then permitted to “immediately” return to his unit, according to the August 15, 1944, edition of The (Frederick) News

The newspaper also noted that Albaugh was issued a Purple Heart for his wounding, which he had subsequently sent home to his parents.  The (Hagerstown) Morning Herald more specifically reported on August 16 that Albaugh had “suffered a slight flesh wound in one leg.”

Fast-forwarding to the engagement that ultimately cost Albaugh his life on the evening of September 9, 1944. The 35th Infantry Division was ordered to assail the German line on September 11, in the area of the Moselle River, and to capture the high ground west of the Moselle River, southeast of Nancy, France, according to

The action was part of the Lorraine Campaign, which historians have described as “one of the most sensational campaigns in the annals of American military history,” and the campaign against the Germans was launched as the result of allied military having discovered “top-secret interceptions known as Ultra revealed that the Franco-German border was virtually undefended and would remain so until mid-September,” according to The Lorraine Campaign: An Overview, September-December 1944, by Dr. Christopher R. Gabel.

On September 11, the 137th Infantry Regiment was directed to attempt to cross the Moselle River near Crevechamps.

Describing the German defenses, which the 137th had faced, wrote on that website that, “The crossing proved difficult, as the Germans had blown all bridges across the Moselle from Flavigny south, and they held strong positions on the east side of the river, with machine gun emplacements on the steep bluffs overlooking the river, and artillery positions to the rear. The canal running parallel to the river’s west bank was an added barrier… ”

It was on September 12 that Staff Sergeant Frank W. Albaugh fell mortally wounded by enemy fire. Marylanders as a whole did not learn of the death of Albaugh until November 8, 1944, when The (Baltimore) Sun published a story, headlined “20 Maryland Men Killed in (European) War Action,” in which Staff Sergeant Albaugh was cited as having been one of those killed in action. 

Albaugh’s mortal remains were never brought home, and he is still interred in the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial, Saint-Avold, Departement de la Moselle, Lorraine, France.

Are you looking for a scholarship? Check the Community Foundation of Frederick County for the scholarships offered by the Thurmont High School Alumni Association.

The application is open February 15 through March 15, 2024. You must be a graduating high school senior and related to someone who graduated from Thurmont High School or from Catoctin High School classes of l969 to l974. Remind those that did graduate during those years that the annual banquet will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2024, at the Thurmont Ambulance Event Complex.

Any questions may be directed to Viola Noffsinger at 301-418-1760 or by email at

Nancy Gearhart Rice, Thurmont

A way to take one’s mind off the troubled times we now live in is to relive the past with memories. I have called Thurmont my home since the 1950s, so there’s no doubt I’ve seen many changes. 

I went to Thurmont High School and learned along with students in grades 1-12, all in the same building. No bad memories stand out from my school years. I took schoolwork seriously and always aimed for good grades.

After high school, in 1962, I was hired by the town clerk, Mr. Guy Frushour, for the position of secretary in the Thurmont Town Office.  Although my job title was “secretary,” I wore many hats.

The town’s office building was fairly new, about five years old at that time and became my workplace for the next 25 years. I joined Pauline Firor and Annabelle Taylor in the front office. The public works department was headed by Bill Rice, superintendent, and the following workers: Joe Fraley, Dalton Perry, Harry Sharer, Paul Sweeney, Charles Willhide, Raymond Knott, Manuel Willard, Charles Yingling, Paul Shaffer, Johnny Robinson, Ellsworth Poole, and Kermit Riffle.

Mr. Frushour was a very frugal person, but he was easy to get along with and delighted in telling us stories of his life. He loved talking about his college years at Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg. He walked from Graceham to the college every day. Sometimes, he was fortunate enough to get a ride. He proudly told us how many footsteps it took to get there. He didn’t have a driver’s license or a car and walked to and from work each day. I would sometimes offer to drive him home, but he usually worked past quitting time.

The electricity and water bills were all computed and written by hand, without the use of adding machines. We had a good supply of scrap paper on which to do the computations. Annabelle would take cards that she had prepared ahead with the customer’s name, account number, and the previous month’s meter reading, and she would transfer the present reading from the meter books to get the month’s kilowatt hour (kWh) usage. Pauline and I would check her subtraction and prepare the customer’s bill. We used pre-calculated rate cards to get the kWh cost, then we computed the sales tax and wrote in the amount due using ink pens. We had to make two copies of the bill (not carbon copies): one for the office and one for the customer. I would then take Pauline’s stack of bills and check all her figures; likewise, she would check mine. 

When a customer’s electric or water bills were past due, one could expect a knock on his/her door by Mr. Frushour. He would walk to their home or catch a ride on a town vehicle and attempt to collect the payment or set up a payment plan. The delinquency rate was very low. The town office hours were 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. until noon on Saturdays. 

Each week, usually Wednesday, the parking meter money was collected by someone on the police force. After a meter maid was hired, she did that job.  The coins would be dumped on a large table in our office, and two of us would separate the coins and wrap them by hand, except for the pennies.  These were wrapped using a hand-crank coin-wrapping machine. 

The office was a very comfortable place to work. No freebies were offered. We paid ten cents for a cup of coffee, and a soda machine provided nickel cokes. On Christmas Eve, the employees would be treated to a Christmas lunch. It was held in the stock room on a makeshift table of plywood, and we would get to go home a couple hours early. The office had one adding machine (hand-crank, not electric) that was shared by the three of us. We had manual typewriters, and the office functioned well with one telephone. I was responsible for accounts payable and payroll. Every check was hand written.

I was also secretary to Thurmont Police Chief Clarence Hagelin. On occasion, he would call me in at night to type the statement of persons detained or to type emergency paperwork. There was no copy machine; carbon paper was used. We did whatever it took to get things done.

I was the recording secretary for the board of commissioners for about 20 years. No tape recorder was used. I took notes in shorthand at all meetings and then typed the minutes, which were put into binders having pre-numbered pages.   

In 1964, I was part of the very first committee formed to initiate planning and zoning in Thurmont. Public hearings were held in the auditorium of the Thurmont High School. A few meetings became a rather noisy scene. The Thurmont Planning and Zoning Commission was then formed, and I was appointed executive secretary. I processed the very first zoning permits for the citizens of Thurmont. I believe the charge was $3.00.

Mr. Frushour became ill in 1966, and his position was filled by Glenn Nikirk. Mr. Nikirk was also zoning administrator. During his time, the office became more modernized. He was instrumental in getting the first grants for the town. In 1978, Mr. Nikirk resigned to take a position with the City of Frederick. Mayor C. Ray Weddle asked me to accept the position of zoning administrator, which I did and served in that capacity for nearly 10 years.

During these years, I also became the unofficial town office historian and answered inquiries from many seeking information about their ancestors.  Here’s one such letter, sent from Putnam, CT. in 1964.

Addressed To: “Either Town Manager, Selectman, Mayor or whoever is in charge of Thurmont, Maryland.”

“To whom it may concern; In 1928 I was shown by a person, a little white cottage at a corner in Thurmont, Md. on the road to Baltimore. Now, I am told there never was a house there. I never took a drop in my life. I’m 84, so there is something or someone cockeyed. Enclosed is a stamped, self-addressed envelope for an answer. My defunct wife was born there in 1897, April 2nd.”

After exchanging a couple letters with the sender to gather more information, we determined the location of the house in question.

Thurmont was a small town back then and much less populated. We knew every resident and most everything about them. The majority of the residents came in person to pay utility bills, usually by cash. 

I am proud to have known and worked under Mayors Donald L. Lewis, Roy W. Lookingbill, C. Ray Weddle, and James F. Black, and I feel fortunate to have watched our town grow over the past 70-plus years.

I can still remember:

The Zimmerman ladies, wearing long dresses and standing on their side porch (later removed) at the stone house on the corner of West Main Street and Altamont Avenue.

Buck Lewis walking from his gas station to direct traffic at the square when the fire alarm sounded.

Ice cream sundaes from Domingue’s and Donald Lewis’ soda fountains.

Buying clothing and shoes at Shappy’s on the Square.

The canning factory in operation.

The State Theatre.

Donald and Freida Lewis’ card and gift shop and Toy Land.

The Thurmont train station in operation.

Both the Dixie Diner and Davy’s Diner on Water Street.

And that is how some things used to be. I am hoping this stirs the minds of the few residents of Thurmont who can remember these times.

The Western Maryland Train Station, taken looking west from Boundary Avenue across the main line. At the left can be seen one of the water towers used to water the engines as they stopped in Thurmont.

Photo of the Dixie Diner, taken in 1939. The Dixie Diner was built in the late 1930s using an old H&FRR car by Mary and Leonard Fogle. After several years, the Dixie was enlarged by adding a second trolley car to the far end. It was operated by several individuals over the years, including Mary Fogle, Bill Houck, Audie and Audrey Moore, and Myrtle and Jim Steele.  The restaurant sat on Water Street at the Frederick Road intersection between the Fogle’s house and garage. The Center of Life Chiropractic Center sits in this general vicinity today.

This photograph (above) of Christmas lights at the Square in Thurmont dates from the early 1960s. All the businesses were all lit up, with the most prominent being Donald and Freda Lewis’s Corner Store.

The Lewis’s purchased this business in 1952 from the Wisotzkey Brothers. The store featured an amazing soda fountain bar along the far wall, a great selection of candies, cards, gifts, magazines, and of course, Toy Land upstairs. Lewis’s was located on the Square at the intersection of East Main Street and Water Street.

The next storefront down East Main Street also belonged to the Lewis’s and housed the Lewis Sporting Good Store. Donald was an avid fisherman and was always willing to offer advice about equipment or the best spots to fish. One of the most interesting features of the building was the corner door seen here; the Thurmont Bank building across the street also featured a corner door. Donald and Freda were very involved in the town (Donald was a Thurmont Mayor and Frederick County Commissioner) and loved by everyone. Freda died in 2004 and Donald in 2018.

On the second floor of the Wisotzkey store on the square was Toy Land! This was the place to go to see toys of all kinds, including bikes, doll houses, games, sleds, drums, baby buggies, swing sets, child-sized chairs, dart boards, and lots of other wonderful toys. Donald Lewis kept Toy Land open for many years as well. Pictured (from left): Unknown lady, Mary Mae Wisotzkey, Donnie Marshall, Roy Wisotzkey, Elizabeth Wisotzkey, and Doris Fitzgerald.

Buck Lewis at his Sinclair Gas and Service Station. After Buck closed the station, the building served as an ice cream parlor and a seafood/sandwich shop.

Thurmont Mayor James Black signing a document in the meeting room at the old town offices, located at 10 Frederick Road.

Attention graduating seniors! Are you related to a graduate from Thurmont High School or Catoctin High School up through the class of 1974? Are you looking for a scholarship?

Check the Community Foundation of Frederick County website at for the scholarships offered by the Thurmont High School Alumni Association. Applications are being accepted from March 1 through March 31, 2022, only.

Seniors, remind your parents, grandparents, and their friends that the Thurmont High School Alumni banquet will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at the Thurmont Event Complex. Any questions, call 301-418-1760 or email

The Thurmont Lion’s Club will be collecting new and gently used coats (children and adult), beginning October 26 through November. Drop-off sites are: Thurmont Food Lion, Catoctin High School, and Thurmont Middle School, or you can call Marci at 301-748-1665 for pickup.

Respected CHS Shop Teacher Survived Korea and TB

by Priscilla Rall

Michael Massett immigrated from Italy with only a first grade education. He went to work in the coal mines of West Virginia living in Fairmont where he married Catherine Colorusso. Their first child, Dominick, was born in 1928 just as the Great Depression began its grip on our country. This was a time when the miners were striking for better wages and conditions. They were paid in script which was only good at the company store. Dominick went with his father to many of the strikes. Some of the workers became scabs or “yellow dogs” and helped hired thugs armed with rifles to break up the strikes. There were many accidents in the mines, and the Massett family lost several family members in them. In fact, his uncle was killed in one in the 1960’s.  Dominic felt like he was always going to funerals, either for men killed in the mines or for those who died from the effects of the coal dust. Times were tough for the families of the coal miners, and finally Michael was forced to go and ask for “relief.” The government worker there told him, “Go back to Italy and let Mussolini take care of you.” Michael resolved then and there never to ask for any assistance, and the family survived by raising a hog and a large garden. Dominick remembers being called “a hot-headed dago” many times. It was in great part due to the effort of Eleanor Roosevelt that conditions improved in the hills and hollows of West Virginia. Nearby CCC Camps employed many who were struggling to survive. Dominick started work when he was five, delivering newspapers and later at a bowling alley. Every penny he earned he gave to his mother. He also did a lot of hunting and fishing, furnishing the family with carp, suckers, groundhogs, rabbit and squirrel.

Dominick never saw his mother asleep. She was awake when he went to bed and awake when he woke up. First she worked at a restaurant, and then at Westinghouse. Theirs was a typical hardworking immigrant family. When his father finally became an American citizen he told his children, “Now we are Americans. We will no longer speak Italian.”

During WWII, Dominick’s uncle Tony, a medic, was listed as MIA, but he had been captured at the Battle of the Bulge and weighed only 96 lbs. when he was finally freed.  Dominick was determined to join the army, but at only 14, this just wasn’t possible.

At his high school graduation, the school charged $10 in fees to be allowed to cross the stage and receive your diploma. A friend learned that he did not have the necessary money and her father paid his fee allowing his proud parents to see their son graduate high school, the first in their family to do so.

After working a few different jobs, Dominick was drafted on December 7, 1950. Just days after finishing boot camp, his father died from a combination of black lung and heart failure. The Red Cross refused his request for a 10-day compassionate leave, finally giving him only three days. Then he shipped out to Japan and then to Korea, landing at Inchon. First he was assigned to a supply unit, trucking supplies north, then he joined a tank company, eventually becoming tank commander. The only training he had on tanks was from a WWII veteran tanker, “Arkie” (he was from Arkansas) who had served under Patton, but that was enough. Dominick named his tank for his sister, Antoinette. His tank company was detached and was sent to wherever they were most needed…Pusan, Taegu, Seoul, Chosen, the Kumwah Valley in the Iron Triangle and others. At one destroyed village, they found a number of small children huddled in an abandoned school house, most probably orphans. The tankers found five nuns to care and teach them, and would periodically send money to help.

Dominick was called “Biggun” due to his size and strength. Once a young lieutenant in a jeep pulled up to Biggun’s tank and ordered that he remove the small American flag flying from his tank’s antenna. He refused, and finally his captain radioed him to find out what was the hold up. When Biggun told him, the captain said, “Shoot the S.O.B. and pull out.”

Massett often saw wounded evacuated by helicopters to MASH units, tied into baskets on the sides of the chopper. Sgt. Wendell Murphy from Mt. Airy took a ride like that.

Finally, Dominick’s tour was up and he was discharged. He began working for the railroad. But one day, things went terribly wrong. Without any warning, he began bleeding profusely from his mouth and nose. He was eventually diagnosed as having TB, which should have shown up in the x-ray taken before his discharge. He spent two years in VA hospitals, going from 226 lbs. to 167 lbs. Rated as 100 percent disabled, he decided to continue his education, first at Fairmont College and then at WVA University with the goal of helping others in rehabilitation and PT. During this time, he married Janet, and in 1958, he landed a job teaching industrial arts at Thurmont High School. During his time at THS and then Catoctin HS, he worked with Ned Kerns (also a Korean vet), Bill Baker and Carlos Engler (both WWII vets). Dominick built the family a home in Thurmont on Radio Lane and the family increased with five children; Sabrina, Elisa, Myra, Robert and Matthew. Janet worked as a nurse for Dr. Morningstar in Emmitsburg.

Dominick now has seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and rarely follows his doctor’s advice to take it easy. After a long life of service to his country and community, he has certainly earned the right to do as he pleases. We in Frederick County, salute you and honor you as a true hometown hero.

Courtesy Photo of Michael Massett

Remembering Jim Spalding

by Jim Houck, Jr.

James Irvin Spalding, life-long resident of Thurmont, passed away peacefully in his home on May 19, 2014, at the age of seventy-five. He was the loving husband of Ellen L. Sutton Spalding for twenty-three years.

Born January 23, 1939, in Thurmont, he was the son of the late Charles “Hamp” Spalding and Helen M. Gourley Spalding. Jim served in the United States Air Force for four years. He worked for the Maryland State Highway Administration as a Maintenance Foreman for thirty-four years, and earned—along with his father, Charles “Hamp” Spalding, and brother, Don Spalding—a family accolade for 109 of combined service to the organization (Jim worked thirty-four years, Don worked for thirty-seven years, and Hamp worked for thirty-eight years).

Jim was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, a life-member and past Post Commander of AMVETS Post 7 in Thurmont, a member of the American Legion Post 121 in Emmitsburg, a member of the South Mountain Rod and Gun Club, and a member of the Guardian Hose Company in Thurmont.

Jim was an athlete. At Thurmont High School, he played soccer, basketball, and baseball. In 1956 and 1957, his team won the Frederick County Championship for basketball. He loved to dance and was good at it. He loved to have fun, tease people, and laugh with them. He loved to cook and have his family for Sunday and holiday dinners. He helped the fire company in preparing food for different events. He was involved with family functions and the community. On most days, he would wake early and set the coffee on for his wife, Ellen, then set about making his rounds to Bollinger’s Restaurant, to Shuff’s Meat Market, to Hobb’s Hardware, and, sometimes, to Timeless Trends, before setting back home. He was a father that never missed an event, ball game, outing, party, or celebration, and most of the time, he was the first to arrive. He didn’t promise to be there, HE WAS THERE!

Jim made sure family and friends came together for one of his favorite activities: butchering. He guarded his recipes for pon haus closely, and only shared the recipes with a few select individuals, imparting the knowledge slowly and sometimes without their knowledge. Those who had the privilege of tasting his recipes know that his are some of the best.

Jim’s daughter, Kathy Hovermale, said, “He taught me so many things, and I have a lot of funny stories I could tell you about jokes he played on me.” One story she told was about Jim walking her down the aisle on her wedding day. She recalled, “When it was just him and me in the back of the church, he kissed me, told me he loved me, then kicked the side door open and said, ‘Last chance—we can run; I’ll go with you!’” Jim found Kathy and her husband, Keith, a house that turned out to be right up the street from Jim’s house in Thurmont. Kathy said people thought she was crazy moving so close to her family. Kathy said that since moving in, “I needed them [Jim and her mother, Ellen] a thousand more times than they ever needed me. I ate their food, sat on their porch, and spent more time there bothering them than the other way around.”

Jim’s niece, Diane Miller who passed away in September of 2016, said, “We talked on the phone every day, and some days two, three, or four times, depending on what was going on. I had to keep him updated on what was going on around the farm.” She recalled his relationships with the farm animals, saying he wasn’t too fond of cats, but was very involved with all aspects of the farm. She recalled him often asking what she was going to do when he wasn’t around to help with it anymore. Diane said, “I know it’s not realistic, but I never thought that day would ever come.”

An ornery youngster, an elementary school teacher of Jim’s wrote on one of his report cards that he, “had a rather happy-go-lucky attitude about it all.” For all who knew him, that described him well. He made friends wherever he went, even befriending a lady who had mistaken him for “Steve” during a rest on a bench in a Walmart.

In addition to his wife, Jim’s family members still miss him greatly. He is survived by two daughters, Mary Mahoney and husband, Michael, of Fairfield, Pennsylvania, and Kathryn Hovermale and husband, Keith, of Thurmont; his grandson, James Austin Hovermale of Thurmont; his brothers, Donald L. Spalding and his wife, Joan, of Thurmont, and Charles E. Spalding, also of Thurmont; neice Lisa Campbell and husband, Todd, and their daughter Katy, of Hagerstown, Maryland; nephew, Mark Spalding, neice-in-law, Deb, and their children, Lydia and Hayden, of Thurmont; and nephew Randy Miller, of Sabillasville.

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

James Irvin Spalding

Courtesy Photo

In small towns, businesses sometimes come and go. Times change, people move. It’s a special thing when a business can set up shop and serve a community and its people for generations, which is why we are happy to announce that, after thirty-seven years of faithfully serving our community, Bonita Smith of J&B Real Estate is stepping down as owner/broker and passing the reigns into the very qualified hands of long-time local agent, Cindy Grimes.

J&B opened its doors in 1981, when Jim and Bonita Smith, who both had their real estate licenses in Howard County, moved back to their hometown of Thurmont. Bonita Feeser and Jim Smith, of the Hillside Turkey Farm Smiths, met in school and graduated from Thurmont High School. Noticing a lack of real estate options in the area, they decided to move back home. Now, after running a successful business for decades, Bonita, though not retiring, intends to free up some time for gardening, traveling, and taking care of her chickens.

You might recognize Cindy Grimes as a familiar face around the area. Cindy started as a salesperson with J&B in December of 2006, received her Associate Broker license in April 2017, and became a broker in December of 2017. This allowed the transition to be finalized, and Cindy took ownership on January 1, 2018. Bonita will continue to be a presence around the office, assuming the role of associate broker.

Having been a part of the industry and the area for so many years, Cindy has great respect for both the community and the people in it. She knows how valuable it is to build and maintain an honest, hardworking reputation as a local business, and is grateful to have had the opportunity to do so.

About the transition, she said, “Without the extraordinary support of the community, my family and friends, I would not be where I am today. I am so thankful for all of my clients—past, present, and future. Referrals are a large part of my business and that means the world to me. I look forward to continuing the standard of service everyone has come to expect from J&B Real Estate.”

Despite being a small-town agent, Cindy sold 15.2 million in real estate in 2017. That is an impressive total, especially when looking at it from the perspective that she is serving clients who live in, or are moving to, small towns or rural areas. She works hard for her clients. “I am vested in my clients and care about their real estate experience. I want to make sure they enjoy a smooth transaction.”

Regarding the future of the business, Cindy is optimistic. Currently, J&B is licensed in both Maryland and Pennsylvania, with six agents in the office. Cindy plans to expand the team, both by bringing in new agents, as well as growing the area in which they do business.

Cindy shared that there are some pending changes within the profession that will streamline things for realtors in the future. This will carry through to clients being more informed and enjoying an even easier real estate buying or selling experience. By staying in touch with modern trends, training, and information, Cindy hopes to make J&B an attractive option for realtors looking to grow and develop their own careers.

For more information about J&B or to contact them, visit their offices at 13 ½ Water Street in Thurmont, call 301-271-3487 x 24 or 301-788-5354, or visit

J&B Real Estate has been a long-standing advertiser in The Catoctin Banner. We greatly appreciate their support.

Cindy Grimes and Bonita Smith of J&B Real Estate.

by James Rada, Jr.

When the men of the Thurmont District of Frederick County began returning home from World War I, they were feted with a parade through Thurmont. People lined the streets to see their returning heroes. They cheered, and they cried.

In that, Thurmont was not unusual. Just about every town in the country celebrated its returning soldiers from The War to End All Wars.

It wasn’t enough for Thurmont, though. Some citizens realized that those who had given the most weren’t there to march in the parade. Eleven men from the district had died in the fighting of World War I.

Rosa Waters, whose son James died from Spanish Flu while serving in the military during the war, led a community group that wanted to create a lasting memorial to the town’s servicemen.

The Grimes Estate donated a piece of land on East Main Street for a memorial park. Ground was broken in the spring of 1922, and “The work of transforming the meadow into Memorial Park was begun and there will be no let-up until it is finished,” reported the Catoctin Clarion.

Committee members began soliciting donations for the landscaping and construction work of the park. More than $3,000 was raised (around $44,000 in today’s dollars), which more than paid for the initial expenses of the park.

On Armistice Day 1922, a parade that included Veterans and students from Thurmont High School marched through Thurmont. “The town was in holiday attire for the occasion. Flags were displayed from every business place and private home, many of the private homes becoming elaborately decorated with the national colors,” the Frederick Daily News reported.

The parade passed under the stone arch that marked the entrance to the park. Hundreds of citizens watched the parade pass and then followed it to the park.

The speakers and special guests sat on the rostrum, which had been built from native stone. Surrounding the rostrum were eleven scarlet oaks that had been planted in memory of the young men who had died in the war. They were: Louis R. Adams, Murry S. Baker, Benjamin E. Cline, Edgar J. Eyler, William T. Fraley, Roy O. Kelbaugh, Jesse M. Pryor, Clifford M. Stitely, Raymond L. Stull, Stanley M. Toms, and James S. Waters.

The park also featured four bronze tablets, three of which had names of Thurmont Veterans inscribed on them. The widow of Lt. Edgar Eyler, who had died in the war and for whom the Thurmont American Legion was named, unveiled the tablets.

The Frederick Daily News reported that “Frederick County’s first memorial to war heroes and the first in the state it is said, was dedicated with appropriate and interesting ceremonies at Thurmont Saturday morning.”

One of the speakers at the event was Folger McKinsey, the “Bentztown Bard.” He told the crowd, “You have paid more attention to Armistice Day than any other town in the state; you have great reason to be proud of yourselves.”

He also read a poem inspired by the event that was published in the Baltimore Sun a few days later. It read in part:

And they shall turn and read these carven names,

And they shall see again the battle-flames,

And tell again the story of the strife

And gaze again as if across the seas

To those old fields of Flanders and Argonne,

The poppied fields, the shattered Picardy,

Belleau and Meuse – and be so glad that we

In our own time of golden memory,

Looking beyond the tumult and the wave,

Have planted here this tribute to the brave,

The true, the fine, the noble and the fond!


George Wireman noted in his book, Gateway to the Mountains, “Although the memorial was a community project, it did not officially become a part of community property until November 11, 1928, when it was turned over to the Town Commissioners and accepted on behalf of the citizens, by Mayor Frank L. Cady.”

The park continues to serve Thurmont today as a memorial to its sons and daughters who serve in the Armed Forces.

The undated photo is believed to be from the end of WWI, but it may show the original arch entry for Memorial Park.

Attention graduating seniors related to a graduate from Thurmont High School!  Are you looking for a scholarship? Did you check the Community Foundation of Frederick County website at for the scholarships offered by the Thurmont High School Alumni Association?  Applications are accepted from March 1 through March 31, only. Also, remind your parents, grandparents, and their friends of the Thurmont High School Alumni banquet on Saturday, June 3, 2017, at the Lewistown Fire Hall. Any questions call 301-898-9898 or email

Six Catoctin High School Seniors Sign College Letters of Intent

Six seniors at Catoctin High School (CHS) eagerly awaited to sign the documents that would soon take them off to their next step in their athletic and educational careers. As proud family, friends, and coaches poured into the high school’s gymnasium on February 29, 2016, CHS Athletic Director Kevin Macmullen handed out pens to each student in preparation. As the students began to sign, their coaches (Valentine, Franklin, Williams, and Olsen) remembered star moments of each individual and spoke of how proud they were of each one of their athletes.

Katie Shugars will be attending Frederick Community College and playing on the Women’s Softball team. Kristen Fox will be attending Stevenson University in Maryland, playing on the Women’s Soccer team. Four seniors will be moving onto a college football program: Noah Dell, attending Frostburg State University; Payne Harrison, attending Mercyhurst University; CJ Simmers, attending Juniata College; and Braden Thomson, attending Bridgewater College.


Pictured from left are seniors Katie Shugars, Kristen Fox, Payne Harrison, CJ Simmers, Braden Thomson, and Noah Dell.

Thurmont Middle School PTA to Award Two Scholarships

The Thurmont Middle School (TMS) PTA is awarding two scholarships to qualified Catoctin High School seniors. You must apply by Friday, April 29, 2016. Applicant must have attended TMS for one full school year. View the advertisement on page 6 for more details.

Thurmont’s Masonic Lodge #155 Offering Two Scholarships

Since 1995, Thurmont Masons have awarded scholarships worth over $75,000 to area students. Scholarships are available to all graduating high school level seniors from a Maryland State accredited public, private, and/or homeschool program, who reside within the Catoctin High School district boundaries.

Scholarship application forms are available at the Catoctin High School guidance office and at the Thurmont Regional Library.

Interested students must complete an application and return it on or before April 30, 2016.

Questions regarding the application should be directed to Acacia Masonic Lodge #155 Scholarship Committee via the Lodge website at

Thurmont Elementary Hosts its Annual STEM Night

Thurmont Elementary School hosted its annual STEM Night, where students showed off their skills in all aspects of science, technology, engineering, and math. Every year, STEM Night has grown, with this year having over eighteen stations of interactive fun, spread throughout the school for the community to stop, look, learn, and play. Can you take two dixie cups and one 3×5 index card, make a bridge with it, and then stack forty-six large and ninety-three small metal washers on it without the bridge collapsing? Fourth grader Tegan Mott holds the record.

Students research projects included topics such as fastest cars, bottle rockets, the solar system, why candy is sticky, and many more. TriState Astronomers was on hand with their 8” 40 mm IP Celestron reflected telescope, which allowed everyone to take turns looking at craters on the moon, up close and personal.

This event could not happen without the support of the Catoctin community.  Thurmont Elementary School would like to thank the following: Gateway Market, Rocky’s Pizza, Weis Markets, Jubilee Foods, Bollinger’s Family Restaurant, Mountain Gate Family Restaurant, Food Lion, Subway, Wendy’s, Fratelli’s Thurmont Kountry Kitchen, Shamrock, Catoctin High School, Walkersville High School, Mrs. Brawner and NIH/NCI, Mr. & Mrs. Child, Boy Scout Troop 270, Cub Scout Pack 270, TMS Olympiad Team, Thurmont Public Library, Catoctin Zoo, TriState Astronomers and TEPS PTA for helping to make STEM Night a success.

Mother Seton School Students Map Their Way to Winning in Annual Geography Bee

Do you know in which country Mount Kosciuszko is the highest peak? Jack Guinan (Grade 6) and Emma Adams (Grade 8) could tell you! (It’s Australia.) The Mother Seton School students placed first and second respectively in the school-wide Geography Bee held on February 3, 2016.

First-place winner Jack went on to qualify for the Maryland State Geography Bee, to be held on April 1, 2016, in Owings Mills and will be broadcast on Maryland Public Television. Only the Top 100 scoring students are eligible to take part in the State Bee. Jack is the only seventh-grader and only Catholic school student from Frederick County to be selected. The Top 10 state winners will move on to the National Geography Bee, which will be held in May of this year. The National winner receives a $50,000 college scholarship. The National Geography Bee is in its twenty-eighth year and is sponsored by the National Geographic Society.

Elizabeth Vines, Middle School teacher and Geography Bee Coordinator, said that participation in the Bee is a fun way to promote the value of understanding the world around us. “I tell the students they are global citizens,” she said. “The Bee is one of the ways in which we try to broaden their minds.”

With it being easier than ever before to connect with others on a global scale, it’s crucial for students to have an understanding of their neighbors and where they come from. Classic subject matters such as geography provide the necessary frame of reference for students to reach that understanding, and programs like the Geography Bee provide a forum for students to challenge themselves.

Guinan and Adams competed against other classmates who were selected after the initial classroom screening, including: Ethan Little and Vincent Reaver III (Grade 4), Jameson Doll and Brendan Guinan (Grade 5), Emma Wivell and Alyssa Corsetty (Grade 6), Larisa Tayler (Grade 7), and Kirstyn Bockelmann (Grade 8).


First-place winner and runner-up of MSS Geography Bee, held February 3, 2016: (from left) Jack Guinan (Grade 7) and Emma Adams (Grade 8).

Thurmont High School Alumni Invited to Celebrate 100 Years

Be the first alumnus to register for the 100th Anniversary Banquet of Thurmont High School Alumni to be held on Saturday, June 4, 2016, at the Lewistown Fireman’s Activities building, located at 11101 Hessong Bridge Road in Lewistown.

Social hour begins at 5:00 p.m., followed by the banquet of fried shrimp, turkey, and trimmings. During the program, the graduating classes ending with 6 or 1 will receive special recognition, three scholarship recipients will be announced, door prizes will be distributed, and a very special musical performance from Nashville, Tennessee.

So pass the word to your high school friends and send in your reservation(s). The cost is $25.00 per person; checks made payable to Thurmont High School Alumni and mail to Viola Noffsinger, 12510 Creagerstown RD, Thurmont, MD 21788. The first one received will be awarded a free meal.

Note: The open time for scholarship applications is March 30 to April 30. Check the Community Foundation of Frederick County website for applications.

Four $1,000 Scholarships Offered

The Emmistsburg High School Association is accepting scholarship applications.  Four one thousand dollar scholarships will be awarded in May to deserving students. Any Catoctin High School senior or graduate enrolled in an institution of higher learning, including trade schools, is eligible if he/she resides in the Emmitsburg School District. This includes Emmitsburg 21727, Rocky Ridge 21778, and Taneytown 21787 (Taneytown boundary is determined by Bridgeport on route 140).  Applicants may apply each year as long as they are enrolled in an institution.

Selection is based on having a 3.0 or higher grade point average, being a full time student, presenting two letters of recommendation, their community and school activities, and pursuing higher education (technical school, four-year college, or community college).

Applications may be obtained by contacting the guidance department at Catoctin High School (240-236-8082 Ryan Zimmerman) or calling Phyllis Kelly (717) 642-6963.  All applications must be received by May 10, 2016.

Thurmont Lions Club Lions Work to Increase Literacy in our Community

Lions Clubs International President Jitsuhiro Yarnada has announced a program to Lions to strengthen the service challenge to get resources to develop hands-on projects to help children in need. President Yarnada has implemented a Reading Action Program to help give the gift of literacy. Education and literacy are crucial to helping our students grow. They are the keys to overcoming poverty, disease, and other social issues.  As children’s book author Dr. Seuss wrote, “The more you read, the more things you’ll know.  The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

The Thurmont Lions Club has taken great strides to help bridge the gap between literacy and education, and has supported the Literacy Program for many years. This year, the club donated a drawstring backpack containing a Dr. Seuss book, Look for the Lorax; a Dr. Seuss bookmark; and a Dr. Seuss coloring book and crayons to the kindergarten classes at Thurmont Primary, Lewistown Elementary, and Sabillasville Elementary schools (127 students), to be used to help celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday, which took place on March 2. The book chronicles the plight of the environment and the Lorax, who speaks for the trees, which everyone needs. This project will also apply to the club’s Environmental Program. Hopefully, the Dr. Seuss book will encourage the children to read.

The Literacy Program co-chairpersons, Lions Susan Favorite and Joyce Anthony, delivered filled backpacks to the Lewistown Elementary and Sabillasville Elementary Schools (Lion Susan) and Thurmont Primary School (Lion Joyce).


Thurmont High School Class of 1965 celebrated their 50th class reunion on June 5, 2015.

A dinner dance was held at the Thurmont American Legion. The seventy-first class to graduate Thurmont High School was comprised of one hundred seventeen students, of which twenty-nine are deceased.

Thirty-seven classmates returned to socialize with old friends. Some classmates traveled distances from New Hampshire, Iowa, Utah, Montana, Delaware, and North Carolina.

Two teachers were in attendance: Paul Nolan of Thurmont and John Zink of Boonsboro.

THS 50th Class Reunion-2015

Pictured from left are: (front row) Paul Nolan (teacher), Robert Zink (teacher), Arlene Glass Fogle, Pat Nunemaker Flohr, Sharon Moser Billones, Virginia Feeser Hanson, Christine Fuss Shriner, Joyce Wolfe Oakes, Marlene Kolb Cook, Nellie Dayhoff Hall; (second row) Gary Shapiro, Dave Stottlemeyer, Rusty Hauver, Doug Fornwald, Carol Shriner Martin, Paula Marshall Garman, Carol Smith Robertson, Darlene Frye Rickerd, Bill Zentz, Carol Royer, Donald Wastler, Vera Jean Bailey Benchoff, Ilene Whipp Weeks; (back row) Gene Eyler, Connie Myers, Richard Weagley, Ronnie Albaugh, Sandra Hauver Wagaman, Jim Stirling, Pauline Ridge Grimes, Carla Zentz Fitz, Mick Strine, Michael Byrne, Carlotta Smith Robertson, Linda Angel Lewis, Carol Anders Riggs, Janie Fox Sharpe, Denny Black, Leah Radeke, Donna Draper Sweeney, Joe Benchoff, Bonnie Blair Johnson, Richard Mathias, Harvey Wetzel.

Hall of FameJames Rada, Jr.

When Kim Wivell Gerrie was a young girl, she would watch her father when he played softball with different Thurmont-area teams.

“I wanted to step out on the field with him,” Gerrie said.

Gerrie went on to become quite the athlete. She played softball and ran track and field while attending Thurmont Middle School. Then, while in Catoctin High School, she played softball, soccer, and basketball. During her senior year, the softball team had a record of 21-1, losing only in the state championship game.

She graduated in 1990 and went on to Shepherd University to play softball. Although her team had a different coach each year, they still managed to have a winning record each year.

And, now, she will be inducted into the YMCA of Frederick County Alvin G. Quinn Sports Hall of Fame on February 7, 2015. She is one of eight inductees this year.


Her bio for the Hall of Fame reads:


KIM WIVELL GERRIE Record-setting Softball Pitcher

Kim Wivell Gerrie has set softball records at every level she has played. A versatile athlete during her middle school years with blue ribbons in several track events, it was softball where Kim excelled the most. She was a member of the Little League All-Stars that played in the Maryland State Tournament. At Catoctin High she participated on the varsity soccer team for four years, played basketball all four years, and was truly outstanding in her four varsity years playing softball. She was a first team MVAL selection, starting in her sophomore year and repeated every year afterwards. In her senior year she was All-Area Player of the Year. She went on to a record-setting career at Shepherd University, where she was inducted into the SU Hall of Fame in 2007. She still holds five Shepherd pitching records.


“When I walked into the room (the Hall of Fame), it was very humbling to see all of those athletes and coaches on the wall,” Gerrie said.

The other inductees are Troy Barrick, Stan Biggus, Richard Burgee, Stan Goldberg, Chery Poirier, Bill Stup, and Guy Whidden.

The induction banquet will be held at the Walkersville Fire Hall this month. This will be the 39th annual induction ceremony.