bridge merge

Photo by Deb Spalding

Families participate in the BOJC and serve as “Bridge Builders” as they impart information from generation to generation. Pictured from left are John Hoke (BOJC “Bridge Builder” and former BOJC President 2010-11) with his sons, Michael, Daniel, and Steven; Dave Mackley holding his son, James Mackley (future BOJC member), with Dad, James L. “Buzz” Mackley; Jim Bittner has sponsored many BOJC participants including five grand kids (not pictured): Michael Sinclair, Christopher Miachle, Robert Miachle, Sam Bittner, and Calvin Bittner; Dick Bittner has sponsored his son, Thad Bittner (the Builder of this bridge) and Thad’s son, Dakota Bittner; Robert Abraham, Sr. (shown front right, former BOJC President 1976-77), is shown with his son, Robert Abraham, Jr. (current BOJC President), and his grandson, Hayden Spalding.

By Deb Spalding

A new foot bridge was constructed at Camp Airy in Thurmont this spring by Thad Bittner, his son Dakota, and the crew members of DPI (Decks Patios and Improvements, LLC) of Thurmont. These individuals represented the physical “Bridge Builders” for the project that holds symbolism in many ways. In 1941, The Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock (BOJC), named after a chicken-like bird whose neck feathers are sought by anglers for tying flies for fly fishing, had its first-annual Campfire at Camp Airy, and the event has turned into a tradition that remains strong today. The close relationship between Camp Airy and The Brotherhood of Jungle Cock can easily be attributed to both organizations valuing the importance of imparting knowledge to youth and providing them with strong role models. This bridge is a physical reminder of these ideals.

Thurmont BOJC member, John Hoke, fills the formal role of “Bridge Builder” for the BOJC, as his father did before him. In that role, he recites the Bridge Builder Poem at the annual BOJC campfire that takes place each May. About the poem, John summarized that its words reaffirm its purpose, “To guide and teach today’s youth in their responsibilities and opportunities of tomorrow, which in respect to BOJC, mean the responsibilities of good sportsmanship, conservation, and preserving our natural resources.”

The actual bridge that was constructed by DPI spans over the culvert between Bentz Hall and the camp road. Thad Bittner created its layout and design. “I looked at the layout of the land, and I saw it in my head. I just drew it up, got approvals from the BOJC Board, and went to work,” said Bittner.

The bridge is faced in stone, has side walls at sitting level, matching handrail abutments, and a stairway to the porch of Bentz Hall. In addition, the project features artwork highlighting the bond shared between the BOJC and Camp Airy. R.S. Kinnaird Memorials completed the engraving of the Bridge Builder Poem on a large rock and engraved other symbols on rocks in the project.

Lloyd Hoke Reading the Bridge Builder circa 1978 -1John Hoke (pictured left reading the poem during the 2014 Campfire) said, “It has been a privilege and my honor to follow in the footsteps of my father, H. Lloyd Hoke, and to recite the Bridge Builder Poem at the annual BOJC campfire ceremony. Dad first recited the poem at the campfire--by-Kalvin-Thrashe1978 campfire (pictured right), and it has become a tradition for the organization ever since. This poem has very special meaning and captures the essence of what the BOJC stands for. It also has special meaning to me as a father of four. The “Bridge Builder” reminds us that life is full of obstacles, especially for young people who have many new paths to travel. To that end, we should all strive to “build a bridge” and share those lessons learned whenever we can.”


Visit the BOJC blog at http:\\\.

The Bridge Builder

by Will Allen Dromgoole

“The Bridge Builder” was written by Will Allen Dromgoole (1860–1934), a female poet from Tennessee, who wrote over 8,000 poems during her lifetime.


An old man, going a lone highway,

Came in the evening, cold and gray,

To a chasm vast and deep and wide,

Through which was running a sullen tide

The old man crossed in the twilight dim,

That sullen stream had no fears for him;

But he turned when he reached the other side

And built a bridge to span the tide.


“Old Man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,

“Why waste your strength in building here;

Your journey ends with the ending day,

And you never again must pass this way;

You’ve crossed the chasm deep and wide,

Why build your bridge at eventide?”


The Builder lifted his old grey head;

“Good Friend, in the path I have come,” he said,

“There followeth after me today

A youth whose feet must pass this way.

The chasm which was nought to me

To this fair haired youth might a pitfall be;

For he too must cross, in the twilight dim;

Good Friend, I’m building the bridge for him.”


Advertiser Index

The courtyard at the Cozy Restaurant is shown on its last day of business, June 8, 2014.

by James Rada, Jr.

Cozy-outsideThurmont has lost one of its iconic businesses. The Cozy Restaurant was the oldest restaurant in Maryland, continuously owned by one family. That’s right….was. When the restaurant closed its doors on Sunday, June 8, 2014, it closed for good.

The closing means that around seventy-five employees, mostly part-time, will need to find new work. Parties and events that had been scheduled at the Cozy will need to find new venues.

“The motel will stay open, and we may rent or sell the restaurant,” owner Jerry Freeze told the Frederick News Post. “I’m almost eighty, and there really isn’t anyone left in the family to run the business. I never thought I would want to retire.”

Cozy-inside--WillysThe Cozy Inn and Restaurant began in 1929, when Wilbur Freeze purchased property on Frederick Road to build a tourist camp that consisted of three cottages, tents, shower building, rest room, and a gas station.

The restaurant had long been associated with Camp David since the Herbert Hoover administration. The Inn served as the original housing for Secret Service agents during the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. The restaurant even had a Camp David Museum, which showed photos and memorabilia of Camp David, the Cozy, and the presidents who had visited over the years.

The restaurant portion of the Cozy Inn began in 1933. A small bar and luncheonette that could accommodate twenty people was built next to the gas station. It was built because Prohibition had ended and alcohol could be sold again.

Cozy-insideIn recent years, the Cozy’s buffet featuring meats, vegetables, salads, soups, and desserts has been a popular feature at the restaurant. It was a popular stop for tour buses passing through the region. According to the Cozy website, more than twenty million people have dined at the Cozy since it opened.

The closure of the restaurant does not affect the operation of the Cozy Inn and its twenty-one President-themed rooms and cabins.

The Cozy Restaurant was a member of the Maryland Restaurant Association Hall of Fame and the National Restaurant Association Hall of Fame.

Publisher’s Note:

On June 20 and 21, 2014, Cozy hosted a sale of the restaurant’s equipment and furnishings. Greeters would accept price inquiries about items and, “Check with Jerry [Freeze, the owner]” to see how much he wanted for each item.  If he was undecided, you were invited to fill out a bid sheet and, “put it in the box. He’ll call you if he accepts the bid.”  It was a strange going-out-of-business sale that emphasized the restaurant’s awkward closing after its 85-year run.

JUNE 2014

Town Sponsored Summer Pool Parties

Mark your calendars for two summer pool parties at the Emmitsburg Pool: July 25, from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.; August 8, from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

There will be a  DJ playing music at both parties, and admission is only $1.00.

Cal Ripken State Tournament Hosted in Emmitsburg July 5

The Cal Ripken State Baseball Tournament will once again be held in Emmitsburg this year. Opening ceremonies start on Saturday, July 5, at 8:15 a.m. at the Emmitsburg Community Park. The Emmitsburg All Stars will start playing at 9:15 a.m.  The Emmitsburg boys baseball 12U were the Val Ripken State Champions in 2013.

Free Concert in the Park

Enjoy the alternative bluegrass band “Frum the Hills” on August 9, from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at the Emmitsburg Community Park. The public is welcome to bring blankets, chairs, and a picnic basket for this event.

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



JUNE 2014

East Main Street Sidewalk Improvement by State Highway Administration

The State Highway Administration will be sending a road construction crew to Thurmont to update sidewalks, curbs, and gutters along the East Street roadway.  This is paid for by the State of Maryland as part of the requirement for handicap accessibility along walkways on State roads, as outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Crews will be leveling sidewalks and creating easy roll ramps where needed from sidewalk to road crossings, from Center Street to the Elementary School. This will create a safer travel route for wheelchair-bound citizens. The crew will start working in July. Many residents along East Street have already been notified. Streets will not be closed, but crews will be managing traffic.

Thurmont Carnival July 7-12

Pre-sale carnival ride tickets are currently available from the Guardian Hose Company, PNC bank, Towne Barber shop, Gateway Market, Woodsboro Bank, and Direct To You Gas. The pre-sale ticket cost is $15.00 (a savings of $7.00). Ticket is good for any night of the carnival (but for only one time/night use). Parade is on Thursday, July 10 at 6:30 p.m. (rain or shine) along East Main Street. Line up for the parade at 5:00 p.m. Visit the following website for more carnival or parade information:

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


Farmer’s Markets

• Thurmont •

(through September)

Saturdays, 9:00 a.m.-Noon, Carnival Grounds, East Main Street, Thurmont.

• Emmitsburg •

(through October)

Fridays, 3:00-7:30 p.m., South Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg.

Home Run Car Show

Don’t miss the Home Run Car Show on July 5, 2014, at Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, Maryland. All cars, trucks, and motorcycles are welcome! Event also features flea market, great food, exhibits, and more. Vehicle registration begins at 9:00 a.m. ($10.00 donation). Free parking and admission.

Thurmont Masonic Lodge’s Open House

Thurmont Masonic Lodge ACACIA Lodge 155 is holding an Open House on Saturday, July 12, 2014, from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., at 12 East Main Street in Thurmont. Discover what they have done in our community since 1871.

Community Vacation Bible School

Sail away at the Gangway to Galilee Amazing Grace Adventures at the Community Vacation Bible School, presented by Elias Lutheran and Incarnation U.C.C. Church, on July 6 through July 11, 2014, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Thurmont Thespians Present Anne of Green Gables

You won’t want to miss the musical Anne of Green Gables, presented by the Thurmont Thespians, at the Thurmont American Legion in Thurmont, running July 17, 19, 20, 24, 26, and 27, 2014. Tickets are $15.00 each.

Guardian Hose Company’s Yard Sale

On Saturday, August 16, 2014, come on out to the Thurmont Guardian Hose Company’s yard sale. Set up will begin at 7:00 a.m.; yard sale will be from 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Chicken BBQ will be available. Spaces are for sale.

Bingo Bash Pays Big

The Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company’s Bingo Bash will be held on September 20, 2014, at 17701 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Doors will open at 4:00 p.m.; games will begin at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $35.00 if purchased in advance; $45.00 if purchased at the door.

Rocky Ridge Junior Fire Company Yard Sale

The Rocky Ridge Junior Fire Company will be holding a Yard Sale on Saturday, September 20, 2014, from 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., at the Activities Building. Spaces are available for $10.00 per table; outside spaces are also available for $10.00.

Guardian Hose Company’s Annual Carnival

Bring the whole family out to the Guardian Hose Carnival at the carnival grounds on East Main Street in Thurmont. The Carnival will be held from July 7-12, 2014. Come enjoy rides, live entertainment each night, good food, raffles, 50/50 Bingo, and much more! There will be a parade on Thursday, July 10, starting at 6:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by and benefits the Guardian Hose Company, Inc., so come out and support your volunteer fire company!

Tom’s Creek UMC Hosting 4th Festival

Tom’s Creek Church is hosting their fourth festival July 12, 2014 at the Rt. 140 property, just east of Emmitsburg, from 10:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Event features good food, door prizes, games for all ages, music (CB Pickers), a silent auction, a horseshoe contest, and more! Visit their website at for full details. Profits from the event will go towards the new church wing that is now being used by the church and community.

New this year will be a free professional magic show that will begin at 4:00 p.m. More than thirty direct sale vendors and crafters are scheduled to attend.  Grannie’s Attic will feature lightly used “good stuff.” The public baby contest, scheduled for 11:00 a.m., is for infants six months up to two years of age. Major credit cards will be accepted. Fun for the entire family. A rain date is set for July 13.

Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association Events

The Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association will be holding Bingo on July 6, 2014; a Horseshoe Tournament on July 20, 2014; and an Outlaw Shoot on July 25, 2014 (doors open at 4:00 p.m.).

Indian Lookout Conservation Target Shoots

Every Thursday night from now until September 4, 2014, will be 3D Target Shoots at Indian Lookout, located on 17107 Riffle Road in Emmitsburg. Shot Gun Shoots will be held August 17, and Septembr 7, 2014.

Sportsman’s Bingo

Mark your calendar for the Sportman’s Bingo at the Lewistown District Volunteer Fire Department, located at 11101 Hessong Bridge Road in Lewistown, Maryland, on September 13, 2014. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m.; buffet will begin at 6:00 p.m.; games will start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40.00 per person and include buffet dinner, ice tea, and beer.

Food Drop at CHS

Catoctin High School has partnered with the Maryland Food Bank to provide food for families who live in the Catoctin feeder pattern. Stop by at Catoctin High School on Thursday, July 3, 2014, between noon and 2:30 p.m.  Sign-in begins at 11:45 a.m. Food will be distributed until it is all gone and is limited to five grocery bags per adult (bring your own grocery bags).


Concert on the Lawn Features “The Friends Creek Band”

The St. John’s Lutheran Church in Creagerstown will host a Concert on the Lawn featuring The Friends Creek Band on Sunday, July 20, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. This concert is free to all, with food and drink provided.  Participants should bring a lawn chair. A cake auction will be held to benefit Lola Doll and Sue Rice. Stop by 8619 Blacks Mill Road in Creagerstown.

Cupcakes Now Available at Kountry Kitchen in Thurmont

by Deb Spalding

sherry cupcakesThe Thurmont Kountry Kitchen Restaurant is known for its homemade sheet cakes, especially Red Velvet Cakes. But for about a year, they have been creating cupcakes to meet a growing demand.

With owner Pat Ridenour’s 7 year old granddaughter, Jayden, on hand for support, Pat and her daughter, Sherry Myers, make sheet cakes, as well as various flavors of cupcakes. Some cupcakes are made from scratch and some are made from box mixes. Flavors include Almond Joy, chocolate with peanut butter icing, mint chocolate chip, lemon, strawberry shortcake, caramel apple pie, Mystery Machine with Scooby Do, Teddy Bear, Red Velvet, Coconut, Snickers, Dirt with worms, and every week a new flavor. If you have any requests, please call.

While watching as the cupcakes were being iced on a Monday, Jayden said, “I love cupcakes!” Cupcakes are $1.50 a piece, if you buy more than 12, they are $1.25 each. Some specialty cupcakes are $2.00 each. Call 301-271-4071 or stop by the restaurant at 17 Water Street in Thurmont.

Fox Haven Organic Farm in Jefferson, Maryland, is teaming with Organic Valley and Holterholm Farms to discuss, with the community, the connection between healthy soils, healthy crops, healthy livestock, and ultimately healthy people. This Field Day, offered both July 19 and 20, is geared to all who are interested in homesteading, organic gardening and farming, or who are animal lovers, veterinarians, or advanced and novice producers.

“It is a pleasure to offer to our community this wealth of information in one day. The range of those interested  in working the land is broad, and all are welcome to discuss a more ecologically beneficial way of doing so,” said Dick Bittner, Fox Haven Organic Farm Manager. Mr. Bittner will lead a discussion on using cover crops to eliminate use of chemical fertilizers. Organic Valley’s Dr. Paul Dettloff will speak about creating Mother Nature’s perfect foods without synthetic assistance, producing healthy food by balancing needs of the soil, the plants, the animals, and people. He will teach alternative organic treatments for poultry, sheep, goats, and bovine. Ron Holter, owner of Holterholm Farms, will share his organic cattle grazing practice and its connection to healthy soils and the surrounding ecosystem. Mark Eyestone, Fox Haven Organic Farm Gardener, will show where and how he has applied organic growing and permaculture concepts to landscaping and backyard gardening.

Schedule of events: July 19th or July 20th, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All locations are on Fox Haven Organic Farm property in Jefferson. 9:00 a.m.  under the tent at  Dick’s Production Garden (4855 Broad Run Road) –introductions; 9:30 a.m. (under the tent) demonstration and discussion on soil, plant and animal health; 11:45 a.m. at the Heart House (4950 Corun Road), gardening for food, habitat, and storm water management in small backyard spaces, an introduction to composting toilets and grey water systems; 12:30 p.m. in  the  Dairy  Parlor (3630  Poffenberger  Road), Q and A, film and  discussion of alternative organic treatments for poultry, sheep, goats, and bovine; 3:00 p.m. at the Spring House (5532 Carroll Boyer Road) for an in-­field presentation on rotational grazing.

Cost to attend: $25/person if prepaid by July 16th, or $30/person after that date; lunch is included. Children under 15 are free if accompanied by parent or guardian. TO REGISTER: prepay using the ‘Donate’ button online at:­day, then send contact information to; send a check payable to FHLC, to: Fox Haven Learning Center, 3630 Poffenberger Road, Jefferson, MD 21755;  or pay on-site the day of Field Day.

by Joseph Kirchner

For over fifty years, the Thurmont Riding Club (TRC) has brought together individuals who desire good fellowship and encompass a true love for horses. This rich tradition lives on today in the TRC’s one hundred twenty-five enthusiastic members who enjoy an assortment of activities designed to meet their many interests.

Past TRC activities have included day and weekend trail rides, parades, and a wide variety of horse shows. The 2014 show schedule includes: Pointed Hunter/Jumper; Miniature Horse; Walking/Racking; Night Shows; After Hours Game Night; and the ever-popular, Pointed Old-Fashioned Fun Shows. Truly something for every horse lover!

The family-oriented TRC enjoys a strong spirit of mutual cooperation—here is where horse lovers come together to learn from each other and to have a great deal of fun! “The TRC is a place where everyone gets along. It is very low-key, and we are here to help each other,” said Julie Talbert (Secretary/Treasurer).

This harmony prevails even when TRC members compete for points, as Julie explains, “We are going to help all our riders. If someone has a problem in the ring, my members know that we’re going to stop and help. I’m not going to see a child struggle on a horse in that ring; we’re going to have ten people help him out and I love that!”

It is not surprising—given the spirit of good will at the TRC—that the club contributes mightily to the greater community. Among other contributions, the TRC performs pony rides at the Thurmont Community Show, marches in the Thurmont and Rocky Ridge Parades, and provides financial help to “John’s Wheels for Wishes,” which benefits cancer patients. Moreover, the TRC will host “Game Night” on July 19, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. on their grounds (Roddy Road) to benefit Rocky’s Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation. This wonderful group rehabilitates horses that have been sick, neglected, and/or abused. Please come out, have a great evening of fun, and support this important cause.

If you share a love of horses—whether you own one or not—the TRC invites you to become a member. (For those who do not own a horse, the TRC employs three “lesson barns,” where members learn various equine skills in the presence of experienced coaches). You cannot be too young or too old to join: the youngest TRC member today is just five years old, and the most senior is a youthful seventy! Beginners are always welcome. Just call Julie Talbert at 240-437-2222, and she will happily answer all of your questions. Happy riding!

Thurmont Riding Club, Inc. is located at 14981 Roddy Road in Thurmont. Visit them on Facebook and see the complete 2014 Show Schedule.


Photos by Joseph Kirchner

Pictured is TRC member, Hannah Stahl, with her good friend, Piney.

The Showmanship Competition at the Old Fashioned Horse Show on June 7, 2014

Thurmont Thespians Anne of Green Gables Cast PhotoIt’s summertime and that means that the youth of Thurmont Thespians are working hard to bring to life one of the most beloved characters for generations, Anne Shirley in the classic story, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Laud Montgomery. Anne of Green Gables is the story of a brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert (Daniel Flanick, Nate Kopit, Rachel Johnson, and Mallory Donaghue) who are getting on in years and look to adopt a young boy in hopes that he could help on their farm. Unknown to Matthew and Marilla, the orphan asylum made a mistake and sent them a girl instead. This girl happens to be a red headed, opinionated, very talkative, spunky girl named Anne Shirley (Annabelle Perry, Courtney Lake), who has the ability to imagine anything and everything. Marilla would say that Anne has a knack for making mistakes. But, she is pleased to tell Marilla, that she never makes the same mistake twice. As the story progresses, Anne is able to touch the heart of everyone in the town of Avonlea.

The Thurmont Thespians have assembled some of the most talented young people into two casts, who sing and dance to tell this delightful story. The audience will be captured with the first song and held through to the curtain call. Even if you have never read the books, you won’t want to miss this spectacular musical!

Performances will be held at the Thurmont American Legion, located at 8 Park Lane in Thurmont. Show dates are July 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, and 27, 2014. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinee is at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 and may be purchased in advance by calling Becky Urian at 301-271-7613. Anne of Green Gables is made possible in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council through the Frederick Arts Council.

The Thurmont Thespians Summer Youth Workshop was founded in 1998 by Beth Royer Watson.

Each year, a summer music theater workshop is presented to children and teens at no cost to the participants. Every child that auditions receives an on stage role and learns all aspects of theater, culminating in two weekends of performances. The Thurmont Thespians are generously supported by St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Thurmont, Maryland. For more information about the Thurmont Thespians, visit

Look for more photos on Catoctin Banner Facebook page.

Ebg-her-Day-jasmineEmmitsburg has held a fireworks show for years, but this year the Emmitsburg Lions Club and its sponsors hosted a day-long free festival on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The day was packed with fun stuff for people of all ages and interests including fitness, sports, a bike rodeo, horseshoe tournament, kickball tournament, exhibits, vendors, a yard sale, car show, bingo, swimming, a book sale, parade, food, open houses, bands, rides, music, and of course, fireworks.

Ebg-her-Day-kickerdoodlesWinners of the Old Field Games follow:

The Greased Pig Chase winners were: ages 1-6, Blake Cool; ages 7-11, Mason Joy; ages 12-16 Mathew Legare; and 17 years and older, Dennis Ebaugh.

Ebg-Her-day-3-leg-raceSack Race Winners included: ages 1-4, Sophia Padget 1st and Leah Scarzello 2nd; ages 5-8, Abby Reiger 1st and Mary Legare 2nd; ages 9-12, Mason Joy 1st and Josh Maze and Madison Flohr 2nd; ages 13-16, John Walker 1st and Kegan Greer 2nd; ages 17 and older, Rick Oleszczuk 1st and Dave Zentz 2nd. Singles Sack Race 2nd Heat winners were Jenna Zentz 1st and Evan Ott 2nd.

Ebg-her-Day-vet-vendorDoubles Sack Race Winners were: ages 5-8, Hailie Dawson and Tesssa McKenzie 1st and Jack Scarzello and Eva Oleszcuk 2nd; ages 9-12, Makenna Stambaugh and McKaila Heims 1st and Mason Joy and Josh Maze 2nd; ages 13-16, Elizabeth Buchheister and Tara O’Donnell 1st and Jacob Hahn and Keegan Greer 2nd; ages 17 and older, Bridget McCarthy and Cynthia Fraga 1st and Makenna Stambaugh and McKaila Heims 2nd.

Ebg-Her-Day-eggEgg Toss winners were tied by Team Noah Oleszczuk and Evan Ott and Team Wady Joy and Mason Joy.

Water Balloon Toss winners were Chris Stahley and Garrett Ridenour.

Pie Easting Contest winners were: ages 5-8 years, Grady Abruzzese 1st and Meara McVearry 2nd; ages 9-12, Madison Flohr and Evan Ott; ages 13-16, Michael Larrivee 1st and Mady Crampton 2nd; ages 17 and older, Jerry Wilson 1st and Elizabeth Hoover 2nd.

Ebg Her Day watermelonWatermelon Eating Contest winners were: up to 4 years, Sophia Legare 1st and Avrey Stockman 2nd; ages 5-8 years, Jack Scarzello 1st and Satiago Canadas 2nd; ages 9-12, Madison Flohr 1st, ages 13-16, Jack McCarthy 1st and Matt Legare 2nd; ages 17 and older, Rose Samples 1st and Erin Oleszczuk 2nd.

Ebg-Her-Day-bugCasting Contest winners were: up to 4 years, Avery Stockman; ages 5-8, Faith Cool; ages 9-12, Jacob Smith; ages 13-16, David Stockman; ages 17 and older, Dave Shields.




Photos by Deb Spalding

by Bob Warden

SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY…we have all heard those words in every aspect of our daily lives since we were old enough to crawl and get into things. The practice of being safe and doing things safely never ends, no matter how old we are, especially when it comes to firearms!

I grew up around guns and hunting and had safety rules drilled into me. Even before all of the course requirements we have today, my dad took me through a local hunting safety course when I was so small I could barely handle a gun.  I continue to stress safety in my home today, as did my dad with me, no matter how tired my children (who are adults now) get from hearing it over and over.  I never stop reminding: gun unloaded, safety on, etc. You need to make firearm safety automatic or second nature if you are going to use a firearm. You need to go through a check list in your head every time you handle a firearm. Look at the 10 Commandments of Firearm Safety at the end of this article.

Every household and everyone in the home who has a firearm should learn (take a class) and practice safety.  I don’t care if you have been around guns all of your life or your kids were brought up around guns, there is always something to learn about the safe handling of firearms.  Trust me, I have been around the gun industry for over forty years, and I have seen supposedly safe hunters or shooters do some dumb things, mainly because they get in a hurry and think they know it all.

I never rely on another person to be safe, even if I know they are.  When hunting or shooting—besides making sure I am safe—I watch the other people I am with to make sure they are safe.  If not, I tell them.  Never take safety for granted.  If the person you are hunting with doesn’t like it, find someone else to hunt or shoot with—it’s not worth an accident.

As my dad always told me, once you pull the trigger, you cannot bring that bullet back. So, please practice firearm safety and take a course.  I don’t care if you have one gun or a hundred guns, there is always something to learn.

Make firearm safety a family event.  Go to a safety course together, shoot together, join a local club together, have fun together.  But, most of all, be SAFE TOGETHER.

The following are websites where you will find information and the laws for Maryland: Gun ranges and hunter safety classes at (click on wildlife at the top and click shooting ranges or hunters education under Quick Links at the right); the National Rifle Association at (sign up early since some classes fill quickly). To see all of the requirements and laws in Maryland, visit (click on organization, then licensing division, then firearms).

Though many of our area’s sportsman clubs and ranges are membership clubs, they are a good investment to stay informed and shoot safely.

Here are some of our nearby clubs: Indian Lookout Conservation Club, Emmitsburg (301-447-2568); Thurmont Conservation and Sportsman’s Club, Thurmont (301-898-9093,; Blue Ridge Sportsman’s Club, Fairfield, Pennsylvania (717-794-2695,; South Mountain Rod and Gun Club, Smithsburg, Maryland (301-824-3570,; Cresap Rifle Club, Frederick, Maryland (301-662-6669,; Izaak Walton League of America, Frederick Chapter (240-629-2107,


The following are the 10 Commandments of Safe Gun Handling:

  1.     Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction–never at a person.
  2.     Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use.
  3.     Don’t rely on your gun’s safety setting.
  4.     Be Sure of your target and what’s beyond it.
  5.      Always use correct ammunition.
  6.      If your gun fails to fire when the trigger is pulled, handle with care.
  7.      Always wear eye and ear protection when shooting.
  8.      Be sure the barrel is clear of obstructions before shooting.
  9.      Don’t alter or modify your gun and have it serviced regularly.
  10.      Learn the mechanical and characteristics of the firearm you are using.

by Ashley McGlaughlin

In 2013, the Catoctin Youth Association (CYA) U15 lacrosse team completed their 2013 season and claimed their title as division champions in the Western Maryland Youth Lacrosse Conference Festival on May 18, 2013, at Heritage Farm Park.

Most of these young men moved up and continued to play lacrosse for the Junior Varsity team at Catoctin High School (CHS), completing their 2014 season with a record of 9-3.

CHS Junior Varsity finished their season with a remarkable record: winning nine games and only losing three. Families and friends would gather at each game to watch them play as one, and the head coach witnessed improvement in each individual player as the season progressed. “The players are very talented individuals. I’m looking forward to seeing these players next season and to see how much they have improved since last season,” said Head Coach of Junior Varsity Lacrosse, Jeffrey Entwistle.

Most of these players have grown up together, having played lacrosse since they were very young. “All of our skills mesh together to make a positive result,” said Team Captain Andrew Douwes.

At the end of every game, win or lose, they stayed positive. This sportsmanship gained them the respect of other teams. Junior Varsity goalie, Keith Dorsey, especially aided in their wins with his goalie skills. He completed the season in the top five Junior Varsity goalie record in the county for his goals saved.

Some of the other teammates were first-time lacrosse players, so they taught each other, and learned from every mistake. “Next season will be different since some of us will be advancing to Varsity. Even though we have been playing together since the fifth grade, I think it’s going to be interesting to see how we perform at different skill levels,” said Team Captain Adam Fields.

At the end of the season, every player was satisfied with what they had accomplished. Next year, they wish to break their record and continue to play as one family. Good luck for next season Cougars!

Maryland Express 14U Girls Fastpitch Softball Team Captures USSSA State Title

The Maryland Express 14U Girls Fastpitch Softball Team competed in the USSSA State Tournament on June 20-22, 2014.  The team went 5 and 0, beating Anne Arundel Heat, Maryland Chill, Olney Black Cougars, and the Heartbreakers twice on their road to the championship.  They scored 32 runs and allowed only 10 runs during the tournament.  Ashley Mayton was the winning pitcher for all five games.  Members of the Championship Team are:  Taylor Beckley, Natalie Holmes, Lily Kapfhammer, Madelyn Krantz, Ashley Mayton, Abbey McMaster, Abigayle Perry, Jordan Pryor, Ashley Roberts, Olivia Stah, and Paige Tolbard.  Head Coach is Tracie Lehman and Assistant Coaches are Jason Watts, Craig Beckley, and Jimmy Pryor.

Catoctin-Ettes Give Free Baton Twirling Classes

The Catoctin-Ettes, Inc., a local, non-profit youth organization, is hosting a FREE, four-week baton twirling course for the beginner twirler!

Classes meet on four consecutive Mondays (began on Monday, June 23, 2014) at the Emmitsburg Community Center Gym, from 10:00-10:45 a.m. Classes are geared for students five years to teen years. Batons are loaned free of charge for class time.

This is a great opportunity to determine your child’s interest for twirling with no commitments and no financial outlay whatsoever! If enough interest is shown, they will begin a second session. To register, please email Donna Landsperger at or call 240-405-2604.

Bueso Named School Counselor of the Year

The Frederick County Association of Counseling and Development has named Thurmont Middle School counselor and department chair, Sherry Bueso, School Counselor of the 2013-2014 School Year.

“Sherry is the foundation of our counseling department at Thurmont Middle School,” says Principal Jennifer Powell.

Having worked as Thurmont Middle school counselor for twenty-two years, Ms. Bueso has developed several highly effective programs. She has coordinated the Young Women Leadership Program, which pairs eighth grade girls with a big sister from Mount St. Mary’s University. The students and their mentors meet weekly to improve student self-esteem, discuss relevant issues facing teens today, and learn leadership skills.

Ms. Bueso also initiated an outstandingly successful program called “Life After Middle School.” It involves parents of eighth graders in an evening of presentations about the expectations and decisions their children will face throughout high school. The program was such a success at Thurmont Middle School that FCPS expanded it throughout the county and presents it in conjunction with Frederick Community College.

Eighth grader Ally Davis shares her appreciation: “I know I can depend on Mrs. Bueso. She is a caring, understanding person.”

Koepke Wins Prestigious Award

The 2014 Giant Food-Sophie Altman Coach of the Year trophy was awarded to John Koepke, the It’s Academic Coach at Catoctin High School.

Each year, eighty-one of the best scholastic teams in the Baltimore area compete on It’s Academic, shown each week on WJZ, Channel 13. For thirty-three years, Mr. Koepke has worked with his students, inspiring them to compete on the highest level.

It’s Academic is proud to recognize John Koepke’s dedication, his enthusiasm, and his contribution to education. It’s Academic is recognized by the Guiness Book of Records as the longest-running quiz show in the world.

Volunteer Recognition at SES

On June 9, 2014, volunteers were recognized at Sabillasville Elementary School (SES). Place mats made by each of the classes were given to the volunteers, along with a potted plant.

During the 2013-2014 school year, there were fifty-two registered volunteers who donated 1,283 hours to the school.

Those honored with more than 500 hours during their tenure were Angie Hahn, Joan Fry, and April Sharpe.

A light brunch was served and everyone enjoyed socializing with the Principal and Teachers.

2015 Catoctin High School Safe & Sane

The 2015 Catoctin Safe & Sane Graduation Committee will hold a meeting of interested parents of the Class of 2015, Wednesday, July 2, at 7:00 p.m. at Rocky’s Pizza in Thurmont. Any and all interested parents of the Class of 2015 are invited to attend the meeting. There are many activities planned and committee chairpersons are needed to make these events a success for our seniors. For more information contact Cheryl Phelan at Upcoming events and meeting minutes can be seen on the website at or visit our Facebook page — Catoctin High Safe & Sane Class of 2015.

The 2015 Catoctin Safe and Sane Graduation Committee is hosting the Fish Bowl game booth at the Thurmont Carnival during the week of July 7-12, from 6:00-10:30 or 11:00 p.m. Parents are needed to work the booth. Please contact if you are available to help. The contribution of your time will make the first fundraiser of the 2015 graduation year a success for your student.

by Nicki Milbourne and Megan Millison

2014-2015 Chapter Officers from left are: (back row) Dusty Hahn, Stephanie Kennedy, Kayleigh Best, and Johnny Kempisty; (front row) Kayla Umbel, Nicki Milbourne, Hannah Barth, and Megan Millison.

The 2014 Catoctin FFA Parent/Member Banquet was held at Catoctin High School on May 15, 2014. The Banquet was called to order by President Lauren Schur. The evening began with dinner catered by Mountain Gate Restaurant. After dinner, everyone gathered in the auditorium to begin the awards ceremony.

There were many awards, degrees, and scholarships presented during the ceremony. The Scholastic Achievement award, which goes to the member with the highest GPA, was awarded to Aislinn Latham. Four members received their Greenhand Degree and ten members received their Chapter Degree. This year two students were awarded the Star Greenhand Award. This award is given to first-year members who went above and beyond standard expectations within the chapter. This year it was awarded to Jonathan Hubbard and Maybelin Cruz.

The 2014 Star chapter award was presented to Ashley McAfee. Three students were recognized for their outstanding SAE projects. Lauren Schur was awarded the Star in agribusiness, Jacob Shriver was awarded the Star in Ag-placement, and Ashley McAfee was awarded the Star farmer.  Cathy Little and Brian Hendrickson were installed as Honorary Members. Kelly Kirby, Denise Shriver, and Avery Tucker were presented with the Advisor Appreciation Award.  Ashley McAfee was presented the 2014 Dekalb Award.  Cody Harmon was honored as outstanding Ag mechanics student.  Hannah Barth was recognized as the outstanding horticulture student.  Norman and Sandy Shriver were recognized for all of their help and support of the annual butchering. Ten FFA members also received an FFA jacket from the help of ten jacket sponsors. Nine senior FFA members earned an FFA cord to be worn at graduation this year.  Ashley Ridenour was presented as the Thurmont Grange unsung hero, while Hannah Barth was honored as the Community Show unsung hero. Jacob Shriver was honored as the Farm Bureau Unsung Hero. FFA members also received a certificate listing all of the activities they participated in throughout the past year. Six members were awarded scholarships from numerous sponsors. Jonathan Hubbard was the top sales person for the meatstick, spring citrus and nut, and fall citrus fundraisers. Matthew Lenhart earned the award for top butchering sales person.  Wyatt Farmer and Nicki Milbourne were recognized for their proficiency applications. Justin McAfee was recognized for receiving his $1,000 SAE grant.

The evening wrapped up with the installation of the 2014-2015 chapter officers. The new officers include: President — Nicki Milbourne, Vice-President — Hannah Barth, Secretary — Megan Millison, Treasurer — Kayla Umbel, Reporter — Johnny Kempisty, Sentinel — Dustin Hahn, Historian — Stephanie Kennedy, and Junior Advisor — Kayleigh Best.

Local Students Recognized as 2014-2015 Local Frederick County Dairy Maids at Celebration in May

The 2014 Frederick County Dairy Princess Celebration was held on May 18, 2014, at the Woodsboro Volunteer Meeting Hall in Woodsboro, Maryland. Along with the recognition of the 2014-15 Frederick County Dairy Princess was also the recognition of the Frederick County Dairy Maids, consisting of four students from the Catoctin community.

Kayla Umbel, the daughter of Chad and Sandy Umbel of Emmitsburg, attends Catoctin High School. Kayla served as a Dairy Maid, appearing at numerous dairy promotions and participating in Ag Week at the Mall. Kayla is a member of the Frederick County Junior Dairy Club and the Holstein Association. She received awards for her record books, and her animals were nominated Junior All-American. Kayla is a member of the Catoctin FFA Chapter and participates in many FFA activities. She is president of her 4-H Club and an Honor Roll student.

Elizabeth Bisbee, the daughter of Judy and Jamison Bisbee, Sr., attends Catoctin High School.  She is a member of the Tom’s Creek 4-H Club, Maryland Brown Swiss Association and Beef, Sheep & Swine Club. Elizabeth participated in the swine workshop and received many awards in the 4-H dairy judging and dairy bowl programs. She participates at the Sabillasville Elementary School math club and helps at the soup kitchen.

Kaylee Smith, the daughter of Robin Smith of Thurmont, attends Catoctin High School.  She is a member of the Lewistown 4-H Club and Catoctin FFA Chapter.  She has given a 4-H demonstration at her local 4-H club on how milk is made and shipped to stores and has also participated at the Tractor Supply petting zoo.  Kaylee enjoys showing dairy animals and participating in activities which the FFA and 4-H Club sponsors. She also enjoys horseback riding.

Tiffany Lenhart, the daughter of Tina and Jerry Lenhart, attends Thurmont Middle School.  She is a member of the Lewistown 4-H Club and the Ayrshire Association. She has given a demonstration in her 4-H Club on how to show a cow.  She has been on the Honor Roll at school and also has had perfect attendance.  She will be participating in volleyball and cheerleading in the fall.

The Legend of Catoctin Furnace, Part 1

by James Rada, Jr.

Editor’s Note: This is the first of three articles on the history and legends of Catoctin Furnace.

“When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

That’s what the newspaper editor tells James Stewart’s character in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. It’s also what has happened to the story of Catoctin Furnace over the centuries.

For more than 125 years, Isabella, Deborah, and an unnamed stack—the three furnaces of Catoctin Furnace—produced hundreds of tons of pig iron annually that helped build the United States before there was a United States.

The furnace’s real history is illustrative of industry in America. It even has its brush with fame since one of the early partners in the venture was Thomas Johnson, the first governor of Maryland. In later years, it has had U.S. Presidents, beginning with Herbert Hoover, camp or stay nearby.

That’s a proud history, a fine history, but the legends…The legends lift the Catoctin Furnace from one of many iron-smelting furnaces in early Maryland to a linchpin of American history.

Some believe iron from Catoctin Furnace defended America with cannonballs for the Continental Army, furthered American ingenuity with parts for James Rumsey’s steamboat engine, and changed naval warfare with the iron plates that protected the U.S.S. Monitor during the Civil War.

The truth, however, is somewhat different.

Despite a failed furnace on the west side of the Catoctin Mountains, the area south of Thurmont was a natural site for an iron furnace. The furnace in Washington County failed, because the ore was not good quality. That wasn’t the case with the Catoctin Furnace operation. The iron ore for the furnaces came from three sites on the property. Two ore banks were located behind the furnace. The third site was a mile north and the largest of the three, measuring 800 feet by 2,000 feet.

When the ore was mined—first by hand and later by steam shovels—the iron ore was mixed with clay. It took seven tons of clay to produce one ton of ore. That one ton of iron was a good grade, though. It was forty percent hydrous ferric oxide, limonite.

Not only was the iron ore good quality, but all of the needed materials to turn that ore into pig iron were also there. The Catoctin Mountains provided the needed timber for charcoal and basins for stream systems. Charcoal provided the heat for the whole process. Estimates are that the blast furnace used 800 bushels of charcoal a day. This required 5,000 to 6,000 cords of wood each year or an acre of 20- to 25-year-old hardwood each day. Water was used to wash the clay from the ore and drive the water wheel, which operated the furnace bellows. Limestone from nearby quarries was added to the ore to serve as a flux to remove impurities.

With an abundance of needed resources, it was only a matter of time before someone discovered all the ingredients for a successful mining operation. That someone was the Johnson Brothers and the year was 1774.

The land containing Catoctin Furnace was part of a 7,715-acre “Mountain Tract” obtained by Leonard Calvert and Thomas Johnson in 1768. However, in 1774, Calvert transferred his interest to Thomas’ other brothers, James, Baker, and Roger, and the brothers formed James Johnson and Company with the intention on building an iron-smelting operation.

“Catoctin furnace, situated about twelve miles northwest of Fredericktown, and within a mile of the present furnacestack, ‘was built in the year 1774, by James Johnson and Company and was carried on successfully until the year 1787’; in which year, the same company erected the present furnace ‘about three-fourth of a mile further up Little Hunting Creek, and nearer the ore banks,’” J.H. Alexander wrote in his 1840 Report on the Manufacture of Iron Addressed to the Governor of Maryland.

This makes the first furnace at Catoctin Furnace the 16th in Maryland. It was 32 feet high and surrounded by other needed equipment and machinery, such as a waterwheel, mill pond and races, a coal house to store charcoal, the bridge and bridge house to charge the stack, and a cast house. “The furnace operation also needed homes for its workmen, a store to supply their needs, barns and stables for the furnace stock, and a home for the ironmaster and his family. The 28 ft. by 36 ft. stone Manor House is believed to have been built at this time,” former Park Superintendent Frank Mentzer wrote in a series of articles about the history of Catoctin Furnace in the Frederick News.

This also became the beginnings of the community of Catoctin Furnace. The various jobs associated with running the furnace required men to do them. Miners dug the iron from the ground. Lumberers felled the trees and colliers prepared the charcoal from them. Fillers charged the furnace. Founders smelted the iron and cast it. And all of these people made their homes near the furnace.

The coal-fueled furnace went operational in the fall of 1775, in the midst of the Revolutionary War, which set the scene for the beginnings of the legends of Catoctin Furnace.