James Rada, Jr.
The Cozy Country Inn and Restaurant may be gone, and the ground on which it sat smoothed over for the next business to occupy; however, it is not gone. One of the original cabins in which travelers stayed the night in the early twentieth century now sits on cinder blocks at the rear of the Thurmont Historical Society property.
The plan is to restore the cabin to its period appearance. That will take some work since the cabin was apparently being used as storage.
“Mel Poole is searching for metal bunk beds that we will put inside, along with a wash stand and a bowl,” said Thurmont Historical Society President Donna Voellinger.
The Cozy Country Inn and Restaurant began life as a gas station and tourist camp. Then Wilbur Freeze built small, 10 feet by 10 feet cabins that could sleep four.
“The cabins were used even after the hotel was opened,” Voellinger said.
Jerry Freeze donated the cabin to the historical society after the Cozy shut down earlier this year.
“We stepped in when the town didn’t want it, because Jerry really wanted it to stay in Thurmont,” Voellinger said.
However, accepting the cabin and getting it to the historical society’s property are two different things. The historical society started to raise funds to pay to have it moved, but they were still a long way off from their goal when it came time to move the cabin.
“Then along came Kirby,” Voellinger said, referring to Kirby Delauter. “He said, ‘Donna, I’ll move it.’”
Delauter’s business, W.F. Delauter & Son, was in the process of demolishing the old restaurant and buildings on Frederick Road. Delauter & Son used a large forklift to lift the cabin up and carry it slowly through Thurmont to the historical society at the end of May.
“They were so gentle in moving it that it didn’t even dislodge the bird’s nest on the corner,” Voellinger said.
The most damage was caused by a thief who stole a hand-painted sign by Wilbur Freeze that noted the cabin’s construction year. The thief cut the sign free of the cabin shortly before it was to be moved, and the police have so far not found the culprit.
Local artist Irene Matthews painted a reproduction that is nearly identical to the original.
“Now all we need to do is let it weather a bit,” Voellinger said.
Jerry Freeze also donated a number of pictures of the Cozy Country Inn and Restaurant. They will be combined with an oral history that Freeze will make to create an exhibit that can be set up near the cabin when it is restored.
Voellinger said the next step will be to have the cabin lowered off the cinder blocks to the stone bed beneath it. Then the scraping, repainting, and restoration can begin to keep the Cozy alive in Thurmont.