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Deb Spalding

DSC_1904Throughout its fifty year history, teachers at Sabillasville Elementary School (SES) have shared sound knowledge with its children to give them a solid foundation; administrators have shown its children, by example, how to be honorable citizens and friends; community members have cared for the children by offering support and showing up when they’ve been needed.

November 18, 2015 was the 50th anniversary celebration of Sabillasville Elementary School at its “new” location (for the past fifty years) at 16210-B Sabillasville Road in Sabillasville.

Words learned as a student at SES make up this article. They convey heart-felt appreciation for being one of the lucky ones who was taught in this place. Learning at SES is warm and fuzzy, yet worldly and adventurous. Memories of learning here make one humble and so appreciative!

Grand people have attended SES. They live all over the world, around the corner, and across the street. They’ve achieved honor and impacted others. They’ve done for others as the teachers, administrators, and community at SES did for them. During the celebrations, some of these people traveled through the halls of the school and the media center where class photos and memorabilia were displayed.

The night’s ceremony started with a welcome from SES Principal, Kate Krietz. The Camp David Color Guard gave the Presentation of the Flags, just like they did at the twenty-five year anniversary celebration of the school.

Kate Krietz recalled that Joan Fry, a current volunteer at the school, had delivered a cake for the teachers on the first day the school was open to students in 1965. Ms. Fry was in attendance at the ceremony, and has written about the history of SES and former Sabillasville schools. Her three children attended SES.

SES students sang for the audience. “The National Anthem” was sung by McKenna Gisriel; Charlie McGinnis crooned “I Love the Mountains,” and students in the Cougar chorus roared the Sabillasville School Song and “My Town, My World.”

Time capsules, one for the twenty-five year celebration, one for the forty year celebration, and now one for the fifty year celebration, were available to view. The fifty year capsule includes special items from each class: kindergarten students made a book called “When we grow up” in which each student wrote about what they want to be when they grow up; first graders took selfies then paired the photo with a drawing of what they think they will look like when they graduate high school; second grade students created an All About Me activity; third grade students made a booklet with all of the reasons why they love SES with pictures; fourth grade students filled in the sentence, “When I think of Sabillasville, I think that…” with their thoughts; fifth grade students shared their favorite memory at SES. The time capsules were buried the following school day.

Jennifer Mullinex, President of the Sabillasville Elementary Parent Group, introduced special guests. Mark Pritts represented the Frederick County Board of Education for the evening. He was a new teacher in 1984 and 1985, assigned to SES. He remembered some people at SES whom he said, “…helped raise me to get started in my career” as a teacher. He remembered SES teachers Mrs. Buzzell, Mrs. Lingg, and Mrs. Dinterman, long-time secretary Mrs. Shirley Brown, cafeteria cook Mrs. Millie Eyler, and custodian Mr. Jack Miller. He expressed that he was very much supported by the staff and the community.

The next guest speaker, Brenda Main, is an SES alumna, who now works with the Frederick County Public Schools Transportation Department. She reminisced that she had Mrs. Summers in first grade, Mrs. Glover in second grade, Mrs. Tucker in third grade, and Mrs. Hodge in fourth grade. She remembered Mr. Jack Miller who she said, “…was so much more than a custodian. He greeted us when we arrived and wished us a good evening when we went home. About Millie Eyler in the cafeteria, she said, “She made the best darn pigs-in-the-blankets ever!”

Brenda started her bus driving career driving bus #57 at SES. Some of the students she drove home now have children of their own attending the school. For the last nine years, Brenda has been a bus driver instructor and said she brings every new driver up to SES. She said, “This is God’s country. I tell them the history here. Most people don’t realize the school is here. I teach them to drive these roads.”

Karen Locke, a former principal at SES stated, “Sabillasville Elementary School is Frederick County’s best public private school. This is the model that all schools should be made from. The personal touch, small class sizes, and dedicated community where the school is the heart. You’ve gotta love…this…school! Be proud that you went to Sabillasville.”

Special thanks to members of the 50th Anniversary Planning Committee for their coordination of the celebration; to the Sabillasville Elementary Parent Group for their support; to Pastor Bob Kells of Weller Methodist Church in Thurmont for his delivery of the Invocation; and to Reverend Mike Simane of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and St. John’s UCC in Sabillasville for his prayer and benediction.

Photographed on the stage where hundreds of class photos have been taken over the years, current and former staff of Sabillasville Elementary School are shown. First row left to right: Nicki Lingg (Kindergarten Teacher 1971-2001); Melanie Raynor, (music teacher); Kate Krietz, (Principal); Michele Firme, (Special Ed Program Assistant); Jennifer Rutherford, (Special Ed); Jim McGivern (5th Grade teacher 1986-1993); Haleh Paciotti (Literacy Specialist). Second row left to right: Barbara Buzzell (Media Specialist 1979-2002);  Brenda Smith (former student 5th & 6th grade when the school opened and taught 3rd & 4th Grades 1990-2008); Karen Locke (former Principal); Barbara Doney (4th Grade teacher); Shari Austin (reading intervention and 5th grade language arts teacher); Tamara Savage (Special Ed Instructional Assistant); Jane Orlando (Instructor Assistant); Tanya Wantz (2nd Grade Teacher); Janet (Tucker) Dinterman (Third Grade teacher 1971-1989). Back rows left to right: Mark Pritts (5th Grade Teacher 1984-1986); Peggy Laster (Aide 1965-1975); Jean Glover (2nd & 1st Grade Teacher 1972-1987); Maureen Schildt (5th Grade); Rose Hatcher (custodian); Heidi Hench (art teacher); Marnie Mortenson (3rd grade 19th year); Melinda Bentz (13th year Kindergarten); Michelle Mapes (Math Specialist and Tech Coordinator); Pam Ellenberg (1st Grade teacher 15 years); Jodie Miller (Lead Custodian 14 years); Karen Adams (2nd grade 1986-1997); Sue Valenti (1st grade 1986-2001); Paula Bowman (Secretary 25 years).

50th Anniversary Planning Committee


Angie Hahn, Barb Messner, Michele Firme, Shelly McConnell, Jane Savage, Alisha Yocum, Jennifer Mullinex, and Kate Krietz.

Vanessa (Maccabee) Niemann, professionally known as “Gal Holiday,” came to live in the Catoctin Mountains with her family when she was eleven, and made many friends throughout the county at church and at school. As fate would have it, she left here as soon as she could and began a long journey musically that finally ended up in New Orleans, where she formed a Honky Tonk band called Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue.

Armed with powerhouse vocals and serious songwriting with bass player and music director, David Brouillette, Vanessa and Dave have made Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue a vehicle to keep country dancehall culture alive, while paying homage to classic honky tonk greats such as Hank Williams, Connie Smith, and Webb Pierce.

They perform in New Orleans regularly at popular hot spots. In November, she took a long journey back home by van to begin an East Coast tour with her band. She packed the Ott House in Emmitsburg on a normally quiet Thursday night with family, old friends, old fans, along with many new ones. After playing drums at the Ott House with the band, Ashley Maccabee—Vanessa’s “little  brother” as she affectionately calls him—continued to play with them for the rest of the tour. Gal Holiday and the Honkey Tonk Band will tour popular dance venues in Virginia, New York, and New England.

To hear the music “The Gal” and her band create is magical. Their energy and amazing talent, as well as Vanessa’s charisma and good looks, are the perfect formula for a great night, whether one just wants to listen or “dance baby, dance!”

As her mother, Christine Schoenemann Maccabee, said, “She makes a sad song happy.”

At the Ott House, there were smiles on every face, and the joy was palpable. It was indeed a great night for dancing, whether it was with the one you came with or with complete strangers.

Gal Holiday has shared stages and performed with many other talented musicians, including Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Tim McGraw (Jazz Fest), Wayne Hancock, and other notorious crooners. After almost a decade, Gal Holiday continues to evolve through original compositions, which dominate their most recent release, “Last to Leave.” This song was featured in a statewide advertising campaign for Louisiana Propane.

Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Band will not be a regular local act, but will likely come back once or twice a year, we hope. Visit for more information.

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Vanessa Niemann is pictured performing, with her bass player and music director, David Brouillette, behind her.

In the light and fragrance of a trimmed beeswax candle, award-winning artist Rebecca Pearl recently completed a historic portrait of the Graceham Moravian Church entitled, Morning Star Graceham Moravian Church, 1892.

The Graceham Moravian Church was organized in 1758, and the current building was erected in 1797, a combination parsonage, church, and school; the current sanctuary was added in 1822. The painting shows the Church in the original red brick, prior to a change to white stucco in 1942, and several later additions.

Before beginning Morning Star, Ms. Pearl read a History of Graceham and watched a Moravian Christmas Homecoming video created by the congregation. She was intrigued with the beauty and simplicity of Moravian traditions and architecture and, in particular, with the spiritual significance of the joining of home and sanctuary.

Speaking of her experience, Ms. Pearl said, “This was far more than just doing a painting of a building. With the great help, love, and support of Pastor Sue Koenig and the parishioners, this work of art was conceived. The collaboration gave me an insight and education of the history of the Moravian people from centuries ago to present time. I had no idea of the gentle simplicity and deep faith in the “Lamb” of God by these people. I love the magic of the Moravian Star and the beautiful symbol it carries.”

The painting was unveiled at the formal opening of the new Main Street Center in Thurmont on Friday, November 13, 2015, the same building that was the Thurmont Moravian Church, built in 1874. It was one of eight churches included in a second painting unveiled the same evening by Ms. Pearl, entitled the Spires of Mechanicstown.

Ms. Pearl met with members of the congregation in the church’s Heritage Room, sharing faith beliefs, practices, and traditions of the Moravian Church, looking at photographs and images of postcards from the late 1800s from the church’s records, and provided by the congregation and the Moravian Archives. The Joint Board, with input from the congregation, suggested the Christmas Eve setting. (Portraits of the present-day church in spring were painted by artist Rebecca Bennett, daughter of the Rev. Warren and Mrs. Doris Wenger, as a gift for the congregation’s 250th Anniversary in 2008.)

Ms. Pearl is graciously giving a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the prints to the Graceham congregation; in turn, the congregation will use the funds received to support ministries and services in the community.

Ms. Pearl will share her journey of the painting at the 10:30 a.m. worship service at the Graceham Moravian Church on Sunday, November 29. A reception for conversation with Ms. Pearl and print signing will follow the worship. The church is located at 8231-A Rocky Ridge Road in Thurmont.

Prints of Ms. Pearl’s painting, Morning Star Graceham Moravian Church 1892 are available in two sizes: (14”x18” and “12×17”) at $95.00 and $55.00. A few larger prints (22”x30”) are available on request at $175.00. Ms. Pearl may be contacted at


This year marked the 10th Annual Scotty’s Ride, held September 26, 2015. Riders departed at 10:00 a.m. from Emmitsburg’s Jubilee parking lot, with approximately two hundred motorcycles roaring west on Route 16 to visit their first stop: Blue Ridge Summit Sportsman’s Club. The ride then continued on to the Mountain House, located in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania. The ride also stopped at Yianni’s Greenwood Tavern in Fayetteville, Pennsylvania (formally Bobbie A’s), and then circled back to Dave and Jane’s Crab House in Fairfield, Pennsylvania.

All Scotty’s Ride participants reunited at Kerry and Val Shorb’s home in Emmitsburg for the “After Ride Celebration”, along with friends and family from all over who didn’t ride but came out to celebrate the benefit event that evening. Approximately four hundred people attended Scotty’s Ride making this one of the largest turnouts for the celebration. Participants enjoyed live entertainment with the band,”RedLine”, a “Closest to the Pin” contest, Corn Hole tournaments, good food and refreshments. John McCabe of Fairfield, Pennsylvania was the winner of the raffle for a 2016 Indian Scout motorcycle or $10,000.

Kerry Shorb was proud to announce that this year marked the tenth annual Scotty’s Ride and to date has donated approximately $100,000 to families and children with medical needs. Scotty’s Ride thanks all of you who came out to support a great cause. Special thanks to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Department, the Frederick County Fire Police, and the Town of Emmitsburg. Sponsors included: My Father’s Footsteps Hair Design, Jubilee Foods, Big Hook Crane & Rigging, Sons of the American Legion Post 121, Francis X Elder Post 121 American Legion, Ladies Auxiliary Post 121, Mountain Liquors, Inc., Trout’s Supreme Seafood, Steve Bittle Tent Rentals, Gettysburg Elementary School, Main Street Sweets, AMVETS Riders Chapter 172, AMVETS Post 172, Toops Troops, Greene’s Trucking, Heritage Cycles, LLC, M & O Exterior Applicators, Inc., Hobbs Cycle, Hillside Inn, AC & T Co., Gateway Farm Market & Candyland, The Ott House, Harrington’s Equipment Co., State Line Gun Exchange, Silo Hill Exxon, Carleo’s Italian Restaurant, The Carriage House Inn, E Plus Copy Center, Window World of Frederick, Ventura’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, Village Book & Table, Rick’s Power Washing & Connie Few, Baugher’s Country Restaurant & Fruit Market, Redland Embroidery & Desserts, Dougherty Ice Co., Napa Auto Parts, Advanced Auto Parts, Ace Distributing, No Anchovies, Paul’s Pit Stop, Beaver Dam Lumber, LLC, Bollinger’s Restaurant, The Links at Gettysburg, Zurgable Brothers, Inc., Rube’s Crab Shack, LLC, Harley Davidson of Frederick, Battlefield Harley Davidson, Sunrise Soap Company, Mountain View Golf Club, Emmitsburg New-Journal, Shriver’s Meats, Grandma Gems Family Restaurant, Tahiti Sun, VCP Vanessa’s Corner Pub, Tony’s Café and Pizzeria, The Palms Restaurant & Bar, Hernley’s Polaris/Victory, Hobbs Auction, McDonalds, Zales Jewelers, Stouffer’s Custom Cycles, Ernie’s Texas Lunch, Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association, Inc., Mountain House, Yianni’s Greenwood Tavern, Dave & Jane’s Crab House, Tim & Pam Duffy, Jim Shorb & Nancy Haines, Ronnie Cool, Darin Fitzgerald, Tony Young, Craig Hahn & Candy Richardson, Doug & Angie Foley, Brian & Kim Stavely, Mike & Cheryl Kulkusky, Doug & Laurie Smith, Moe & Pam Kendall, Tim Wantz, Katherine Dowell, Jeannie Clark, Michael & Kathy McCabe, Chuck and Becky Riggs (In Memory of their daughter Brooke).

Buck Reed, The Supermarket Gourmet

Gift giving, decorated trees, flying reindeer, white stuff on the ground, a jolly fat man in a red suit, wreaths on doors, and the holiday songs that started the day after Halloween, all being navigated around a sea of political correctness. Let’s just put it out there, it is Christmas. I hope no one bursts into flames reading that last line.

Now, if we can get past that, let’s move on to the real problem of this holiday: what to bring to the holiday party? Most of us are invited to at least one of these parties this time of year, and if you are cursed with likability (like me), you are expected at more than one. Whether it is for family, friends, or the dreaded office party, you might be expected to bring something in the “delicious” category with you.

It is common knowledge that everyone loves a Crock-Pot. They are portable, easy to clean, and almost always have something good to eat in them. Also, they keep your food offering hot, which keeps you out of your host’s kitchen when they’re in the ‘heat’ of meal preparation. Just set it on the serving table, plug it in, and enjoy the festivities. Let others deal with chaffing dishes and cold food that is supposed to be hot. A Crock-Pot is your own self-contained holiday wonder, leaving you making one trip from the car. Which begs the question: What are we going to put in ours?

First thing to think about is logistics. You may need a serving spoon, ladle, or something to transfer your dish to a plate. And what if it is something requiring a special plate or bowl? You may be overthinking this a bit, but better prepared than not.

One idea is to bring a soup, which at first thought may seem to be some sort of holiday madness, but if there are other dishes that require a plate and a fork then this might not be such a bad idea. Like with any potentially messy food, you may need to secure the lid to the Crock-Pot with plastic wrap before transporting.

A special hot dip might be called for. Again, you may need to bring crackers, corn chips, or even pita or bread crisps to complete your dish. Other appetizer ideas can include meatballs, sliced sausages, or pepper steak—these can make great impressions as well. Serve these as a complete dish or add a sliced roll and you can make a pretty good hot sandwich that is actually hot.

A good hot dessert is also welcomed as well. I know a case can be made that this holiday is becoming more about the dessert table and less about spreading joy and peace. But imagine a beautiful fruit cobbler or crisp nestled next to those boring cookies and the usual bowl of broken candy canes.

The trick to a great Crock-Pot recipe is to bring something memorable. Don’t think of it as crushing the others at the buffet table, but more of bringing something that will exemplify the spirit of giving that should be what this holiday is about.

by Chris O’Connor

Wild Turkeys, Our Native American Birds

The wild turkey, a large game bird native to North America, suffered severely depleted numbers due to habitat loss and unfettered hunting in America over a span of hundreds of years.

Thanks to decades of efforts by wildlife conservation groups, natural resources folks, and creative solutions to their management, wild turkeys have rebounded and now number over seven million.

A significant tool utilized to revive the wild turkey numbers, while they had all but disappeared, is the net cannon. Simply put, the net cannon is a wide net spread on the ground, chow is scattered, turkeys arrive to chow down. The cannon is triggered, and the net draws up around the birds. The birds are then shipped to locales where the birds are scarce or non-existent.

Turkeys possess excellent hearing and eyesight, are omnivores and opportunistic feeders, so on the face of it, they probably enjoy an easier life than many other wild animals.

They will consume whatever they can find, having adapted to follow a seasonal diet that follows the maturation of different plants and availability: whatever they can forage on—forest floor or farm field, including seeds, insects, berries, invertebrates such as snails, worms, and small amphibians and snakes. They are reported to have over six hundred food sources.

Male turkeys are called toms  or gobblers, for their famous vocalization that can be heard over a mile away. They’ll range over several square miles, sometimes joining a flock with hens, or traveling individually, though the species is considered a social one.

Mating season arrives early spring.  Toms will enter a clearing or fly up to a tree branch where they cackle away with their species-specific siren song: the famous gobble, which makes all their head parts—such as the wattles under the beak and the fleshy long protuberance hanging over the beak—wiggle as part of the display.

They are often depicted displaying their magnificent mating plumage with tails fanned out, feathers puffed up, and wings dropped and dragging the ground. They will strut around the hens so as to best display their red, green, copper, and gold iridescent feathers. As a member of a polygamous species, toms will court multiple hens.

Wild turkey hens are on their own after breeding and left to fashion their own nests, albeit minimalistic ones. Turkey hens’ nests aren’t built as many birds are, birds that typically have mates who help them search for materials and painstakingly construct them.

A turkey hen finds a suitable location at the base of a tree, within the cover of shrubby growth or tall grasses containing a shallow depression, with little more than existing leaf litter or other dry material, and begins to lay her eggs.

The hen may lay up to around fifteen or more eggs at the rate of one per day. She doesn’t begin incubation until the last one is laid. When the young hatch after approximately twenty-eight days, the young—or “poults” as her young are called—are “precocial,” meaning they are active and require little care.

The active chicks enjoy yolk reserves for a few days and scratch for insects with mother hen to fuel their rapid growth, which in part enables the poults to fly for short distances within a couple of weeks.

Hens will continue to brood the poults at night for some weeks, while they remain especially susceptible to hypothermia due to spring rains and chilly nights.

Eggs, hen, and poult predation are responsible for extreme losses to future generations of wild turkeys.  The mother hen has limited means to protect her live young, especially in the first two weeks of life.

During the day, the mother hen may sound an alarm call that signals poults to remain still. She will feign a broken wing injury and hobble away to lure a predator away from her very defenseless young. The poults have nothing more than their downy camouflage to remain indistinguishable from their surroundings.

Nest predators include the usual suspects, including skunks, opossums, snakes, foxes, and other egg-eating creatures. Domestic dogs can be a threat as well.

Mature turkeys and poults are hunted by coyotes, raptors, bobcats, cougars…and, of course, humans.  Some protection is provided tom turkeys with rather substantial spurs on their feet that can grow one to two inches long.  It is said that while the tom is more apt to run up to twenty-five miles per hour to escape attack, females are more likely to take to the wing.

Both genders share extremely acute hearing and eyesight, arguably their most effective survival assets.  They also roost in trees at night which offers some protection from terrestrial threats, though it is hard to imagine a twenty-five pound tom accomplishing such a feat.

Deep winter snowfall is a passive threat, a time when the birds may be unable to reach the ground to scavenge fallen nuts such as acorns and other foodstuffs crucial to restoration of fat and protein necessary to their survival until spring.

If there are no seeds, berries or other sustenance available, turkeys can survive a fast for approximately two weeks.

When spring arrives and life begins anew, one may witness tom turkeys with their red, white, and blue caruncle-covered featherless heads, long snood and wiggling red wattles in courtship regalia strutting around one or more female wild turkeys in a clearing.

Just as quickly as one sees them, blink and they disappear as if they were merely an apparition now camouflaged in the shade and light, drifting away in plain sight.

Christine Schoenemann (Maccabee)

turtle christine macabeeSome things never change, and my love affair with turtles is one of them. This essay is about how a young girl looking for turtles in the woods grew into an eighteen-year-old carrying water turtles in a bucket on the Greyhound bus between home and college, to the me that I am now, in my sixties, still transporting them back and forth between their aquarium habitat and their outdoor pools.

As a child I was drawn like a magnet to the woods. Despite all my mother’s efforts to keep me from going there, I went anyway. At the time, I did not know that she was trying to protect me from any potential dangers lurking there. I only knew the woods to be a friendly place, full of wonder and mystery and turtles!

Before too long, my mother, Rose, a nature lover herself, gave up trying to stop me. She even permitted me to build a nice turtle town out of cinder blocks in our small backyard, south of Baltimore. Many years later, I was told by a neighbor boy that all the fellas didn’t know what to make of me, that I was a different sort of girl, but that they admired me. I wish I had known it then, as all they ever did was tease me!

So, at a very early age, I learned the joy of going off into the woods—with my dog as my sole companion—and digging in rich dirt under the leaves for worms as food for my turtles. I learned to love the healing smell of the woods in all seasons, and gave myself lessons in transplanting such things as the big-leaved, deep rooted, burdock to provide shade in the turtle pen. In short, I taught myself lessons in caring for creatures that no book could have taught me. I was learning by doing, and pretty much still am, though books can be a great source of information. I guess I was a hands-on person before the term was invented. Most importantly, since I had no computer or TV to distract me, my relationship with the natural world grew strong and, well, naturally. I count my blessings every day that I had such opportunities to explore and to learn, and feel sad that millions of children are not so fortunate.

I was about nine when I made my first Turtle Town. The most turtles I had at any one time was ten—eight box and two mud (they had their own private mud hole)—with only one male box turtle at a time. I learned the hard way not to have more than one male in my Turtle Town harem, for to see the flash of red eyes and the frothing at the mouth when two males fight over a female is enough to scare the pants off of anybody, especially a ten year old.

You might say I first learned about sex from my turtles, and I knew never to interfere with turtles when mating. Even then the males red eyes would flash fiercely and his mouth would froth. I always felt sorry for him as the hard shells made mating difficult, but usually successful, as I found several batches of eggs buried from a few of those awkward unions. One hot summer night, I watched as a female, ready to lay her eggs, laboriously dug her hole for hours, deep into the night. Fearing my flashlight was interfering with her progress, I reluctantly went inside the house by 11:00 p.m., having sacrificed watching the Miss America Pageant and having gained innumerable mosquito bites. In the morning, I excitedly ran outside to see if the eggs were laid, and sure enough, the ground was covered up as if it had never been touched.

There is nothing quite like holding a newly hatched baby turtle in your hand. It is so perfectly formed, it takes your breath away. A neighbor of mine a few houses over told me that she discovered eggs in her compost pile last spring, and when they hatched, she put one in the palm of her hand. It was only the size of a quarter and, “You could even feel its sharp little toenails against your skin!” she exclaimed. Such an amazing miracle of life, and so wonderful to know turtles are surviving and thriving in our little mountain valley, north of Thurmont.

I suppose lots of folks have their own turtle tales to tell. I just happen to have many—enough to write a book, actually. To end this particular chapter, however, I will tell you that one summer between college years, I freed all my box turtles, knowing I would not always be around to care for them. I remember the fear I had that some kid might find one and keep it in a cardboard box, confining it to a much worse prison than my own, and neglecting it until it sickened. But then again, this same kid might learn as I did how to care for turtles successfully and grow in respect for them as I had. These were my thoughts as I released my beloved turtle friends back into their home, back into the deep and friendly woods. I still had water turtles, which patiently endured trips in a bucket on the Greyhound; I only went about one year since then without a turtle. I have great respect for all turtles around the world, and so now comes the question Gloria Steinem suggests we ask: “What are we humans to ask the turtle?”

In my opinion, if turtles could speak, they would say: “Life on this planet is precious, a miracle, and not to be neglected. Take care of it for us.” This is the lesson my turtles taught me, and one I shall never forget.

by James Rada, Jr.

1965 — Training the Unemployed from the Catoctin Mountaintop

Catoctin Mountain can boast a lot of interesting history from Camp David to the Blue Blazes Still raid. From an Office of Strategic Services training camp during World War II to Camp Misty Mount for children.

“Also on the Government side is the ‘mother’ camp of President Johnson’s Poverty Program,” the Frederick Post reported in 1965.

President Johnson had been the Texas director of the National Youth Administration. It was a New Deal program under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, similar in objective to the Job Corps. Johnson convinced Congress it could work again, according to Barbara Kirkconnell in Catoctin Mountain Park, An Administrative History.

The camp, called Camp Round Meadow, opened in January 1965 and served as the place to train people who would be sent out across the country to depressed areas to open and operate other similar camps.

At the camp, 75 people were hired and trained on how to run a poverty training camp. “While these people are being instructed, some 20 persons accepted as trainees by the new program, will be working in the area,” Kirkconnell wrote.

Consideration of using the park for such a site began in May 1964. Federal government officials visited the park and inspected possible sites for the camp. Within a month, the government began converting the 60-acre Central Garage Unit Area in the country’s first Job Corps Center, according to Kirkconnell.

Besides building the camp, officials met with residents of Thurmont, Hagerstown, and other communities where the camp attendees might spend their off hours. They wanted to make sure that there would be a good relationship between the camp and towns.

“Thurmont merchants were wooed by an expected $200,000 in revenue from supplies, equipment and food sold to the camp for the program,” Kirkconnell wrote.

Camp officials spoke at civic meetings and invited officials and organizations out to tour the camp.

“On January 15, 1965, 85 young men between the ages of 16 and 21 arrived at Catoctin MP to inaugurate the job Corps Program at a site ‘largely unimproved’ since the CCC left in 1941,” Kirkconnell wrote.

The Jobs Corps Center was dedicated on February 27.

The center got off to a rocky start, with staffing problems and too many visiting dignitaries, not only from the federal government but also foreign governments, such as Japan, Canada, British Guinea, England, Israel, the Philippines, and the Ivory Coast.

“Continual recruitment brought a total of 157 recruits into the program but 57 left before the end of June.  The bleak winter contributed to homesickness; stark conditions of the camp without indoor recreation facilities and high expectations added to the general ‘depressive atmosphere,’” Kirkconnell wrote.

Camp Director C. A. Maxey blamed the high drop-out rate on the recruits who had “temperamental and emotional problems in boys who had known little but failure,” according to a Baltimore Sun article.

The boys had been recruited from families earning less than $3,000 a year (around $23,000 today) and had an average of a ninth grade education. At the camp, they earned $32 a month plus $50, which was put in a bank account for them. “If they made a family allotment of $25 from the $50, the government matched it with another $25,” Kirkconnell wrote.

The program included a half day of work and a half day of education in the winter. The work time increased and the education time decreased as the weather warmed up. The work consisted of park projects, such as building trails, picnic tables, and needed buildings. They also did work improving the Gettysburg Battlefield.

As they mastered basic skills, they were given more-complex work.

“A sign construction program teaching printing, mechanical drawing, hand routing, measurement skills, painting, and organizational skills produced 225 signs for Catoctin, Greenbelt, Cunningham Falls State Park and Antietam Parks in Fiscal Year 1965-1966,” Kirkconnell wrote.

They also performed work in the surrounding community, such as building a ball field and picnic pavilions for Thurmont parks.

By 1966, things were running far more smoothly. By the end of eighteen months of operation, 439 men had been recruited to the camp. And 102 had transferred out, 165 had resigned, 24 graduated, 16 went back to school or jobs, leaving 111 Corpsmen in camp at the end of June 1966, according to Kirkconnell.

By that time, it became an election year issue. Congress criticized the program and cut funding. Discipline was a problem and so were community relations.

The Job Corps Center finally closed in May 1969.

Nicholas DiGregory

Luminarias Photo-1Bells have long been a cherished part of the firefighting tradition. Long before the invention of the radio or even the telephone, bell systems were used to signal firefighters throughout the day. The bell of the firehouse was rung to signify the beginning of a new shift, or to call members of a particular fire department to their station. When a fire occurred, the bells of the fire alarm telegraph system would be rung a specific number of times to indicate the precise location of the fire. These telegraph system bells were also used to call for backup if a particular fire department needed support in putting out a fire.

While the tolling of bells has been a part of firefighters’ lives for hundreds of years, there is one specific ring that no firefighter has ever wanted to hear. Three sets of five tolls, each set apart from the others by a short pause, has been the universal signal that a firefighter has fallen in the line of duty.

The somber fifteen tolls of the bell sounded in Emmitsburg once again during the 34th National Firefighters Foundation Memorial Weekend. During the weekend of October 3-4, 2015, hundreds of family members, friends, and fellow firefighters came to Emmitsburg to honor eighty-seven heroes who had died in the line of duty—eighty-four of whom had lost their lives in 2014.

The weekend was comprised of two major events: a candlelight service on October 3, and the official National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on October 4. Both events were set to take place at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park on the grounds of the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg; however, inclement weather forced both events to be moved indoors.

The candlelight service on October 3 was held inside the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. The evening service, which was closed to the public, provided a comforting and serene atmosphere for families and friends to mourn their loved ones. Throughout the service, musical pieces were performed, tributes were read, and prayers were offered in honor of the fallen firefighters. All the while, the names and faces of the eighty-seven fallen heroes were displayed on a projector for all to see.

The centerpieces of the candlelight service were eighty-seven luminarias that were placed along the altar rails. Prior to the event, families and friends created and decorated a small luminaria for each of the eighty-seven fallen firefighters. Many of the luminarias were decorated with stickers and drawings, and each featured a portrait of a fallen firefighter. These luminarias remained lit throughout the candlelight service, casting a warm light upon all who were gathered.

An eighty-eighth luminaria stood above the others in front of the altar, to honor the sacrifices of all fallen firefighters. Tamie Rehak Vjotesak of Virginia, whose husband died in the line of duty in 2002, lit the honorary luminaria midway through the event.

“It is a traditional Hispanic custom to display luminarias on the eve of an important event,” said Rehak Vjotesak. “On the eve of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service, we display these lighted tributes in honor of the eighty-seven heroes that we honor and remember.”

The light of the honorary luminaria was then ceremoniously passed to all gathered at the event. Gail Fowler of New York, whose husband died in the line of duty in 1997, carried the light in the form of a small electric candle. She touched the light of her candle to others, who turned on their electric candles and passed on the light in a similar manner.

The candlelight service concluded with the performance of a new song, written this year and performed by singer/songwriter David Carroll. Entitled “The Fallen and the Brave,” the song drew on Carroll’s experience as a volunteer firefighter.

Several times throughout the service, members of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) thanked the Daughters of Charity and the Rev. Frank Sacks for providing a location to hold the candlelight service.

“On behalf of the foundation, I would like to thank the Daughters of Charity and recognize Father Frank,” said Chief Dennis Compton, chairman of the board for the NFFF. “They offered their assistance immediately and in a genuine display of compassion . . . we could not ask for a better neighbor.”

For the memorial service on October 4, all proceedings were moved from the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton to Mount St. Mary’s Knott Arena in the PNC Sports Complex. The service, which began at 10:00 a.m., was open to the public.

The memorial service began with a tolling of bells and a procession of flags led by the honor guard and the pipes and drums. The American flag and the NFFF flag were processed in first, followed by the flags of the fire departments that lost firefighters. At the end of the procession, active duty firefighters carried a folded flag for each of the eighty-seven fallen firefighters.

Following the flag procession, the national anthem, and the pledge of allegiance, all of those gathered were greeted by Mayor Don Briggs of Emmitsburg and Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner. Both officials thanked the families present for the sacrifices of their loved ones, lauding the heroes for their bravery in the face of danger.

Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland then addressed the crowd, offering his condolences to the grieving and highly praising the fallen for their courage and willingness to sacrifice themselves.

“Here in Emmitsburg we inscribe the names of loved ones and heroes—it is a place we can come to remember those who have fallen in the service of their communities, of their neighbors, and of our country,” said Hoyer. “It is a place where all of us can find solace and fill those empty spaces in our hearts through the power of love and remembrance.”

Following Congressman Hoyer’s remarks, live broadcast feed of Memorial Park was projected, showing the placement of the presidential wreath at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial.

Immediately following, Chief Ernest Mitchell of the United States Fire Administration and FEMA administrator W. Craig Fugate also addressed the crowd. Both men strongly praised all firefighters for their service to the country.

“If you really look into the heart of a firefighter, the question is not about them—it’s about who they serve,” said Fugate. “They never think about if they’ll go home. They always think about who they’re helping, who they’re serving, oftentimes at great sacrifice.”

As Fugate concluded his remarks, he introduced President Obama. In speaking to the audience about the firefighting profession, the president drew on Christian scripture and lauded firefighters for being their brother’s keeper.

“Every single day, across our country, men and women leave their homes and their families so that they might save the lives of people they’ve never met,” Obama said. “They are good stewards, serving their neighborhoods, their communities, our nation, with courage and fortitude and strength. We can never repay them fully for their sacrifices.”

Obama also offered his condolences and those of all Americans to the families and friends of the fallen firefighters.

“Words alone cannot ease the pain of your loss,” Obama said to the grieving who were gathered. “But perhaps it helps a little bit to know that the American people stand with you in honoring your loved ones. We admire them, we cherish the work that they do, and we hold you in our hearts today and always.”

After Obama concluded his speech to a standing ovation, he officially unveiled the 2014 memorial plaque, to be mounted on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. Obama then personally met with each of the families of the fallen firefighters. After each family met with the president, they were presented with a folded flag, a personalized fire badge, and a single red rose. Each of the flags had been previously flown over the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial and the Capitol dome.

Once all of the families had met with the president, the bells were tolled the traditional fifteen times to signal a final farewell to the fallen heroes. The Rev. Thomas Mulcrone of the Chicago fire department offered a final prayer, commending the fallen heroes and their families to the care of God.

While the 2015 National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend has passed, the NFFF is still offering ways to honor the fallen heroes. Names and biographical information for all of the eighty-seven fallen firefighters can be found online at Donations to the Foundation in their honor can also be made at the same website.

Photos by Bill Green, Courtesy of NFFF

Obama Photo-1

President Obama unveiled the 2014 plaque to be placed on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, featuring the names of eighty-four firefighters who passed away in 2014, and three who passed away in earlier years.


Deb Spalding

Twenty-one year old Corporal William Ferrell—Kyle to those close to him—was known for doing good things for others. While serving with a Marine Corps security force, he helped stranded motorists along Route #15 in northern Frederick County, Maryland, on more than one occasion. He was known to use his free time to do good deeds.

Around 10:50 p.m. on the evening of Tuesday, September 29, 2015, while helping a stranded motorist in the northbound lane, approaching Catoctin Furnace in Thurmont, he was hit and killed by a driver of a dark heavy-duty truck that is said to have been carrying two cars on a car carrier. The weather was dark and miserable, with a downpour of rain. It was a difficult night to be driving.

The driver of the hit-and-run vehicle has not yet been caught, and should have significant damage to the right side of the dark-colored, heavy-duty vehicle. It is hoped that someone notices the truck, with a double axle on the back and front-end damage. Please turn this person in. There is also a reward out. Call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP or text CRIMES (274637), or you can submit a tip online at You may also call local law enforcement at 301-600-4151. Your information will be kept confidential.

“Cpl. Ferrell’s last stop before being hit along Route #15 was to have dinner at The Furnace Bar and Grill. It seemed fitting that a tribute in his honor be held there,” said a Marine in a leather jacket, named Tony. Tony is a member of the Hagerstown Chapter of the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club, Intl., Inc., a motorcycle club made up of active-duty and former Marines. These folks put together a fundraiser to honor Cpl. Ferrell at The Furnace on October 23, 2015.

Leathernecks, members of Cpl. Ferrell’s unit, and others, gathered to pay tribute to a man loved by his community and friends. Funds raised will be used toward the purchase of a traffic light in Cpl. Ferrell’s honor for the Carthage Fire and Rescue Company in North Carolina, where Ferrell volunteered. Additional donations can be made online at

“Someone knows where the perpetrator is. The damage I saw on Cpl. Ferrell’s truck—someone’s seen it, but doesn’t know they saw it. We are going to catch this guy,” stated Tony.

Locally, residents in the Catoctin area extend sincere condolences to Cpl. Ferrell’s family and unit. We are outraged that someone would hit, kill, and run away. The tragedy of the accident is amplified due to the fact that Cpl. Ferrell served our country, his home community, and ours.

Let’s keep our eyes open, tell our friends, tell our social media contacts, and when you’re somewhere that might have surveillance video that may have recorded this vehicle on the run—ask to take a look. Please help spread the word.

Photo by Deb Spalding

cpl ferrell 2

Members of the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club, members of Cpl. Ferrell’s unit, and others, gathered on October 23, 2015, at The Furnace Bar and Grill in Thurmont to pay tribute to a man loved by his community and friends.

Emmitsburg film maker, Conrad Weaver of ConjoStudios, LLC, is excited to announce that his 2014 documentary The Great American Wheat Harvest film has received a Mid-America Regional EMMY® Award! On Saturday, October 3, 2015, the Mid-America Chapter of National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences held the EMMY® Gala in St. Louis, Missouri, and The Great American Wheat Harvest was selected as the winner for Best Documentary–Cultural.

The Great American Wheat Harvest is the story about the American harvesters who risk everything to put food on our tables. Each year, they travel from Texas, north across the Western Plains, harvesting wheat and other crops that feed the world. The film follows their journey and tells their stories.

The film aired on WQPT (Quad Citiies PBS) this past February, and consequently qualified to be submitted for the EMMY® nomination. As one of nineteen regional chapters of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Mid-America Chapter is the standard-bearer for excellence in the television broadcasting industry and the gatekeepers of the prestigious regional EMMY® Awards.

It’s the first EMMY® nomination and win for Weaver. “It’s an incredible honor to be recognized in this manner; it truly was unexpected! First, I want to thank my family: my wife, Jodi, and children, Laken and Spencer, who supported me throughout the four years of production that went into making this film. Without their support and love, I couldn’t have worked on a project like this. I also want to thank all of our sponsors who helped make this film possible, and for the staff at WQPT for airing the film on their Quad Cities PBS station. And last, but certainly not least, I want to thank the harvesters who took a risk and allowed me to document their lives and work. I’m truly blessed to call them my friends!”

Weaver is currently working on a new documentary film called, Thirsty Land. It’s the story about the drought in the American West, and its impact on agriculture, communities, and the environment. Thirsty Land is expected to be released in late 2016. Be sure to check out the photos and videos on the Thirsty Land Facebook page or visit

conradJodi EMMY (2)

Conrad Weaver is pictured with his wife, Jodi.

murrah 2On October 6, 2015, a slab of granite that was removed from the face of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was added to the fire archive at The National Fire Heritage Center/Frederick County Fire/Rescue Museum (NHFC) at 300B South Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg. The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was the site of the April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City Bombing; the building was destroyed in the domestic terrorist bomb attack.

The building’s remnant was dedicated into the museum’s archive during a ceremony where a delegation of fire officials from Oklahoma was present. The delegation was being led by Oklahoma State Fire Marshal Robert Doke, who arranged representatives from every major state-level fire organization, including the Oklahoma City Fire Department, to be present.

In an interview with news, Wayne Powell, Executive Director of the NHFC said, The Oklahoma City Bombing is “often referred to [the bombing] as ‘Terror in the Heartland.’ We had never experienced in America anything of its nature,” adding that, “Leading up to the events of 9/11, it was the worst terrorist event to ever occur on American soil.”

Powell indicated that the stone is an important fragment, that is being added to an archive that represents a part of our nation’s history through documents and remains. The archive is the first fire-related archive in the country where visitors read, touch, observe the impact of fire and first responders in history. The archive is comprised of more than 8,000 objects with new items added continually. The goal of the NFHC is to preserve America’s written fire history, as well as display 3-D items that enhance their meanings.

About the Murrah Granite, Powell said, “The Granite with plaque supplements our collection of materials (reports, maps, videos, etc.) related to the role First Responders played the day of the Oklahoma Bombing and for many months afterward.”

The museum was established in 2005. Individual and organizational memberships are open to all interested in providing financial support and offers of historical print materials, too.

The NFHC is shares space with the Frederick County, Maryland, Fire/Rescue Museum at the same location in Emmitsburg, Maryland, within walking distance of the U.S. Fire Administration and its National Fire Academy, the Emergency Management Institute and related elements on the campus of the National Emergency Training Center where the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial is also located.

Visitors are always welcome (by appointment being best to assure proper support). The NFHC also is responsible for operation of the “National Fire and Emergency Services Hall of Legends, Legacies and Leaders” initiative and the “Benjamin Franklin Fire Writer’s Award” program. To learn more, please consult our website,

Denny Black

As all boys did in small towns during the 50’s and 60’s, I explored every street and alley in Thurmont. Nestled at the foothills of the beautiful Catoctin Mountains in Northern Frederick County, Thurmont offered a kaleidoscope of images, whether you were walking high on the Western Maryland Railway tracks along Altamont and Woodside Avenues, racing down Canning Factory Hill on your bike, walking the path along Big Hunting Creek to the old town office, or venturing through the backyards and alleys along Main Street. And at nearly every spot along the way, you would most likely see at least one of the church spires in town.

Back then, Thurmont was an idyllic place in which to live—no fast foods, no shopping centers, no drive-in banks, and no large developments. My boyhood world was bounded within just a few blocks surrounding our town square—all open to exploration to a boy and his bike. It was a place where local businesses delivered dairy and bakery products to your door, and families functioned quite well with just one car, one telephone, and one black and white television.

As a direct descendant of one of Thurmont’s founding German families (the Wilhides), who settled in and around the town, I developed an interest over the years in Thurmont’s early history, especially prior to 1894, when Thurmont was called Mechanicstown. Becoming an avid collector of old photo postcards later in life, I have been able to use those visual images to time-travel in my imagination back to what Mechanicstown must have been like for a young boy out exploring its streets and alleys.

Since 1751, when Mechanicstown was first settled, religious practice continues to be an integral part in the lives of many of our town’s citizens. By 1894, Mechanicstown changed its name to Thurmont, and the following eight denominations had built splendid houses of worship clustered together within a few blocks in this small town: (1) Weller’s United Brethren Church (1831); (2) Thurmont Methodist Church (1851); (3) St. John’s Lutheran Church (1858); (4) Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church (1859); (5) Thurmont Moravian Church (1874); (6) Trinity Reformed Church (1880); (7) St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (1892); and (8) Thurmont Church of the Brethren (1892). (Years are dedication dates.)

It is no surprise that religion has played such an important part in the history of Thurmont since it is believed that the first church structure (a log cabin) to exist in Frederick County was erected around 1732-1734, just a short distance away at or near the village of Monocacy (now Creagerstown).

I have seen numerous postcards and paintings depicting the Clustered Spires of Frederick, and have long wondered why no artist ever captured the images of the beautiful, historic church spires of Mechanicstown. By using the photographic images of the Mechanicstown churches preserved in my postcard collection, I could guide an artist on a trip back in time to an imaginary point in Mechanicstown where all of its houses of worship would be visible in one scene.

In July, I turned to award-winning local artist Rebecca Pearl about my concept. Rebecca is recognized for her paintings of many Frederick County scenes, and has taken a special interest in capturing historic Thurmont images in her artwork. During the past several months, with the use of photographic images, she and I have time-traveled back together to walk the streets of Mechanicstown as it existed over 120 years ago. It would be a challenge for any artist to convey my concept through their own artistic expression, while also trying to balance the historical accuracy of the imagery. I am confident that Rebecca’s creation, entitled “The Spires of Mechanicstown,” will soon become a recognized work of art, successfully capturing a special history of our unique town, located at the Gateway to the Mountains.

MECHANICSTOWN SPIRES_EAward-winning local artist Rebecca Pearl will be at the Thurmont Main Street Center during the Thurmont Gallery Stroll on Friday, November 13, 2015, where the original of her painting “The Spires of Mechanicstown” will be unveiled. The Thurmont Main Street Center happens to be located in the old Thurmont Moravian Church, one of the churches included in her painting.


Barbara Abraham

When we, or people visiting the area, think about the names of certain communities, thoughts jump to animals for being the origin. Why not think animals had an influence on the long-ago names? After all, back then, there were more animals than people populating the woods and meadows. But are these thoughts always right?

Wolfsville: It was a Wolf (Wolfe) by the name of Jacob who built the first house on the site of Wolfsville in Catoctin District, Frederick County, Maryland. It was Jacob for whom the place was named. He owned $3,100 worth of real estate and was a farmer (1850 Census). He married Catherine Main, and they had children. Jacob died in 1892 at the age of eighty-six, and lies buried in the old Reformed Cemetery (the church is no longer there) in Wolfsville.

One son of Jacob and Catherine Wolf, Samuel, was also a farmer. He rented until 1835, when he purchased 100 acres of farm and timber land from his father. He was one of the first to own and operate a saw mill in Frederick County, Maryland. In 1857, he disposed of his land and saw mill, bought seventy-five acres in Frederick City, Maryland, and moved there.

From route 77, at the intersection of Foxville Deerfield and Stottlemyer Roads, Wolfsville is located six miles south on Stottlemyer Road.

Thos. C. Fox - goes with article by Barb AbrahamFoxville: It was a Fox (Fuchs).          George Fuchs moved to Frederick County, Maryland, when he was a young man. He bought a tract of timber land, located in what is now known as Hauver’s District, named it “Foxes Ranges,” and afterward, Foxville. He cleared part of his land and erected buildings. Then, he opened a store. He purchased more large tracts of land, on which he farmed and felled timber. He attended Apples Church in Mechanicstown (Thurmont), where records show some of his children were baptized. He donated land for the first Mt. Moriah Lutheran Church in Foxville in 1830, the congregation having been formed in 1829.

George Phillip Fox (son of George Fox) was born in 1795. He purchased part of his father’s land, built various buildings, and spent the rest of his life farming and felling timber. He was magistrate of Hauver’s District, and was one of the first judges of the district.

Thomas Cline Fox (son of George Phillip Fox), remained at home in Hauver’s District until he married Ruth Ann Buhrman. After marriage, in 1863, he bought a small farm and store from his father-in-law and became a successful farmer and merchant. Some years later, he purchased the historical Plantation in Foxville, together with the old Colonial Tavern where George Oats (later changed his name to George Hauver) put up his first tavern sign, on April 3, 1803. After George Oats (Hauver), the next proprietor of the tavern was a Mr. Need, followed by David Wolf. It was here that many celebrated, people were entertained, and political meetings were held and addressed by prominent speakers from distant towns. It was here, also, that farmers rested while on their way to and from Baltimore via Manahan Road with their season’s yield of wheat.

Thomas C. remodeled the old tavern by replacing the plaster on the outside with wood siding, making changes on the inside, and erecting a new barn and store. He then moved into the tavern and lived there until his death. This old tavern was, and is, located on the right side, before entering Manahan Road at Foxville. (The old tavern’s interior has been modernized in the past few years, and the barn torn down.)

Thomas C. was one of the directors of Citizen’s Savings Bank (since demolished) of Thurmont, and a generous contributor to the second and third Mt. Moriah Lutheran Church buildings. Thomas C. and Ruth Ann Fox had six children, four of which reached adulthood. After the death of Ruth Ann, he remarried Clara Marker. They had no children. Thomas C. died at the age of eighty-six.

In 1882, Foxville was a busy community with two stores, two schools, two churches, a doctor, a post office, a blacksmith, two carpenters, two shoemakers, and a constable. Foxville is located on Foxville Deerfield Road north from Route 77. The intersection is west of Cunningham Falls State Park and Catoctin Mountain Park. Mail is now delivered from Sabillasville, Maryland.

Beartown: It was a Bear (Baer, Bare, Barr, Bair, Bayer). This Bear family was of Swiss origin. Jacob T. Bear was born in 1783 in Pennsylvania. He owned land and lived in what was called “The Mansion House” (no longer there) at Beartown, Franklin County, Pennsylvania. He served in the War of 1812, married Elizabeth Grimm, and they had eleven children. He died in 1863 and was buried in Union Cemetery, Fountaindale, Adams County, Pennsylvania.

Jacob Daniel Baer (son of Jacob T. Bear) was born in 1844 in Beartown, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, the second son and seventh child in order of birth. He served in the Civil War. He enlisted in Company E, 126th Pennsylvania Infantry and was attached to the Third Division, Fifth Army Corps under Fitz John Porter. His first hard fought battle was at Fredericksburg, Virginia, where his corps lost half its force. He also participated in the battle of Chancellorsville. His term of enlistment had expired before the battle, but he prolonged the time to nine months and twelve days to cover this engagement.

Being discharged from the regular service, he for a time occupied positions in the Quartermaster’s department and in the commissary department, but desiring more active service he re-enlisted, this time in Company G, 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry, and was mustered in on August 24, 1864. He was then in the first Division, Cavalry Corps, under General Sheridan, and was one of the company who escorted Sheridan to the fort at Cedar Creek on his heroic ride from Winchester, Virginia. From here, he followed up Cumberland Valley, and at Gordonsville, he had a horse shot under him. His command reached Waynesboro, Virginia, too late to effect Early’s capture. From here, the cavalry was sent to join Grant at Petersburg. Jacob D. Baer was mustered out of service at Washington, D.C. and he returned to his home in Pennsylvania in June 1865. In December 1867, he married Anna Maria Miller, of Washington County, Maryland. Five children were born before they removed to near Bellwood, Butler County, Nebraska where Jacob D. filed a homestead claim in 1876. Six more children were born in Nebraska. (From a Butler County, Nebraska, newspaper.)

In July 1913, Jacob D. Baer returned to Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, for the semi-centennial observance of the battle of Gettysburg. A Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, newspaper, Blue Ridge Zephyr, published an article regarding his visit and comments he made. He said he was an orderly for General Sheridan at times, and once or twice he was the only soldier with the great cavalry leader.

An excerpt from the newspaper, mentioned that Jacob D. Baer was with General Kilpatrick.

“Mr. Baer, after the battle of Gettysburg, was on his way to Beartown, to help protect his people from the retreating confederates. A dozen confederates in blue uniforms captured him near Monterey and he and David Miller, of Clermont House, sent Miss Susan Lookabaugh to tell the late Chas. H. Buhrman of their capture…

Miss Lookabaugh walked past the confederate pickets about 3:30 o’clock. At dusk Kilpatrick’s men came hurrying along.

The confederates had a piece of artillery in the middle of the road in front of the Clermont house.

When the union cavalry appeared they loaded this with grape and canister and discharged it. The union troopers, however, rode on the side of the road and the shot went whizzing between them.

The confederates left without their gun…

Soon General Kilpatrick rode up and dismounted at the Clermont house. He spent time on the porch, in conversation with Mr. Baer, getting from him information as to the roads.

While thus engaged, a messenger from General Custer rode up and presented the latter’s request for more men. “Tell General Custer he has enough men. Tell him to lick h— out of them!” was Kilpatrick’s reply.

Fifteen minutes later General Custer appeared with three stands of colors.

“I’ve got them, General,” was his salutation. He had cut to pieces a long line of Lee’s wagon train.

Beartown is located on Mentzer Gap Road, off of Route 16, west from Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania. It has no post office. Mail is delivered from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.