Currently viewing the tag: "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.