Katelyn Claxton

mr catoctinFrom stars on the field to stars on the stage, Mr. Catoctin is a perfect way to showcase Catoctin High School’s Senior class.

The third annual Mr. Catoctin Pageant was held on December 3, 2014, at Catoctin High School. Not only was it a night filled with catchy tunes, up-beat dances, and tons of laughter, but it was a successful fundraiser for the Catoctin High School 2015 Safe and Sane Committee.

Safe and Sane is a non-profit graduation committee that provides a place for seniors to go after graduation, where they can celebrate all night in a safe and controlled environment.

Safe and Sane was “established to address the very serious issues of youth drinking, drug use, and driving behavior during one of the highest risk social events of their lives,” said Cheryl Phelan, the Class of 2015 Safe and Sane head coordinator. To find out more about Safe and Sane and their upcoming events, like them on Facebook: Catoctin Safe and Sane 2015 and visit their website at www.catoctinsafeandsane.com.

This year, eight senior boys—hand selected by teachers—were given a week to show their unique school spirit followed by one night on the stage to prove to a panel of judges why they should be crowned this year’s Mr. Catoctin. The boys faced several obstacles throughout the process. The first obstacle being  “Spirit Week.” Each contestent had to dress according to assigned themes. They kicked off the week with Inanimate Object Day, followed by Nerd Day, Decade Day, Superhero Day, and ended the week with School Spirit Day.

“Putting together all of my costumes to show off my personality was worth all the time put in,” said Jordan Hahn, a Mr. Catoctin contestant.

On the night of the pageant, the boys went through many events to show off their well-rounded personalities. The show opened with the boys knocking out the crowd with a well-rehearsed dance number, choreographed by Katelyn Claxton and Meredith Wilson. The dance number was followed by a festive display of seasonal wear, a show-stopping talent portion, a questionnaire, and ended with the boys flaunting their good looks with formal wear (tuxedos were donated by Men’s Warehouse).

The 2014-2015 proud winner of the crown and the title of Mr. Catoctin was Dan Miller. Second and third place awards were given to Andrew Niebecker and Randy Stull.

“Being in Mr. Catoctin was a fun experience. I am incredibly grateful to have participated!” said Stull.

Catoctin High School is very proud of these eight contestants and is honored to see Catoctin’s blue and white school spirit shining among the students.

by Michele Cuseo


December 2014

 Mayor Meets with New County Executive, Jan Gardner

Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs met with Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner to discuss ideas and concerns for the town of Emmitsburg. Briggs stated that Gardner is meeting with town mayors around the county to discuss their concerns and needs in preparation for her new role in Frederick County. Mayor Briggs expressed his concern for the lack of accessibility to programs and services for the elderly in Emmitsburg due to their distance from the city of Frederick. Briggs requested a possible improvement regarding the transportation options provided for senior citizens to get to Frederick for necessary services. 

 Emmitsburg Sustainability Certification

Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs and the “Green Team” will be meeting with the state of Maryland officials to further promote Emmitsburg toward a state of Maryland Sustainability Certification. The Green Team, which includes the mayor and five other members, was formed to complete the requirements for the sustainability certification.  Emmitsburg has already accomplished most of the required tasks, which include: an operational farmers market, a State certified green school (Mother Seton), a local business directory and promotion, a community garden, LED street lights, pet waste program, and ordinance and a solar power array (we have completed phase I). The City of Frederick is the only other town in the county with this certification. 

 Mount St. Mary’s University Donating Clock to Town

Mount St. Mary’s has donated a large vintage style clock to be included in the town’s downtown square improvements project.  The clock weighs 1,000 lbs. and has Roman numerals for clock numbers. Mayor Briggs was pleased to accept the donation and believes it will be a great addition for the town square. The placement for the clock in the downtown square area has not been determined yet.

For more information about the Town of Emmitsburg, log onto www.emmitsburgmd.gov or call 301-600-6300.


December 2014

 New Town Office Opening

The new Thurmont town office will be located at 615 E. Main Street and will officially be in place by Monday, January 12, 2015. The town office will be closed on Friday, January 9, 2015, in preparation of the move from the old office to the new. A grand opening celebration is tentatively planned, but the date is yet to be determined. 

 Sidewalk Project Request

The town is asking citizens who live along the new sidewalk areas to use Non-Corrosive Salt to melt the ice and snow on these sidewalks to avoid damaging them this winter.  Cement hardens over time.  The new cement sidewalks need more time to harden up and should be fine by next winter.  Further construction on this project has been put on hold until the spring.  


View the Town of Thurmont’s website at www.thurmont.com or call the town office at 301-271-7313 for more information.

Irish Women’s Little Christmas

The day is January 6, 2015.  After much ado, the twelve days of Christmas have successfully been budgeted, baked, wrapped, roasted, bustled, decorated, negotiated, and wined into submission. In wee Ireland, upon the completion of these tasks, the lady of the house goes out to celebrate. It is the Feast of the Epiphany and the official end of Christmas. The twelfth day has finally arrived.

For many decades in the century past, an Irish woman would drape her woolen shawl over her shoulders and walk to the local public house. Along the way, she teamed up with other ladies for the evening. Participants relaxed and let the weight of the past weeks dissolve away. 

Ladies, enjoy this Irish tradition by stopping by the Shamrock Restaurant, located at 7701 Fitzgerald Road, along Route US 15, just outside of Thurmont, on January 6. Enjoy live music, a special ladies menu, and complimentary corned beef.

Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Events

The Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association in Fairfield will host the following events in January 2015: Bar Bingo at 7:00 p.m. on January 2, 9, 16, and 30; Wagner Shoot on January 3; Cash Bingo on January 4; a Meat Shoot on January 10; a Wagner Shoot on January 17; a Meat Raffle and Buffet on January 23; a Meat Shoot on January 24; an Oyster Feed on January 31; and a Wagner Shoot on January 31. 

Vigilant Hose Company’s Annual Spring Fling

The Vigilant Hose Company will host their annual Spring Fling event on May 16, 2015, on the grounds of Mount St. Mary’s University. It’s time to get your ticket. Contact Chris Stahley at 301-447-3081, John Glass at 301-447-3648, Gabe Baker at 301-447-2212, or Bill Boyd at 717-6423-9717 for more information or to arrange your purchase.

Super “Healthy” Saturday

Take part in the Super “Healthy” Saturday on Saturday, January 10, 2015, from 10:00 a.m.-noon with weight loss specialist Susan Torborg at Fort Ritchie Community Center. Learn how to use healthy recipes, take part in an interval training exercise class (bring your sneakers), learn how to eliminate your sugar addiction, create nutrition plans, and receive a wellness overview about toxic-free and “green living.”

A healthy lunch is included in this $10.00 session. Call Susan Torborg at 717-642-5977.

Open House at Stultz Fitness

Stultz Fitness, located in Fairfield, Pennsylvania, will hold an Open House on January 4, 2015, from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Save the Date — 6th Annual EBPA Rock n’ Roll Relics Dance

The 6th Annual Dance fundraiser will be held on Saturday, January 24, 2015, from 8:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m., at the Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company building, located at 17701 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Enjoy rock and roll sounds from the 50s and 60s. Tickets are $15.00 in advance; $20.00 at the door the night of the event. Sponsored by Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA).

Take-a-Tour Tuesday at Mother Seton School

Mother Seton School, located in Emmitsburg, is hosting a Take-a-Tour Tuesday on January 3 and 20, 2015, at 10:00 a.m-1:00 p.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. On January 25, 2015, they will be holding an Open House from 1:00-3:00 p.m., with a spaghetti dinner from 12:00-4:00 p.m.

EBPA Featured Business Luncheon

Join the Emmitsburg Business and Professionals Association (EBPA) for a luncheon to celebrate the EBPA’s First Quarterly Featured Business, Sleep Inn & Suites, on March 6, 2015, from 12:00-1:00 p.m., at Sleep Inn & Suites. A buffet lunch is $5.00 during this event.

New Premises for Thurmont Town Offices

Lindsay Brandt

TM Town new officeOn January 12, 2015, the Thurmont Town Office will open in a new location at 615 East Main Street, in the premises of the former Dailey Funeral Home.  After a full renovation of the building, which was once the residence of former Thurmont Mayor James Black, the new offices are inviting, parking is spacious, and service is complimented with modern conveniences.

The move to the new premises will bring many positive changes for the staff and citizens of Thurmont. The spacious building will hold approximately 10 different sectionals, rooms, and offices for the staff. Although not all rooms will be open to the public, the space is being put to good use.

Upon stepping through the large front doors, you can choose entering the reception area to your right or entering the spacious commissioners meeting room to your left.

In the reception area, the receptionist’s station is the first work area you see. If Debbie Ecker and Melody Dix are busy with patrons who arrived beforehand, you may peruse the media area of brochures and pamphlets or sit and watch a flat screen television that will be running through announcements.

On the other side of the building, in the back of the commissioner’s meeting room, you will find restrooms, a drinking fountain, and beautiful, large windows that seem to draw visitors in. The meeting room can hold 50 chairs compared to the 35 chairs available in the previous building, and if more than 50 people are anticipated for a town meeting, additional chairs can certainly be added.

Some of the offices that the public will not have direct access to are; Lori Kaas, who is involved with permits and utility building; Becky Long who assists with Planning and Zoning and works with grants; and Tracy Schur and Wanda Stottlemeyer in the Finance Office. As always, the public will be able to pay utility bills, ask questions, inquire about permits for parks and pavilions, and submit plans for permits, construction, and variances. 

TM New Town Office 2The second floor has a conference room, the commissioner’s office, and the mayor’s office. “We will be using the conference room a lot. Right now, I can accommodate four people in my office, but if we have meetings larger than that, we have to go to the meeting room. So this will be a nice place to bring people in to talk about things,” said Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick.

Before the town offices move, the building needed to have work done, both inside and out. The renovation of the building was a combined effort of the Lone Star Builders, Inc., Dorsey Brothers, Green Brothers Construction and Town of Thurmont Dept. of Public Works. Some of the different areas of renovation include: electrical, landscaping, sewer line connections, signs for the parking lot, flooring, and windows. The city accepted a grant to install energy-saving equipment, including new lighting and a state of the art energy efficient HVAC system. “With moving from the old to the new [building], the energy savings will be tremendous,” Humerick said.

An open house is in the works but the date has yet to be set. After the Town of Thurmont staff are settled in and they make sure operations are running smoothly, they plan for a weekend open house so the community can venture in and have a look around. There is no need to be worried about finding parking for the open house because the new building has 50 parking spaces, instead of the four at the old building. Another excellent feature of the parking lot is a drive-through lane with a drop box for people who are in a hurry and don’t want to leave their vehicle to drop off a bill.

The Public Works division will continue to work out of the 10 Frederick Road, location. Additionally, the Thurmont Food Bank will be relocating into the former town office building. There is no set date for the move, but it is hoped that towards the end of February, 2015, they will be ready for business.

The current office will be closed on Friday, January 9, so staff can make the move to the new location. Cubicles, furniture, and appliances will be among the items transferred to the new building.

“I think the new municipal offices will be a welcome improvement for both our staff and the residents of Thurmont, and I want to thank the Board of Commissioners for their shared vision of this new public facility and for their support during the entire process. A special thanks goes to Jim Brown and Jim Humerick for their oversight of the project and for managing to satisfy all the Commissioner’s requests and concerns during the renovations,” said Mayor John Kinnaird.

Advance Auto Parts Opens in Thurmont

Lindsay Brandt

advance auto partsAdvance Auto Parts opened the doors to their new building at 131 Frederick Road in Thurmont on December 20, 2014.

The Grand Opening ceremony started at 11:00 a.m. when the Advance Auto Parts staff welcomed friends, families, and current and previous Town of Thurmont staff members by gathering in the parking lot for speeches and dedications.

“We were made to feel so welcome that we were coming, and little by little we started to hear the buzz around town, and everybody was so excited,” Lou Perez, District Manager for Advance Auto Parts, said. “I think this was the right move for our company and the right move for Thurmont.”

Thurmont Store Manager Donald Starliper is excited about the new location in Thurmont. He has been with the company for three years and has been looking forward to his transfer to Thurmont. He explained about store-wide Grand Opening deals and the free services the company provides that include, testing car batteries, installing batteries, and the free installation of wiper blades.

The ceremony also included a donation to the Thurmont Food Bank from Advance Auto Parts. Pastor Sally Joyner-Giffin accepted the $1,000 check on behalf of the Thurmont Food Bank.

“I think it’s a great addition to Thurmont; everybody seems excited about it and it’s been nice watching it grow from a hole in the ground to the finished product. Everybody is kind, courteous, and very willing to help you,” customer Sharon Richards said.

Advance Auto Parts is open daily from 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m., except Sundays during which hours are 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Call the store at 301-271-1113 for more information.

EBPA Reviews its Work in 2014

James Rada, Jr.

While the name of the Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA)would make one think that the group is only interested in business issues in town, it does much more than that for the Emmitsburg community. This never becomes more obvious then during the EBPA’s annual banquet.

This year’s banquet was held in JoAnn’s Ballroom at the Carriage House Inn in Emmitsburg on December 5, 2014.

One of the major donations that the EPBA makes each month is to the Emmitsburg Food Bank. Board member Bob Rosensteel came up with the idea years ago to leave boxes at the registers of local businesses to collect loose change customers received after purchases.

“We never dreamed it would do what it’s doing, with something as simple as pocket change,” Rosensteel said.

In 2014, the change boxes collected nearly $5,500, which was then donated to the food bank to help feed local families.

“It just keeps coming,” EBPA Treasurer Allen Knott noted.

Similarly, the EBPA also donated $600 to the Emmitsburg Lions Club annual food drive.

EBPA board member Chris Ohanion reminded the audience that the EBPA had also taken over paying for the annual fireworks show during the Lions Club Emmitsburg Community Day.

“The generosity here in Emmitsburg is second to none,” said Rosensteel.

The EBPA is made up of nearly three dozen Emmitsburg-area businesses, who network and help promote Emmitsburg as a community.

The EBPA also sponsors local business luncheons to promote better business methods and local events.

For more information about the Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association, visit the EBPA website at www.ebpa.biz.

Mount St. Mary’s Appoints New President

Mount St. Mary's new presidentSimon Newman, Chief Executive Officer of Cornerstone Management Group—a private equity, merger and acquisition, and strategic consulting firm based in Los Angeles, California—has been appointed the 25th President of Mount St. Mary’s University.

Newman succeeds Thomas H. Powell, president of the university since 2003. Newman’s appointment concludes a six-month national search process conducted by a committee comprised of members of the University Board of Trustees, as well as individuals representing the Mount community. Francis W. Daily, a member of the Board of Trustees and a 1968 graduate of the Mount, led the search.

“The committee entered this process with a clear understanding of the board’s requirements for our next leader. We focused on those candidates with experience in fund raising, strategic planning and fiscal leadership, strong communication skills, and a deep Catholic faith,” said Daily. “I commend my colleagues for the time they gave in searching for our next president.”

The announcement was made during an on-campus Mass celebrating the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Born in the United Kingdom, Newman, fifty-one, holds a BA degree (with honors) and an MA degree in natural sciences from Cambridge University, in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s third-oldest university. He also earned an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, in Palo Alto, California.

“Simon brings a strong background in business, finance, and leadership to our campus,” said John E. Coyne, III, C’77, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “He has many strengths: his collaborative management style, vision, progressive leadership, experience as a successful entrepreneur, and passion for our mission—all remind us of the skills of our founder, Fr. John Dubois.”

“He is a devout Catholic— involved in his parish, serving as a religious education teacher, and for many years as an instructor working with youth held in detention. Simon’s energy and accomplishment, and notably his firm commitment to the Mount’s strong Catholic liberal arts tradition, will serve the University well as we enter a most competitive and critical decade in higher education,” Coyne added.

“I am honored to help continue the Mount’s rich legacy and to further lead the University on its quest for greatness,” said Newman. “President Powell has elevated the University’s academic profile as a leading Catholic liberal arts University. I am inheriting a very solid foundation for future growth and development, and very much look forward to joining the Mount community.”

Newman has almost thirty years of experience working as an executive with a strong background in private equity, strategy consulting, and operations. He is currently a Managing Director of the private equity fund JP Capital Partners, as well as President and CEO of Cornerstone Management Group, founded in 1997.

During his career he has started or co-founded four different businesses, completed more than $33 billion in transactions, and raised more than $3 billion in equity funding for ventures and bids he originated. He has led several business turnarounds and delivered more than $200 million in profit improvements.

He started his career in consulting working with Bain & Co and LEK Consulting where he managed the media and entertainment practice working with clients such as Warner Bros., Disney, and Universal Studios. He has also worked at Canal+ International, Liberty Media and the investment bank, Wasserstein & Perella.

An avid sportsman, Newman and his wife, Michelle, have two children: Chantel (six) and Sienna (three).

Thurmont Grange Presents Community Citizen Award

Donna Voellinger, dedicated volunteer at the Thurmont Historical Society, was awarded the Thurmont Grange’s Community Citizen Award during a Grange dinner held on November 24, 2014, at the Grange Hall in Thurmont.  In addition to her commitment to the Thurmont Historical Society, Donna is a compassionate and dedicated individual who would help anyone in need, and does so in a variety of roles within her reach. The adage, “If you want something done, you ask a busy person to do it,” seems to fit Donna perfectly. She most often anticipates the needs of others in their time of illness, shut-in, hospital, doctor visits, or bereavement, offering assistance before being asked.  She is always ready to help at her church, especially with the food committee, by serving meals and making potato salad.

As a long-time member of the Thurmont Historical Society, Donna has most recently been serving as president.  Through her efforts and enthusiasm, the Thurmont Historical Society remains strong, and she continues to seek ways to expand its mission to preserve the rich history of Thurmont.  She is also involved with the Frederick Historic Sites Consortium, the Gale House, the Heartly House, Thurmont’s Halloween in the Park, Thurmont Main Street, the Frederick County Historical Society, and some local and state-wide political campaigns.

In earlier years when her children were in Thurmont schools, Donna was very much involved in Little League sports, SHOP, and Safe and Sane.  It was evident that many students and their parents felt comfortable working with “Mrs. V” in accomplishing whatever task was at hand.

It was noted humorously by several at the dinner that Donna has earned a reliable reputation for using her big snow blower to clean her neighbors’ driveways.  Deb Spalding with The Catoctin Banner said, “Donna and her husband were my CYA girls’ basketball coach in middle school. She had an early influence on several of us who earned state semi-final championships in high school basketball for three years.  Donna always smiles when she remembers the first practice, where stand-out Tammy Joy showed her abilities. Donna has had an impact in many areas and in many people’s lives.”

For more information about the Thurmont Grange, please call Rodman Myers at 301-271-2104.

TM Grange Community Citizen of the Year

Donna Voellinger (center) is presented the Thurmont Grange’s Community Citizen Award on November 24, 2014, by Helen Deluca (left) and Rodman Myers (right).

Photo by Deb Spalding


EBPA Awards Portier its Extraordinary Service Award

James Rada, Jr.

The Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA) awarded Dr. Bonita Krempel-Portier its annual Extraordinary Community Service Award on Friday, December 5, 2014, during the EBPA annual dinner.

“I can’t think of anyone else who has served this community more so quietly,” said Mayor Donald Briggs.

The audience of approximately fifty people gathered in Joann’s Ballroom in the Carriage House Inn in Emmitsburg.

Following dinner and entertainment provided by Knight Time Impressions and the Fairfield High School Show Choir, the audience watched a video of local residents talking about Dr. Portier. They spoke of her kindness and quality care and how she was a role model to those around her of how to serve others.

“People through service bind a community,” Briggs noted.

Portier runs the Emmitsburg Osteopathic Primary Care Center (EOPCC) on West Main Street in Emmitsburg. The center has 5,700 patients visit a year, and one out of four of the patients seen at the Care Center have no health insurance. Portier also does all of her work at the Care Center for free.         

The EOPCC website notes that, “In 2008, EOPCC donated $29,000 in services for the uninsured alone. This does not include donated medications. Nor does this include services at severely reduced re-imbursements such as medical assistance programs.”

Portier, who was awarded the 2006-2007 Maryland Osteopathic Physician of the Year by the Maryland Association of Osteopathic Physicians, is a 1991 graduate of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her residency at Franklin Square Hospital Center in Baltimore in 1995.

The EOPCC began in Thurmont in 1999, and expanded to a Gettysburg office two years later. The current and permanent site for the EOPCC opened at the end of 2005, where it continues to provide quality health care to patients, regardless of their ability to pay.

EBPA awards Dr. Bonita Krempel-Portier with its Extraordinary Community Service Award during its annual dinner on December 5, 2014.


Photo by James Rada, Jr.

St. Mark’s Welcomes New Pastor

Spastor miket. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Sabillasville welcomed its new pastor, Rev. Mike Simane, on November 1, 2014. Rev. Simane holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. In addition to serving at St. Marks, Rev. Simane also works as a chaplain at Hospice of Washington County.

Pastor Mike, as he likes to be called, lives in Smithsburg, Maryland, with his wife of twenty-five years and two daughters. Pastor Mike enjoys reading and spending time working in the yard.

“There is a peace that comes when you’re mowing the lawn or tending the garden,” said Pastor Mike. Although, he jokes, “It’s not too peaceful shoveling snow.”

Please welcome our new pastor at St. Mark’s. Worship service is at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday mornings. For more information, please visit www.stmarkssabillasville.org.

Officers Elected at Rocky Ridge Progressive 4-H Club Banquet

An election of officers was held at the November 2, 2014, Rocky Ridge Progressive 4-H Club Banquet.

The new officers for 2015 are: President—Ashley McAfee; Vice President—Margo Sweeney; Secretary—Lauren Schur; Treasurer—Ashley Ridenour; Reporters—Caroline Clark, Laura Dutton, Logan Long, and Karianna Strickhouser; Recreation Leaders—Nikita Miller and Jason Baust; County Council Representative—Olivia Dutton.

The Maryland Cooperative Extension Service’s programs are open to all citizens without regard to race, color, sex, handicap, religion, age or national origin.

James Rada, Jr.

museumAs the Confederate Army retreated from Gettysburg on July 4, 1863, they encountered Union troops in the area of Blue Ridge Summit. A two-day battle ensued in the middle of a thunderstorm that eventually spilled over the Mason-Dixon Line into Maryland.

“It is the only battle fought on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line,” said John Miller, Director of the Monterey Pass Battlefield Museum in Blue Ridge Summit.

While lots of books, movies, and stories have focused on the importance of the three-day Battle of Gettysburg, little light has been shed on how the Confederate Army made its retreat south from the battlefield through enemy troops with weary men. The Battle of Monterey Pass involved about 4,500 men with 1,300 of them winding up as Union prisoners and 43 soldiers being killed, wounded, or missing. Major Charles K. Capehart of the 1st West Virginia also earned his Medal of Honor during the battle.

Through the efforts of Miller and other volunteers and supporters, Blue Ridge Summit has a small museum and a growing area of protected land dedicated to educating the public about the battlefield.

The museum opened last October on 1.25 acres along Route 16 in Blue Ridge Summit. The Monterey Pass Battlefield Museum displays a collection of artifacts related to the Battle of Monterey Pass. It has galleries that look at different aspects of the battle, such as the overall Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania and Washington Township at the time of the battle. Outside the museum is a marker erected by the State of Michigan commemorating the participation of Michigan troops in the battle.

“It is one of only five such markers outside of the state of Michigan,” Miller said.

Most of the uniforms, weapons, pictures, and other artifacts were donated to the museum, and the attractive building was built through the hard work of volunteers.

“The purpose of the museum is to educate people about the battle,” Miller said, “but it also can set a standard for other community organizations along the retreat route that want to see how they can do it.”

Places like Hagerstown and Falling Waters are among the towns looking at doing something similar in their communities.

Although the museum wasn’t open in time to catch a lot of the tourist traffic in 2014, more than 300 did visit.

“It’s been slow at first, but the number of visitors will grow as more people learn about it,” said Miller.

The Friends of Monterey Pass have been working with tourism councils in the surrounding counties to tie the museum into the counties’ Civil War tourism plans.

When it reopens in April, the Friends of Monterey Pass hope to add 116 acres of land over which the battle was fought to the museum. Miller said that before the museum reopens for 2015, he hopes to have some additional displays in the museum as well as some interpretive panels for a driving tour of the new piece of land.

Monterey Pass Battlefield Park is located at 14325 Buchanan Trail East, Waynesboro, PA 17268. For more information, visit their website at www.montereypassbattlefield.org.

Hour of Code

Lindsay Brandt

Technology never seems to be too far from our hands these days. We have smart phones in our pockets; iPads, laptops, and desktop computers for work; and even smart TVs. Although nobody wants their loved ones to be addicted to technology, it is hard to deny that technology is an important and essential tool that every student should learn to utilize.

During the week of December, 8-12, 2014, seventh grade students from Thurmont Middle School participated in the global movement, Hour of Code.

Code is the process of telling the computer what you want it to do. Instead of their usual computer class schedule, students were taught the beginning basics of coding through computer games and lesson programs. Students played games to help them begin to learn the basic steps of code during their 47-minute block of computer class. It would be difficult for the students to become bored, considering the variety of different themes for the students to play and participate in, such as virtual ice-skating with Disney’s Frozen characters, battling ogres, and drawing.

According to the event’s website, Hour of Code is organized by www.code.org, a public 501c3 non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color.

Sandy Zimmerman, who teaches Inventions and Innovations class and Communication Techniques class at Thurmont Middle School said, “The field of computer science is growing by leaps and bounds. Today’s student is tech savvy. This helps with critical thinking and problem-solving skills; it incorporates math skills, science skills, and brings in the STEM (Science, technology, engineering, mathematics) initiative. ” 

Mrs. Zimmerman has taken the required services and state tests, dual majored in Early and Elementary Education, and she is certified to teach Technology Education, Business Education, and Family and Consumer Science. She began teaching at Thurmont Middle School in 1998. When asked whose idea it was to become involved in Hour of Code, she replied, “[It was] suggested by our Curriculum Specialist, but not mandatory. However, there is a computer programming component in the Communication Techniques Essential Curriculum.”

Seventh grader, Austin Beard, is one student who has taken a particular interest in learning computer science. Austin stated that he uses computers to browse the web, but with being taught coding, it has been a whole new experience.

“It’s really fun. You get to tell the computer what to do. It came naturally during the couple of sessions I’ve had with it. I had to figure out what to do, but once I got the hang of it, I was able to do a lot more things, because the computer has to do what I tell it to do,” said Austin. Austin is already interested in attending a college that will provide classes particularly for coding and computer science.

As every parent and teacher knows, it is impossible to completely monitor everyone at once, but Mrs. Zimmerman has the ability to view the progress and statistics of each of her students through the program. The students are individually tracked through their personal log. Then the information is sent to Mrs. Zimmerman, who monitors the progression through the system. She is shown different states of completion through checks. A dark green check shows the code was completed as instructed, whereas, a light green check signals that the program was completed, but perhaps with a different way of reaching the final result.

“Its like math,” Zimmerman said, “you have the correct final result, but you may have been using a different formula to reach the correct answer.”

A special guest was invited to view the students working on their tasks. Susan Ferris, of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage – Frederick Branch, was asked to speak with the students and offer help to the students if needed. Ms. Ferris has a degree in Computer Science from Shippensburg University, and she applies her coding skills to her career with Wells Fargo.

“It’s a fun career with plenty of opportunities,” Ferris said. “As frustrating as it can be, that code, those numbers, they are only doing what you tell it to do.” Ms. Ferris enjoyed watching the kids work through the learning games.

Some parents may have concerns about their students being on computers, but the teachers have security blocks to prevent students from venturing to websites that aren’t classroom approved.

This is the first Hour of Code event for Thurmont Middle School, and if it proves to be a success, perhaps it will spread to all grade levels. Globally, 75,237,749 students have participated in the project so far.

2015 CHS Safe and Sane News

The Catoctin High School (CHS) 2015 Safe and Sane Graduation Committee is diligently working to provide a fun and safe graduation night for the Class of 2015.  To date, they have held multiple fundraisers and events and would like to thank everyone who has supported them to this point. They have many exciting events planned and are asking for your continued support.  They are asking all parents of graduates to please get involved; they need tremendous help to ensure their efforts are successful.

On Saturday, January 17, 2015, there will be a Cash Bash and Dinner at the Guardian Hose Company Activities Building in Thurmont. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., with dinner served at 6:00 p.m.; drawings begin every fifteen minutes at 6:00 p.m.  Tickets are $40.00 and admit two people. Please contact Cheryl Phelan (bochph@aol.com or 301-524-3106), Cindy Grimes (cindy_grimes@msn.com or 301-788-5354), or Shannon Wetzel (shanypany328@yahoo.com or 301-748-7068) for tickets or more information.

Wing Night will be held on Saturday, January 31, 2015, at the Vigilant Hose Company in Emmitsburg. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 each and include meal, wings, and beverages.  Please contact Cheryl Phelan (bochph@aol.com or 301-524-3106) for tickets or more information.

On Saturday, March 7, 2015, Safe and Sane will hold a Sportsman’s Dinner at the Lewistown Fire Hall. More information will be coming.

Safe and Sane meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Catoctin High School Media Center. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. For a listing of their current events, please “like” them on Facebook: Catoctin High Safe and Sane 2015 or visit their website at www.catoctinsafeandsane.com.

Catoctin’s New Year Resolutions

Ashley McGlaughlin 

Although 2014 has ended, our home town school of Catoctin High School (CHS) is beginning 2015 with a lot of new year resolutions. Many of the resolutions remain consistent with an overall inspirational goal. Administrators, educators, and students have a positive outlook on Catoctin’s start to the second semester of the school year. This means that there is much in store for students to learn, and even more activities in which to succeed.

January not only brings a new year, but it also brings HSAs (High School Assessment) and PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessments. The education system in Maryland has recently changed, replacing HSAs in subjects like English and mathematics with PARCC testing. PARCC is a new efficient way to test students. This is leaving only biology and government HSAs. The teachers at Catoctin are ready to receive and develop a way of teaching with the new curriculum headed their way.

“Teachers have strengthened their professional practice through professional development, and they have a grasp on all the changes that have occurred in their curriculums,” said CHS Vice Principal, Marcus Allen.

Educators at Catoctin all wish for students to do their best. Since PARCC is new, there is no scoring benchmark.

Catoctin has been having some difficulties with electricity; some of the school is still part of the original building, built almost fifty years ago. Over Christmas break, electrical work was completed by many entities, but mainly the folks at the Dixie Electric Company.

“The town of Thurmont, Dixie Electric, and Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) have done great work together to update some equipment that is part of the original building that has lastled nearly forty-six years. This is really complicated and difficult work, and hats off to the Town of Thurmont for the job they have done in making sure the school has continued uninterrupted. We will have one last big electrical update that will be finished over Christmas break,” said CHS Principal Bernard Quesada.

This electrical update is another resolution, so there will not be any more issues with the electricity. 

To make sure students know their opinions are important to the CHS administration, the administration surveyed the students to see where they need to make improvements the most.

“We surveyed our students about a month ago to listen to where we can improve, so we are always looking to reach the needs of our kids. That being said, we work with FCPS to keep our school system policies relevant and consistent,” stated Quesada.  This commitment will continue to be a resolution in 2015.

Also, new rules have been added for behavior issues, bullying, and so on to protect the students at Catoctin High School. “Two new changes at CHS include a FCPS update to the Bullying, Harassment and Intimidation Process, and a revision to the Discipline Regulation. It contains a much greater latitude in providing a variety of consequences than the prior version of the regulation,” stated Allen.

Another New Year resolution from Quesada is: “Our entire staff has been working hard to keep improving our school culture and level of rigor in the classroom. Our school is great, and we want to keep moving forward so that our students will be able to compete academically with anyone from anywhere. Every new achievement raises the bar a little higher; we don’t believe in complacency.”

Everyone at Catoctin High School wants to keep having a powerful school spirit, a safe environment, and to keep spreading the positive attitude for years to come. These New Year resolutions will lead to another awesome year here at Catoctin, and many years to come. Have a safe and happy New Year, from Catoctin High School!

STEM Club Makes Learning at Lewistown Fun

James Rada, Jr.

One fun way to get students interested in science and math is to let them put it to use. Members of the Lewistown Elementary STEM Club are building boats, creating with Legos, and making mag-lev train race along tracks.

“The premise of the club is that we can use STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to close the achievement gap. The hope is that we will be able to increase our students’ math and science scores,” said Principal Shirley Olsen.

The club is in the second year of a three-year grant that allows three teachers to work with thirty students on Monday afternoons for an hour after school.

“They use a wide variety of methods to engage students in science and technology,” Olsen said.

This month, for instance, the students are using magnets to create levitating trains. It’s the same technology used to build high-speed trains. Tools like Legos or Engineering is Elementary are used regularly to connect with students. They are building wind devices and holding a boat regatta, learning about science and math without realizing it.

“STEM tends to be a more-dynamic way to engage them and also tends to be more transdisciplinary,” Olsen said.

The school also sponsors a STEM night in March to bring in community members to demonstrate different occupations that use STEM. Olsen said that she wants students to see the real-life connections to STEM. The evening event also allows students to show off projects they have been working on during the year.

Along with club projects, the students can also get help with their science fair projects.

Last year, Olsen said there was an increase in students’ math and science testing scores, but it wasn’t as much as had been hoped.

“We didn’t make the gains we had set goals for, so we have adjusted the program to do more math,” said Olsen.

She said that teachers are tracking the data about student performance regularly and even making interventions during the school day to help students if necessary.

“The students seem to be pumped up and excited about the program,” Olsen said.

This includes students whose behavior during the school day can be very challenging. “They typically do well in STEM Club,” stated Olsen. “That says to me that they are involved and engaged.”

The students don’t mind as long as they are having fun, and they seem to be.

For the teachers, the grant also allows for them to get professional learning opportunities to learn how to reach different types of students in order for them to perform better.

Thurmont Little League is Gearing up for a New Season and Some Exciting Changes for 2015

Melissa Kinna

It may be cold outside, but that isn’t stopping Thurmont Little League (TLL) as they prepare for the upcoming 2015 Spring Season. Some exciting happenings taking place include a new logo; a new website that will be released soon; the extension of the league’s boundary to areas east; and new programs for coaches, umpires, and players. 

Thurmont Little League may be the name of the organization, however, Thurmont Little League is open to players within many communities in the region:  Thurmont, Emmitsburg, Sabillasville, Woodsboro, Rocky Ridge, Taneytown, and Union Bridge.

“Thurmont Little League and Little League International thrives by building virtues of character, courage, and loyalty to the community, which is why the board of directors here at TLL feel so strongly about the Little League mission and the benefits it provides to our servicing communities. By expanding our league’s boundary to the outlying communities, we are broadening the Little League virtues and exposing our players to those qualities with the intent to bettering the overall communities in our region. Our goal is to make these youth athletes successful on the field, but more importantly, successful off the field,” said Ed Lowry, president of Thurmont Little League.

Eager to start the 2015 season, board members are currently building new programs to include clinics for coaches and umpires. The league strongly encourages parents to become involved in the league and will now offer training to coaches and umpires to ensure a positive experience for both players and parents. 

This past fall season, the league was able to offer clinics focusing on outfield basics, infield basics, and hitting. The clinics were a success, players had fun, and it provided additional hands on experience.  Starting Saturday, January 17, 2015, the league will offer a five-week Winter Clinic to prepare players for the spring 2015 season. The registration is now open and ends Friday, January 16. The cost will be $40.00 for the entire five-week program. The clinic will run from 8:30-10:00 a.m. You may register for this winter session and for the spring 2015 season by visiting www.eteamz.com/thurmont/.

In an effort to raise money for the league, Mountain Gate Family Restaurant will host an In-Person Registration and a Dine-In, Help-Out event on Thursday, January 15, 2015. The league will be sharing tickets for the event on their Facebook page at facebook.com/ThurmontLittleLeague. When you present one of those tickets when dining at Mountain Gate Restaurant, Mountain Gate will donate ten percent of your bill to Thurmont Little League. 

“We encourage everyone in the community to go to our Facebook page and print out a ticket to support our league on January 15.  Throughout the years, Mountain Gate has supported the league, and we appreciate their continued support with this Dine-In, Help-Out event,” said Lowry. 

Opening day for Thurmont Little League will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2015.

Be sure to check out registration, which is now open for the 2015 spring season. Players can receive a $10.00 discount if they register before January 15. Visit www.eteamz.com/thurmont/for more details.

Spring 2015 Registration Opens for Catoctin Youth Lacrosse

Think you know about lacrosse? Think again! Anyone can play lacrosse—big or small, experienced player or a beginner. The game requires and rewards coordination and agility, not brawn. Quickness and speed are two highly prized qualities in lacrosse. Long sprints up and down the field, with abrupt starts and stops, precision passes, and dodges are routine in both boys and girls lacrosse. Participants can learn to play at any age.

Teams are forming now for both boys and girls in Kindergarten through eighth grade. The Catoctin Youth Lacrosse is gearing up for another great season!

Registration is currently open online at www.catoctinlacrosse.com or you can register in person on the following dates and times: January 7—at Thurmont Elementary School, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.; January 14—at Lewistown Elementary School, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.; and January 28—at Thurmont Middle School, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Want to learn more? Be social with them on facebook.com/catoctinlacrosse or check out their new website at www.catoctinlacrosse.com. Questions? You can email them at cyalacrosse@gmail.com or call 240-342-6238. Come scoop it up with Catoctin Youth Lacrosse!

Catoctin Youth Lacrosse is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization, supporting the lacrosse-loving youth of Thurmont. They are here to enhance the positives of team sports for our youth while advancing the sport within our community. They are part of the Western Maryland Youth Lacrosse Conference and offer teams for ages U7-U15.

Save the Date for the 2015 Catoctin Duals Wrestling Tournament

The 2015 Catoctin Duals wrestling tournament is set to take place on Friday, January 16 and Saturday, January 17, 2015, at Catoctin High School (CHS). Now in its nineteenth year, this annual local event promises plenty of wrestling action and excitement, as the defending Frederick County champion Cougars host a number of squads from several states.

The Cougars will showcase their largest freshman class of young wrestlers in four years, as well as several veteran grapplers and team leaders looking to make it into the record books as they battle some of the area’s top wrestling programs. Come out and support the state-wide nineteenth ranked CHS wrestling team as they continue the tradition of success of the past three years with twenty-five Frederick County place-winners, fifteen regional place-winners, and ten place-winners at the state level, including four state champions.

Doors open at 3:00 p.m. on Friday and at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday. Concessions will be available both days and several vendors will be on site.

Head Coach Ryan Green and his staff would like to thank Catoctin High School, CHS Athletic Director Kevin McMullen, and the numerous committed parents and volunteers who unselfishly give their time behind the scenes, as well as the generous sponsors in our community who contribute to make this event possible. Thank you for your continued support of Catoctin High School wrestling.

Emmitsburg Baseball & Softball League Registration

Registration for spring baseball and softball with the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League will take place at the Vigilant Hose Company on West Main Street in Emmitsburg on Friday, January 16, from 5:00-8:00 p.m.; Saturday, January 17, from 9:00-noon; and Saturday,  January 31, from 9:00 a.m.-noon.

Call Tom Kelly at 301-252-4471 or email tmkelly744@comcast.net.

by Chris O’Connor

A Snapshot of my Friends at the Farm

It was kismet that I met David and Marge Harman of Sunnyside Hill Farm in Sabillasville, around fifteen years ago. My daughter attended school in Emmitsburg; but, after two years, we made the fortuitous choice to transfer her to Sabillasville Elementary.  One day, I happily noticed that the Harmans had round hay bales for sale, and so began our friendship.

Driving to the new school was down Route 550 that dissects the Sunnyside Hill Farm’s picturesque farm fields like a lazy river at an amusement park. Over the years, I’ve noticed that the road has become more like a Grand Prix race course, where most don’t heed the speed limit or the signs that indicate a farm entrance just over a blind hill.

After meeting the Harmans, I broke my leg.  Marge Harman would drive me to the doctor in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, then we’d go eat at the former Waynesboro Mountain Gate Restaurant. Then it was on to rehab in Thurmont after the cast was removed until I finally regained some function of my busted wheel.  Marge would haul me down there, then back to the farm where she’d fix me something to eat, then she’d run me back to the house where I strived to limp another day.

Very early one summer morning, I went to their farm to spend a few hours on the front lawn to view the Perseid meteor showers. David and Marge got up at the crack of dawn and went into town, returning with fresh donuts. I went inside shortly after, and David fixed me bacon and eggs. Bacon and eggs are especially delectable when one is covered in morning dew.

When I go for hay, David ties the bales down with quick-release knots. Knot-tying is one of many lessons David learned during his formative years climbing the ranks of the Boy Scouts of America. He was inspired to a life of service and hard work then, earning innumerable badges while helping build camp sites and the lake for the scouts at Camp Tuckahoe near Biglerville, Pennsylvania. He often aided the camp’s cook by “bugling” in the scouts for chow time.

David became an Eagle Scout, honing many life skills, including swimming and lifesaving. Few know that David saved a boy’s life when the boy panicked and found himself in too deep in a pond.

David and Marge became acquainted in 1955 while he was a produce manager at Acme Grocery store in Gettysburg. Marge happened in one December evening with members of her family.

Marge is the second to the youngest of Pauline and Walter “Buck” Lantz’s five kids. David strived to visit the farm to join in the celebration of Marge’s sixteenth birthday, but was unable to find the farm that her parents acquired in 1942.

David recalls how folks he approached to get directions were confused when he referred to Marge’s father as Walter Lantz. 

The second time David came to Sabillasville looking for directions to Walter Lantz’s place, someone asked if he was referring to “Buck” Lantz. Bingo! David finally found the farm and the girl of his dreams.  They learned they shared a sense of morals, work ethic, humility…and a sense of humor.

The rest is history.

David and Marge married in June 1958. He shipped out to Army boot camp in New Jersey for six months, before transferring to radar school at Ft. Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma.

David, home on leave for their first wedding anniversary, brought Marge a dozen roses. Then they packed a ’55 Plymouth to the gills.   Soon, it was pedal to the metal, westward-bound for the high desert of Ft. Carson, Colorado Springs, Colorado, a marked contrast to the verdant hills of north central Maryland. At Ft. Carson, David was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Upon discharge from the Army, David secured a position at The Thurmont Bank as consumer loans manager. He spent a few decades there, during which time the bank changed hands in succession by Suburban, Sovran, CNS Sovran, then Nations bank. He played all positions in the bank: manager of consumer loans, teller, and head teller, until being promoted to manager in 1981, where he remained until his retirement in 1993.  

All the while, David helped his father-in-law, Buck, with the farm.  David would milk the dairy cows in the morning, then clean up and go to work at the bank. He urged Buck to acquire a baler to help streamline the hay harvest. At that point, they were harvesting using one of two mules and storing hay in loose stacks in the mow.

These days, Marge and David, their sons, extended family, and good friends throw in together, whether its time to sow or harvest or help is needed with the endless chores. 

They raise crops to feed livestock, which has included dairy cows, mules, hogs, chickens, goats, cattle, and their pet donkeys. Now they market beef, hay, straw, corn, and soybeans.

Generations of accumulated knowledge, work ethic, modern farm equipment, newer outbuildings, and mechanical acumen has been integral to the success of a farm. Common sense, mathematical ability, and team work are important—especially now considering the increasingly demanding regulatory environment that requires ever-mounting paperwork and accountability as to any farmer’s methods and practices.

The Harmans strive to maintain their way of life while balancing the vagaries of nature and considering the complexities of all the external variables.  

That being said, visiting my adopted home place is more fun than a barrel of monkeys.   

And I’ve never left hungry.


Marge and David Harman

Photo by Deb Spalding

Buck Reed, the Supermarket Gourmet

Overhead of a bucket of cranberries and a pot full of whole cranCranberries come from the family of Ericaceae, which is described as an evergreen dwarf. They are cultivated from October until December, which probably explains their popularity during the holiday season.

Cranberries are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, B-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, folate, potassium, and manganese. Studies have shown that the consumption of berries has potential health benefits against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections. Also, cranberries have antioxidant compounds, which may prevent cardiovascular disease, help lower LDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL cholesterol levels in the blood. Furthermore, cranberries are beneficial to your teeth as well as your urinary tract.

They start out as a white berry that ripens to a deep red, and has a unique tart acidic flavor that overwhelms it’s sweet flavor. It goes without saying that they are most popular during Thanksgiving as a sauce served with roast turkey or sold as juice that is enjoyed all year long. This being the case, doesn’t it seem a shame most of us only enjoy the whole berry during the holiday season?

The easy solution is to buy fresh whole berries after the holiday season when the price drops, double bag them and keep them in the freezer, up to a year, until ready to use. You can also go ahead and cook them down a bit and again store them in an airtight container and freeze them for a quick enhancement to your everyday cooking. Freezing berries helps break the skin and makes the juice easier to extract, so when defrosting them, make sure you do so in a bowl to catch all the juice.

Here are a few ideas for using those cranberries:

Cook whole cranberries into your oatmeal for a morning delight.

Add whole cranberries into your pancake, waffle, or coffee cake recipe.

Use whole cranberries (frozen and thawed) in your sangria or mojito recipe, or add into a fruit punch for a sizzling summer pleasure.

Serve cranberry sauce with grilled sausage, pork or chicken at your next barbeque.

Add pureed cranberries into your favorite barbeque sauce for a unique flavor.

Mix cooked cranberries with mustard and serve with hot dogs or as a spread for any sandwich (roast turkey sounds like a natural).

Use whole cranberries in your favorite oatmeal or chocolate chip cookie recipe instead of raisins.

Puree cranberries into your favorite vinaigrette recipe and toss with salad greens (think raspberry vinaigrette).

Use cranberry sauce and walnuts on your baked Brie.

Add whole cranberries to a beef stew recipe.

Add whole cranberries or cooked cranberries into a baked cobbler or crisp recipe, with apples or most any other berry for a delicious dessert.

Just remember, now is the time to purchase your cranberries. If you need a recipe for any of these ideas, please email the editor at news@thecatoctinbanner.com.

turtleChristine Schoene Maccabee

Hibernation: A state of being during extreme cold, forcing many creatures to become dormant in their hibernacula (their winter quarters or place of retirement…Florida?).  

It’s winter. It’s very cold. Climbing out of my warm nest to put a log on the fire, I feel like a turtle in its shell. I would much rather just stay under my warm covers and hibernate! 

My theory is this: it is natural for warm-blooded humans to slow down in cold weather. I will call it the burrowing impulse. I suppose this goes against many other theories that suggest that humans need to speed up and keep the blood flowing to keep warm, but somehow this does not always work for me. So, I resort to a cup of coffee in the morning—as many of us do—and pasta dishes, which become increasingly important for energy. Then there are energy bars and some strongly caffeinated drinks, which are really not good for people. Sometimes plain old inspiration provides motivation to get going, and then there is always the fear of loosing one’s job if late for work. Perhaps the most popular incentive is the pleasure of foraging for food at a favorite local market place. One way or the other, warm-blooded humans rally to the cause of living in this human world we have created.

After running around, doing all the outdoor chores on this icy, windy day, all I want to do is lay down and curl up with a good book, or a good man if I had one, and relax. My fingers and feet are cold, and I am lethargic. Is lethargy a form of mental hibernation? There are many types of dormant conditions in the natural world. So I contemplate hibernation, and how nice it would be if only….if only I were a bear or a coon or a snake or a turtle. However, in my reading on the subject, I have learned that many critters do not really go into true hibernation. Such is the case for most bears, especially the polar bear, for the female usually births her cubs, cleaning and feeding them, during hibernation. The male is usually out fishing!

Here in the mountains where I live I am thankful that the black snake, by now in deep hibernation, is no longer after my chicken eggs; although, fewer eggs are laid due to the cold, shorter days. Perhaps I should get solar panels on the roof of the coop as a source of electricity. Not a bad idea. The woodchucks have happily withdrawn into seclusion, dormant in their burrows. Their breathing and heart rates are slowed and body temperatures lowered. I am happy—no, thrilled—not to see them! Of course, they are now no threat to the vegetables in my gardens, as there is nothing growing right now, except for the salad bar in my cold frames, which I mostly keep closed from the weather.

One thing I always miss throughout the winter is the wonderful  music of  crickets, katydids, frogs, and toads; I must patiently await their emergence from sleep. Spring cannot come soon enough for most of us, but winter is a necessary time of renewal. Most seeds need stratification, or a period of deep freeze, in order to germinate in the spring. Also, many pests who do not manage to sneak into your house or find a warm place to hide, will die off. I am thinking specifically of the infamous stink bug!

Of course, the butterflies have disappeared, too. Some, like the Monarchs, migrate south. However, one tough cookie, the Mourning Cloak, spends the winter in hollow trees and some live to “talk “ about it.  I wonder what they would say about their time in the tree all winter. Maybe something like “Boring!” Same goes for moths, which are in the pupa stage, all wrapped up in cocoons. I am beginning to wonder if I really want to hibernate. Maybe I should go south, but one needs money for that, plus I really am not retired, and likely never will be.

I would be remiss if I did not mention turtles, one of my very favorite animals. A good friend of mine who lives in Northern Minnesota, where temperatures have already been down as low as -25 degrees, said in an email that he does not know how turtles manage to survive winters there. Most winters, the ground freezes anywhere between three and six feet down. So how does the soft body of the turtle, encased in a thin shell, manage not to turn into an ice cube? This has always been my question, too. Perhaps we should just chalk it up to one of those great mysteries of life. Any theories?

Not all turtles manage to emerge from the ground in the spring, as was the case of Timothy in a semi-true story by Verlyn Klinkenborg. Told from the turtle’s perspective, his last thoughts were, as recorded in the book: “I dig and dig. Settle the dirt on my shell. As deep as I can go into the warmth of earth. Carefully overlaid with autumn’s debris. Anchored. Immured. Landlocked. Becalmed…” and never to rise again from his hibernaculum, dead about the age of sixty.

I believe I shall be content with that cup of coffee in the morning as I watch the snow fall; with finding delight in the variety of birds eating black sunflowers at my feeder; with taking that brisk, life-giving walk to care for my chickens; and with singing “Silver Bells” as I give thanks for being a warm-blooded human being.

Many Blessings to all.

by James Rada, Jr.

— 1938 —

The End of a Generation in Thurmont

When Thomas H. Shelton died on February 19, 1938, Frederick County lost its last Veteran of the Civil War, seventy-three years after the war ended.

Shelton died at the home of his daughter-in-law, Stella Shelton, who lived near Rocky Ridge. The ninety-seven-year-old had been healthy at the start of the month, but then his health had quickly turned, and he had been sick for about a week prior to his death.

As a young man of eighteen, Shelton had served in Company I of the 1st Maryland Regiment. He had missed fighting at the Battle of Antietam in 1862, because he had been taken as a prisoner of war at Harpers Ferry the day before.

Eventually he was paroled, and he returned to his company and was with them when they fought at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. His company did not fight in the other nearby battle at Monocacy in 1864.

When the war ended and his regiment was discharged, Shelton re-enlisted with the 13th Regiment.

Shelton was buried with full military honors in the Garfield Mt. Bethel United Methodist Cemetery. He had outlived all of his children, but he was survived by nine grandchildren, twenty-seven great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.

Frederick County had lost its last two Civil War Veterans within four months of each other.

Although Shelton hadn’t been a native Frederick Countian, Henry Clay Fleagle of Thurmont had been. He had been the second-to-last Civil War Veteran in the county, and the last one who had lived his life here.

Fleagle died in November 1937 at age ninety-four. He was a first-generation American whose parents had been born in Holland.

He had been born in Unionville and served in the Civil War under Capt. Walter Saunders.

“He served for nearly the entire four-year duration of the war, charging with the line of blue at Gettysburg,” the Catoctin Clarion reported.

The end had been a relief for Fleagle. The Frederick News reported that he had been only partially conscious the week before his death at the home of his son, George Fleagle.

Henry’s wife, Lillie Creager, had died two years earlier. He was survived by one daughter, who was married to Wilbur Freeze, four sons, nineteen grandchildren, and twenty great-grandchildren.

Henry was also the last member of the Jason Damuth Post of the Grand Army of the Republic in Thurmont.

It would still be nearly two decades before the last Civil War Veteran died. The final Veterans of the Confederate States armed forces died in the 1950s. A number of men claimed to be last remaining Confederate Veteran. These men died throughout the 1950s. Many of their claims were debunked as more information about their births was uncovered. The largest problem in verifying their claims was that many Confederate records had been destroyed or lost, because the Confederate government had no official archive system.

Pleasant Crump of Alabama died at the end of 1951 at the age of 104. He was the oldest of the group of Confederate Veterans who had a verified service record.

The last Union Veteran was Albert Woolson, who died in 1956 at the age of 109.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, following Woolson’s death, “The American people have lost the last personal link with the Union Army … His passing brings sorrow to the hearts of all of us who cherished the memory of the brave men on both sides of the War Between the States.”


Photo is from 1916 and shows a group of Civil War Veterans posing in front of the grocery store that stood on North Church Street. This building was located in the now-vacant lot next to the Historical Society building.


Veterans Gathering 1916

A view of Veterans standing in front of the old town hall.

Photos Courtesy of Thurmontimages.com


WANTED: Any unwanted lawn mowers, tillers, snow blowers or yard items. Will pick up FREE!  Call 301-271-4266.

WANTED: Antiques & Collectibles like crocks, jugs, postcards, photographs, advertising items, old signs, toys, trains (pre-1965), vintage jewelry (sterling & gold), antique furniture, guns, pottery, old holiday decorations, political items, hunting/fishing items, artwork, old dolls, etc. Will buy one item, collection, or entire estate. 301-514-2631.

 DONATE YOUR CAR:  All proceeds benefit the Catoctin Pregnancy Center. 301-447-3391.

For Sale


A Twin Size Platform Bed with 3 underneath drawers and Head Board with a small area for space, along with matress.  Excellent condition, $200 /OBO. 301-788 6417 or 301-788-4549.

2 NASCAR racing tires made into small tables with legs: 1st tire is an actual Dale Earnhardt Sr. tire with a glass top with a Dale Earnhardt Sr. silhouette face and the #3 engraved into the glass top; 2nd tire was run at Richmond in the mid ‘90s by Brett Bodine and the #26 team.  This tire also has been made into a table with Dale Jarrett silhouette engraved into the glass along with the #18 (Joe Gibbs racing). Would prefer tires to be sold together. $125/OBO. Call 301-271-4280.

2013 Hammerhead GTS150 Dune Buggy, 2 person, royal blue. Low miles, recent tune up. $1,999/OBO. 301-271-1050.


YOU WILL FLIP over our new catalog!!  Home Interiors is BACK! Call 301-447-2073 or email hgpartygirl62@aol.com.

How Would You Like To FEEL 25 Years YOUNGER and LIVE 25 Years LONGER?  Go to www.Shaklee.net/JCE NOW!  Read how VIVIX Cellular Anti-Aging Tonic is a REVOLUTIONARY BREAKTHROUGH in the fight against cellular aging. All natural. Order yours TODAY! Contact Jeanne at 301-305-1466.  www.Shaklee.net/JCE.


Critter Care by Greta. Full Service care for all domestic and farm animals. Call for a quote. Prices based on individual needs. Call Greta at 240-367-0035.

Lawn & Garden Equipment at Harrington’s: New and Used. Sales, Service, Parts. Dare to compare us to your current equipment dealer. See our ad in this issue.

Bookkeeping / QuickBooks services provided. Very reasonable rates; excellent references. If interested, please call 301-676-0657.

Rick Hurley & Son Small Engine Repair Service. Call 301-271-2117 or 240-285-2494 (leave message).

PIANO LESSONS: Experienced professional musician and certified public school teacher. All ages; Adults welcome. Located in Thurmont. Call or text Beth at 240-529-8108 or email bethkeys88@gmail.com.

Cuddles Cat Rescue has cats and kittens up for adoption. 301-606-0261, info@cuddlescatrescue.com.

For Rent

1st Floor Condo for rent in secure building in Thurmont. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, w/d, garage, $1250 per month plus utilities, security deposit required. Call 301-271-4811.

FOR RENT: Thurmont Senior Center for rent, evening and weekends. Call 301-271-7911.

APARTMENTS FOR RENT: One and Two bedrooms in the Cascade, Blue Ridge Summit area. Call Kelly Ash at 301-241-4726.

HALL RENTAL: Weddings, Banquets, Events of any kind. Call the American Legion at 301-271-4411.

MOON BOUNCE FOR RENT: $100.00 per day. 240-674-3856.

Help Wanted

PART-TIME KITCHEN HELP. Grill cook with experience. Apply within. Palms Restaurant, 20 W. Main Street, Emmitsburg.


30…. Post-Christmas Sale, Seton Center’s Thrift Shop, 16840 South Seton Ave., Emmitsburg. (Runs through Jan. 10.

31…….. New Years Eve, Thurmont American Legion, Thurmont. Open until 1:00 a.m. DJ and no cover charge. Please bring dish to share.

Happy New Year!


2………. Bar Bingo, Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association, 3009 Waynesboro Pike, Fairfield, PA. 7:00 p.m. 717-794-5404.

3………. New Year Party, VFW Post 6658, Emmitsburg. 9:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. Featuring DJ South Paw.

3………. Wagner Shoot, Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association, 3009 Waynesboro Pike, Fairfield, PA. 717-398-7492.

3………. New Year Party, VFW Post 6658, 12 W. Main St., Emmitsburg. 9:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. DJ South Paw.

3………. Take-a-Tour Tuesday, Mother Seton School, 100 Creamery Rd., Emmitsburg. 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. & 4:30-6:30 p.m. 301-447-3161. www.mothersetonschool.org.

4………. Cash Bingo, Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association, 3009 Waynesboro Pike, Fairfield, PA. 717-794-5404. $25. Doors open 11:30 a.m.; Bingo 1:00 p.m.

4………. Stultz Fitness Open House, Fairfield, PA. 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

5………. Free Community Meal, Served with Grace, Graceham Moravian Church, 8231-A Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. 5:30-7:00 p.m. All are welcome. First Monday free community meals are held monthly; meals are canceled if Frederick County Public Schools are closed due to weather.

5………. A Service of Lessons and Carols, Graceham Moravian Church, 8231-A Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. 7:15-8:00 p.m. Bells of Grace Handbell Choir and hymn singing. All are welcome.

6………. Irish Women’s Little Christmas, Shamrock Restaurant, 7701 Fitzgerald Rd., Rt 15, just outside of Thurmont. Enjoy live music, a special ladies menu, and complimentary corned beef. 301-271-2912.

7………. Catoctin Youth Lacrosse Registration, Thurmont Elementary School, 805 East Main St., Thurmont. 6:00-8:00 p.m.

9………. Mother Seton School Feast of Elizabeth Ann Seton Mass, National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Basilica. 10:15 a.m. 301-447-3161 or www.mothersetonschool.org.

9………. Bar Bingo, Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association, 3009 Waynesboro Pike, Fairfield, PA. 7:00 p.m. 717-794-5404.

10…….. Oyster, Turkey and Country Ham Dinner (served buffet style), Lewistown Fire Hall, 11101 Hessong Bridge Rd., Thurmont. 12:00-5:00 p.m. $17/Adults; $7/ages 6-12. $18/Carryout. 301-898-9988.

10…….. Meat Shoot, Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association, 3009 Waynesboro Pike, Fairfield, PA. 717-794-5404.

10…….. Super “Healthy” Saturday w/ Weight Loss Specialist, Susan Torborg, Fort Ritchie Community Center, Cascade, MD. 10:00 a.m.-noon. $10 seesion (healthy lunch included). 717-642-5977.

10…….. Dance, Thurmont American Legion, Thurmont. Poverty Ridge Band (they are donating a Fender Electric Guitar to Scholarship fund; raffled off at dance). No advance tickets; only $5.00 at door.

11…….. Country Community Breakfast (buffet style), Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Center, Thurmont. 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. $7/Adults; $3/ages 4-10; Free/ages 3 & under.

13…….. Mother Seton School Take-a-Tour Tuesday, 100 Creamery Rd., Emmitsburg. 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Applications for 2015-2016 now being accepted. No need to pre-register. Denice Vaught 301-447-3161; dvaught@mothersetonschool.org.

14…….. Catoctin Youth Lacrosse Registration, Lewistown Elementary School, 11119 Hessong Bridge Rd., Thurmont. 6:00-8:00 p.m.

16…….. Emmitsburg Baseball & Softball League Registration, Vigilant Hose Co., W. Main St., Emmitsburg. 5:00-8:00 p.m. Tom Kelly 301-252-4471.

16…….. Bar Bingo, Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association, 3009 Waynesboro Pike, Fairfield, PA. 7:00 p.m. 717-794-5404.

16, 17…. 2015 Catoctin Duals Wrestling Tournament, Catoctin High School, Thurmont. Doors open 3:00 p.m. Friday; 8:00 a.m. Saturday. Concessions available.

17…….. Emmitsburg Baseball & Softball League Registration, Vigilant Hose Co., W. Main St., Emmitsburg. 9:00 a.m.-noon. Tom Kelly 301-252-4471.

17…….. Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Worship Service, Graceham Moravian Church, 8231-A Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. 11:00 a.m. Rev. Ken Powell preaching. Sponsored by the Thurmont Ministerium. Special music by Christ Lutheran Church of Baltimore; community pick-up choir directed by Jessica Bobb & soloist Dayna Lane. Those wishing to sing in the pick-up choir arrive at 9:45 a.m. Lunch following worship. Open to all. (Snow date: Jan. 24).

17…….. Art Clinic with Dorothea Barrick, Emmitsburg Community Center, 300A S. Seton Ave., Emmitsburg. (Fred. Co. Div. of Parks & Rec.) 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Instructive art clinics for any skill level.  Each class will focus on different new techniques and mediums.  All materials provided. Ages 14 and up. $30/class. Register: 301-600-2936 or www.Recreater.com.

17…….. Thurmont Little League Five-week Winter Clinic. 8:30-10:00 a.m. Registration ends Jan. 16. $40/player. www.eteamz.com/thurmont/.

17…….. Cash Bash and Dinner, Guardian Hose Co., Thurmont. Doors open 5:00 p.m.; dinner 6:00 p.m. Drawings every 15 minutes at 6:00 p.m. $40/two people. Benefits 2015 CHS Safe and Sane. Cheryl Phelan 301-524-3106; Cindy Grimes 301-788-5354.

17…….. Ecumenical Celebration of the Word of God, Graceham Moravian Church, 8231A Rocky Ridge Rd., Thurmont. 11:00 a.m.

18…….. Free Family Movie Day at the Thurmont Legion, Thurmont. On the BIG screen, upstairs. How to Train Your Dragon. All ages welcome.

20…….. Mother Seton School Take-a-Tour Tuesday, 100 Creamery Rd., Emmitsburg. 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Applications for 2015-2016 now being accepted. No need to pre-register. Denice Vaught 301-447-3161; dvaught@mothersetonschool.org.

20…….. Home School  Heritage Day Open House, Children’s Museum of Rose Hill Manor Park, 1611 N. Market St., Frederick, MD ( Frederick Co. Div. of Parks &  Rec.). 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. $5. 301-600-1650; www.rosehillmuseum.com; www.recreater.com.

24…….. Oyster Feed, Men’s Auxiliary, VFW Post 6658, Emmitsburg. 4:00-7:00 p.m. Doors open 3:00 p.m.

24…….. Meat Shoot, Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association, 3009 Waynesboro Pike, Fairfield, PA. 717-794-5404.

24…….. DJ/Karaoke with Brian’s Songs, VFW Post 6658, Emmitsburg. 8:00 p.m.-midnight.

24…….. 6th Annual EBPA Rock n’ Roll Relics Dance, Emmitsburg Vol. Amb. Co., 17701 Creamery Rd., Emmitsburg. $15/in Advance; $20/at door. Sponsored by Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association (EBPA).

25…. Mother Seton School HSA Spaghetti Dinner, 100 Creamery Rd., Emmitsburg. 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. $8/ages 11+; $5/ages 3-10; Free/ages 2 & under. Tickets: 301-447-3161. www.mothersetonschool.org.

25…….. Mother Seton School Open House, 100 Creamery Rd., Emmitsburg. 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. (Information Session at 1:30 p.m.) Enjoy a delicious hot meal before tour. Informational session 1:30 p.m. Denice Vaught 301-447-3161; dvaught@mothersetonschool.org for more info. or to RSVP.

26…..Red Cross Blood Drive, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 103 N. Church St., Thurmont.  2:00-7:30 p.m.  Terry 301-271-7872 to schedule appt. or for more info. Walk-ins welcome.

26…….. Engineering Architecture, Children’s Museum of Rose Hill Manor Park, 1611 N. Market St., Frederick, MD ( Frederick Co. Div. of Parks &  Rec.). 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  Ages 5 and up.  $5. 301-600-2936 or www.Recreater.com.

27…….. Nurse Steve, Dept. of Aging, at Thurmont Senior Center, Thurmont. 10:30 a.m.

28…….. Catoctin Youth Lacrosse Registration, Thurmont Middle School, 408 East Main St., Thurmont. 6:00-8:00 p.m.

30…….. Bar Bingo, Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association, 3009 Waynesboro Pike, Fairfield, PA. 7:00 p.m. 717-794-5404.

31…….. Wing Night, Vigilant Hose Co., Emmitsburg. Doors open 5:00 p.m. $20/person (include meal & beverages). Benefits 2015 CHS Safe and Sane. Cheryl Phelan 301-524-3106.

31…….. ACS Relay for Life Benefit Dance, American Legion, 8 Park Lane, Thurmont. Sponsored by the G.O.L.F. C.L.U.B. Team. Entertainment by Sticktime. 8:00 p.m.-midnight. Doors open 7:00 p.m. $15/in advance; $20/at door. Must be 21 year old to attend. Tickets on sale Jan. 2: Lisa Reed 240-315-5331 or Lynn Ott 301-447-3060.

31…….. Registration for Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League, Vigilant Hose Company, West Main St., Emmitsburg. 9:00 a.m.-noon. Tom Kelly 301-252-4471 or email:  tmkelly744@comcast.net.

31…….. Oyster Feed, Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association, 3009 Waynesboro Pike, Fairfield, PA. $30/person. Deadline for tickets Jan. 19. 717-794-5404.

31                   Pot-luck Lunch, Thurmont Senior Center, Thurmont. 12:00 p.m. Bring a dish or pay $5. Please call ahead if you plan to attend 301-271-7911.


13…….. Cupid’s Creatives, Children’s Museum of Rose Hill Manor Park, 1611 N. Market St., Frederick, MD. 1:00-3:00 p.m. $5. 301-600-2936 or www.recreater.com.

14…….. Art Clinic with Dorothea Barrick, Emmitsburg Community Center, 300A S. Seton Ave., Emmitsburg. 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. For any skill level.  Focus on different new techniques & mediums. All materials provided. Ages 14 & up. $30/class. Register: 301-600-2936 or www.Recreater.com.