Currently viewing the tag: "Thurmont Regional Library"

Beginning mid-April, the YMCA of Frederick County, working with the Town of Thurmont, is bringing several six- to eight-week-long classes to the town of Thurmont, as well as a one-day youth basketball clinic.

The YMCA of Frederick County has two branches and seven locations (including Camp West Mar in Sabillasville), but provides programs and services out of about 40 locations throughout the county, including before/after school care in 25 elementary schools and 8 Head Start classrooms. And, now, they are bringing programs to Thurmont, using Thurmont Regional Library and Thurmont Community Park. Programs will include:

Painting and Drawing, Mondays, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Thurmont Regional Library.

Youth Run Club, Thursdays, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Thurmont Community Park.

Let’s Get Healthy, Wednesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Thurmont Regional Library.

Flying Cows Basketball Skills Clinic, May 14, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (incl before/after care), Thurmont Community Park.

This is not the first time the YMCA has brought programs to Thurmont, but it is the first time in about two years. During COVID, the YMCA offered some one-day, family-friendly events outside at Thurmont Regional Park, but this is the first time the YMCA is bringing full-session, long programs, spanning a variety of program departments, including Arts & Humanities, Youth Sports, and Healthy Living.

The YMCA has been working with the Town of Thurmont to approve programs, find locations, and market the upcoming services. They recently attended the Thurmont town meeting and presented about the YMCA and the offered programs.

“We are so excited to be working in collaboration with the YMCA of Frederick County to bring the “Y On The Fly” programs to Northern Frederick County. The programs being offered for the spring session cover a wide range of interests for all ages. There is something for everyone,” says Vicki Grinder, economic development manager for the Town of Thurmont.

As part of its strategic plan, the YMCA is focusing on “offering vital Y programs and services throughout Frederick County by expanding programming.” The YMCA has hired Jon Watkins as director of Community Outreach to build and expand relationships with local governments and other organizations and nonprofits.

“Our mission is to provide critical services to those in underserved communities. We are excited about re-engaging in the town of Thurmont and look forward to learning more about the needs and interests of Thurmont residents,” says Chris Colville, president and CEO of the YMCA of Frederick County.

The YMCA is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and provides programs to build a healthy body, mind, and spirit for all. Through their annual campaign, they provide financial assistance, ensuring everyone has access to programs and services to learn, grow, and thrive. To learn more about financial assistance or programs and services offered, please visit

Along with District 22-W, the Thurmont Lions and Leo Clubs are sponsoring a community event for the public at the Thurmont Regional Library. This is a community event for all ages (adults and children). Student service hours are available. The event will be held April 6, from 1:30-4:30 p.m.

This is a hands-on project event, whereby, anyone can make: Linus fleece blankets, friendship bracelets, adopt-me bandanas for dogs, and spider cat toys; also painting with straws and finger painting.

The Thurmont Lions Club will supply materials and instructions with volunteer help. For more information, please contact Lion Dianne McLean at 410-206-1805.

Members from the Silver Fancy Garden Club are sharing displays of books and related floral arrangements/vignettes at Thurmont Regional Library beginning Wednesday, April 12, and running through April 30.

The garden club is comprised of members from the Emmitsburg and Taneytown areas. In previous years, they have shared their work with their local libraries. They are continuing their service project of making arrangements/vignettes at Thurmont Regional Library. Club members have made floral arrangements/vignettes to represent children’s books, and both the books and arrangements will be given away by a drawing. People may fill out an entry form each time they visit the library. Names will be drawn on Monday, May 1, and winners will be notified by phone.

Richard D. L. Fulton

The Thurmont Green Team held its annual Green Fest on April 9, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., at the Thurmont Regional Library, following a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.

The event was co-sponsored by the Town of Thurmont, the Green Team, and the Thurmont Regional Library. More than 600 individuals were estimated by event organizers to have attended the event, despite the potential forecast for rain, according to Green Team Chairwoman Cindy Poole.

Mayor John Kinnaird, Town Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick, and Cindy Poole, among others, provided opening comments to the event. Kinnaird expressed his wishes that more individuals and businesses would find ways to incorporate recyclables into their crafts and products. More than 30 organizations provided displays, demonstrations, and activities geared to educate the public, regarding products utilizing recyclables and repurposing non-recyclables and the best sustainability practices regarding the environment.

Display and demonstration highlights included electric vehicles and information provided by Criswell Chevrolet. Displays were provided by the Sierra Club, Frederick County Master Gardeners, Catoctin Forest Alliance, Baywise, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Frederick County Office of Recycling & Composting, Frederick County Beekeeping Association, Frederick County Forestry Board, Maryland Department of Natural Resources “Scales & Tales,” and Mystic Meadows Sanctuary.

Activities and programs that were offered included tree planting demonstrations, paper fish crafts, electronic recycling drop-off (more than 2,000 pounds of electronic equipment was accepted), chalk-drawing, and beekeeping instructions, along with seed, gray dogwood, and button bush giveaways. Food and beverages were made available at the Thurmont Lions Club food trailer.

A decorated rain barrel, donated by the county Master Gardeners for the event’s raffle giveaways, was won by Alison Wogatske, while gift bags containing “nature-themed” gifts were won by Hannah Buckley, Jeremiah Mathews, Dana Crum, and Bob Allen.

Also featured, were programs and nature trail activities in the recently completed Library Nature Trail (also known as the Library Loop Nature Trail), a project which was established by the library and runs from the library grounds to the Thurmont Trolley Trail.

The trail features educational mini-wayside markers, each containing nature-themed information, photographs, and illustrations. In addition to the site being made available for the trail by the library, the Eagle Scouts and Class of 1961 donated towards the completion of the trail, with trail assistance provided by Frederick County Public School SUCCESS students, according to Catoctin Forest Alliance President Jim Robbins. Robbins told The Catoctin Banner that the trial, initially established in 2018, was dedicated in November 2021, and that the mini-wayside markers were actually completed “a couple of weeks ago.”

The Thurmont Green Team is managed by the Town of Thurmont via their Main Street program.  Team members include Cindy Poole, Anita Phillips, Christine Maccabee, Bobby Myers, Sabrina Massett, Amie McDaniels, Jim Robbins, Marilyn Worsham, Thurmont Economic Development Manager Vickie Grinder, and Thurmont CAO Jim Humerick.

To volunteer assistance in Green Team efforts, contact the organization by email at

Emily Ramsey and Renee Delauter greet attendees at the Thurmont Green Team Green Fest, held April 9 at the Thurmont Regional Library.

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird and Chief Administrative Officer James Humerick provide opening remarks at Green Fest.

Green Team Chairwoman Cindy Poole stands with a rain barrel door prize, donated by the county Master Gardeners, at Green Fest.

Thurmont Green Team member Marilyn Worsham stands at the organization’s informational display inside the Thurmont Regional Library.

The Thurmont Regional Library loop at the Southern end of the Thurmont Trolley Trail is really taking shape! The trail is currently paved with fine gravel and will be blacktopped soon.

Recently, volunteers installed signage directing you to the new loop. “I want to thank these volunteers and the others that helped create this extension for a job well done. The Trolley Trail is a popular destination and this will add to the attraction,” said Mayor John Kinnaird.

Please feel free to take advantage of the extension. It takes you on a new path that runs through a beautiful wooded area to the Thurmont Regional Library trail. The Library Trail is a wonderful, shaded walk with stations along the trail featuring ever-changing displays.

 Photo by John Kinnaird

New signage keeps you on the trail and directs you to new loop.

by Amy Whitney, Branch Administrator, Thurmont Regional Library/Emmitsburg Branch Library

June 1 marks the beginning of our annual Summer Reading Challenge for all ages, birth to adult. This year’s theme, “Rediscover the Magic,” encourages individuals and families to explore community destinations, earn points by reading for enjoyment, and complete fun activities. All activities can be accomplished digitally at home and at a safe social distance! Summer Challenge Community Destinations are places throughout Frederick County that are supporting our Summer Challenge Program. While the public may not be able to visit like in years past, points can still be logged after visiting the participating businesses in person or online.

Summer Challenge Partners are community members and local businesses who have teamed up with FCPL to enrich our Summer Challenge. Summer Challenge Partners present and host programs (either recorded at their location or virtually) and are Summer Challenge Destinations throughout the county. Visit our website to register at starting June 1 or stop by the drive-thru window for more information.

Due to the popularity of our Smart Start Kits for preschool children, we’ve added more options in response to demand. Frederick County Public Libraries (FCPL) partnered with Johns Hopkins Community Physicians to expand the library’s Smart Start Kits to include STEAM-based learning and Social Emotional games and tools to promote exploration, relationship skills, self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and responsible decision-making.

“Over the past year, we’ve heard from many of our customers that their youngest children need new screen-free activities, so we created these kits in response to that need,” said Deb Spurrier, Children’s Services Supervisor at Thurmont Regional Library. “Our current kits have had a constant waitlist, and thanks to the support of Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, we now have a broader selection of STEAM-focused tools that provide high-quality early educational experiences for young children.”

Smart Start Kits are tailor-made for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade and provide all necessary tools for an afternoon of activities. Examples of activities include Magnetic vs. Non-Magnetic, Makey-Makey technology, Computer Engineering, SmartArt and Fraction Fun.

In addition, the Thurmont Regional Library is set to have rotating StoryPaths all summer long on the Library Trail to encourage families to get out and move and learn together. Activity sheets and an art station tie the story to hands-on learning for kids. We hope you have a fun-filled summer, and we look forward to seeing you all very soon! Call us for all your information needs at 301-600-7200 or visit us online at

Courtesy Photo

Kids love learning with Smart Start Kits from the library.

This article contains a portion of a collaborative project about the Zentz Farm written by Viola (Zentz) Noffsinger, Joan Fry, and Jane Jacobs

  It is the intent of the authors that this project be available for reference in the future at the Thurmont Regional Library and/or Thurmont Historical Society.

Mr. Albert Luther Zentz lived his entire life on the Zentz Farm located at the corner of Carroll Street and Apple’s Church Road in Thurmont. He was born there on March 3, 1914, the third son of W.L.H. ‘Herb’ Zentz (1869-1949) and Florence Daisy (Smith) Zentz (1872-1966). His parents had purchased the Carroll Street farm property in 1897 and moved there from the family homestead of Albert’s grandfather, Abraham S. Zentz (1828-1898) in a little village affectionately called Zentztown just a few miles north of town towards Emmitsburg.

The original dwelling on the property was a small one built of logs, but Herb built on and enlarged it into a comfortable, impressive two-story farm dwelling. In 1922, a big wrap-around porch was added to the front and side of the house. A lot of family time was spent on that porch. When Beulah Zentz’s flowers, planted in bins made of recycled tanks, bloomed every spring, it became a “landmark.” The large farmhouse would eventually be home to three generations of Zentzes who lived and worked together there for many years.

Herb added property from time-to-time and increased his holdings to cultivate “prime property” that was soon taken into the Town of Thurmont’s limits. He was an innovative and prosperous businessman and a great role model for Albert. He was also a very successful horse breeder and raised large draft horses which were highly prized animals in the days before tractors were commonplace. He is credited with raising at least 12 of them.

He built the bank barn along with multiple outbuildings on his land which still stand today.

Albert took over the family farm in 1934 at age 20, and in February 1936, he married “his great love,” Beulah (Spangler) Zentz. Together, they worked tirelessly to continue the successful farming operation, and build several other small enterprises. Albert and Beulah’s children were Doris, Viola, Mary Ellen, and Wendell. They learned about good work habits, the importance of caring for their property and one another, being good neighbors that look out for each other, and practicing their faith.

Albert and Beulah were industrious visionaries and entrepreneurs who continued the practice of buying parcels of surrounding property when it became available. They would make improvements to some of the lots before reselling, or just resell them if there was an immediate opportunity to accomplish the goal Albert had set to discourage the young people from leaving the area in pursuit of jobs. This foresight and diligence brought new businesses, housing, and jobs to the Thurmont community. The couple provided the land for the Thurmont Shoe Company, Claire Frock Company, Moore Business Forms, NVR Building Company and Homes, and Albert Court Condominiums.

They also supported their community with generous donations of time and money to local organizations. They provided jobs to young people and welcomed school classes to visit the farm to observe a working farm from the 1940s through the 1990s. They operated Sunrise Cafeteria Restaurant that was located in a building they built on the land that sits between the railroad tracks and today’s RR Donnelly.

Albert was happy with his life as a farmer. He was 89 years old, and had been happily married to Beulah for 67 years, when he died in 2003. Beulah lived on in her home for 82 years until late 2018 when she moved to an assisted-living facility in Frederick. She was “Thurmont’s oldest citizen” when she passed away on June 23, 2019, at the age of 103. The Zentz Farm was sold in December 2020.

There are eight buildings, some with unusual added features, on the Zentz Farm property. Most have hand-hewn logs showing, many with bark still attached. Four of them are multi-functional under one roof; several of them have lofts with nice stairways. One building has a homemade ‘skylight’ in the roof that brings light into an area with no windows; another, a small, heart-shaped porthole for light and ventilation.

If you look closely, you will also see that most buildings have a ‘strip of large nails’ close to the doorways just waiting for all the everyday accessories that need to be hung up like ropes, harnesses, chains, belts, hangers, aprons, coats, tools, etc. Following are some descriptions of farms and the Zentz Farm in particular.


A barn is an agricultural building used to house livestock, cattle, and horses, as well as equipment and fodder, and often grain. In addition, barns were used for equipment storage, as a covered workplace, and for activities such as threshing. On the Zentz Farm, there were two special resident horses, Maude and Jerrybell. Herb bred horses.

There were two barns. The upper barn had two haylofts. There was a hay fork on a runner on the top arch for unloading hay, a winnowing machine, and granary bins. Hobos, sometimes called tramps, often slept in the lofts. They would ride the trains, stop off at the railroad station, then do odd jobs or just ask for food.

Lower Barn/Stable, Corn Crib, Wagon Shed

On the Zentz Farm, the lower barn had calf pens and stanchions for eight animals. There was a pen for the bull and room for two horses. The middle area was a feeding entry for hay, grain, pumpkins, and other produce. A corn crib is a type of granary used to dry and store corn. Corn cribs were made with slats to provide ventilation for drying the corn. The corn crib on the Zentz Farm was located next to the barn where a wagon could be filled with corn and easily moved to stanchions for feeding the animals and where the corn could also be kept out of the weather. The wagon shed housed wagons and other farm implements.

Milk House

A milk house is a building for the cooling, handling, or bottling of milk. On the Zentz Farm, cows were milked by hand. The raw milk was carried from the barn to the milk house where it was strained and put into a 5-gallon milk can. The can was then placed in a tank of water to be cooled. This was an early means of refrigeration before electricity. On the Zentz Farm, they made regular milk, skim milk, butter, and buttermilk to use and sell. Any unused milk was fed to the hogs.

Spring House

A spring house is a small building, usually of a single room, constructed over a spring. While the original purpose of a springhouse was to keep the spring water clean by excluding fallen leaves, animals, etc., the Zentz’ was part of the summer kitchen building and was constructed of stone. It was used for refrigeration before the advent of ice delivery and, later, electric refrigeration. The water of the spring maintained a constant cool temperature inside the spring house throughout the year. Food that would otherwise spoil could be kept there, safe from animal depredations as well. Some spring houses had goldfish in their spring, a delight for young children to visit. The Zentz family acquired an icebox in the 1950s.

Hog Pen

The family hog pen was a small-scale system of pig farming found on family farms of the early 1900s. Family hog pens housed just a few hogs. Before refrigeration, some family farms depended on pigs as a primary source of meat and shortening (lard) for year-round food. On the Zentz Farm, the hog pen consisted of four areas. One area for the new mother sow with a “creep” for piglets to be moved away so the mother sow wouldn’t lie on them. These piglets could journey to the roadway beside the Zentz Farm where many visitors came. There could be 9-16 piglets in a litter. Pigs used for butchering could range from 200 to 600 pounds. There was a loft above the pig’s area for their dry feed and other necessary items like onions, ropes, chains, and special boards.

Summer Kitchen and Loft

In the early 1900s, it was common to have a small building that was detached from the house called a “summer kitchen.” Its main purpose was to keep the house cool during the hot summer months. They were used for cooking, bathing, and laundry. In a summer kitchen, there was usually a large cookstove with an oven and a large table for workspace and eating. Other uses of the summer kitchen were for canning and preserving garden produce as well as cleaning, repairing, and making curtains, weaving, and other hobbies. Summer kitchens often had a fireplace where water was heated for the weekly wash and could also be used at butchering time. The Zentz Farm summer kitchen was quite large. It was made of whitewashed stone.

As air conditioning and outdoor grills became popular and affordable, the need for the summer kitchen was lost.

Bath House

The bath house on the Zentz Farm was a small room attached to the summer kitchen. It was used for taking showers and washing clothes. There was no shower head but rather a piece of hose that carried only cold water that was a welcome relief after chores on hot summer days. 

Chicken Coop

A chicken coop or hen house is a small house where, typically, female chickens or other fowl are kept safe and secure. There are nest boxes found inside the hen houses for egg-laying, and perches on which the birds can sleep. Viola reports gathering eggs and finding her hand on a small possum in the nest. The Zentzes would raise 200 or more peeps at a time until they were the right size for frying or being taken to market.

A chicken coop usually has an indoor area where the chickens can sleep and nest, as well as a fenced-in outdoor area where chickens will feed and spend the majority of the day. This area is typically made from chicken wire. The coop should be cleaned every two weeks, and the straw shifted every day, similar to a litter box. At night, the coop should be locked with all the birds inside so that they are protected from predators. Both the inside and outdoor floors of a chicken coop are often strewn with a loose material such as straw or wood chips to deal with chicken droppings and to provide ventilation.

Little Chicken House

In this chicken house, there were brooders for peeps who stayed until butchering size or time to make room for more peeps. Cleaning the chicken houses was another job suited for the kids. Coops had to be cleaned regularly for the health of the peeps and chickens and for good egg production. Watering and feeding had to be done daily. 

Big Chicken House and Grinding Shed

The big chicken house on the Zentz Farm was used for housing mature chickens. It had a sleeping loft and a grinding shed which housed a large machine with belts with teeth to grind corn and grain for the farm animals.

Blacksmith Shop

The blacksmith shop was a very important area for making and storing tools. Horseshoes were made to fit the draft horses’ hooves by heating the iron until it could be bent to the right size. This was done on an anvil that was close to the hearth so the iron could be rushed to the heat or cooled in a bucket of cold water. There were many washers, wrenches, nails, hammers, and other tools in the blacksmith shop.


A smokehouse was used to preserve meat by smoking it. A fire was kept going with special wood; apple, hickory, etc. The smoke permeated the meat until the proper taste and preservation were achieved. This process took many days. Hams and bacon were expertly done in the smokehouse for bragging rights when tasted by the farmer’s family and friends.

Wood Shed

The Zentz Farm property had a mountain wood lot which produced an abundant supply of trees to be cut and used for heating, fencing, and building. After trees were cut, they were dragged to the farm and sawed either for fence posts, firewood, or lumber. Firewood was carried and stacked close to the kitchen and summer kitchen by the children. This was a never-ending job in cold weather when wood was used for heating and cooking.


Butchering usually took place near Thanksgiving with helpful neighbors (about 30). Four to six hogs were killed early in the morning, scalded, scraped, cut into the appropriate pieces, and cooled on long tables. Sausage was stuffed, pudding and scrapple were cooked, and lard was rendered. In the meantime, a butchering dinner was being provided in the farmhouse. Everyone who helped ate at the table—usually in three shifts.

Grape Arbor

The grape arbor was a necessity for grapes to make jelly, preserves, pies, and maybe even wine. The Zentz Farm had a blue grapevine (Concord) and a white grapevine.


The silo on the Zentz Farm connected to the barn and was usually filled with ensilage (fermented corn). The silo was later used to store leaves for bedding for the animals. The ensilage was blown into the top of the silo and doors were closed to keep it in. In order to get it out, you had to climb a ladder and crawl in through the door to throw it out. 


An outhouse is a small enclosed structure having one or two holes in a seat built over a pit that serves as an outdoor toilet. The outhouse on the Zentz Farm was visited by all family members several times a day until the town of Thurmont brought the sewer system under the railroad tracks and down along the street to the Zentz’ property. Usually, two or three outhouses would show up on the square of Thurmont on Halloween night.

The Zentz Family Activities

Some activities for the Zentz Family included participating in church groups, 4-H, and FFA, swimming in a creek two miles away, and sledding down the barn hill in winter.

Mr. Zentz often took children on hayrides and caroling rides at Christmas. Other activities were mowing the lawn, working in the garden, and walking to school. There was no television and only one radio.

Photos by James Rada, Jr.

Viola (Zentz) Noffsinger is shown in the hog pens of her former family farm in Thurmont.

The back of the Zentz Farmhouse.

The outhouse, which was used before the farm got indoor plumbing.

The old gate post that held three farm gates still stands across Apple’s Church Road from the farm.

The lower barn on the Zentz Farm included a corn crib, wagon shed, and stables.

by Amy Whitney, Branch Administrator, Thurmont Regional Library/Emmitsburg Branch Library

Happenings in December at Thurmont Regional Library

The holidays will look much different this year. Families may not be able to join together to celebrate the joys of the season. Going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house may have to be rescheduled for next year. Many are dreading the long, dark months ahead and wondering how to stay safe and pass the time while stuck indoors this winter.

Of course, the Library has lots of bright ideas! We have so many beautiful books on garden planning, home improvements, cookbooks, decorating, organizing, and physical fitness. But there also are a thousand other ways to stay active and engaged, all at no cost to you, when you visit the library website at and use your library card.

Take this opportunity to learn a new language by using Mango Languages. This online language-learning system teaches conversation skills for over 70 different languages, as well as English as a Second Language for speakers of 20 languages. 

Need to bone up on your skills? offers high-quality, engaging video tutorials taught by recognized industry experts. Choose from over 4,000 courses that include business and career skills, software and IT, job search tools, web design, social media and publishing tools, and photography.

Kanopy video streaming service is a collection of independent and foreign films, documentaries, educational films, must-see classics, and popular movies. It includes The Great Courses and selections from the Criterion Collection.  Kanopy works on all devices and supports apps for Roku, iOS and Android. Stream up to 10 videos every month. 

Looking for a career change or new job? Brainfuse JobNow provides live interview coaching, award-winning resume creation software, a writing lab, and helpful tips and tricks for landing the perfect career. Complete a career assessment, search for jobs, create a resume, and get expert feedback in JobNow’s writing lab. Live help is available from 2:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Libby by Overdrive offers both popular fiction and non-fiction ebooks and audiobooks and over 50 popular magazines. With your FCPL library card, check out up to 10 OverDrive titles and unlimited magazine titles for up to three weeks at a time.

Download the Flipster app and browse and check out magazines, all from within the app. Popular magazines are easy to read in your browser on your computer or mobile device. Monthly magazines stay in the app for seven days, and weekly magazines for two days. You may re-download the magazine at any time.

Of course, we continue to offer contactless curbside pickup service from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Just call the Library at 301-600-7200 to schedule an appointment or for any other information needs—we’re happy to help!

Happy Holidays from all of us at Thurmont Regional Library!

The Advocates for the Aging of Frederick County held a reception on Thursday, September 26, 2019, at the Thurmont Regional Library to recognize the philanthropic legacy of the late Donald L. Lewis, specifically the creation of the Adult Evaluation and Referral Services Program (AERS) under the Advocates for the Aging (AAFC).

A Thurmont native, Lewis and his wife, Freda, owned and operated the Lewis Confectionery on the square in Thurmont. Donald was a U.S. Army Veteran who served in the European Theater during the D-Day Invasion of Normandy. He was Mayor of Thurmont for two terms (1964 to 1970) and served as a Frederick County commissioner and then a legislative representative for Frederick County in Annapolis. He was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying interaction with community members by selling sporting goods at Lewis’ Store.

Lewis was a loved member of our community, and he loved the community back. He also greatly loved Freda. After her death in 2004, he honored her memory by naming the physical and occupational therapy wing of the Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center in her honor.

After his death in February of 2018, at the age of 99, through the trusted management of his niece, Sue Ferguson, he continued his legacy of community service by supporting several projects, including the AERS. This fund is a life-line for low-income and frail seniors to support nursing staff requests that improve a client’s quality of life, but for which the costs could not be covered through regular sources. Examples include assisting with the purchase of a prosthetic limb, an electric wheelchair, an air conditioner or a microwave.

If you are able, please consider including the Donald L. Lewis Fund for the Frederick County AERS Program in your charitable giving plans. For more information, please email or visit online.

by Amy Whitney, Branch Administrator, Thurmont Regional Library/Emmitsburg Branch Library

Fifty years ago this summer, my family took a vacation to Florida to watch the blast-off of Apollo 11—man’s first trip to the moon. It was a rare adventure, and I can remember standing on a hot, sandy beach watching as the rocket’s engine flared off into the great Florida sky. At that moment, even as a kid, I knew I was a witness to history!

Now half-a-century later, we’re celebrating one of our country’s most amazing achievements with all sorts of space adventures at our libraries. Here in the North County on Saturday, July 13, we’ll countdown to our two “pop-up” planetarium shows, with a space Storytime and activity at 10:05 a.m. Then at 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., kids can view the universe, including planets, stars, constellations, and the moon inside the indoor planetarium (space is limited and tickets will be available that day). On Monday, July 15, at 7:00 p.m., National Park Service Ranger Ron Harvey will share stories of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing as part of our Family Night on the Deck series.

Teens are invited to celebrate all things Star Wars at a Party on Tuesday, July 30, at 2:00 p.m.—come connect with fellow fans with a love of space adventures!

Celebrate the lunar landing at the Emmitsburg Branch on July 20 at 11:00 a.m., with a day of rocket launches, crafts, and other space-themed activities for the entire family. Then, at noon, bring a packed lunch, learn about keeping our Earth healthy, and enjoy the feature film WALL-E with the whole family.

We have several Music and Arts programs on the Deck as well. Kids, ages 3-10, are invited for Firework Painting at 7:00 p.m. on July 1; a Freeze Dance Paint Party at 7:00 p.m. on July 29 and at 2:00 p.m. on July 22; all ages are invited to an introduction to Japanese Taiko Drumming.

On July 18 at 7:00 p.m., delight your senses with the exhilarating Russian folk dancers, Barynya, who have appeared on the Today Show. And, finally, on July 28 at 2:00 p.m., hear the uplifting sounds of the Flower Hill String Band, part of our Music on the Deck series.

For a complete list of programs and services, or for answers to all your information needs, contact the library at 301-600-7212 or visit

The following is a list of weekly programs at the Thurmont Regional Library: Mondays—Musical Storytime (ages birth & up), Thurmont, 10:15-10:45 a.m.; Tuesdays—Baby Storytime (ages birth-24 months), 10:15-10:45 a.m.; Toddler Storytime (age 2), 11-11:30 a.m.; Playgroup (ages birth-5), 11:30 a.m.-noon; Space Camp (ages 4-10), 1:00-2:00 p.m.; Wednesdays—Midweek Makers (ages 3-10), 10:15 a.m-2:00 p.m.; School Skills for Preschoolers (ages 3-5), 11:00-11:30 a.m.; Thursdays—Baby Storytime (ages birth-24 months), 10:15-10:45 a.m.; Toddler Storytime (age 2), 11-11:30 a.m.; Playgroup (ages birth-5), 11:30 a.m.-noon; Nature Sprouts (ages 3-10), 2:00-3:00 p.m.; Saturdays—Universe of Stories Storytime (ages 3-10), 10:05-10:45 a.m.

Theresa Dardanell

Thurmont Regional Library Administrator Erin Dingle (pictured right) has lots of things to keep her busy after her retirement. She is looking forward to spending time with her family—babysitting her two grandsons, who live in Silver Spring, and attending sporting and school events with her two grandsons in Baltimore. She also plans to travel farther than Maryland, as she attempts to continue her goal of visiting all fifty states. Her passions include reading and gardening, which she will enjoy while her already-retired husband plays golf.

Dingle is also working on a research project about the Maryland State Sanitorium in Sabillasville, which opened in 1908. Because her father worked there, she grew up on the grounds of the facility. Her research includes original documents and oral histories from nurses and patients. The future of the research project might be a book one day.

Dingle started working at the Thurmont Library in 1987, when it was located on Water Street.  At that time, she lived near the library and walked to work for the evening shift. She reintroduced the children’s storytimes, as well as other programs.  When Margaret Bruchey Krone retired as branch manager, Dingle was promoted. She earned her Master of Library Science degree and became the regional library administrator when the new library opened on Moser Road in 2008.  When looking back over the last thirty years, she’s seen lots of changes: the card catalog was replaced by the computer system, the new library has a literacy corner in the children’s area, there is now a beautiful deck for everyone to enjoy nature, as well as study rooms, artwork on display, and an agricultural history room.  Many community programs have been added over the years; Dingle always looked for ways to increase community involvement, but she also gives credit to her “fabulous” staff for coming up with ideas and implementing them. She will miss the staff and the patrons who have become her friends. “I’ve loved every minute surrounded by books. It was just the perfect job for me.”

I asked Mayor John Kinnaird about Dingle’s contribution to the community. He replied, “Somewhere, there are everyday, run-of-the-mill librarians, but not here in Thurmont! Erin Dingle has played an important and integral part of the lives of the residents of Thurmont since taking her position thirty years ago. In the course of her career, Erin has been the only librarian many of the last two or so generations of youngsters have known. I drive by the library regularly and am always surprised to see how many people are there at any time of the day or evening. Under Erin’s leadership, the Thurmont Regional Library has become a central part of life for residents in and around Thurmont, with many well-attended programs and events suitable for all ages. The Thurmont Regional Library is recognized as one of the best libraries in the state; this recognition is due, in large part, to the efforts of Erin Dingle. Thurmont has benefited from having an outstanding librarian these past thirty years, and on behalf of the residents of Thurmont, I want to wish Erin a happy, healthy, and long retirement.”

James Rada, Jr.

Although milk and other dairy products are no longer delivered fresh to your door daily, they are still part of our everyday lives, whether it’s drinking milk, enjoying ice cream, or adding cheese to a dish. June is National Dairy Month and celebrates the contributions that the dairy industry makes to the economy and to our health.

Locally, many dairies have provided home delivery over the years. Milkmen had regular routes they traveled, first by wagon and then by truck, delivering fresh milk, cottage cheese, cream, and other dairy products. They would pick up the empty bottles and return them to the dairy, where they would then be washed and used again.

“The first one that I know of is Homarway Dairy,” said Dennis Black, a collector of milk bottles from the area.

The dairy was a partnership between Guy Hobbs, Lee Martin, and Daniel Weybright. Gall and Smith Dairy bought Homarway in 1932. This large operation in Emmitsburg and Thurmont was apparently the only local dairy where you could purchase a gill (1/4 pint). These small glass bottles were used for holding cream.

Although some of the local dairies sold raw milk, many did their own pasteurization. However, buying raw milk allowed for the buyer to skim the cream off the top of the milk as it separated. The milk, itself, also tasted thicker and richer, according to Black. Buyers also sometimes looked for dairy farms with particular cows. This is because certain breeds were known to have a greater or lesser fat content in their milk, which affected the taste.

“Pasteurization is what killed the local dairy farmer,” stated Black.

When pasteurization became the standard, and grocery stores installed refrigerated sections, customers began buying milk during their weekly grocery shopping. During the 1960s, the local milkman became a thing of the past.

“Bollinger Dairy was the last one in operation in Thurmont,” Black recalled.

Northern Frederick County had two Bollinger Dairies, which could be confusing at times. One operated in Thurmont and the other in Emmitsburg. Collectors can tell the difference because the dairies used different bottles. Bollinger’s Dairy in Emmitsburg always used embossed bottles, while Bollinger’s Dairy in Thurmont always used bottles with the lettering painted on them (pyro-glazed).

Black has created a display of bottles and caps from local dairies in the Thurmont Regional Library, on permanent loan. The display case is located next to the entrance to the Thurmont Center for Agricultural History in the library. Black is always looking for information and artifacts about local dairies that he might have missed. If you have any information, he can be reached at 301-271-4297 or

Dennis Black, avid collector of milk bottles in the area, showcases his bottles and caps from local dairies in the Dairies of Catoctin exhibit at the Thurmont Regional Library.

Thurmont celebrated its first Greenfest on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at the Thurmont Regional Library. It was an event where “people could learn new things, share information, and have fun,” according to Thurmont Green Team Member Cindy Poole.

The event was held at the Thurmont Library, with tables and stations set up in front of the library, in the lobby, in the meeting rooms, and on the patio. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, local companies, and local organizations manned the tables to educate attendees about protecting the environment and about green living. There were even activities for kids to do and giveaways of foot-tall trees, ready for planting.

Bob Allen of Rocky Ridge came to the event to recycle a printer, but he also checked out all of the tables to collect information about things he was unfamiliar with.

Carol Haag of Thurmont also came to the festival to recycle electronics and stayed to look around. “I wanted to see what the Green Team has been doing, but I have also been interested in solar energy for a couple years,” she said.

Some local farms showed off their organically grown goods. Visitors could find out about geothermal energy, recycling, and the environment around them. Events even included guided walks and bike rides along the Thurmont Trolley Trail.

The festival was a culmination of the efforts of the Thurmont Green Team. “The Green Team said ‘let’s combine the things that we do, and let’s do a festival,” Poole said.

Thurmont Commissioner Bill Buehrer said that the team’s accomplishments were “immeasurable.”

At the beginning of the festival, Becky Wilson with the Maryland Forest Service awarded Thurmont its second Tree City USA Award. To earn this award from the Arbor Day Foundation, Thurmont needed to meet four standards: (1) Have someone responsible for the care of town trees; (2) Enact an ordinance to protect trees; (3) Dedicate at least $2.00 per capita to tree forestation; and (4) Have an Arbor Day proclamation.

Greenfest was sponsored by the Thurmont Green Team, the Town of Thurmont, and the Thurmont Regional Library.

One of the vendors at Green Fest explains electronics recycling to a young girl.

Becky Wilson with the Maryland Forest Service presents Thurmont CAO Jim Humerick and Commissioner Bill Buehrer with a Tree City USA Award for Thurmont.

On Monday, March 19, 2018, Thurmont Lions, principals, teachers, family, and friends gathered at the Thurmont Regional Library for the annual Teacher of the Year reception. The Teacher of the Year reception is held to honor all nominees from all eight schools. We had nominations from: Catoctin High School (one nomination)—Teacher of the Year: Angelique Merkson; Thurmont Middle School (three nominations)—Teacher of the Year: Lisa Vaeth; Mother Seton School (one nomination)—Teacher of the Year: Sheila Dorsey; Sabillasville Elementary School (two nominations)—Teacher of the Year: Pam Ellenberg; Lewistown Elementary School (two nominations)—Teacher of the Year: Heather Burgess; Emmitsburg Elementary School (six nominations)— Teacher of the Year: Melissa Kearchner; Thurmont Elementary School (one nomination)—Teacher of the Year: Jennifer Young; Thurmont Primary School (two nominations)—Teacher of the Year: Kristianne Dove.

On Education Night in May, we will honor the eight Teachers of the year and name the Thurmont Lions Club Teacher of the Year. We will also be honoring Bonnie Hopkins, a long-time Emmitsburg teacher, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

A special thank you to Stephanie Steinly, Nancy Echard, and Joyce Anthony, who assisted with the judging and the program; to Paul Cannada and Wendy Candela, who were the official event photographers; and to Dianne McLean, cheerleader extraordinaire.


Pictured from left are: (front row) Kristianna Dove, Lisa Vaeth, Heather Burgess; (back row) Angelique Merkson, Jennifer Young, Pam Ellenberg, Melissa Kearchner, and Sheila Dorsey.

Erin Dingle is more than just the Frederick County Government employee responsible for the management of the Thurmont Regional Library. She was a resident of Northern Frederick County for many years before migrating to Adams County and has always been an active contributor to the community. She was awarded the Thurmont Pomona Grange Community Citizen Award at a meeting on November 27, 2017, at the Grange Hall on East Main Street in Thurmont.

It has been her contribution to her beloved community to manage the Thurmont Library in a manner that best serves its residents. About the award, Erin expressed, “Thank you for this honor. I am blown away.”

Having been lured to the meeting under the ruse that she and some library staff members were going to give a presentation to the Grange members, Erin shared the history of the library. Before she could begin, an attendee shared, “Mrs. Bruchey [former librarian] threw her [Erin] out of the library because she talked too loud.” A laugh was shared, as Erin explained that the Thurmont Library was founded by a private group of citizens in 1956, with Mr. Ross V. Smith leading the way. Private citizens raised the money to open the library in a variety of ways, including hosting a circus at the American Legion and going door-to-door, collecting donations.

Beginning in February 1955, the Thurmont Library was first housed at the former Bobolitz property on West Main Street in Thurmont. In 1967, under the direction of Vic Jagow, the building on Water Street in Thurmont—that housed the former Moravian church (built in 1874 and operated until 1918), the former Weybright store, American store, and, at one point, a teen center—became the home of the library until 2008. Renovations to the building cost about $10,000 at that time. That site is now home to Thurmont’s Main Street Center.

The Thurmont Library was the only privately-owned branch in Frederick County. The windows from the original Moravian Church on Water Street are on display in the Agricultural Center at Thurmont Regional Library, which opened on East Moser Road in Thurmont in August of 2008. The funds from the sale of the former library on Water Street are managed by the Frederick County Community Foundation and are used for current library purposes, such as special events and programs.

The Thurmont Regional Library is a model in architecture and operation. People come from all over the state to visit the new library. It was voted the Most Amazing Library in the State of Maryland in a 2016 MSN Lifestyle poll. In addition to appealing architecture that showcases local history, the windows and a beautiful outdoor deck contribute to a comfortable environment for visitors at the library. Plans are underway to add a nature trail around the library.

Erin has enjoyed serving the community. With over thirty years in the library system, she has been a part of many changes. Beginning her career before computers, Erin filed actual library cards in the catalog in the original library. For most of her career, the library served as a reference center since there was no internet. Often, people were sent to Frederick to get what they needed. As time progressed, and the internet changed the way people access information, the library has changed. Now, it serves as a resource for information, but with more of a social element. Today, for staff, the focus is programming and outreach. “My co-workers are what make the library a special place,” Erin said. “They are ready and willing to help everyone who walks into our building. They all excel at customer service.” At the old Thurmont Library, Erin started a regular story time, held on Thursday mornings. Today, they are held almost every day of the week and for a variety of ages.

“Now, the library is more about bringing people together and community. Creating community partnerships is our primary goal,” shared Erin.

At the closing of her presentation, Erin expressed, “I love that library!”

Operationally, Erin is known for having a “happy ship” meaning that she manages the library as a supportive manager and friend to staff.

Friends of the Library members who were present expressed that Erin was on board and supportive of the Friends group from the very beginning. Ann Miller, President for the Friends said, “I’ve never seen her not being enthusiastic about an idea that somebody brought to her. She’s always said, “Yes, we can do that.”

Four oil painting scenes of Catoctin Mountain View Farm by Andrea Myers Mannix, daughter of Rodman and the late Jean Myers, are currently on display at the Thurmont Regional Library, through September 10, 2017. The paintings are displayed near the Thurmont Center for Regional Agricultural History Room.

In April 1962, C. Rodman and M. Jean Ogle Myers purchased Catoctin Mountain View Farm on Smith Road in Thurmont from Harry and Marie Zentz. In 1967, an additional farm was purchased from William and Lola Zentz; and, in 1969, an additional farm was purchased from Claude and Martha Favorite. Catoctin Mountain View Farm consists of 425 acres, with its main crops consisting of corn, wheat, barley, soybeans, hay, and straw.  Until 2006, Holstein cows were milked, and now steers graze the land.

In early 2017, Andrea’s oil painting teacher, Kevin Cook (, held an exhibit of all his student’s work. The photo (above) is from the Artist’s Opening Reception, held on January 10, 2017, at New Paltz’s Elting Memorial Library. Andrea has raised her son and daughter in New Paltz, New York, and resides there for her job as an IBM Project Manager in Human Resources Corporate Business Applications. New Paltz is in the Hudson Valley area of New York State, with lots of mountains, orchards, and beautiful scenery— just like the Catoctin area!

Andrea Myers Mannix is pictured with her two children and her dad (from left): Denise Mannix, C. Rodman Myers, Andrea Myers Mannix, and Kevin Mannix.

A must-see documentary film by Leonardo DiCaprio, Before The Flood, will be shown at Thurmont Regional Library on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. It is an excellent documentary about the many problems our planet and all its life forms are presently enduring because of pollution. DiCaprio has dedicated his life to speaking out for healthy changes that we can make in order to stop the degeneration of our water, land, and air. The visuals speak for themselves; so if you want to see a powerful film that speaks to your heart, then please come out to the library on April 8. There is no cost, and popcorn and juice will be provided!

That same day, starting at 11:00 a.m., the Thurmont Green Team is holding a stream clean-up and water quality testing in the Community Park in Thurmont. All ages are encouraged to come to this educational and fun event. Afterwards, you can jog on over to the library to see the film!

Thurmont’s Main Street Center, located at 11 Main Street, will host a second showing of this amazing film on May 20, 2017, at 2:00 p.m.

To get more information about Before The Flood, you can Google it. Once again, admission is free. The Earth is a gift and a treasure, which we all need to take care of the best we can.

Deb Spalding

Twelve-year-old twins, Rianna and Sheridan Chaney, formerly of Thurmont, now call a 3,500-acre ranch in Gosper County, Nebraska, home. They’ll be appearing at the Thurmont Regional Library on Tuesday, August 9, 2016, at 6:30 p.m., during Starlight Story Time to share their experiences about ranch life, agriculture, and publishing children’s books. They, along with their mother, Rebecca Long-Chaney, have published seven (the eighth will be released this coming Christmas) children’s books that spread a love and respect for agriculture, each focusing on different aspects of agriculture.

Becky, who had already published a book, Bulldust in My Bra: An American Couple’s Working Season in the Outback, wrote the first three books from observing the girls around the farm and writing down things they would say. She explained, “For the next four books, the girls actually sat down with me and helped select photos, write the text, and even helped edit the books. We are a team.” She added, “I enjoy seeing the process of an idea to storyboard, to layout, to a finished product.

The twins were only three years old when Becky started taking photos. That fall, a Hereford cow had twins but would only nurse one, so the twins raised the calf on a bottle. Sheridan said, “It was a lot of work but we loved it.” Their first book was, “Little Star…Raising Our First Calf.”

With only two towns in the whole county where they live in Nebraska, these girls know more than a little about cows and life on a ranch. They live twenty minutes from a fast food restaurant or a Walmart; if they want to shop at Kohl’s, Best Buy, or the Apple Store, they have to drive for three hours.

At their school, the twins will begin the school year with twelve other seventh graders. Their entire school has kindergarten through twelfth grade in one building; each grade has one class of approximately fifteen students. The Chaney girls play volleyball on a club team; they also play softball and love doing livestock judging.

The Chaneys are part of a wonderful church family at Lone Star Cowboy Church. The girls are active in 4-H and go to Sunday School or youth worship on Wednesday evening rather than Sunday mornings. Many schools in Nebraska won’t let teachers give homework on Wednesday night because it is considered Christian night.

Most of all, the twins enjoy helping their father, Lee, move cattle or do something on the ranch. He works for Cross Diamond Cattle Company, which is a huge Red Angus cattle ranch (on which the Chaneys live), with a commercial cattle herd of about 350 cows.

Recently, he was teaching the girls to drive a ranch truck in the field while they helped him tear down fence. In Nebraska, rural kids can drive to school when they are fourteen years old.

In addition to their book projects, Becky enjoys substitute teaching for grades kindergarten through twelfth in three different districts. “This is a great way for me to get a little agriculture into the classroom.”

While touring around the book and agriculture circuits, Rianna said her favorite place to visit was the National Beef Convention in Tampa, Florida. “We got to promote our books for three days and have a side trip to Universal Studios at Disney.”

When asked about her favorite place, Sheridan said, “That’s easy. My favorite place was a road trip this past spring to a 35,000-acre ranch in Wyoming to do a photo shoot for the new book. It only took us five hours to get there. We stayed with the most awesome ranch family, and we can’t wait to go back.”

Come out to see Rianna, Sheridan, and Becky in August at the Thurmont Regional Library. They have a great passion for agriculture and would love to share “their ag story” with you. “My sister and I are doing the PowerPoint. We will have fun pictures of Branding day, show season, Nebraska cowboys and scenery, our winning Pig Wrestling team, cooling off in the big cattle tanks, and Nebraska’s most famous wonder: Tornadoes!” said Sheridan.

Becky added some shout-outs, “We are blessed to have a great support network with our books. First, Kelly Hahn Johnson takes many of the photos for the books. Kathy Stowers does the entire book layout, and Laura Keiholtz develops the professional lesson plans that go with every book for grades kindergarten through third. When books are published and big orders come in, Betsy Randall and Bonnie Chaney are my packaging and shipping team, because books are printed on the East Coast. I have a terrific team!”

“For the past eight years, our books have received several Ag Book of the Year honors. The books are in every state and in thousands of schools around the nation, thanks to Farm Bureau and Cattle Women’s groups. For more information, folks can visit our website at,” said Sheridan, adding, “We are not famous people, but just ranchers trying to make a difference.”

Sheridan (left) and Rianna Chaney use sorting sticks to help keep calves back during branding day, while cowboy Marcus Eggleston goes to rope another calf to brand and vaccinate.

Rianna and Sheridan Chaney, formerly of Maryland, take a break with their ranching family on branding day at Cross Diamond Cattle Ranch in South Central Nebraska where they now live.
From left, are, Johanna and Marie Ford, Coltin Nation, Rianna and Sheridan Chaney.

The Class of 2017 has officially started. The reigns have been turned over by the 2016 Safe and Sane class, and parents and family members of the Class of 2017 are hitting the ground running. We would like to invite any and all family members to our next meeting on July 6, 2016, from 6:00-7:45 p.m. at the Thurmont Regional Library. Help is always appreciated, as well as new ideas to raise money for the Class of 2017. We want our students to have the best night of fun but, most of all, we want them to have the safe environment to have that fun.

There are many different opportunities to help: donating items such as cases of water, soda, and snacks; assisting in fundraisers; working concessions, etc. They are a team that truly cares for its students and want to make their graduation night celebration a memorable and safe one.

The 2017 Safe and Sane committee is holding a Crab Raffle. Tickets are $5.00 each.  Drawing will be held on September 11, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. at the Community Show. You may contact any board member of the 2017 Safe and Sane committee or call Missy Worth at 301-730-8482.

Flocking will be available by request. What is Flocking? You pick a person you would like to Flock, and we put a flock of flamingos in their yard. There are a different number of Flocks you can choose from at different prices. Contact Jennifer Leach at or by phone at 240-405-4538.

Please follow us on Social Media for the latest information.

  • Facebook account: Catoctin High School Safe and Sane 2017.

Supervised by Kellie Beavin.

  • Instagram account: Manned by senior student Kylie

Norwood, under the supervision of Kellie Beavin.

  • Twitter account: CHS Safe & Sane 2017. Manned by senior student

Skylar Wells, under the supervision of Kellie Beavin.

The Chaney Twins’, Rianna and Sheridan, formerly of Thurmont, are coming home for a visit. They will be the featured speakers with a “special” PowerPoint that they have created about life on a 3,500-acre ranch in the middle of Nebraska, on Tuesday, August 9, 2016, at 6:30 p.m., during “Starlight Story Time” at the Thurmont Regional Library. This will be followed by a book signing.


James Rada, Jr.

While the design of the Thurmont Regional Library was inspired by the Catoctin Furnace, when you walk into the Thurmont Center for Agricultural History, you’ll see a different inspiration. Two windows from old Moravian Church that had been on Water Street in the late nineteenth Century, hang from one wall. On another wall hangs a grange mural painted in the 1960s by Elizabeth Holter Howard.

Tucked away in one corner of the library, the Thurmont Center for Agricultural History’s collections continue to grow.

“We are saving stuff for the future, when people start wondering more about the farms that used to be in the county and how they operated,” said Thurmont Library Manager Erin Dingle.

Mary Mannix, manager of the Maryland Room at the C. Burr Artz Library in Frederick, said that the idea for an agricultural history room first took root about seventeen years ago, when the Maryland Room obtained its first major agriculture-related collection: a set of annual reports from the county extension agent. There wasn’t room at the old library for the collections, so it remained at the Maryland room until the new library was built.

“We’ve been trying to collect primary and secondary information of the agricultural history and culture in Frederick County,” Mannix said. “A lot of it relates the county granges, which as a social organization have been a large part of agriculture in Maryland and the nation from post-Civil War to the mid-twentieth century.

Besides the extension agent reports, the room also has the Pomona Grange archives, extension service publications, Jefferson Grange archives, Maryland State Grange records, and many more. There are also private collections that have been donated to the room.

“You’ll see people using the room to find information regarding the history of family farms,” said Mannix.

The center also has local history, genealogy information, and microfilm copies of newspapers.

“People searching for the genealogy are probably the ones who use the room the most,” stated Dingle.

The center’s basic core genealogy resources can help a person trying to track down family members from Northern Frederick County.

Researchers can also find information about the area by searching through the Emmitsburg Chronicle, Catoctin Enterprise, and Catoctin Clarion on microfilm. There is also a small collection of local history books about the area.

“As agriculture continues to vanish from the area, I think more people will use the center as they want to find out more about agriculture history,” Mannix said.

The Thurmont Center for Agricultural History has the same hours as the library: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 1:00-5:00 p.m. on Sunday. To access the center, check in with the librarian at the reference desk. If you will need research help, you may want to call ahead to make sure a librarian will be available to help you.

If you can’t make it to the center, research requests are accepted at no charge, except for photocopies at $.20 per copy. Submit the request, in writing, with as much information as possible to Erin Dingle.

Many thanks to the volunteers who organized and hosted the Friends of the Thurmont Regional Library book sale that was held last month at the Community Show. Joanie Freeze, chairperson for the annual sale, was pleased to report that close to $3,000 was raised and will go to help pay for the storage shed that will be located near the library. The Friends also hosted a Thank You Picnic on the library deck to thank everyone who helped sort, transport, and work at the sale, particularly Boy Scout Troop 270, who have helped set the sale up for the past fifteen years.

FCPL is pleased to introduce a new wireless printing service at the Thurmont Regional Library, as well as at the C. Burr Artz and Urbana branches. Patrons can print wirelessly from their laptop or mobile devices from anywhere, not just in the branches. Cost is twenty cents per page (black and white printing only). Print virtually any document or web page from your internet connected PC to one of our library printers by visiting the Printeron website, sending an email to one of two email addresses, or via the Printeron mobile app. More information can be found at, or visit the branch.

On Monday, October 26, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., join The Thurmont Historical Society and the Thurmont Regional Library, who are hosting guest lecturer Art Callaham, sharing the Fort Ritchie Story. Mr. Callaham worked on base for twenty-one years. Learn how 800 acres in Maryland and a mountain top in Pennsylvania evolved through ice production, the Maryland National Guard, an intelligence training center, and a tuberculosis hospital, to a critical communications link in the nation’s defense, becoming the operational support facility for a “super-secret” underground facility that could have housed the president of the United States. This public lecture is free.

Every Tuesday morning in October, from 10:30-11:30 a.m., drop in for Introduction to Hula Dancing for Adults. Moves can be done standing or sitting down. This is a great activity for active, older adults.

Drop in on Thursday, October 15, from 2:00-2:45 p.m. for some Science in STEM fun with the CHS Science National Honor Society. Learn a little bit about STEM while you have fun. Space is limited, so register today. Program is for ages 5 and up.

Alice in Wonderland turns 150 years old this year. We’ll be hosting some fun festivities to help celebrate this momentous occasion on Friday, October 16, from 10:30-11:45 a.m. Register online at or call 301-600-7212.

Come in on Monday, October 26, at 10:30 a.m., and explore basic art materials with your child (ages 18-35 months). Help your child develop fine motor skills, self expression, and have creative fun using art processes! Be prepared to get messy. Register online at or call 301-600-7212.

B.A.T.S. at the Library: Since March, the library has been excited to be part of the University of Maryland’s Bat Acoustic Traveling Study (B.A.T.S.) research to determine bat activity and species in urban, suburban, and rural areas. During this family program, PhD and undergraduate students will share information about all the good things bats do in our community, and demonstrate how the bat detector box (with a microphone twenty feet up in the air) records high-frequency bat calls. Live acoustic demonstrations and audience participation (weather permitting). All ages are welcome. Program will be held on Thursday, October 22, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

On Friday, October 31, from 2:00-3:30 p.m., our annual UN-Scary costume party returns. Your little ‘punkins’ are sure to enjoy our Fall-o-Ween games, crafts, and costume parade. Dress up or come as you are. Best for ages 3-8 years.

Whovians unite! Join us in time and space for an evening of games, trivia, prizes, food, and fun. Come dressed as your favorite Doctor Who character. This grand Dr. Who event is for tweens in grades 6-12, and will be held Thursday, October 29, 6:00-7:30 p.m.