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A Taste of Ireland Right Here in Thurmont

by James Rada, Jr.

It took more than the luck of the Irish to keep Fitzgerald’s Shamrock Restaurant in business for more than fifty years.

“There were days and nights in a row that I wouldn’t go home,” said Mike Fitzgerald, who opened the Shamrock in 1963. “I would be working here doing whatever needed to be done and then I would sleep here.”

Though the Shamrock Restaurant opened in 1963, the building actually had been around since the 1950s. It was a dance hall that didn’t have the best reputation. This is why Fitzgerald was able to purchase it at an affordable price.

He also knew that he had to change the way in which people looked at the building in order to turn it into a successful restaurant.

“The walls were all covered with beer signage and paintings by George Crawford,” said Donna Demmon, Fitzgerald’s oldest child, who also works at the restaurant.

The walls were stripped and redone, turning the dance hall side of the building into the dining room. Only two rows of tables had tablecloths originally, and a smaller dance floor was left in place for weekend dances.

On the bar side, Fitzgerald raised the price of beers. This might seem counterintuitive, but apparently a lot of troublemakers came into the dance hall for cheap beer. Raising the prices caused them to look elsewhere for their drinks.

The Shamrock began as, and still is, a family business. Fitzgerald, his wife, his mother, and his nine children (as they grew old enough) all worked in the restaurant. Demmon started when she was thirteen years old.

“Everyone grew up in here working,” Demmon said of her and her siblings.

Fitzgerald had been a machinist with Moore Business Systems, but he had advanced as far as he could without moving out of state. He had grown up in a restaurant family, though. His parents had owned Fitzgerald’s in Emmitsburg until his father died in 1940. Fitzgerald and his wife had decided that they could open a new restaurant and make it successful.

“They had to make it work,” Demmon stated. “They had a family to feed.”

The Shamrock was the first restaurant in Frederick County in 1965 to get a liquor license.

“In order to do that, they had to take all the bar stools out of the bar,” Demmon said. This had to do with the stools indicating that it was a bar and not a restaurant. The stools were replaced with tables next to the bar.

Customers could not carry their drinks in the restaurant, either.

“If you wanted to go from the bar side to the dining room, a server had to carry your drink for you,” said Demmon.

When Demmon graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Emmitsburg, her father sent her on a trip to Ireland. Demmon wasn’t looking forward to it, because her grandmother also went along as a chaperone. Much to Demmon’s surprise, she was the one who wound up being the chaperone.

“My grandmother was an outgoing, social person, who would sit and talk with anyone, whether we were in a store or out on the road,” Demmon remembered.

More than a vacation, Demmon and her grandmother visited many of the Emerald Isle’s pubs, taking notes and lots of pictures. “We used them to redo the bar so that it had the atmosphere of a pub in Ireland,” said Demmon.

Besides Irish fare like shepherd’s pie, Shamrock Irish egg, and corned beef and cabbage, seafood dishes are also popular items. “We serve a soft-shell crab sandwich with crabs from the Eastern Shore that is delicious,” said Demmon.

Demmon remembers that her father used to get up early on Thursday mornings and drive to Baltimore, Maryland, to be there at 4:00 a.m. He would walk through the seafood market, buying crabmeat, fish, shrimp, and more before driving to a produce market on Caroline Street to buy any additional produce beyond what their garden could supply.“Then, he would have to hurry up and be back here in time to open [the restaurant].”

In those days, the restaurant was only closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

“My dad used to try and close up early on Christmas Eve at 5 p.m.,” says Demmon. “That was because he had to get home and put together toys for nine kids.”

The restaurant also won a national award years ago for having the best St. Patrick’s Day party in the nation. It was awarded by a corned beef company in Missouri. The Shamrock entered its menus, samples of its advertising, information about how long the St. Patrick’s Day party had been taking place, and the media coverage the party had received.

“We also included notes from people who had come to the party,” Demmon said. “At that time, we had people coming from Florida and Niagara Falls just to come to the party.”

The Shamrock Restaurant is located at 7701 Fitzgerald Road in Thurmont.

Their hours are: 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday; noon-9:00 p.m. on Sunday; weekday luncheons 11:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

For more information, visit their website at

by James Rada, Jr.

John Kinnaird 1 (2)John Kinnaird creates monuments and memorials from stone, but through his hard work, he has also created a memorial from his business that honors his father. R. S. Kinnaird Memorials is celebrating fifty years in business this year.

In the 1960s, Aberdeen, Scotland, was the place to be for stone carvers. It had the largest granite quarries in the world. Robert Kinnaird studied art and stone carving there and then served an apprenticeship with Anderson Brothers, one of Aberdeen’s largest stone-carving businesses.

In 1959, he saw an ad in a trade magazine for a stone carver with Hammaker Brothers. An American salesman in Aberdeen interviewed Kinnaird for Hammaker Brothers Memorial Company and reported back to the business. Kinnaird was offered the job, and he emigrated to Thurmont in August 1959. His family joined him the following April.

He then worked for Hammaker Brothers as a master stone carver. The business was sold in 1963.

“The people who bought it went bankrupt almost immediately,” said Robert’s son, John. “Dad started his business in a garage in 1964.”

R. S. Kinnaird Memorials specialized in custom memorial work, stone cutting, and also performing custom work for other memorial dealers.

John Kinnaird 1 (1)During his early years in business, Robert Kinnaird spent a lot of time commuting to Washington, D.C., to do custom work for large contractors. His work can be seen in the National Cathedral, the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and the Roosevelt Memorial, to name a few.

R. S. Kinnaird Memorials then branched into doing letter cutting on memorials. One of the first contracts they started work on was the lettering on memorials in Arlington National Cemetery.

“When we started on it, there was a four to five year backlog,” John said. “Within four months, we got it down to a seven-day turnaround for lettering.”

John started working part-time with his father in 1965, and doing letter cutting in Arlington was the first job he worked on.

In 1974, R. S. Kinnaird Memorials relocated into the old Hammaker Brothers buildings at 6 Boundary Avenue in Thurmont, continuing the site’s service as a memorial business and making it the oldest continually operated memorial business in Maryland, according to the R. S. Kinnaird Memorials website. Hammaker Brothers had started operating on the site in 1874.

“I love this business,” expressed John. “Everything I do I can go back and look at it and other people can go back and look at it, too. My work is visible.”

Robert Kinnaird retired from the business in 1983 and died two years later. John continues running the business that bears his father’s name.

Over the years, the business has become more automated, which makes certain jobs easier; yet it still requires an attention to detail and a master’s touch. Stone cutting is in John’s blood. He is a fourth generation stone cutter.

He has also passed on that love of creation to his children. They all worked in the family business at some point while growing up. John’s daughter, Heather Dewees, continues working there full time.

R. S. Kinnaird Memorials is a full-service memorial business. Design, lettering, sandblasting, and carving can all be done on-site. The business also offers installation. They work on large memorials and small markers.

“Those little jobs are just as important as the big ones,” said John. “They mean something to the family buying them, so they mean something to us.”

You can learn more about the company and see pictures of their work at

by James Rada, Jr.

DSC_0280Two of Vigilant Hose Company’s most-active members are going to be getting busier outside of the fire company. Frank Davis and Tim Clarke have been promoted in their day jobs and are taking on more responsibility.

Fire Chief Frank Davis has taken a new position in Clark County, Virginia, as the director of rescue and medical services. It’s a brand-new position in the county, and he will begin work on September 7, 2014. He will commute back and forth between Emmitsburg and Clark County.

“It’s a small county, but it has a large farming community,” Davis said.

After working thirty-five years in the government, Davis retired to take this new position. He will also continue serving the citizens of Emmitsburg in the Vigilant Hose Company.

Vig-Tim-ClarkePresident Tim Clarke is staying with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office; but instead of being a captain, he was promoted to the rank of major in June. He is now in charge of operations at the sheriff’s office.

“It wasn’t a big change from what I was doing, and I’ve got a lot of good supervisors under me,” Clarke said.

Clarke has been with the sheriff’s office for twenty-six years and served as a captain for eight years. He applied for the job opening. When Col. Fred Anderson retired earlier this year, it caused a shifting of job positions in the sheriff’s office.

On Saturday, August 23, 2014, the “Crowning Jewels” of Thurmont were unveiled amidst a sea of umbrellas appropriate for the rainy day. Five additional murals were unveiled at the entrance to the Thurmont Guardian Hose Carnival Ground on the historic Trolley Substation building. Many members of the Thurmont Community and surrounding areas were present to witness this event along with county and state dignitaries. The event was sponsored by the Thurmont Lions Club to celebrate their 85th anniversary in the Thurmont Community.

Last year for the 2013 Make a Difference Day project, the Thurmont Lions Club decided to do a “Beautify Our Town” project. Several Lions members along with co-chairs Nancy Dutterer, Joann Miller, and Shirley Long commissioned local artist Yemi to do a mural “Thurmont Rail History” depicting the Train and Trolley history of the area.

Earlier this year Lions Nancy and Joann felt that the project was not complete and jumped in and started working on the plans for additional murals to the substation. Once again artist Yemi was asked to do the murals according to the vision expressed to him by the committee. Yemi said, “Shirley, Joanne and Nancy were like sisters. Admonishing, encouraging and giving power so he complete this project.”

With funding provided by grant monies from the Community Legacy Grant through the efforts of Main Street Manager, Vicki Grinder, and Shirley Long along with Jenifer H. Almond, Project Manager of Division of Neighborhood Revitalization, grant monies were awarded to the town of Thurmont for this project. Thurmont’s Main Street Manager, Vicki Grinder said, “We worked together throughout the entire weekend to re-work the grant to include the project. During discussion, Shirley brought up Yemi. I had no prior knowledge of Yemi and asked, ‘What’s a Yemi?’” As it turned out, Yemi is a very talented and colorful artist who brought the project to fruition after 500 hours of work a project he called, “a labor for love, Thurmont’s precious jewel.”

The Acacia Masonic Lodge #155 of Thurmont also made a challenge to the Thurmont Lions Club and the Thurmont Community, that they would match up to $5,000.00 excluding any grant monies that would be donated toward this project. The town of Thurmont along with area businesses responded in an overwhelming way and the funding for the project was well underway. This truly is a Community project reflecting the power of a partnership between two community service groups, private citizens, business and public government to create a legacy for the Town of Thurmont and visitors alike.

The five murals depicted represent attractions, both current and historical, of northern Frederick County, Main Street Thurmont, two area covered bridges, Cunningham Falls, Camp David, Mechanics Park, Memorial Park, Catoctin Furnace, orchards and agricultural areas, as well as historical buildings and houses both past and present.

Ten years ago, the Thurmont Lions Club began the Trolley Trail Project, celebrating their 75th Anniversary and the vision of then Lion President Shirley Long and her husband Gene, combined to ensure the success of the refurbishing of the Thurmont Trolley Trail which was dedicated in September 2007. This one mile trail from East Main Street to Moser Road has become a mainstay in the lives of many, many Thurmont residents. Whether walking, hiking, biking or running, the trail is an important part of the Thurmont Community. This mural project for 2014 is not only a complement to the Trolley Trail but also a celebration of the Thurmont Lions Club’s 85th year of service to the community. Truly all six of the murals on the Trolley substation building are Thurmont’s Crowning Jewels.

As part of the celebration, Commemorative items will be for sale at local businesses in Thurmont. Those businesses include Timeless Trends, Browns’ Jewelry Store, Gateway Farm Market, Catoctin Mountain Orchard, Mountain Gate Family Restaurant, Catoctin Mountain Trains & Hobbies and Springfield Manor Winery & Distillery. These items include a limited edition signed print of all six murals celebrating the 85th Anniversary of the Thurmont Lions Club. Prints of the individual murals and a “Thurmont Established 1751” etched ornament are also for sale.

Lion Joanne Miller gave special thanks to the Lions who participated in the project and the community for their donations to fund the murals. For more information about the Thurmont Lions Club, visit

District 5 and At-Large

by James Rada, Jr.

As the general election in November approaches, The Catoctin Banner asked candidates for some of the offices in Frederick County to talk to our readers. This is the second in the series, as the candidates for the first Frederick County Council District 5 Representative and At-Large Representative weigh in.  While all of the candidates were contacted to participate, Billy Shreve did not respond to repeated e-mails and so his responses are not included.

Frederick County Council District 5

Kirby Deluater (R)


Why are you running for county council?

I am running for County Council because after serving four years as County Commissioner, I feel that I still have some ideas that will benefit the County taxpayers. I have implemented many tax saving ideas that have allowed the reallocation of County resources and funds to areas needed most, such as Sheriff Deputies, Fire Rescue, and Schools.


What are your qualifications to serve on the council for District 5?

I think the qualifications are simply to just have the desire to do the job of Councilman and implement your ideas to better this County. I am a small business owner, which allows me to bring a lot of everyday common sense and financial knowledge into the government arena. I am currently Chairman of the Thurmont Board of Appeals as well.


What are the biggest issues facing the north end of the county as you see it?

I don’t see any standalone issues that face just the north end of Frederick County. Improper use of County resources and funding is an issue for all of Frederick County.  This current Board of Commissioners (The Young Board) has taken our bond rating from AAA negative (left from the Gardner Board) to AAA stable, and we’re hoping for a AAA rating here in 2014. Standard and Poor, Fitch and other rating agencies will not upgrade your bond status if they do not feel you have a grasp of the finances of the County. In other words, if they feel you are reckless with taxpayer dollars, they will downgrade your bond rating (as they did with the Gardner Board), which simply causes you to pay more interest on your borrowing that in turn does not allow you to borrow as much for capital projects, since more money goes toward interest.


Why should someone at the north end of the county want to see you as a county councilman?

I have a proven track record to look out for taxpayers. There have been many calls to my Commissioner office about issues facing constituents from all over the County. I can say that none of these calls went unanswered. I provided assistance to any and all that contacted me, whether it pertains to permits, zoning, schools, or anything related to County business. If they want true representation, they could only agree to keep me in as Councilman for District 5.


How will you go about representing the interests of the north end of the county as opposed to an at-large candidate?

I will approach it the same way as I do for my Commissioner seat. Anyone that contacts me with a County issue will get addressed just as it has for the past four years.


What kind of improvements would you urge for District 5?

That is one thing I did not like about Charter Government. I think it will pit one district against another vying for County dollars. I will not engage in that sort of politics. I feel we are one County, and we need to work together as one County and not get so wrapped up in the turf wars.


Given the contentious nature of politics, how would you build a productive working relationship with others in elected office throughout the county?

The same way I have with this current board. We discuss issues and, although we don’t always agree, we work together for what is best for Frederick County. Even David Gray, who was staunchly against us the majority of the time, commended me for the elimination of the trailer tax, which was solely a tax that I brought to the table to eliminate. I run a business with forty-five employees and, in order to do that, I have to be willing to negotiate on a daily basis. Employees do not like dictators, and dictators do not make it in business very long.

Mark Long (D)


Why are you running for county council?

My family has lived in this area for many generations, so I feel an obligation to help ensure that Frederick County remains a great place to live. The current Board of County Commissioners has made decisions based on what was expedient for today, without taking into account the long-term consequences. Good leaders should plan for the well being of future generations.


What are your qualifications to serve on the council for District 5?

I was born and raised in this district and I know it well. I’ve owned and operated my own home inspection business, as well as worked in my family’s construction business. I understand the importance of hard work, as well as creating and maintaining good relationships that are conducive to business.

I served on the Eastern District Executive Board of the Moravian Church for eight years and, during that time, provided oversight of programs and congregations in the northeast United States. I worked with people from various backgrounds and utilized skills to look at issues from a very broad and long-term perspective.


What are the biggest issues facing the north end of the county as you see it?

1.  We need more good-paying jobs in our area, and I will support initiatives that bring those jobs to the north end of the county. We need to invest in and support our local business community. I want to support and build on the success of our business incubator, the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc., and explore the possibilities of an agricultural incubator. This could help new farmers, or farmers looking to change their type of operation, adapt to and succeed in a changing agricultural environment.

2.  The BoCC has allowed excessive growth at the wrong places and without sufficient developer funds for roads, schools, and other critical services. While most of this development has occurred in south county, this out-of-balance approach affects services and taxes throughout the county.

3.  The heroin epidemic is a concern for all of us as a community. Yet the current county commissioners are minimally funding our valued schools and our children’s education.

4.  With the selling of Montevue and Citizens, many senior citizens feel that their voices and concerns have gone unheard. I have heard that expanded public transit would be helpful for seniors to get to activities and appointments. I plan to explore that.  This could also help workers get to jobs in other parts of the county as well.


Why should someone at the north end of the county want to see you as a county councilman?

I think this is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. I will carefully listen to the concerns of the people of this area and respectfully consider all opinions when making decisions on the issues we face.


How will you go about representing the interests of the north end of the county as opposed to an at-large candidate?

The north end of the county needs a representative on the council who will look out for the interests of our children and seniors, as well as protect our farmland from over development and help preserve our rural and small town way of life that we’ve come to expect.


What kind of improvements would you urge for District 5?

I want to bring together a variety of concerned people to discuss the heroin problem, attempt to discern the root causes of this problem, and develop comprehensive strategies for alleviating this problem.

I would work with municipality and business leaders to discuss ways that we might bring more good paying jobs to our area, so residents won’t have to commute out of the area to find work.

I will also work to ensure that our planning and zoning policies keep the majority of our growth within or near existing towns, so we can protect our farms and rural heritage.


Given the contentious nature of politics, how would you build a productive working relationship with others in elected office throughout the county?

I will be respectful and courteous to all of my colleagues, as well as to all taxpayers and constituents. Making good decisions for our community should not be about political party or partisan politics, but should be about building consensus and finding reasonable solutions to problems we face.

Frederick County At-Large Council Member

Susan Reeder Jessee (D)


Why are you running for county council?

I am running for County Council At-Large because, as a lifelong resident of Frederick County, I am very concerned about certain decisions made recently that could have a long-term negative impact on many of the county issues for years to come. I am also a small business owner and know the issues that small business owners face. I have spent my career listening and working together with internal and external clients for the best possible outcome and will bring this ability with me as a member of the county council.


What are your qualifications to serve on the council?

My knowledge of Frederick County, my educational background, direct experience, and involvement in the community provides me with the solid foundation necessary for county council. These include the following: Graduate of the FCPS and Hood College; experience in business and economic development; experience in strategic planning, budgeting, and finance; experience in developing legislation in a government agency; experience in creating jobs; experience in caring for my elderly parents.


How will you be able to represent the interests of the north end of the county?

I have had the pleasure of living in four of the five districts throughout the county and understand that each district has its own unique strengths and challenges. I would take this understanding with me as a council member when making decisions that could affect each district. I have knowledge of the northern region of the county by growing up here and still have many relatives that live in this area that I am close to, which provides me a great understating of the needs of this region.


Why should someone at the north end of the county want to see you as a county councilman?

The north end of the county is a very important region, based on its rich historical perspective in building America to the pure beauty of its rich environmental landscape. It’s really important to understand the features that the north end of the county has for a basic foundation of success when decisions are made that affect that region.  I have always worked together as a team and would do this in a council position.


What kind of improvements would you urge for District 5?

District 5 is dealing with specific issues and some are unique to this district and others are universal throughout the county.

Land Preservation. District 5 has an abundance of history and natural resources unlike anywhere else in the county. It’s important to preserve the historical significance of this region while protecting and preserving its environment.

Aging Population. The senior population is the largest growing population in Frederick County. This makes it challenging and yet important to provide meals on wheels, subsidized senior housing, and transportation options for seniors in this area. Providing and not cutting funding and developing tax incentives for seniors, that rent is another option to affordable housing.

Transportation. District 5 has the largest land mass in the county, which makes transportation for some a major issue with those that live in the northern end of the county. It is important to properly budget for this and increase transit to this area and partner with the state for funding to address this issue.

Drug Concerns. The rising drug problem in Frederick County and in District 5 needs to be addressed immediately. Education and early intervention is critical, and the county needs to provide the resources necessary to make sure another child or adult does not die. Partnerships between the community, schools, and law enforcement are key.


Given the contentious nature of politics, how would you build a productive working relationship with others in elected office throughout the county?

Respecting one another and the idea of our differences is something that is desperately lacking in this county right now, along with the dialogue with other elected officials and with the citizens of Frederick County. I would work together with others in a team environment towards a positive outcome for the good of the region and county overall. I have done this throughout my career and it truly is that simple.  Great ideas can be generated from thought-provoking discussions.


Linda Marie Norris (D)


Why are you running for county council?

I want to be known as the thoughtful, moderate and energetic at-large member of the new Frederick County Council.

I believe thriving business—especially green businesses, but mainstream businesses that make good community awareness a staple of their success—are the key to  environmental sustainability. I respect education as every individual’s (and the community’s) path to a better future, whether it’s having excellent libraries,  community colleges, or schools. I believe that EVERYONE’S VOICE must be at the table, from all sides of the growth debate; to residents of all races and cultures; to women, seniors and those struggling to make ends meet.

What are your qualifications?

I was trained at the University of Maryland (B.S. 1984) to be a journalist, seeking out both sides of an issue. I may belong to a political party, but I have never looked at issues through ideology, but rather on a case by case basis. I have experience in both the private sector, working for a global construction products company, owning my own small business, and working for family-owned companies, as well as in the government and non-profit sectors. I have a vast knowledge of sustainability issues, especially the intersection of sustainability and business, having headed up LEED for Canam Steel and recycling for Frederick County Government, where our decisions had to be based more on what were good economics than simply heart-driven wishes for the environment. The truly sustainable decisions, when it comes to the environment, are those that make good business sense.

In the past fifteen years, I have become intimately familiar with the regulatory AND on the ground business environment through leadership in the Frederick County Manufacturers Roundtable during my time at Canam Steel; and participation in Business Networking International, Women’s Business Network, Frederick County Chamber of Commerce (including the Public Policy Committee) and Middletown Chamber of Commerce (board member).


How will you go about representing the interests of the north end of the county as opposed to an at-large candidate?

As an at-large candidate, I see my responsibility as twofold: (1) to be aware of specific issues in the areas represented by district candidates; and (2) to have a clear vision of how these issues impact other areas of Frederick County.

I plan to consult regularly with the elected representative of District 5.

I plan to conduct monthly Random Act of Doorknocking sessions in a district one weekend per month. Instead of holding town hall/listening sessions, which require citizens to come to officials, I would prefer to go to the citizens in a randomly selected community in the district to hear what their issues are, much as I am during the campaign. I would probably spend a weekend doing this, being in each district twice per year.


Why should someone at the north end of the county want to see you as a county councilman?

I lived in the North County for twenty-five years and understand the towns, schools, people, and culture of the area.


What kind of improvements would you urge for District 5?

Education: District 5 covers a vast but underpopulated area of Frederick County, and I would like to work closely with the Board of Education on issues in that area regarding school bus transportation, emphasizing resources to the older schools in that area. (My children were in the Catoctin District for many years, and I understand the early mornings and aging classrooms!)

Agriculture/Local Food/Tourism: District 5 provides incredible opportunities in both of these areas, and I would keep an open dialogue with the Farm Bureau, Preservation Board, Frederick County Young Farmers, and Extension Service to ensure that our farming heritage is not lost but instead carried forward in a way that the current “local food” market (especially in the wealthy Balto-Wash market) demands. Restoring our Economic Development position full-time with a trained economic development/Ag specialist is important as well. We should continue listening to the  farm community about economic ventures (wineries, stands, on farm composting, etc.) that need adjustments in the zoning ordinance and are done so timely so our farmers will succeed.

Older Adults: It is time to end the contentious relationship between Frederick County and the north County seniors, especially in Thurmont. Many seniors want to retire in their homes/communities, and we need to work to ensure that just because the district is distant from Frederick, it is not shortchanged in services, such as food support (Senior Center, Meals on Wheels) and assisted living facilities (my mom is currently in rehab in St. Catherine’s; we need more facilities such as that and Montevue, and financial assistance for in-home care for the rapidly aging population!)


Given the contentious nature of politics, how would you build a productive working relationship with others in elected office throughout the county?

I have already begun to attend Town/City board meetings in our municipalities to reach out a hand of cooperation by understanding their local issues, and I intend to continue open dialogue, especially about infrastructure needs that affect their region and taxation issues (if the town/city can/wants to provide a service that the County provides, they should see a corresponding adjustment in their citizens’ tax rate).


Bud Otis (R)


Why are you running for County Council?

When I heard of the new form of government coming to Frederick County and, with it, Executive and Legislative branches of government, it peaked my interest. I spent twelve years as a Chief of Staff for our Congressman on Capitol Hill developing legislation, so I thought maybe I should offer to serve on the Council by serving in the new legislative branch of government. It is my desire to offer my experience in crafting legislation to benefit all the citizens of our great County.


What are your qualifications to serve on the Council?

I am a good listener and like to hear people out before I respond. Having grown up on a farm as a boy, I learned the value of hard work. I do my homework and then tackle problems. I love to solve problems and have been asked to go into businesses and help management figure out why they are losing money. If you know how to ask the right questions it usually doesn’t take long to find the answers. I believe this training will come in handy while looking at the operation of our County and also of its budget. I believe most of all it is because I love people and enjoy helping people where I can.


How will you be able to represent the interest of the north end of the county?

I would like to see the north end of the county keep its pastoral setting of small town America, with its beautiful orchards and farms and University setting. Twenty years from now, I don’t want to wake up and find it looking like Montgomery County. Being a farm boy at heart, you have a natural ally in me, as I really understand and valve what the farms and orchards bring to the economic strength of our county. Why are the citizens fleeing Montgomery County to come here? Because of what we now have and must hold near and dear.


Why should someone at the north end of the county want to see you as a councilman?

I view Frederick County as one Council district, as I am running to serve the whole County as a Councilman At-Large. I have already spent a lot of time in the northern part of the county while working in our Congressional office. I understand your issues and what some of the business problems are, and I have never thought of the northern part other than a great place to live, work, and play. You will never have to ask me twice to attend meetings in your area of the county, as you are so lucky to live in that part of our county.


What kind of improvements would you urge for District five? 

First, I would consult with the District five member of the Council to see what their thoughts were before I would presume to urge suggestions on the District. Let me give you a suggestion that I feel: your current County Commissioner, Kirby Delauter, might like my help if we were both on the council now. Maryland’s taxes are driving businesses out of our state; we must stop this trend now or there will be even fewer people paying even higher and higher taxes. As you know, the businesses along the northern border of the County have to compete with Pennsylvania for business. We must keep our taxes down for this and many other reasons. I have been a businessman myself, and I know how to compete, and I will promise you I will make sure our county becomes completive as we move forward in the future.


Given the contentious nature of politics how would you build a productive working relationship with others in elected office throughout the county?

We need to begin by respecting the other side’s arguments. No two people are going to agree on everything, but we don’t need to be disagreeable in the process. I repeat, “I like people” and, even though you  and I  may not agree, we can still be friends, if we don’t challenge the other’s integrity. I know it works, as I was successful in dealing with the other side of the aisle while working in Congress.

The Legend of Catoctin Furnace, Part 3

by James Rada, Jr.

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

Catoctin Furnace Ironworks 009 DBAs America divided and fought its Civil War beginning in 1861, the next legend, and probably the least-defensible one concerning Catoctin Furnace, arose. It was said that the plates for the ironclad U.S.S. Monitor, which fought its way into history against the Merrimac in 1862, were cast at Catoctin Furnace.

“The claim that Catoctin made iron for the Monitor is based on nothing more solid than a reference to ‘Frederick Citizen’ in a popular history of Frederick County, a reference that is worthless. Until reliable evidence is found, this claim will also have to be abandoned,” according to the 1936 federal government report.

That book is the History of Frederick County by Thomas J.C. Williams and Folger McKinsey. It was published in 1910 and does not source the footnote. Other than this, no records exist to refute or verify the claim.

“What we do know is the H. Abbott and Sons of Baltimore supplied the rolled plates for the Monitor’s gun turret. What we do not know—and are constantly on the lookout for—is with whom they, or in fact any of the firms associated with the Monitor, subcontracted.  To date we have found nothing conclusive.

“According to information we have here on Catoctin Furnace, it appears that Catoctin primarily produced pig iron, so it is unlikely that they supplied iron for the turret plates. This is mentioned in William Still’s 1987 work, Monitor Builders.

“It may be that Catoctin Furnace participated in the building of a monitor-class vessel—just not the Monitor. Again, there is no proof either way,” wrote Anna Holloway, Chief Curator of The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia.

However, Holloway goes on to say that it can’t be totally discounted. “What we are finding is that the names, invoices and such from a variety of firms are beginning to reveal themselves through newly discovered archival material relating to the Monitor,” she wrote in an e-mail to the author.

During the war, the furnace was owned by Jacob Kunkel. Peregrine Fitzhugh had bought the furnace from John O’Brien in 1843. He built the charcoal furnace that was named Isabella. This is the furnace that still remains on the site of Catoctin Furnace. Isabella required a steam engine and engine house, a hot air oven to provide the blast, plus other support facilities. Though it was considered sophisticated, newer methods of smelting had been developed that used coal instead of charcoal to fire the furnace. However, the Catoctin region had trees not coal, so Catoctin Furnace operated the less-efficient Isabella.

Fitzhugh also built a mule-powered rail system to bring ore from the pits to be washed and then dumped in Catoctin Furnace.

Fitzhugh’s improvements only served to drive him deeper into debt, and, in 1856, he had sold a half interest in the operation to Kunkel for $35,000.

Jacob Kunkel and his brother John ran the furnace until 1866, when Jacob sold his interest to John. John ran it until 1885.

He built “Deborah,” a 50-foot high anthracite coal and coke furnace, about 140 feet south of Isabella. It was a steam and water powered furnace with a daily capacity of 35 tons of pig iron. With Deborah and Isabella both producing coal, Catoctin Furnace’s annual output doubled to 1,200 tons a year.

During the Kunkel years, Catoctin Furnace also became a community of grist mills, 80 houses for workers, and a company store. The furnace employed 100 workers, plus 300 woodchoppers and colliers. It included 11,000 acres. It was a prosperous time for business. The ore banks were extended to accommodate the additional production.

When John Kunkel died in 1885, his children organized the Catoctin Iron Company. This only lasted until 1887, when the operation closed and went into receivership. The receivers operated the furnace for a year when Catoctin Mountain Iron Company was formed. The operation output was 30 tons of pig iron a day and lasted until 1892, at which time the falling price of iron made it unprofitable.

The Blue Mountain Iron and Steel Company bought the operation in 1899 and began making pig iron the next year. The output was 40 tons a day and lasted until 1903.

Joseph Thropp bought the operation in 1906 for $51,135. He dismantled the iron works but continued the mining operations. The ore was shipped to his furnaces in Pennsylvania to be smelted.

Lancelot Jacques and a Mr. Hauver bought the property in 1923. They sold the property off in tracts.

President Herbert Hoover’s secretary Lawrence Richey bought one in 1929, and the president occasionally camped on the grounds until the land became a federal park during the Great Depression in 1937. The National Park Service turned over 4,500 acres to the Maryland Park System in 1954.

Not much remains today of Catoctin Furnace, but what there is can be seen near Cunningham Falls State Park, south of Thurmont.

Of the three furnaces, only Isabella remains. You can walk inside the casting shed and look at where the fires once burned.

The remnants of the ironmaster’s mansion sit nearby, though it no longer overlooks the furnace. Some of the stone walls and fireplaces remain to give visitors an idea of how large the mansion used to be.

You can also walk on a self-guided trail that will take you between slag heaps that are now covered over with dirt and grass.

 by James Rada, Jr.

shirkhanWhite tigers are impressive to look at. They stand out among other animals because of their coloring, and that coloring is what makes them rare in the wild. A white predator in a jungle is easier to see coming than one that blends into its surroundings.

“About 1 in 10,000 tigers is born white. Although many people believe that the white tiger is a separate species, it is not. The gene that causes the abnormal coloring is actually a genetic defect that more often than not causes many problems. Often cubs that are white (no guarantees, even with two white parents) don’t survive,” said Maureen “Mo” Figueira, with the East Coast Exotic Animal Rescue.

The East Coast Exotic Animal Rescue is a non-profit exotic animal sanctuary, located in Fairfield, Pennsylvania. The rescue recently acquired two white tigers. Shere Khan is the male, named for a character in The Jungle Book. Keisha is the female.

“They love to hang out in their pool,” Figueira said. “These cats really love the water.  One of Shere Khan’s favorite games is to splash as much water as possible onto his caretakers and, believe me, he can splash a LOT of water! Keisha has been known to chew on and destroy the hose if it gets within reach!”

The tiger pair are about nine years old and have been together since they were just a few days old.

“Shere Khan seems to really enjoy play-stalking and interacting with his caregivers. Keisha has a very sweet and even-tempered personality. Having said that, they are tigers first and foremost,” said Figueira. Despite their friendly natures, caution is always taken with them, because they are large predators.

The tigers came to the rescue from an aging owner. “The owner is getting older and facing health issues that make it difficult for him to care for them,” Figueira said.

White tigers are a sub-species of Bengal tigers. They are not albinos or a separate species of tiger, as is often thought. White tigers occur when two Bengal tigers, with a recessive gene that controls color, breed. If both parents pass that recessive gene to the cub, it will be white.

The difficulty in producing a white tiger, and their popularity, has led to them being deliberately bred.

“The popularity of the white tiger has created an entire tiger breeding industry. This creates a large number of unwanted standard orange tigers, in addition to many deformed, sickly, or weak white cubs,” stated Figueira.

Keisha and Shere Khan have a large chain link enclosure at the rescue, with a grassy area and pool to play in.

“Keeping a tiger in an enclosure requires a very well-built, very strong one that includes chain link across the entire top as well,” Figueira said.

The rescue would like to build the tigers a climbing area. It is in their future plans and will have to be designed to be tiger proof.

For more information about the East Coast Exotic Animal Rescue, visit their website at www.

by Jim Houck, Jr.

Roger Gene Melton

E-4 Operations Specialist 3rd Class, United States Navy

Roger Gene Melton was born in Akron, Ohio, in 1954. He is the youngest of three born to Libby and Jack Melton. Jack, Roger’s dad, was from Tennessee, and his mother, Libby, was from the South Western corner of Virginia. They were part of the great southern migration to the north, looking to find work in the 1940s. Jack was a carpenter and Libby was a homemaker. Roger has an older brother, Don, who became a Baptist Minister, and an older sister, Nancy, who became a school teacher. Roger grew up in Akron, and at that time, Akron was a very prosperous town due to all the rubber shops that were there; almost all of the automobiles built in America at that time had tires on them that were manufactured in Akron, Ohio. There were a tremendous amount of jobs in the Akron area at the time Roger was growing up. Roger’s mother passed away when he was just eleven years old, which he said was the most traumatic thing in life for an eleven-year-old child to face.

Roger started kindergarten in Akron in 1959 at the Rimer School and remained there through the sixth grade. He then went to Ennes Junior High School and then to Kenmore High School, where he graduated in 1972. He was on the high school swim team. While in school, Roger did odd jobs, like mowing yards. When he turned fifteen, he got his first tax-paying job as a stock boy in a grocery store, and then at a drug store as a soda jerk, followed by working at gas stations pumping gas. Roger bought his first car in 1971: a 1965 Dodge Dart with 225 cubic inches of fire-breathing power with a three-speed transmission—it remains his best and most favorite vehicle he has ever owned. He also bought a green 1966 Honda 305 motorcycle around the same time, but he had to keep it hidden because he was forbidden by his father to own or ride a motorcycle. He sold it before he left for the Navy.

While in high school, Roger joined the Navy in February of 1972 on a delayed entry program. He reported for duty on August 14, 1972, in Cleveland, Ohio, and spent all day processing; he then left and went on his first-ever plane ride to report to boot camp. He arrived at O’Hara Airport in Chicago, Illinois, and reported to Great Lakes Naval Base for his training. He started out in RD (radar) School. He got four weeks into the curriculum—a sixteen-week school—and was designated OS (operations specialist), so when he graduated, it was from the OSA (A being the first school you take in the Navy) School.

After Boot Camp, the recruiters had him help with some recruiting, so he got to go home for two weeks and didn’t have to charge for leave. Then he reported to the USS John F. Kennedy CDA67; it was the newest carrier in the fleet at Norfolk, Virginia. Roger boarded the carrier in late March or early April of 1973. When the air wing was on board, she carried about five thousand service men and women and a thousand ton displacement. Roger was then out to sea and on a beautiful Saturday before Easter Sunday 1973, his shipmates came down to him—now, you have to remember that Roger was new to the ship—with a set of orders signed by the navigation officer that he was to report the next morning and stand the mail buoy watch. He was bound and determined to follow orders. There was a little area he had to report to and there was a report that the weather was going to get bad, so his mates helped him into his foul weather gear and he began to follow his orders to stand on the bow of the ship, watching for that mail buoy. Every five or ten minutes, he was to turn around and wave to the bridge, so they knew that everything was alright. It turned into a beautiful day, and Roger went out onto the deck in his foul weather gear to look for the mail buoy. He was told a plane would fly by and drop a mail bag attached to a buoy, because they were so far out and the only way they could receive mail was from the mail buoy, and it was his job to spot that buoy. Roger was there with his binoculars, watching, and the wind was blowing hard. And every so often, he would turn and wave to the bridge. He was told later that the captain came to the bridge and said, “What is that man doing down there?” They told him that Roger was standing mail buoy watch, and they said he laughed so hard he couldn’t even talk. They sent a mate (Charlie Summers) out after about forty-five minutes to tell Roger he missed the mail buoy. Roger asked where it went and was told it went down the starboard side. So, Roger runs down the starboard side, trying to find the mail buoy to no avail. His mates finally left him in on the joke; he said he laughed and thought it was a good joke.

The ship then took him into the Mediterranean Sea to Gibraltar. Roger said there is no Prudential Insurance sign on the Rock of Gibraltar. His mates tried to get him on that one, too, but Roger had wised up. Roger visited nine or ten different ports, staying a week at most of them. The ship was so big that they usually had to anchor out in the harbor and ride liberty boats (held approximately seventy) in to shore. Roger said Barcelona, Spain, was a beautiful city, as well as Athens, Greece. He really enjoyed his visit to the Acropolis, which was still opened at the time. He said, “Here I was, an eighteen-year-old kid from Akron, Ohio, standing inside the Acropolis—how awesome is that?” Roger stayed in the Navy for four years, three-and-a-half of those years he was on the ship, and I can tell he had some great times. Roger left the Navy in July 1976.

Roger’s first daughter, Melissa, was born in August 1975, while he was in the Navy. When she was a week or two old, she had spinal meningitis. The doctors didn’t think she was going to live, so they flew Roger home from Naples. Roger said that he arrived at the hospital in his dress blues; they took him to this room and there was this little baby with an IV needle in her head. He said that when she first opened her eyes and saw him, he swears she winked at him, as if saying “don’t worry, dad, everything is going to be alright.” In 1978, Roger had another daughter who they named her after his mother, Libby. Roger said they are wonderful girls, and he loves them very much; they have never done anything but make him proud and he is very fortunate to have them.

Roger’s first job after returning home was at Diamond Salt, where he packed 100 lb. bags of salt. He then started driving trucks and, at that time, the rubber shops had started moving out of Akron, so finding a job was getting harder and harder. A guy Roger was in the Navy with knew he was out of work, and he asked Roger what he remembered about his job in the Navy. Roger told him he remembered quite a bit; he went to work with his buddy at a company in Rockville, Maryland. There, he met Ed Supercynski (another Navy man I hope to write about in the near future). Roger worked there for three or four years. Being in a cubical, with the same routine and seeing the same faces every day, Roger had decided wasn’t going to be the life for him. Roger then went to work for a foundry in Pennsylvania; he moved to the immediate area, where he now resides, in July of 1984. One of the first persons Roger met was Gary Stouter, owner of Mountain Liquors, and he jokingly says he has never been the same since. He said that he and Gary shook hands, and they have been good friends ever since. Roger worked for Gary at Mountain Liquors part-time for seventeen years. In 1994, Roger went to work at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland—twenty years as of August 2014. Roger joined Francis X. Elder Post 121 in 1986; he is a past Post Commander and is currently President of the Board of Directors. He met Ernie Gelwicks at the Post, and they became friends. Ernie helped Roger gain employment at Fort Detrick. Roger said “I may not be rich, money-wise, but family-wise and friend-wise, I am fortunate enough to be one of the richest men alive.” Roger also belongs to Post 7 AMVETS in Thurmont and has friends there as well; he also has been seen singing karaoke there on some Saturday nights. Roger likes to read in his leisure time, and he belongs to a band by the name of Midnight Riders; they play Rock and Roll and Roger sings. He also sings country and western classics and does a great job.

Roger has four beautiful grandchildren: granddaughter, Mallie, named for Roger’s mother’s actual first name; grandson, Gage; granddaughter, Marin; and granddaughter, Jaden. He said they are all sweethearts and they light him up. They all will soon be living closer and that means more time to spend together.

Roger said, “I have traveled over a lot of the world and over this great country of ours and, after all that, I chose this area to be my home. I think kids today need to cut the apron strings; they need to get in the military or they need to get into something that takes them out of their comfort zone, so they learn how to be self reliant. The military was the way I did it and I don’t regret it. I hated it when I was in there, but I don’t regret it. In the military, you make friends that are life-long friends. I made contact with some of my shipmates a couple of years ago; about six, seven, or eight of us got together. I hadn’t seen them in over thirty years, and we just picked up where we left off. You always look after your shipmates. That is one of the most important things they taught me in the Navy, and you expect the same from them. We did look out for each other. We tried to get each other out of the bars before the shore patrol came.”

Roger said he would like everyone to know what pretty much sums up what being in the Navy was like for him with this: Reflections of a Blackshoe by VADM Harold Koenig, USN (retired).


I like the Navy. I like standing on the bridge wing at sunrise with salt spray in my face and clean ocean winds whipping in from the four quarters of the globe-the ship beneath me feeling like a living thing as her engines drive her through the sea.

I like the sounds of the Navy. The piercing trill of the boatswains pipe, the syncopated clangor of the ships bell on the quarterdeck, the harsh squawk of the 1MC and the strong language and laughter of sailors at work.

I like Navy vessels- nervous darting destroyers, plodding fleet Auxiliaries, sleek submarines and steady solid carriers.

I like the proud names of Navy ships: Midway, Lexington, Saratoga, Coral Sea,- memorials of great battles won. I like the lean angular names of Navy “tin-cans’”: Barney, Dahlgren, Mulliix, McCloy – mementos of heroes who went before us.

I like the tempo of a Navy band blaring through the topside speakers as we pull away from the oiler after refueling at sea. I like liberty call and the spicy scent of a foreign port. I even like all hands working parties as my ship fills herself with the multitude of supplies both mundane and exotic which she needs to cut her ties to the land and carry out her mission any where on the globe where there is water to float her.

I like sailors, men from all parts of the land, farms of the midwest, the small towns of New England, from the cities, the mountains and prairies, from all walks of life. I trust and depend them as they trust and depend on me-for professional competence, comradeship, for courage. In a word they are “shipmates”.

I like the surge of adventure in my heart when the word is passed “Now station the special sea and anchor detail – all hands to quarters for leaving port”, and I like the infectious thrill of sighting home again, with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends waiting pier side.

The work is hard and dangerous, the going rough at times, the parting from loved ones painful, but the companionship of robust Navy laughter, the ‘all for one one for all” philosophy of the sea is ever present.

I like the serenity of the sea after a day of hard ships work, as flying fish flit across the wave tops and sunset gives way to night.

I like the feel of the Navy in darkness- the masthead lights, the red and green navigation lights and stern light, the pulsating phosphorescence of radar repeaters – they cut through the dusk and join with the mirror of stars overhead. And I like drifting off to sleep lulled by the myriad noises large and small that tell me that my ship is alive and well, and that my shipmates on watch will keep me safe.

I like quiet midwatches with the aroma of strong coffee – the lifeblood of the Navy permeating everywhere. And I like hectic watches when the exacting minuet of haze-gray shapes racing at flank speed keeps all hands on a razor edge of alertness. I like the sudden electricity of “general quarters, all hands man your battle stations”, followed by the hurried clamor of running feet on ladders and the resounding thump of watertight doors as the ship transforms herself in a few brief seconds from a peaceful work place to a weapon of war – ready for anything.

And I like the sight of space-age equipment manned by youngsters clad in dungarees and sound powered phones that their grandfathers would still recognize.

I like the traditions of the Navy and the men and women who made them.

I like the proud names of Navy heroes: Halsey, Nimitz, Perry, Farragut, John Paul Jones. A sailor can find much in the Navy, comrades-in-arms, pride in self and country, mastery of the seaman’s trade.

An adolescent can find adulthood.

In years to come, when sailors are home from the sea, they will still remember with fondness and respect the ocean in all its moods – the impossible shimmering mirror calm and the storm-tossed green water surging over the bow. And then there will come again a faint whiff of stack gas, a faint echo of engine and rudderorders, a vision of the bright bunting of signal flags snapping at the yardarm, a refrain of hearty laughter in the wardroom and the chief’s quarters and mess decks.

Gone ashore for good they will grow wistful about their Navy days, when the seas belonged to them and a new port of call was ever over the horizon. Remembering this, they will stand taller and say,

“I was a sailor once. I was part of the Navy: The Navy will always be part of me.”


It is very hard to get Roger’s entire story in one column; therefore, there will most likely be a follow-up story at some time in the future. Roger Melton is a member of Francis X. Elder American Legion Post 121’s family, and you will be surprised when you meet him. He doesn’t look anything like the picture of him when he was a mere eighteen years old; but stop in and you can probably pick him out—he will be the crooner at the bar with a hardy laugh. Walk up to him and shake his hand, because he is a veteran and appreciates a thank you for the service he has rendered our country.

Thank you, Roger Melton!

by Chris O’Connor

Home Away From Home at The Martin House Bed and Breakfast

Tucked away at 1085 Jacks Mountain Road, Fairfield, Pennsylvania, is The Martin House Bed and Breakfast, a serene place to vacation in country comfort.

The owners, Lynn and Duke Martin, are known for their service to the area through volunteer work and community activities. They genuinely enjoy people. This is one attribute that they believe is inherent to the success of a bed and breakfast. Thanks to the global reach of the internet, Lynn and Duke have hosted not only Americans, but many international guests at their charming bed and breakfast.

The main house was home to Duke’s grandparents since 1929. His grandfather ran a fruit farm on the property. Duke spent much of his childhood helping his grandfather work at the farm. Lynn and Duke chose to make their home in a loft apartment behind the main house before they began renovations—with the help of Duke’s son Lee— on the main house, with the goal of opening a bed and breakfast. They left a section of the original log structure as a feature surrounded by the manual tools a carpenter may have used to construct the home in the 1890s.

Lynn and Duke decided to take another step that sets The Martin House apart from most in the hospitality industry. In consideration of the comfort of guests who have chemical and/or environmental sensitivities, no chemically scented concoctions or cleaning products are used in the house, so guests won’t see or sense plug-in air fresheners, scented candles, dryer sheets, or harsh cleaning products.

Lynn and Duke Martin’s goal of assuring that all of their guest’s needs are met during their stay surpasses what one might reasonably expect of the average hosts.

Imagine a bed and breakfast where your hosts might ferry you hither and yon. It’s not an expected perk when staying at a B&B nor is it necessarily offered, but the Martins have accommodated some guests who were stymied by directions to their destination, by offering to hop in their own vehicle and lead the way. The Martins once provided drop-off/pick-up service to guests so they could attend The Remembrance Day Ball in Gettysburg in Civil War era dress.

The gift shop in the Martin House sunroom showcases an array of works by many local artists and authors. Lynn and Duke are like proud parents who enthusiastically portray the accomplishments of beloved offspring when speaking of the artists who’ve provided unique prints, pottery, books, and music to The Martin House.

The artwork is casually displayed around the comfortable sun room, overlooking the patio and side yard. Civil War art is reflected in much of the art and reflected in the Martin’s position as Certified Tourism Ambassadors for The Journey through Hallowed Ground. Many art pieces are interspersed throughout the house to augment the home’s décor.

Lynn told of one breakfast service when a guest admired a juice pitcher of which Lynn was particularly fond. The guest inquired if it was available for purchase. After breakfast, the pitcher was washed, dried, and packed up for the grateful guest.

The over-twenty-five acres of The Martin House grounds is a nature lover’s delight. Lynn and Duke have encircled the house with gorgeous flower beds, rampant with a variety of color, texture, and motion as the breeze dances through the taller perennials and ornamental grasses that are visited by goldfinches, ruby-throated hummingbirds, and a range of songbirds. The flower beds off of the sunroom are terraced, so guests seated in the sun room or patio are eye level with two levels of lovely flower blossoms.

The backdrop to the side patio off the sunroom is verdant lawn, flower islands, and specimen trees. Beyond that is an unobtrusive entrance to the woodland walking path, another world that offers a tall, cool canopy by virtue of an immense stand of mature tulip poplar trees. Younger poplars are off to the right, having taken root in what was once Duke’s grandfather’s peach orchard. Hikers who choose to trek to a higher elevation in the twenty acre forest will find other tree species native to Pennsylvania, such as oak, ash, beech, and maple.

Anyone interested in visiting the gift shop are urged to call 717-642-5645 in advance. For more detailed information about The Martin House Bed and Breakfast, go to their website at

Photos by Chris O’Connor

martins bb

(left) Owners, Lynn and Duke Martin, are shown outside of The Martin House Bed and Breakfast.




(below) Owners, Lynn and Duke Martin, are shown in the gift shop located in The Martin House sunroom, which showcases a variety of works by many local artists and authors.

martin bb shoppe


James Burger,CBOC Coordinator, will be on hand at the Thurmont Senior Center’s Veteran’s event in November to answer questions about benefits and services for local Veterans.

VA center at ft detrickNestled in the heart of the Fort Detrick Army Garrison in Frederick, Maryland, the Fort Detrick VA Community Based Outpatient Health Clinic (CBOC) offers a variety of health care services to local Veterans. Opening in June 2011, the Fort Detrick CBOC has grown to serve over 2,900 Veteran patients and has expanded health care services in their primary care and specialty care clinics.

Based on the Veterans Health Administration’s Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) model, the clinic focuses on whole-person care, individual needs, and health care goals. Each Veteran is assigned a primary care provider, a nurse to serve as a case manager, a nurse to serve as a clinical associate, and an administrative clerk.

In addition to primary care, the CBOC offers treatment in orthopedics, podiatry, physical therapy, clinical nutrition, mental health, anticoagulation management, dermatology, social work, and women Veteran services. A full-time pharmacist is available to answer questions about prescriptions, and a complete medical laboratory is available to conduct medical tests.

The Fort Detrick CBOC also offers telehealth services in podiatry, psychiatry, and retinal imaging. Telehealth services are designed for Veterans who are not physically able to make it to another medical center or CBOC, but need to meet with a provider there to discuss a health care need. Telehealth services allow patients to come to the Fort Detrick CBOC and meet with an outside provider through video-conferencing equipment. Telehealth services facilitate real-time interaction between a patient and a provider.

Last month, the clinic added an audiology test booth, along with a full-time Audiologist, to assist Veterans with hearing evaluations, fitting of hearing aids, audiometric testing and auditory brainstem response testing, and maintenance and repairs of previously issued hearing aids. In a shared agreement with the Barquist Army Health Clinic on Fort Detrick, the clinic also provides radiology services to both active-duty military and Veterans who need it as part of their treatment.

The Fort Detrick clinic staff is comprised of a dedicated team, many of whom have served in the military themselves.  James Burger, the CBOC coordinator, served twenty-one years in the military and is a Navy Veteran. “It is an honor and privilege to serve both Veterans and active-duty military,” said Burger. “I am very proud of my staff because a lot of them are Veterans and dedicated to meet the medical needs of our nation’s heroes.”

In an effort to maximize the communication between Veterans and their primary care provider, the clinic encourages Veterans to sign-up for MyHealtheVet. Offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, My MyHealtheVet is a free on-line personal health record offered to Veterans, their dependents and caregivers. My MyHealtheVet provides an option for patients to communicate with their health care provider through secure messaging.  Providers at the clinic are required to answer secured messaging questions in three business days.  My MyHealtheVet also provides patients access to clinical notes during appointments or hospital stays, appointment reminders, immunization history, detailed lab reports, a list of current medications, and on-line prescription refills. Secure Messaging allows direct access to the CBOC team.

The Fort Detrick CBOC provides Veterans with accessible, coordinated, and comprehensive primary and specialty care health care options.

To find out more about the Fort Detrick VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, call at 301 624-1200 or visit the clinic website at or The clinic is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and is closed on weekends and all federal holidays.


Untitled-1Documentary filmmaker and video producer, Conrad Weaver of Emmitsburg, announces that his film, The Great American Wheat Harvest, will make its Maryland debut at the Holiday Cinemas in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday, August 28, 2014. The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a meet and greet with Weaver, with the film showing at 7:15 p.m. There will also be a Q & A time after the film shows.

Weaver produced the documentary over the past four years that took him on a journey of more than 100,000 miles. “The Great American Wheat Harvest is a compelling story that few people know about. It’s a story about agriculture, and about the process of harvesting that helps get our food from the field to the table,” Weaver explains.

The film tells the story of five harvesting families and crews who travel from Texas to the Canadian border each year harvesting wheat. “At first I thought it would be a film about big farm machinery and beautiful landscapes—and those things are there—but it’s really a story about people.”

The harvesting families and farmers Weaver met over the past four years have become some of his best friends, and the film explains how they take incredible financial risks most people wouldn’t dream of taking in order to make a living. The work they do enables the rest of us to have food on our tables.

The Great American Wheat Harvest had its national Premiere at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., on National Ag Day in March, and has since been screening in theaters and special events around the country. According to Weaver, thousands of people have already seen the film and the response is overwhelmingly positive. Weaver says he hopes people will have a better understanding of where their food comes from and what it takes to get a loaf of bread to the table.

In addition to the film, Weaver has recently published a coffee-table book containing beautiful photos of harvest scenes he and his crew shot while making the documentary. The photo book is available for purchase at the film website: and will be available at the Frederick event.

Weaver is releasing a DVD and Blu-ray disc in October that will contain the feature film, as well as many extra features not seen in the film.

For more information about the film, or to pre-order a DVD or Blu-ray, visit

Seth's artworkSeth Adelsberger, a 34-year-old painter and printmaker, grew up on East Main Street in Emmitsburg, but now resides in west downtown Baltimore, Maryland.  He is the son of Karen and Ed Adelsberger. Seth graduated from Catoctin High in 1998 and received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Towson University in 2002.

He showed an early interest in drawing—as far back as first grade—when he won first place for his picture of Noah’s Ark in an art contest at the Emmitsburg Public Library.  He then took art lessons from local artist, Patricia Topper, for a short time during the 1980s. His love of art continued through middle and high school, where his art teachers, Mr. David Stellitano, Mr. Jim Mattison, and Mr. Kevin Miller, encouraged his talent. When it came time to enroll in college, he received several scholarships from local organizations and an academic scholarship from Towson University.  From 2002 to 2008, Seth worked diligently at his art—exhibiting mostly in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas—and also worked at several odd jobs to pay the bills. He was also represented by Sara Nightingale in Watermill, New York.

He received an “Individual Art Award” from the Maryland Arts Council, which allowed him to travel to Germany to meet fellow contemporary artists and engage in the art scene in Europe.

Later that year, he and his girlfriend, Alex Ebstein, opened an art gallery in Baltimore called Nudashank. Together, they encouraged local young artists to pursue their creative work and held many exhibits that showcased the contemporary art scene in Baltimore.  Because the gallery was taking time away from their own work, Seth and Alex closed the gallery last August. During the years that they ran their gallery, they learned more about themselves and how they wanted to create their own art.

Seth’s paintings really grab your eye and are interesting to the viewer. “He’s exhibiting talent that is considered ‘unproven,’” by Kristen Hileman, the BMA’s museum curator, as reported in the Baltimore Sun. She sees similarities in his work to that of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Frank Stella in the 1950s and 1960s.

His most recent paintings resulted in his current exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA). The “Front Room,” located on the second floor, is dedicated to his display. The Baltimore Sun called Seth, “A talent to watch.”

If you are in Baltimore any time this summer or fall, be sure to drop in to the BMA to see Seth’s art exhibit. It is well worth the visit to see this local artist’s accomplishments!

Seth Adelsberger’s art will be on display at the BMA, 10 Art Museum Drive in Baltimore, Maryland, through November 2, 2014. Admission to the exhibit is free.  Call 443-573-1700 or go to for more information.

by Davy Wantz, IV

Winning a state championship is an outstanding accomplishment and one that is hard to come by—and for Emmitsburg baseball, it took fifty-eight years to win their first in 2013.  Emmitsburg, the defending Cal Ripken 12U 46/60 Maryland Champions, looked to repeat the win in 2014 in the tournament they hosted on July 5-7, 2014. Last year’s team consisted of ten twelve-year-olds, which means that this year’s team was younger, having only four returning players.

On Saturday, Emmitsburg opened up pool play against Frederick. The first inning went scoreless. Garrett Malachowski led the second inning with a single, sparking an eight run inning. Frederick battled back over the next few innings to take a 9-8 lead over the host, Emmitsburg. After falling behind 9-8, Emmitsburg quickly tied it at 9-9 in the bottom of the fourth, bases loaded. Dylan Click, a returning player from last year’s team, blasted a grand slam to take back the lead, 13-9. Emmitsburg never looked back and went on to win 20-10.

In Emmitsburg’s second pool play game against Smithsburg, the team found themselves down early, 3-0.  Emmitsburg didn’t score until Noah Oleszczuk crossed the plate in the third inning.  Jordan Garner drove in another run in the fourth inning, cutting Smithsburg’s lead to 3-2. Colten Devilbiss blasted a three-run homerun in the fifth to give Emmitsburg its first lead. Emmitsburg added some more runs in the sixth inning and won 10-4, ending day one of pool play with a 2-0 record.

On day two, Emmitsburg played Northeast, knowing that a win would give them a spot in the familiar state championship game on Monday night. Emmitsburg flexed its power hitting, as Mason Joy went 2-2 off the bench with an RBI.  Emmitsburg hit six home runs, one each from Sean Mazaleski, Colten Devilbiss, Dylan Click, and Alex Wivell; the other two coming from Johnny Glass, who is locally known as Johnny Baseball.  The defense was present as well, as Logan Harrington started an ESPN-worthy 4-6-3 double play, with an amazing backhand grab up the middle. Emmitsburg won the game 18-6 and clinched the one seed, meaning Monday night they’d play in the all-important state championship game.

Emmitsburg had to play its final pool play game before focusing on Monday night. The starting pitcher for the game, Issiah Wivell, took the mound against UMAC and pitched three hitless, shutout innings; he also hit a homerun in the fourth inning. Emmitsburg won 10-7 to finish pool play 4-0.

Smithsburg won their semi-final game over Frederick to advance to the final. Emmitsburg, who beat Smithsburg on Saturday, knew the championship would be a great game and that they had to play well to win. Emmitsburg, similar to Saturday’s game, found themselves down early 1-0 after the first inning.  In the bottom of the second, Emmitsburg’s Evan Ott reached base on an infield single to start a rally in which Issiah Wivell hit a laser three-run homerun over center field fence. Emmitsburg scored two more to make it 5-1 after two innings. Emmitsburg added another run in the third inning on another Issiah Wivell hit, making the score 6-1. In the fourth inning, Smithsburg got another run to make it 6-2; but in the bottom half of the inning, Johnny Glass hit a 2-run homerun. After four innings, the score was 8-2 in favor of Emmitsburg.  In the fifth inning, however, Smithsburg rallied and Emmitsburg was forced to make a pitching change; Colten Devilbiss pitched five strong innings. Issiah Wivell came in to pitch and finish the inning. It was now tied at 8-8 going into the bottom of the fifth.  Alex Wivell hit a three-run homerun to give Emmitsburg an 11-8 lead heading into the final inning.  Smithsburg led off the inning with a homerun, cutting the lead to just two.  Smithsburg tied the game again at 11-11. Dylan Click made a great play at shortstop to end the inning and prevent another run from Smithsburg, which would have given them the lead. Emmitsburg headed into the bottom of the sixth, tied 11-11, looking for one run to give them the state championship.  With one out, Issiah Wivell grabbed his fourth hit of the game to put the winning run on base. After a wild pitch, he managed to make it to second base and in scoring position. Smithsburg recorded out two and needed only one more to send the game to extra innings.  Another wild pitch put Issiah Wivell on third base, so Smithsburg intentionally walked Alex Wivell and Colten Devilbiss to load the bases and make a force play available at every base. Johnny Glass stepped in with the bases loaded. On the third pitch of his at bat, when the catcher threw the ball back to the pitcher, manager Dave Wantz told Issiah Wivell to steal home. The umpire, after waiting for the dust to clear, saw the catcher did not have possession of the ball and called Issiah Wivell “safe.”  The hometown had won the state championship for the second consecutive year. Issiah Wivell went 4-5 in the game, with 4 RBI’s. He was the winning pitcher and the winning run that sent Emmitsburg to the regional championships in Eastchester, New York. Alex Wivell batted .650 in the tournament, with 12 RBI’s.  Colten Devilbiss had 16 RBI’s in the tournament.  As a team, every player drove in at least one run, and the team batted .497 for the tournament.

In the Middle Atlantic Regional tournament in Tuckahoe, NY, Emmitsburg went 1-3 in pool play. Defeating Metro NY runner-up 10-7, losing 12-3 to Southern NJ, losing 12-10 to Waynesboro, PA, and losing to the host Tuckahoe, MNY 8-5. Tournament stand-outs were Issiah Wivell, who batted .333 with 5 RBI’s; Alex Wivell, who batted .357; Colten Devilbiss, who batted .500 with 5 RBI’s; and Johnny Glass, who batted .455 with 5 RBI’s. Emmitsburg’s 12U All-stars had a great season, winning states with a young team and playing competitive ball in New York.

team photo

Pictured from left are: (bottom row) Alex Wivell, Issiah “Bub” Wivell, Noah Oleszczuk, Colten Devilbiss, and Johnny Glass; (middle row) Evan Ott, Garrett Malachowski, Logan Harrington, Jordan Garner, Mason Joy, Dylan Click, and Sean Mazaleski; (top row) Coach Click, Coach Wantz, and Coach Malachowski.

Ebg allstar state champs 1

Emmitsburg AllStars celebrate their second Cal Ripken State Championship title.

Thurmont Ambulance Company joined together with local commissioners and builders to celebrate the Ground Breaking of the new building location off of Strafford Drive in Thurmont, behind the ball fields. The new complex will be a “True Community Building,” according to Jim Hummerick. Thurmont Ambulance Company looks forward to hosting their fundraiser activities at the new location, as well as utilizing the facility as a training center for EMT and Firefighting classes. Considered a Sanction Training Facility, the complex will serve as a location for training to become certified in CPR, as well as other types of life saving techniques for any member of the community. The complex will also be available for local organizations to hold scheduled meetings and as a rental facility for weddings, parties, or other celebrations. Construction will progress in the next two to three weeks. The builders estimate the outside shell to be complete in less than two months and completion in several months.

Photo by Gracie Eyler

ground breaking

Denny Ott, Judy White, Jim Humerick, Dave Riffle, Randy DeMaris, Shirley Stackhouse, and Lowman Keeney are shown at the Ground Breaking ceremony.