IMG_8191James Rada, Jr.

“Let’s play ball!”

The cry rang out on baseball fields across northern Frederick County on Saturday, April 18, 2015, as the Thurmont and Emmitsburg areas celebrated opening day and held their first games of the season.

Crowds flocked to the fields to cheer on the youngsters who were playing baseball for the first time.

Brooklyn Kehne, age seven, made her Little League debut playing on the Emmitsburg Angels. She has an older brother who played baseball, also, but opening day was her time to show what she could do. “I’m really excited to play,” she said. “I like playing.”

Down in Thurmont, Ja-Khia Smith, age eight, waited anxiously in line for the team to march onto the field, amid the applause of hundreds of spectators. “It’s fun,” she said. “I get to hit the ball a lot, and my coach helps me if I need it.”

The special guest to throw out the first pitch in Thurmont was Dr. Richard Love, who threw the pitch to Gage Eyler, the grandson of Love’s former teammate, Thurmont Police Chief Greg Eyler.

“It was pretty neat,” Love said. “Although I felt like we should have been switched, since I used to catch for him (Greg Eyler).”

Love had started playing Little League in Thurmont in 1965 for the Orioles, and had been a sponsor of teams for thirty years. He and Eyler had played together for seven years.

Sean Mazaleski, age twelve, plays with the Emmitsburg Red Sox. He showed up at the fields early, as he prepared to start his sixth year of playing baseball. “I really enjoy it, and I don’t mind the practices because I get better every time,” he said.

Once the Opening Day Welcome was finished at each location, the crowds separated to fill the bleachers at the different fields and to enjoy America’s favorite pastime, with perfect weather, tasty snacks, and lots of ball hitting, throwing, running, catching, and cheering.


Photo by Grace Eyler

Dr. Love, Greg Eyler and his grandson after opening pitch


Dr. Richard Love (shown left), Greg Eyler (far right), and his grandson, Gage Eyler, are pictured after the opening pitch was thrown by Dr. Love.



Thurmont Little League Diamondbacks

Diamond Backs

Pictured from left are: (back row) Assistant Craig Schwartbeck, Dylan Jessee, Ron Sanbower; (middle row) Madison Snurr, Levi Misnet, Hunter Sanbower, David Robey, Joshua Owens; (front row) Noah Schwartz??, Nicholas O’Conell, Jayden Worthington, Justice Glover, Damion Owens, Josh Wivell.

DiamondBack_Batter Up

Dylan Jessee at bat on Opening Day game on April 18, 2015.







Thurmont Little League Red Sox

Red Sox Little League

Pictures are: (players) Evan Morris, Aaden Gallion, Jordyn Bridgett, Michael Moran, Addison Tingler, Parker Davis, Gage Eyler, Leland Bare, Logan Shoobridge, Owen Scheetz; (Team Mom) Karen Morris; (Coaches) Phil Morris, Matt Gallion, Mark Tingler, and Ayrik Moran.

IMG_1847-1A Unique Life Experience

Michele Cuseo

Most people who live in Emmitsburg know or have heard of Mrs. Williams, as she has lived here for 101 years. I know her because I went to high school with her son, Richard, who is also a personal friend. Born in 1914, she is not just unique due to her advanced age but also because of her race. She is an African American who has lived through times of major change in America, as well as in Emmitsburg.

Born Elizabeth Kathleen Richardson, Mrs. Williams’ earliest memories involve living on Old Frederick Road with her family. Her father (William Richardson) worked at Mount St. Mary’s College as an all-around handy man doing a variety of work. Her mother (Marie Butler Richardson) had five children: Joseph, Francis, Billy, Marie, and Elizabeth Kathleen. The boys all died during the flu epidemic of 1918. 

Her family always had a garden, chickens, and an occasional hog that was butchered by her Uncle Bob. She remembers that they had a natural spring and a smoke house. For holidays, her cousins would visit and they would eat together, play cards, and sing songs. She recalls that her Uncle Joe played the violin and her Uncle Charlie could sing. She also remembers visiting her grandfather Butler (her mother’s father) on a farm on Irishtown Road to see some piglets. Other than this memory of her grandfather, she does not know much about her grandparents’ history. And, having no opportunity for education at that time, her past relatives would not have been able to write any stories to pass on. Any history would have had to be passed down through verbal stories. 

Starting around the late teens or early 1920s, Kathleen and her sister Marie would walk to school in Emmitsburg, attending St. Euphemia (Catholic school started in 1889, managed by the Sisters of Charity) from first through eighth grades. There was a group of other children who walked together with them through two large fields and over fences in all kinds of weather. It was quite a long way to get to school, probably about one mile or more. Once at school, the two Richardson sisters and the other African-American children were segregated from the Caucasian children into a separate room for instruction. Mrs. Williams remembers the nuns who taught them: Sister Cecelia and Sister Beata. She said that Sister Beata hated when someone used the word “ain’t.”  Sister would say, “Don’t talk like those ‘Darkies’ down south!”  Mrs. Williams said they did learn the basics (reading, writing, and arithmetic) from the nuns.  There was no public school for blacks and they were not allowed at the public (white-only) schools.   She says that her parents never had the opportunity to go to school and wanted their children to have an education. Therefore, going to school at St. Euphemia was their only opportunity for an education. However, after eighth grade, there was no high school for blacks to attend unless they went to Baltimore, Maryland. Traveling to Baltimore wasn’t logistically possible for the family. 

Mrs. Williams stated that she can’t remember exactly how she met her husband, Martin Williams, who was from Gettysburg. Most likely, they met because her parents knew his parents. She said that Martin was a good man. Mr. Williams served in the army for a time and also worked at the Mount. She also remembers that blacks experienced different treatment in Pennsylvania than they did in Maryland (Martin grew up in Pennsylvania and Kathleen in Maryland). In Pennsylvania, blacks were allowed to go to the theatre (sit wherever they liked) as well as other public places. This was not allowed in the state of Maryland at that point in time (seeming to reflect the lingering struggle between North and South from past Civil War conflict). 

Martin and Kathleen had seven children together: Lois, Mary, Joan, Pat, Marty, Marie, and Richard. Mr. Williams died at the young age of fifty, and it was a very difficult time for Mrs. Williams having young children to raise on her own.

Mrs. Williams did get the opportunity to buy a house in town at some point after her husband died. A man named Bernie Boyle offered to sell her the house. The house had previously been owned by Mrs. Williams’ relatives, Aunt Rose and Uncle Brown. Mrs. Williams had a good amount of money to put down on the house, but she had some trouble getting a loan from the bank to cover the rest. Mr. Boyle intervened to help by telling the bank that he would go to the Thurmont Bank if they would not cooperate.  They did cooperate and Mrs. Williams was able to purchase the home where she still lives today. Mrs. Williams worked a majority of her adult life for the nuns and was known for her great cooking ability that she states she learned from her mother. Chicken pot pie was her favorite dish.

It would be an understatement to say that the Catholic Church has been a big part of Mrs. Williams’ life. She attended church at St. Anthony’s near the Grotto in earlier days, where blacks were required to stay in the back of the church. Mrs. Williams remembers some misbehaving boys who used to play in the back of the church. She also remembers when things changed at the church. She distinctly remembers a priest named Father Riley who approached her and said that she could sit wherever she wanted to and no longer had to stay in the back of the church.

In the past, when a loved one died, they had a special place for blacks to be buried that was—as Mrs. Williams described—at the bottom of the hill (in the graveyard on the way to the Grotto). When Mr. Williams died in 1960, he was the first African American to be buried at the top of the hill, alongside the previous white-only burial area.   

Marie Williams, Mrs. Williams’ youngest daughter (named in honor of her grandmother and aunt), said that education was very important to their family. She stated that her mother did a great job raising her seven children. They all went to Catholic school, with some continuing on to college, and all of them working at great jobs. There are now ten wonderful grandchildren. 

Mrs. Williams acknowledged that the person she admired most in her lifetime was her mother. She was a wonderful mother and wonderful person. Mrs. Williams stated that she doesn’t know why she has lived so long, but that longevity does run in her family, with many members living until almost 100 years old. These days, she enjoys crossword puzzles, watching jeopardy, and is well attended by her daughter Marie, who works as a nurse. 

I thanked Mrs. Williams for sharing her memories with me and embraced her hand. She embraced back with a firm grip! As I was leaving her home, I glanced over to see that she had already started working on her crossword puzzles.


Photo of Mrs. Williams’ mother and father, Marie Butler Richardson and William Richardson.


Photo of Mr. Williams as a young man.

by James Rada, Jr.


April 2015

Town Employees Will Soon See Bigger Paychecks

The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a fifteen percent salary adjustment to employee salaries during their March 16 meeting. The increase will come in stages, with the first increase being five percent. The town had contracted with a human resources consultant to see if employee salaries were in line with employees of towns of similar size. The initial recommendation was for a twenty-five percent increase, which Emmitsburg could not afford. The vote to approve the increase was 3-2, with commissioners Glenn Blanchard, Joe Ritz, and Tim O’Donnell voting for the motion.

Emmitsburg Gets a Clean Audit

The Town of Emmitsburg received an unmodified opinion for their annual audit, which means that the Frederick accounting firm, Draper and McGinley, found no financial record-keeping mistakes that needed to be addressed. Michele Mills, with Draper and McGinley, reported the highlights of the audit to the commissioners during the April 6 meeting. The town’s fund balance continues to grow, which indicates that the town is spending less than it takes in. Copies of the audit report are available at the town office for residents who wish to review the details.

New Wastewater Treatment Plant Nearing Completion

Emmitsburg’s new wastewater treatment plant on Creamery Road should be online by the end of May, according to Mike Schultz, senior manager with RK&K.

Vigilant Hose Company and Emmitsburg Ambulance Could Merge

Vigilant Hose Company President Tim Clarke spoke before the Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners and told them that although it is a “contentious issue,” the possibility of a merger between the fire and ambulance company is a definite possibility.

When the Emmitsburg Ambulance Company was placed on suspension due to problems with response times for calls, career staff was brought in to be on hand to answer calls. However, the career staff was eventually moved to Vigilant Hose Company because of an “uncomfortable work environment” at the ambulance company, according to Clarke.

The move turned out to be successful. “We’ve become a stronger company as a result,” Clarke said.

Now with the suspension lifted, the career staff will be removed. Clarke worries that the problems with the ambulance company could return.

“The problem is that no one is being held accountable for their actions,” Clarke said.

The solution may be for the two companies to merge.

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


April 2015

Thurmont Considers Adding Ornamental Planters

The Thurmont Board of Commissioners is considering adding ornamental planters on the sidewalks of downtown Thurmont after Maryland State Highways have finished their sidewalk repairs. Some of the trees and ornamental plantings downtown have already been removed because of this process and Mayor John Kinnaird suggested adding planters to replace the lost greenery.

“Downtown is sort of a tree desert right now,” he said during the March 17 meeting.

The suggestion was to purchase 24-inch wide planters made from recycled material or vinyl. Annuals would be planted in them and the nearby businesses would be asked to keep them watered. During the winter, the planters would be removed so as not to interfere with any clearing of snow in the winter.

Sign Up for Emergency Notification

If you would like to receive emergency notifications regarding Thurmont, you can sign up at to receive notices about weather emergencies, power outages, fire/rescue emergencies, and others. If you need help signing up, contact Jim Humerick at 301-271-7313 x204.

Art, Wine, and Cupcake Walk

Friday, May 8th, Main Street will be hosting an Art, Wine, & Cupcake Walk. We have several artists, wineries, and cupcake makers! Entertainment will be provided by Paul Zelenka and Mary Guiles in Mechanicstown Park. Local artists will be displaying their work. Gourmet cupcake samples and wine tasting will also be available.

Thurmont Wants to Become Sustainable

The Town of Thurmont is going to pursue becoming a Sustainable Maryland Certified Community and is seeking volunteers to serve on its “Green Team.” The team will guide the town through the process of documenting its steps in the state certification process. For more information, contact Jim Humerick at 301-271-7313, x204.

Town Begins Looks at Budget Numbers

Although a budget hasn’t been presented yet, the Thurmont Board of Commissioners got a look at some of the potential revenue numbers.

Each year, the state provides a constant yield rate to the town. This is the tax rate that is needed in order for the town to receive the same property tax revenues for this year’s budget as it did last year. That rate is 30.2 cents per $100 of assessed property value. This is down slightly from last year, which means that Thurmont’s property tax assessments have risen.

The town will also be receiving $58,534 in Highway User revenue. This is also up slightly over last year’s amount of $57,624. A one-time grant has also been set aside for Highway User revenues. Thurmont’s portion of this grant should be $157,900.

Highway User revenue must be spent on road projects.

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

Guardian Hose Company Yard Sale

The Guardian Hose Company is sponsoring a yard sale on May 30, 2015, at the Thurmont carnival grounds on 123 East Main Street in Thurmont. Spaces are $5.00 each.

Vigilant Hose Company’s Spring Fling

The Vigilant Hose Company’s Annual Spring Fling will be held on Saturday, May 16, 2014, at the ARCC Athletic Complex area at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg. This annual event features horseshoes, great food, live music, 50/50 tip jars, and much more. It’s great fun for everyone! Tickets are $60.00 each (good for two people). Get your tickets today; there are limited tickets remaining. Spring Fling gives $30,000 away in prizes! Benefits the Vigilant Hose Company and VHC Explorers Post.

Concert at Germantown Church of God

Germantown Church of God Presents Rich Kiser—a solo, finger-style guitarist—in concert on Sunday, May 17, 2015, at 6:00 p.m., at 16924 Raven Rock Road in Cascade. Admission is free.

Lewistown Fire Department Sportsmans Bingo

The Lewistown District Volunteer Fire Department, located at 11101 Hessong Bridge Road in Frederick, Maryland, will be holding a Sportsmans Bingo on Saturday, August 22, 2015. Doors will open at 4:00 p.m.; buffet meal will begin at 6:00 p.m., and games will start at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $40.00 per person (includes dinner, ice tea, and beer). Advanced ticket sales only.

Creagerstown Community Dinner

The Creagerstown Community Dinner will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2015, from noon-5:00 p.m. Dinner will feature pot pie, fried chicken, country ham, and more. The cost is $16.00 per adult, and $8.00 per child. Proceeds will benefit the upkeep of Creagerstown Cemetery and street lights.

Zurgable Brothers Holds Grill Demo

Stop by Zurgable Hardware, located at 1663 Old Emmitsburg Road in Emmitsburg, on Saturday, May 16, 2015, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. See demonstrations of Holland Grills.

Old Field Woodworking Open House

Spring is a great time for an Old Field Woodworking Open House! Come see handcrafted and original designed furniture, or order custom-designed furniture on Saturday, May 9, 2015, at 13333 Graceham Road in Thurmont, from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

John Dowling, Kathy Dowling, Theresa Keeney, and Jack Cogan will be on hand to assist you. Receive 10% off of your purchases when you show their advertisement from page 29 of this issue. Call 301-271-4439 for more information.

Fun Festival

Don’t miss the Fun Festival at Victory Tabernacle, located at 6710 Kelly Store Road in Thurmont, on May 30, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Event features games, crafts, face painting, live music, clowns, and much more!

Guardian Hose Company’s Flower Sale & Chicken BBQ

Don’t miss the Guardian Hose Company’s Flower Sale and Chicken BBQ event on May 8, from 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., and May 9, from 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Thurmont Senior Center Yard Sale — May through September

Join the Thurmont Senior Center for a yard sale on the second Satruday in May through September. Reserve your spot for just $10.00.

Thurmont Art & Wine Walk

Come on out to the Art & Wine Walk on Main Street in Thurmont on Friday, May 8, 2015, from 6:00-8:30 p.m., for an art, wine, cupcake, and appetizer walk! The event will feature local artists.

All About Birds Art Exhibit

Don’t miss the All About Birds Art Exhibit on June 5-6, 2015, from 2:00-5:00 p.m., at the studio, located at 14726 Old Frederick Road in Rocky Ridge. Original paintings, photographs, prints, and cards will be available by local artists. The event benefits the Catoctin Forest Alliance.

Take-a-Tour Tuesday at Mother Seton School

Visit Mother Seton School for Take-a-Tour Tuesday on May 12, 2015, from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. Mother Seton School is located at 100 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg.

Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Events

The Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association in Fairfield is hosting many events in May, including a Final Wagner Shoot on May 2, 2015; a Cash Bingo on May 3, 2015, at 1:00 p.m., with doors opening at 11:30 a.m.; a Kids Fishing Rodeo on May 9, 2015, for ages 2-17 years old, with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.; and a Crab Leg Feed on May 23, 2015.

His Place Car Show

Mark your calendar for the 6th Annual His Place Car Show, being held on Saturday, May 2, 2015, at Mother Seton School, located at 100 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Event features three awards each, for five categories; raffle, food, door prizes, and more.

Thurmont Anytime Fitness Offers “Free Workout Saturdays” Throughout May

Get ready for some outdoor fitness fun! Anytime Fitness of Thurmont is hosting fun-infused exercises—tug-of-war, relay races, obstacle courses, and more—at Thurmont Community Park at 11:00 a.m. every Saturday during the month of May.

The five consecutive “Free Workout Saturdays” will be led by certified personal trainers and are designed for people of every fitness level. They are open to all adults, not just Anytime Fitness members. The concept, inspired by grassroots efforts of a few Anytime Fitness clubs that regularly offer free outdoor “boot camps,” has grown into a nationwide campaign to promote physical fitness.

“We want our community to be as healthy and active as possible, and we hope that the Free Workouts Saturdays will show folks that exercise can be fun,” said George Puvel, owner of Anytime Fitness Thurmont. “We hope this is the jumpstart and motivation to continue their own personal healthier lifestyle journeys.”

Anytime Fitness Thurmont is one of more than 1,000 Anytime Fitness clubs across the United States that will host the free outdoor exercise classes.

View a Free Workout Saturday video at

“At Anytime Fitness, we’re passionate about helping people ‘get to a healthier place,’” said Puvel. “That can mean different things to different people. For some, it’s losing weight or gaining strength. For others, it’s improving balance or flexibility. The important thing is to find physical activities that you enjoy, so being active is something you look forward to—rather than dread.”

The Taney Corporation Welcomes Special Guests to Tour Facilities

The Taney Corporation, located in Taneytown, Maryland, welcomed U.S. Congressman Andy Harris’ Chief of Staff, Kevin C. Reigrut, and Community Liaison Mary O’Keeffe, to tour their office and plant facilities on February 5, 2015. 

Established in 1958, The Taney Corporation is a family-owned business considered to be the premier stair and rail manufacturer in the Mid-Atlantic market. Owned by Eric, Jeff, and Brian Glass, The Taney Corporation sells to dealers and builders throughout Maryland, Virginia, D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.  Nancy McCormick, director of economic development for the City of Taneytown, was instrumental in coordinating the visit of Reigrut and O’Keeffe, and accompanied the congressman’s staff on their visit to The Taney Corporation. 

Mary O’Keeffe writes, “The state of Maryland is fortunate to have a manufacturing company like yours remain in operation. The motto on your card reads, ‘Over 50 years of excellence’ and after seeing the craftsmanship of what you do, I am a true believer in The Taney Corporation.” 

The Taney Corporation manufactures straight stairs, circular and spiral stairs, pre-built rails, handrails, balusters, and newels in all wood species, including red oak, yellow pine, white oak, poplar, walnut, hickory, and many others.  They employ over sixty-five people, and pride themselves on their fine craftsmanship and dedication to excellence.

Pictured from left are Community Liaison Mary O’Keeffe; Chief of Staff Kevin Reigrut; Taneytown Economic Development Director Nancy McCormick; The Taney Corporation Vice-President Brian Glass; The Taney Corporation President Jeff Glass.

The Thurmont business community put its best foot forward for the 11th Annual Thurmont Business Expo, held on April 2, 2015. However, this was the Expo that almost didn’t happen. Thurmont Main Street, the usual organizers of the event, had decided not to hold the Expo this year and canceled it.

Heather Dewees and Rob Renner decided that the event provided too much value to Thurmont businesses and its residents and to cancel it would be a loss.

“I felt like if we lost it, it wasn’t ever coming back,” Dewees said.

The Expo allows residents to come out and discover many of the 260 businesses that are in the town. Business owners can meet potential customers and show off their goods and services.

Dewees and Renner approached the Thurmont Special Events Committee to provide things like liability insurance and to handle money from vendors. Dewees and Renner lowered the cost of sponsorship and didn’t charge extra to businesses that wanted to sell products.

“It involves a lot of coordination, but it was fun,” said Renner.

However, just when things came together and the Expo was ready to go, a late snowstorm closed schools on March 20, which meant that the Expo had to be postponed.

Nearly four dozen of the town’s businesses participated in the Expo, which was rescheduled for a Thursday evening.

“We lost a few vendors because we rescheduled, but this was the only other night available,” Dewees said.

Hundreds of people turned out for the event at Catoctin High School.

John Nickerson is a familiar face at the Expo, with his original Gnarly Artly t-shirts. “Most of my business is done on the internet, so this gives me the chance to meet a lot of people,” Nickerson said.

Stacie Zelenka, owner of Pondscapes, agreed. “We’re a home-based business, so this gives us the opportunity to have a storefront for an evening and meet customers.”

She said the Expo has proven its worth to her because she always gets referrals from it. She also gets the opportunity to meet customers who say that they didn’t know her business existed, so the Expo exposes her business to new customers.

Heather Lawyer with Gateway Automotive said that Gateway doesn’t really advertise so the Expo allows Gateway Automotive to put itself out in front of the community.

“It’s also nice to have customers stop by and talk to us and say, ‘Thank you,’” said Lawyer.

A nice new feature of this year’s Expo was that each visitor was given a vendor map that also included addresses, phone numbers, and websites for each Expo vendor.

Proceeds from the Thurmont Business Expo are donated to the Thurmont Food Bank.

Candy and Heather Lawyer

Candy and Heather Lawyer of Gateway Automotive behind their booth at the Thurmont Business Expo.


Niki Eyler, owner of The Eyler Stables Flea Market in Thurmont, at the Thurmont Business Expo.


Folks from the Thurmont Veterinary Clinic are shown at their booth.


Thurmont’s Mayor, John Kinnaird poses next to a drawing of himself done by John Nickerson of Gnarly Artly.



Doris Roman and Antonio C. from the Thurmont Senior Center are shown behind their booth at the Thurmont Business Expo.

Photos by Grace Eyler

Emmitsburg Civilian and Veteran Organizations and Surrounding Communities Join Together to Celebrate the 33rd Annual Heritage Day

Jim Houck, Jr.

The combined planning efforts of civilian and Veteran organizations in Emmitsburg and the surrounding communities will join together to celebrate the 33rd Annual Heritage Day (formerly Community Day) on Saturday June 27, 2015.

The Town of Emmitsburg will open their arms to everyone for a day of fun and games, a parade, and fireworks. The event, until recently, was planned and carried out by The Lions Club of Emmitsburg. The Emmitsburg Lions did an excellent job of organizing and operating this event for years. The event simply outgrew the membership of the Lions Club, and they decided it was time to ask other organizations in the community for their help. The community organizations stepped up and volunteered and are actively involved. The Veterans organizations, in the past, organized and took charge of the parades. I am proud to announce we are again as I, Jim Houck Jr. Commander SAL Squadron 121, have been assigned as coordinator of this year’s parade. I am asking all who would like to participate and have not received an invitation letter and application to please go online at, and print out an application to fill out and mail to the given address, call me at 717-451-1741, or email me at and I will be glad to help you.

We are holding an art contest to start off this year’s event by inviting all Frederick County school age artists, ages six to, and including, eighteen years of age, to submit their art work entitled “The Heart Of The Civil War In Emmitsburg” by 1:00 p.m., Friday, June 15th. The art work will be displayed in the gym at the Town Office and be judged. Cash prizes; 1st prize is a $500.00 savings bond, 2nd is a $100.00 savings bond, and 3rd is a $50.00 savings bond respectively. These prizes will be issued to the winners on Heritage Day. Contest rules and an application form are available online at

The actual Heritage Day festivities start off with a hearty breakfast served by the Vigilant Hose Auxiliary at the Vigilant Hose Company Main Street Fire Hall; Lions Club Annual Bar-B-Q Chicken will be served beginning at 10 a.m.; Sons of the American Legion Squadron 121 will be selling Italian Sausages, and if you had one last year, you know how great they are; a Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show will be held at the Community Park with all proceeds supporting the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball League; a bicycle Safety Rodeo will be held; a Five mile Bike Ride for ages 12 and up, plus a One-mile Bike Ride for kids ages 5 and up; free kids rides and face painting will be offered; a Fitness Boot Camp with Steve Ames; old fashioned field games and a greased pig contest. A Grand Opening for the town’s Multi-User Trails will be held with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Several live bands will play at the bandstands and the sounds will be kept moderate, so if you would like the music louder, get closer. Horseshoe registration will be held at noon with a $5.00 entry fee, games start at one. The kickball tournament will begin at 12:30 p.m., check  for new rules. The town’s community pool will be open free to the public from noon until 7:00 p.m. Vendor and crafter show and a walking history tour of Old Emmitsburg will be available. There are numerous other things under the categories of food, sports, music at the Bandstand, special exhibits and history tours and museums.

Come out and enjoy yourself and see how  proud the people of Emmitsburg are about their heritage. I know I am proud to have spent the first forty years of my life in the Emmitsburg-Thurmont area. I graduated high school at Emmitsburg High and worked as a cook at Mt. St. Mary’s College while in school and for a while after school. I worked at St. Joseph’s College, now the National Fire Academy, as a cook for a few years. I worked at H.O. Toor Shoe and Freeman Shoe Factories, located where the Emmitsburg Antique Mall is located today. I used to know everyone by name within a five mile radius of Emmitsburg and now there are a lot of strangers, but that is good because it gives me an opportunity to make new friends. I sure miss a lot of the “old ones”. Heritage Day is not only a fun and play day, but it gives everyone a chance to meet new friends. In my opinion, you can never have too many friends.

God Bless all of you and have a safe trip to Heritage Day “33”. Stop by the Italian Sausage Stand and say “Howdy!” I may have a National Flag to give you and the kids.

Special Thanks to Clifford Sweeney and Patrick Joy, they are not only on the Heritage Day Committee, but they are proud members of Sons of the American Legion Squadron 121. A special thanks to Jennifer Jolly Joy for chairing the committee and to all members and participants.

Deb Spalding

Employees of the former Cozy Restaurant in Thurmont gathered at the restaurant for a group photo with Cozy’s owner, Jerry Freeze, on March 30, 2015. Many of the employees shared memories about their times together, and some of the famous customers they served. It was sobering and sad to notice how much of the historical restaurant has disappeared, including the main Cozy Restaurant sign and a few shingles from the wishing well.

Many wishes were made in that wishing well, and many memories were made by diners and employees. Former Cozy Restaurant employee, Linda Ballenger, of Rocky Ridge, recalled serving Joe Lockhart, President Clinton’s Press Secretary, the year Bill Clinton hosted a summit at Camp David. It was Lockhart’s birthday, and, after a party in his honor at Camp David, Lockhart returned to Cozy because he liked it there.

Linda said she collected a few autographs from some famous diners, but noted that Jerry Freeze wouldn’t ever ask for an autograph, because he felt it was invading the diner’s privacy. “That’s our Jerry!” said Linda.

It was important to Jerry to make sure the employees know how much they are appreciated. On the marquee, he stated, “Cozy thanks you, terrific employees, pleasure of serving 15 million,” so that everyone would know his sentiments.

Diners from all kinds of professions, ethnicities, and different countries enjoyed dining at the restaurant. Because of its proximity to Camp David, notable news journalists and political figures would utilize the restaurant. It is not to be overlooked that non-famous patrons supported the restaurant, whether passing through or meeting for a habitual meal. Jerry Freeze extended his appreciation to everyone—employees and diners.

Jerry indicated that the Smithsonian Institute has been gathering information about the restaurant for their records. He has given the mining cabin and some pig iron to the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society. An old 1929 cottage will be restored. Jerry said, “It’s crazy how excited people are about this history, and I hope more places in town will be preserved and shared historically.”

The mural on the back of one of the shops in the Cozy Village, visible from Frederick Road, was created by C. Colley in 2000, and depicts Jerry’s father, Wilbur, in the early days of the property with his dog, Rover, at the original gas station and tourist camp with tents and cabins.


Cozy employees gathered for a photo on March 30, 2015. Owner, Jerry Freeze, is shown in the middle of the bridge.


Mural by C. Colley shows the original station.

Mayor John Kinnaird (far right), Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick (center), and Main Street Manager Vickie Grinder (left) pose in front of the new Thurmont kiosk at the Mason Dixon Welcome Center. The kiosk was provided by Frederick County Tourism Special Projects Coordinator Mr. Chris Haugh.

In the late 1700s and early 1800s, the covered wagon could be seen on the dusty and muddy roads of Frederick County, Maryland. The covered wagon was a home on wheels that was pulled by a team of horses, mules, or oxen to take a family to a new home in America.

According to, “The origins of the distinctive horse-drawn freight wagon known as the Conestoga wagon can be traced to the Conestoga River region of Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County in the mid- to late-18th century. Conestoga wagons, with their distinctive curved floors and canvas covers arched over wooden hoops, became a common sight over the next century, as they carried farm products to cities and other goods from cities to rural communities, particularly in Pennsylvania and the nearby states of Maryland, Ohio, and Virginia, but also elsewhere in the United States and in Canada.”

Joe Eyler of Thurmont has indicated that these early wagons have ties to the Thurmont area and the Eyler family of the Eyler Horse Auction.

On May 29, 30, and 31, 2015, a wagon train will travel from Thurmont to Harney, Maryland. By the time it reaches Harney, the wagon train is expected to contain twenty or more wagons and forty outriders (riders on horseback). Grab your cameras as it travels through covered bridges, fords the stream at Four Points Bridge, and sets up camp Saturday night at Eric Glass’ house on Tom’s Creek Road.

On this ride, the official Maryland State wagon, owned by James and Cynthia Sayler of Keysville, Maryland, will be traveling home to Harney. This wagon has traveled thousands of miles, as it has traveled from Texas. The wagon was found in a barn in Harney.

On Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m., a Cowboy Church Service will be held before the wagons leave for Harney. The wagons are anticipated to arrive at the Harney Fire Company grounds around 12:30 p.m. for lunch and then break up for home.

Entertainment will be held during the gathering of the wagons on Friday evening at Eyler Road in Thurmont. Marshmallows, hot dogs, and ham and bean soup, compliments of Jubilee Foods in Emmitsburg, will be available at check-in.

On Saturday, Jubilee will provide fried chicken for the wagon train and outriders. Entertainment will be provided by Ralph Gann and any person with a string instrument.

This is the very first ride of its kind in the area. History is being made in Thurmont and Frederick County. The Thurmont Heritage Group is proud to sponsor this event, and all monies made by a free offering from the wagon train will go towards scholarships for equine college students who apply.

Call Joe Eyler at 301-271-2023 for more information.



Joan Bittner Fry

In 1964, my family and I bought and later moved into a house in Sabillasville, where the late Tom and Annie Harbaugh had lived. I still live there. My mother helped pack up the Harbaugh’s household goods for public sale at the Blue Ridge Summit fire hall, but the family didn’t want to sell Annie’s diaries. When asked if she would accept them, my mother agreed that she would. At that time, I had no idea that I would move into the house and end up with the diaries.

Following are excerpts from Annie’s diaries. As you can see, there are many references to whitewash, which was a low-cost type of paint. A general recipe for whitewash is hydrated lime, water, and salt. I have no idea what proportions Annie and her friends used, but they sure whitewashed a lot. It is claimed that whitewash disinfects, repels insects, and preserves by sealing surfaces. 

Also added is a photo (top right) that I took of my cellar, showing the whitewashed wall that was done many years ago. If Annie had known that whitewash would last so long, perhaps she wouldn’t have done it so often. Maybe it was a social thing back then.


May 9. I whitewashed the hen house this morning. Fannie Brown and the little boy, Margaret and Glenn’s wife all took dinner with me today. Mr. Sheffer died at 2 p.m. today.  Buried Saturday at 2 p.m. in Fairfield.



April 23. This was a cloudy morning but it cleared away at 9 a.m. Mr. Fogle whitewashed the hog pen and made garden in the afternoon. Mr. Cal Stem had a light stroke this morning.



April 26. This was another lovely day. We cleaned the yard and walk at the back of the house. I mowed the inside lawn this afternoon. Mr. Wierman mowed the outside lawn this evening. Lizzie started to whitewash the fence this afternoon.

May 2. This is a cool rainy morning, temp 44 degrees at 6:30. I enameled the refrigerator today. I received the living room curtains today. They certainly look nice. Mabel sent me two crepe myrtle bushes this morning. One red and one lavender.

May 15. Lizzie and I whitewashed the fence all of the day. It was a beautiful day and not so hot.

May 16. This was another lovely day to finish the fence and the buildings.



April 1. This was a cold day, 38 degrees at 6:30. Maud Working and I cleaned the summer house today.

May 1. This was a warm day. Maud whitewashed the fence all of the day.  Temperature 82 at 2 p.m.

May 6. This is a grand cool morning to clean house. Maud and I cleaned the living room today. We scrubbed down the front porch in the afternoon.

May 7. This was a hot day, 82 at 3 p.m. Maud finished whitewashing and we cleaned the two back porches. I received 25 of my little chicks this morning.

May 17. I went to Sunday school this morning. It was so hot in the church I wished I had not gone. Alvin (Anderson) had fire in the furnace.

December 10. This is a cloudy rainy day. King Edward abdicated the throne today.

DocAllison Rostad

Just as the sun began to set on Saturday, April 18, 2015, members and friends of the Graceham Volunteer Fire Company gathered to hold their annual banquet in recognition of the Company’s service in calendar year 2014.

A greeting was given by emcee, Brian Boller, who was president of the Company in 2014. Director/Chief of Volunteer Fire Rescue Services Chip Jewell led an invocation prior to guests and members being invited to partake in dinner, catered by Mountain Gate Family Restaurant.Guests such as Mr. and Mrs. John Roth of the State Fireman’s Association and Chief of Thurmont Police Department Greg Eyler and his wife attended the banquet in support of the Company’s service over the past year. Boller introduced these guests and handed the stage over to Chief Jim Kilby and Captain Scott Willard.

Kilby first recognized the entire Company for their outstanding work, as they were able to respond to all but 17 calls of their 260 total calls for the 2014 calendar year. The top five responders in the Company were recognized with framed awards: Hilary Blake, Matthew Mckeel, Matthew Moser, Kelly Willard, and Mike Beard.

The Company’s officers were also awarded for their response to calls over the past year: James Boyle, Jim Kilby, and Scott Willard.

Louis Powell Jr. was asked to the stage, where guests were introduced to the new operational officers of 2015: Chief Jim Kilby, Assistant Chief Louis Powell Jr., and Captain Scott Willard. All three officers were given a new, donated shield for their helmets. Following the presentation of the shields, Kilby turned the microphone back over to Boller, in conclusion of the Chief awards.

Boller presented the administrative awards, bypassing the standard top 10 LOSAP awards, as he explained to guests that being a small company means, “Everyone pretty much pitches in, and if you’re considered active out here, you get access to the hall, and we give free shirts out as certain awards [throughout the year].” Boller started the awards off with the Presidents’ Award. A member who has achieved ten years of active status within a company may become a “life-time member.”

Eddie Woods, Jr. was presented the President’s Award for his “on and off” active membership over the past twenty-seven years.

Boller explained that Woods would fall short of active status defined by the bylaws, but his dedication to drive from Riverdale, Maryland, and Hagerstown over the years to respond to calls for the Company was a feat in itself.

Scott Willard was also presented a President’s Award for his dedication to the Company, in addition to being both Kilby’s and Boller’s right-hand-man over the years.

Boller said proudly of Willard, “It’s the unseen little things that we recognize him for.”

Louis Powell Jr. was presented Life Membership, as he was the only member in 2014 to reach ten years of active status.

Just prior to the conclusion of the banquet, Boller asked that Chip Jewell say a few words to the night’s final award recipient, Kenneth “Doc” Simmers, Sr.  Simmers was awarded with a surprise party in March for being recognized by the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Association for achieving over fifty years of active volunteer fire service, from 1964 to 2015.

Boller had Simmers stand for a round of applause, and awarded him with a bronze fireman trophy and a customized Graceham Volunteer Fire Company jacket.

Boller summarized Simmers and his fifty years of service and dedication by saying, “Once it’s in your blood, it’s just kind of there!”

Wrapping up the banquet, Mr. John Roth of the State Fireman’s Association performed the Installation of the Officers ceremony.


Administrative Officers: Scott Willard, President; Louis Powell Jr., Vice President; Kelly Willard, Secretary; Hilary Blake, Asst. Secretary; Sterling Seiss, Treasurer; and Jim Kilby, Asst. Treasurer.

Board of Directors: Kenneth “Doc” Simmers, Sr., Brian Boller, Sterling Seiss, George “Junebug” Morningstar, Eugene Grimes, and Eddie Woods, Jr.

Operational Officers: Chief Jim Kilby, Assistant Chief Louis Powell Jr., and Captain Scott Willard.


New operational officers, Chief Jim Kilby, Assistant Chief Louis Powell Jr., and Captain Scott Willard were given a new, donated shield for their helmets.


During the Graceham Volunteer Fire Company’s Awards Banquet, Kenneth “Doc” Simmers, Sr. (center) was awarded a bronze fireman trophy and a customized Graceham Volunteer Fire Company jacket for being recognized by the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Association for achieving over fifty years of active volunteer fire service.


In March, Kenneth “Doc” Simmers, Sr. was thrown a surprise party for his achievments over fifty years of active volunteer fire service and his recognition by the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Association.

Rev. Heath Wilson was appointed to serve at Tom’s Creek United Methodist Church (UMC) in Emmitsburg less than a year ago.  His personal journey reflects that of many in today’s materialistic society. Before he was called to ministry, he was raised in a small village in upstate New York, named Phoenix. He attended Elmira College in Elmira, New York, where he earned degrees in political science and economics. He moved to Vermont with his soon-to-be wife, where he worked for a Fortune 500 problem-solving company, followed by working with the Vermont Department of Education.  He and his wife bought a house in Middlesex, Vermont, and have one son. 

“I know the world tells us more fun, or bigger toys, more money, better homes, more beautiful bodies, or more free time are the answers to fulfillment. Life was great, but I felt I was being called to something with more purpose,” said Heath. 

He and his wife came to faith, accepted Christ, and felt they were being called into ministry. He accepted a position as a student pastor in Prince Frederick, Maryland, while both he and his wife attended Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. 

“We both graduated with Master of Divinity Degrees, and I was appointed Lead Pastor at Tom’s Creek UMC starting July 1, 2014.  Here, I am experiencing my life’s journey and inviting others to join the congregation to share and experience their own journeys.”

Tom’s Creek is the church that has property and signage along Route #140, on the way from Emmitsburg to Taneytown. The church building is actually located a little further over by taking a “journey” on Simmons Road or Tom’s Creek Church Road.

“We have people attending from four counties, over a quarter of the people attend from Pennsylvania, and we have some people who travel more than thirty minutes to get to worship every Sunday!” said Heath.

Why do people journey so far to come to their church that is surrounded by cow fields, barns, and mountain views?

“When they arrive, they find a church that welcomes them, a church that greets them, a church that accepts them no matter where they are on their journey! There are churches you can go to that have every program you could want, there are churches that you go to where they put on a ‘good show,’ there are churches you can go to where you can just blend into the woodwork, but that is not who is drawn to Tom’s Creek.”

Tom’s Creek parishioners are liberals and conservatives, horse riders and motorcycle riders, those that are well off and those struggling from paycheck to paycheck, life-long Christians and new believers, and even some who are trying to figure out what exactly they believe.

“While serving at Tom’s Creek, I have been awed by the way those who are part of our faith community welcome people who come through our church doors. Somehow, people find our church and feel embraced when they walk through the doors, knowing that we will not judge but come along side,” Heath said.

It is inspiring to notice how much of his spirit is dedicated to this church. Ironically, he has some personal journeys intertwined, including running the Frederick half marathon on May 3, to raise awareness for Latino ministries and start to reach out to the many Latinos in the area.

At Tom’s Creek during the summer, they hold open air outdoor worship services on Sunday evenings, starting July 12, at 6:00 p.m. at the Promised Land property (off of Rt. 140).

Heath noted, “While we are a smaller church, we have a big heart for wanting to connect with you on your life journey. If you are hungering for a connection with people who also have a hunger to be connected to something bigger than ourselves, if you want to explore what God has to offer you and the calling God has for your life, if you want to be fed on Christ’s love and wisdom, we are here, waiting for you to find us on your life’s journey. Come journey with us!”

 “This is a church where we share life together. This is a church where we pray for one another and our needs.  This is a church that wants to help you as we help one another on our journey. So, I wrote this article as a public service announcement for all of you that do not know that we exist, since we are not on Main Street, not next to a major highway, and are a smaller church that you could easily miss on your journey.  While we are a smaller church we have a big heart for wanting to connect with you on your life journey.  If you are hungering for a connection with people who also have a hunger to be connected to something bigger than ourselves, if you want to explore what God has to offer you and the calling God has for your life, if you want to be fed on Christ’s love and wisdom, we are here, waiting for you to find us on your life’s journey.  I am called into ministry for all those who are looking for a bigger purpose in life, who want to truly live for something worthy of the days we are given. I believe until you are connected to the true Giver of Life, you are going to be searching and continuing to feel unfulfilled. Yet, it is not easy to begin that journey, since there has been so much bad press about organized religion and churches that people don’t think the answers lie there. I know many who say churches are filled with hypocrites and it is true! We all fall short but, together, we can attempt to be greater than our individual weaknesses and together help one another to come closer to the Godly reflection we were intended for. That is something worth living for and the type of church community we are aspiring to be at Tom’s Creek.”

Rev. Wilson knows that people have had bad experiences with churches and organized religion, but he also knows that a true church family can help sustain us on our life journey. 

“I have struggled with my faith and I want to be a pastor that can meet people where they are, listen to their story, and help give them Christ-like wisdom from what I have learned on my journey and from my training. I also am open to learning from them and what they have learned along their journeys,” said Heath.

For more information, please contact Rev. Heath Wilson at 410-758-7707 or email


Rev. Heath Wilson of Toms Creek United Methodist Church in Emmitsburg is pictured leading the children in prayer.

You Asked For It

by Valerie Nusbaum

Spring is finally here! During our long, hard winter, I must have heard the phrase, “I can’t wait until spring” at least a thousand times.  As my old friend Jay would have said, “Well, here it is—spring….”  You asked for it my friends, so don’t come crying to me when you’re sick of doing yard work or when the robins and doves use your clean car as their personal bathrooms. When your allergies kick in and your back is killing you, I don’t want to hear about it.

This is a beautiful time of year.  I’ll give you that. The blooming trees and sprouting bulbs are gorgeous; their bright colors are a pleasant change from all of the white stuff we have seen. It’s comforting to know that our trees will soon be filled with leaves again—the neighbors won’t be able to look in our windows and see all the weird stuff we’re doing.

It’s not that I don’t recognize the beauty and appreciate the spring season, but, I confess, I’m one of the few people who actually likes winter.  As a menopausal woman, it’s so nice to not be hot. Granted, I don’t like freezing or having dry, itchy skin, but I do enjoy picking up a glass that isn’t sweating. When January rolls around, and the Christmas stuff is cleaned up and put away, I find it relaxing to watch the snow fall. There’s a certain peacefulness and serenity. That is, until the phone rings and my in-laws’ pipes have frozen or my mother’s oil line won’t work.

Spring always makes me tired. The aforementioned yard work is never-ending, at least until fall rolls around again. And don’t get me started on the home-improvement projects.

Randy and I are redecorating our guest room. I did my part early on in the project by going to Home Depot, picking out the paint, buying it, and bringing it home. Randy did almost all of the painting, but I helped him out a bit by painting the closet doors and two wall racks. I also went along with my hubby to pick out the new floor covering, and I offered him a cold drink while he ripped up the old carpet and disposed of it. He’s been busy installing the new floor, and we’ve both been looking for furniture options. I’m exhausted. This project has been in the planning stages for several years, but you know how it goes. Something else always comes up.

We’ve promised my mother that we’ll help remodel her kitchen; and, just the other day, I offered to help my mother-in-law clean out her attic. We’ll have to do those projects before summer gets here, because neither house is as tundra-like as ours and I don’t like to sweat.  There’s so much to do. It must be spring.

Randy doesn’t plant a vegetable garden any more, but I usually start some tomato plants from seeds, and we tend to those all spring and summer. Those darned things are so temperamental. It would be easier to go out and buy a couple of plants, but my objective here isn’t to have fresh tomatoes. It’s to keep my father’s legacy alive. Dad painstakingly bred and grafted those original tomato plants years ago, and I’ve kept them going ever since he passed away.

These days, most of the flowers at our home are perennials. I figured out that it was too much work to replant all the flower beds year after year. We’ll probably add in some impatiens since they’re pretty and not much work. Randy and I are gradually paring down our trees and shrubs, too. I’m all about making life easier. 

At least half of my spring cleaning is finished. I’ve been washing windows and curtains, wiping down walls and ceilings, cleaning light fixtures, and scouring all the nooks and crannies. We don’t have much carpet in our house, but the rugs and upholstery are getting cleaned, and the blankets and bedspreads will be changed. Turning and flipping mattresses is a job for Randy, and he reaches all the high stuff for me. The poor man never knows what he’ll find torn up when he comes home from work. Drawers and closets are being sorted and reorganized, and I’m finding stuff that I never knew we had. Things are being donated and given away left and right. Randy will do the outsides of the windows, and we’ll wash down the siding on the house and the porches and doors together. We’ve been cleaning out the basement, too. No wonder I’m so tired!

I think I’ll make some lemonade, sit on the porch, and watch the yard sales down the street. Yes, it surely is spring.