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Dennis E. Black

The weather forecast for Sunday, November 9, 2014, called for a splendid day for anyone wanting to venture out on an antiquing trip. My friend, Larry Hauver, asked me to consider going along with him that day to the first York Antique Bottle Show. I was reluctant to go, with so many things that needed to be done, but he talked me into it—as he usually does. I’m thankful that he did.

There were a fair number of dealers at the York show, with the usual assortment of collectibles being offered for sale, in addition to bottles.  About an hour into the show, I happened to be checking out the display of a bottle dealer (Tom Gordon) from Manchester, Maryland, when I noticed a potential buyer beside me, holding a small Bible that the dealer had for sale. During the conversation between the two, I heard the dealer explain that the Bible belonged to a Frederick County, Maryland, Civil War soldier. That piqued my interest.

After the potential buyer returned the Bible to the dealer’s display case and walked away, I picked up the book and noticed the following inscription on the inside cover:  M.L. Brown, Co D, 6th Regt Md. V.I.   Now I am really curious!  Company D, 6th Regiment, of the Maryland Volunteer Infantry consisted of a group of 112 young Frederick County men, including those from the Hauvers and Mechanicstown Districts (Foxville, Wolfsville, Sabillasville, and Thurmont), who fought in the Union Army during the Civil War. (Ref. History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers – War of 1861-1865.)  My great-grandfather Josiah Edward Wilhide (1844-1915) was a member of Company D.  In addition to being wounded in battle at Winchester, Virginia, he was captured and held as a prisoner at Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia.

While I examined the small 1863 Bible, the dealer further explained that his research confirmed the existence of a soldier in Company D named “M. L. Brown” from the Foxville area. He had acquired the book online, which had ended up in Indiana. Could this well-worn Bible, most likely carried by this soldier during the Civil War, have belonged to a relative of my brother-in-law, Ed Hatter?  Ed’s mother and John Brown (Brown’s Jewelry & Gift Shop in Thurmont) are both descendants of the Brown family from the Foxville area. I had to get home and further research this with Ed.

Some things simply can’t be explained. After further research that evening, Ed confirmed with much excitement that the Bible belonged to his great-grandfather, Martin Luther Brown (1836-1898), who had, in fact, served in Company D and was wounded in battle at Cold Harbor, Virginia. Two days after the York Antique Bottle Show, which coincidentally turned out to be Veterans Day, Ed was able to acquire the Bible. The incredible luck of standing in the right place at the right time at a small antique bottle show resulted in a local Civil War soldier’s Bible being returned to his family for safe-keeping—over one hundred years later. What are the odds?

Cross Country pic -go with article by AshleyAshley McGlaughlin

On November 8, 2014, Catoctin High’s Cross Country team competed for the 2A State Cross Country Championships at Hereford High School, near northern Baltimore County. The sheer determination, love of the sport, and countless hours practice led the Catoctin Boys’ Cross Country Team to win states for the third year in a row.

“It was perfect cross country weather, low 50s with a little bit of wind,” said Coach Terri Gibbons. It wasn’t just the nice weather that aided this group of young men to win this three-mile race.

Throughout the months of training—beginning in August and ending in November—this team practiced every day for two hours, some staying longer just to help each other out. Running next to a group of people every day really makes a team grow strong.

“A lot of it was just how much of a family we are. At the end of the day, at race time, it’s good to know that the person you’re standing next to has your back just as much as you have theirs,” said Patrick Van Der Cruyssen, who placed fifth in the championship.

Coaches and families were very proud. “They all work hard all the time. The boys team does a very phenomenal job of working together and pumping each other up,” said Coach Gibbons. Winning states not only brings them victory, it gives each team member a feeling of accomplishment, achieved from all of the training and dedication, which will only help them with their future goals.

Zach Gascho, who came in first place, winning the overall championship, said, “I think that all the training that our team has done extremely helped us. We got some great workouts in over the season that I think made us prepared for states. Running has given me a work ethic that makes me set higher goals for myself, and I make sure to work every day to achieve those goals and I plan to continue using this throughout my life.”

Not only did the boys cross country team succeed, the Catoctin Girls’ Cross Country Team also did a phenomenal job in the race, placing seventh overall.

“The girls also do a tremendous job of working together. They do this thing called “little sister, big sister,” where upper classmen and lower classmen have an exchange of gifts once in a while—they even give each other motivational quotes,” said Coach Terri Gibbons.

Even being injured, many players have kept a positive mindset. Sophomore cross country runner, Lilie Perella, said “…all I can hope for is to be injury free next year and just train my butt off for states. Last year, my freshman year was better than this year. I want to make my junior and senior year count.”

Girls who qualified in the 2A Cross Country State Championships: Bella Kreiner, Molly Janc, Julien Webster, Lillie Perella, Sienna Caselle, Courtney Orndorff, Hannah Romsburg.

Boys who qualified in the 2A Cross Country State Championships: Zach Gascho, Patrick Van Der Cruyssen, Demetrius Patterson, Paul Slotwinski, Eric Myers, Andrew Douwes, Keith Gasior.

James Rada, Jr.

Statewide, the biggest takeaway from the November 4, 2014, election was the win of Republican Larry Hogan in a heavily Democratic state to become the next governor of Maryland. Frederick County’s election was a historic one, as representatives were selected for the county’s new form of government.

Voter turnout in the county was 51.36 percent. Among the local voting precincts, voter turnout ranged from 41.06 percent at Thurmont Middle School to 51.78 percent at Woodsboro Elementary School.

The new county officers will be sworn in on December 1, 2014.

Jan Gardner (D) defeated Blaine Young (R) to become the first Frederick County Executive. Gardner won 53.82 percent of the vote, while Young finished with 45.82 percent. Although Gardner had a strong victory overall, she did not win in any of the local districts. Her best showing was at the Woodsboro Elementary polls, where she won 44.59 percent of the vote.

Gardner, who will oversee county operations, establish policies, and propose budgets, will be working with a majority Republican county council. The Republican candidates won four of the seven seats, including the two at-large seats and the District 5 seat. The Council’s job is to initiate legislation for Frederick County. It meets for only forty-five days each year.

Kirby Delauter (R) defeated Mark Long (D), 54.72 percent to 45.13 percent, to win the District 5 seat. Delauter won a majority of votes at all the local polling places, including 67.89 percent of the votes cast at Sabillasville Elementary School.

Republicans Billy Shreve and Bud Otis defeated Democrats Susan Jessee and Linda Norris for the two at-large county council seats. The Republicans also won their contests at all of the local polling places.

Incumbent Sheriff Chuck Jenkins (R) easily won re-election over Karl Bickel (D), 62.79 percent to 37.06 percent. Jenkins performed even stronger locally, where he won between 75 to 83 percent of the vote, depending on the polling place.

Four seats on the Frederick County Board of Education were open in this election. Liz Barrett (15.52 percent), Brad Young (14.20 percent), Colleen Cusimano (13.55 percent), and April Miller (12.92 percent) were the top vote getters.

For the District 4 State Senator seat, Michael Hough (R) won 66.7 percent of the vote to defeat Dan Rupli (D) who earned 33.08 percent of the vote.

The three seats open for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 4 are also all filled by Republicans. Kelly Schulz (30.89 percent), Kathy Afzali (28.49 percent), and David Vogt, III (24.69 percent) defeated Democrat Gene Stanton (15.63 percent). Stanton was the lone Democrat running for the position.

For a complete listing of the 2014 General Election results, including the final results in Frederick County, either by county or polling location, visit the Frederick County Board of Elections web page at You can also find the official final results when they are posted.

BUSINESS -Renovations -photo 3BUSINESS -Renovations -photo 1Georgine Rabenold

Renovations Salon and Day Spa got a makeover. The transformation began over Labor Day weekend 2014, and when the doors reopened that following Thursday, the salon had a fresh, updated new look. The Salon and Spa has been open for nine years.

“It was time for a new look. We want to keep the spa in style, just like our customers,” said owner Claire Bennett.

Renovations Salon and Day Spa offers a complete package of services, from facials to hair coloring to pedicures. In addition, they also offer special occasion services for weddings, homecoming, prom, or any big day in your life. They have a full staff of ten experienced stylists, nail technicians, and even a makeup artist!

Renovations participated in Thurmont Thinks Pink in October. Claire and her staff challenged customers to “think pink” by offering them the choice of a pink glitter nail for $5.00, to get a pink hair flair, or to make a small donation. All proceeds went to The Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund at Frederick Memorial Hospital.

If you haven’t already, come see the new look at Renovations Salon and Day Spa, located at 120 Frederick Road in Thurmont. 

Lindsay Brandt

emma jean store nowA new general store has opened in Creagerstown. However, Emma Jean’s General Store isn’t your everyday store. Yes, it has the usual milk, bread, and eggs, but you may be surprised to learn that it is also an antique store.

Emma Jean Goldberg and her son, Chuck Johnson, had the same kind of store open in West Virginia, but when they had an opportunity to purchase the old building in Creagerstown, they felt it would be a perfect spot to open up a new store. “It’s an authentic 1800s store; it’s the nostalgia of old things, and we are trying to make it as authentic as possible,” describes Emma Jean.

The property was on the market several times; it went to auction, had no bidders, and then eventually went into foreclosure. That’s when a friend of Emma Jean and Chuck informed them about the 118-year-old building. So the pair packed up their West Virginia store and headed to Creagerstown.

While strolling through the store, the sense of history and the feeling of nostalgia are noticeable. The store’s shelving, the 24-foot store counter, and the grand staircase leading up to the antiques are all original to the turn-of-the-century building. The additional pieces of furniture that are now housed in the store come from many types of stores and include seed counters, nail bins, cheese cases, shirt display cases, and bread cases. There is also a selection of furniture from old hardware, mercantile, and general stores. They are hoping that the store will become a tourist attraction.

“I’ve always liked general stores. We take old store fixtures and use them in the house. They just have a look that we prefer. It’s solid furniture. We have a bunch of old ice boxes in the store. We just like the look,” Chuck said.

Some of the many antique items that are for sale include advertising antiques, industrial pieces, an old teller station, antique ice boxes, display cases, a revolving nail bin, displays, vintage mannequins, a workbench, old toys, signs, and milk bottles. Whether you are an avid collector or just like to look at old unique pieces, this store will appeal to anyone who appreciates antiques.

Emma Jean’s General Store is already helping to keep local antique historical items in the community. Emma Jean and Chuck purchased several items from the Cozy Restaurant auction that are now being used to enhance the history of the store. Some items acquired are a lamppost, an enormous Christmas wreath, and holiday angels.

“It’s different, almost like a tourist thing,” Chuck said. “We’ve been pleasantly surprised by people showing up. It was packed for Colorfest. We weren’t ready, but we had to let people know that we were here.”

Along with managing the store, both mother and son are working to get involved with local charities in the area. They hope to get the community into the holiday spirit by hosting Santa! Santa will be visiting the store December 13, 2014, starting at 4:30 p.m. The donations received will go to local charities.

In addition to hosting some community activities, they want to service the community. “In winter time, if people can’t get out, we’ll have things to keep people going,” stated Chuck. “If somebody calls at closed hours, and they say they need some milk or something, of course, come on up and we’ll meet you at the door! If we are here, we won’t turn you away. If we can accommodate the people, this is fun for us.”

Emma Jean’s General Store is located at 8636 Blacks Mill Road in Creagerstown (technically) Thurmont. Call 240-288-8778 for more information.

Store hours are Wednesday through Sunday, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

lawyer farmLindsay Brandt

The season of giving kicked off early at Lawyer’s Farm and Moonlight Maze, located on Creagerstown Road in Thurmont. On Sunday, October 26, 2014, all admission proceeds for the farm were collected to benefit the American Brain Tumor Association in honor of Jan Lawyer, who passed away from brain cancer on December 15, 2013.

Jan was the mastermind behind the property, which includes a farm, maze, sculptures, teepee, and pumpkin cannons that he built himself. The corn maze was one of the first and largest in the state of Maryland.

“When my dad passed away, I had a really hard time dealing with it. But being surrounded by everything that my dad created, and being able to hold a fundraiser in memory of him really gives us the encouragement to get by and to keep working hard. There is a reason why we do it. It’s fulfilling.”

“He was always creative. He could do anything. That’s just how his mentality through life was—whatever he set his mind to, he could accomplish, and he did,” said Jan’s daughter, Taylor Huffman. “I wanted to keep my dad’s memory alive. I wanted to do something that would let people know that this place exists because of this man and his ideas, and his motivations to create a unique place to bring families. We lost a really good man to something as awful as brain cancer, and we aren’t going to give up; we are going to keep raising money for research.”

When Taylor and her husband, Brandon Huffman, set out to have a fundraiser, they set a goal of raising $5,000 for a donation. With an estimated 450 people in attendance that day, they ended up raising $11,350 to donate to the American Brain Tumor Association. About half in attendance came specifically for the fundraiser—friends, family, and locals—but the other fifty percent of business at the farm that day was regular farm customers.

“Everyone had a really good time,” Taylor stated. “A lot of people came up to me and said they were touched. Some people had stories to tell of friends and family who have been affected by brain cancer, so it was really good to gather and talk to everyone.” The Huffman’s hope is to continue fundraising every year.

“We set a high bar,” Taylor expressed, adding, “So we hope that we can keep going up and up.”

James Rada, Jr.

Erik Legg was named the 2014 Thurmont Volunteer of the Year in October 2014. He was chosen from among a group of six volunteers who had been nominated.

“Our community is very fortunate to have such individuals who give of their time freely,” said Colleen Gillen with the Lions Club.

Legg was nominated for his volunteer work throughout the community, particularly with Project Hope, an organization that helps find activities for young people to hopefully give them productive alternatives to drugs and alcohol.

“I lost my friend when I was twenty-one years old,” Legg said. “He died in my arms. That’s when I made the decision to help.”

Legg will have his name added to the Volunteer of the Year plaque that is displayed in the town office. He will receive a gift certificate for two to a local restaurant, and a $400 donation to Project Hope will be made in his name.

Other nominees for this year’s Volunteer of the Year Award were Beth Watson, Nancy Dutterer, Joann Miller, Regina Amery, and Rodman Myers.

“These are individuals with significant contributions to the Thurmont community and are well-rounded volunteers who generously give their time, energy, and skill,” said Joyce Anthony with the Thurmont Lions Club.

Also recognized at the ceremony in Community Park on October 25 was the 2014 Police Officer of the Year. Officer D. Armstrong was awarded this honor. He received a plaque, dinner for two at a local restaurant, and a $400 donation made to the charity of his choice, which was Boy Scout Troop 270.

The award ceremony was held as part of the Lions Club annual “Make A Difference” Day.

“This is a great opportunity for the Town of Thurmont to recognize the Volunteer of the Year and the Police Officer of the Year,” said Mayor John Kinnaird.

The Lions Club has been sponsoring the day since 2006. Each year, organizations and groups are encouraged to perform a service project during the day.

“Today is the day of volunteerism,” said J.R. Wantz with the Thurmont Lions Club. “Basically, it’s people helping people.”

A couple dozen people, including three members of the Thurmont Board of Commissioners and Police Chief Greg Eyler, attended the afternoon ceremony at the park. Even as the Lions were recognizing volunteers in the community, dozens of volunteers were busy in the park preparing it for the Halloween in the Park festivities that evening.

The Thurmont Lions Clubs had planned on dedicating a Lion drinking fountain at the Community Park and a Lion bench at the Trolley Trail Park, but production problems have delayed the project.

“They will be tangible evidence of what the Thurmont Lions Club gives the town,” Wantz said.

volunteer of the year Legg






Erik Legg awarded 2014 Volunteer of the Year.

volunteer of the year

Officer D. Armstrong awarded 2014 Police Officer of the Year.



Lindsay Brandt

The Emmitsburg Council of Churches went to Africa for two weeks in July 2014 to supply the local communities there with much needed entertainment, medical assistance, and learning opportunities.

Pastor Jon Greenstone was part of the nine-person team, dubbed “Team Kenya 2014,” who started their two-week journey by boarding a plane at Dulles Airport. After several flights, the team finally reached their mission site in the village of Kiminini, which is about fifteen miles from the larger city of Kitale, Kenya. Their trip was focused around four villages in the Kiminini and Khalwenge area.

The team was involved with two schools: Grade 9 at the Lenana Girls High School, and the Pathfinder Academy School. These African children don’t have the luxury of participating in craft sessions during their everyday life, so the team members took it upon themselves to bring a little artistic joy to the children.

Color photos were taken of every student and staff member and then printed and framed on-site for the Pathfinder Academy. The children were able to choose from a variety of colored bandanas; then they were given fabric markers to decorate them however they liked.

Gifts provided by the Emmittsburg Council of Churches included: 284 little dresses that were hand made by Carolyn Weaver, who created different patterns and designs for each dress; 20 quilts that were given to the orphans at Pathfinder; the high school girls of the Lenana were able to decorate their own tote bags; 33 soccer balls from One World Futbols were handed out to the community; and over 100 solar flashlights were given to the students and staff at Pathfinder.

It wasn’t just all fun and games, though. Medical supplies, doctors’ clinics, and informational sessions were held. There were three suitcases full of medications distributed to clinics held at Mitumbe slum, Pathfinder Academy, St. Joseph’s Girls High School, and Khalwenge village. A total of 618 patients were seen by Drs. Calvin Chatlos and Holly Hoffman, with Dr. Kathrin Muegge overseeing the blood sugar and malaria testing stations.

Over 180 pounds of medical supplies from Med Wish and several United States hospitals were delivered to Kiminini Health Center and Mitumbe Health Center.

Four hundred toothbrushes and 288 tubes of toothpaste were given out at Pathfinder Academy and the elementary school at Khalwenge village, along with information on dental hygiene.

Marie Hoffman, who was equipped with an auto-refractor—purchased by Dr. Drew Stoken in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, for this and future missions—performed over 300 eye exams. The 180 students who were determined to need prescription lenses will receive them within the next few months, once they are shipped or flown to Kenya.

“Helping Babies Breathe” training was provided at the four different health groups: Mbai, Makwangwa, Kiminini Health Center, and Muthangare. Pediatrician Holly Hoffman provided training to each village, and they were given kits that included an ambu bad, stethoscope, towels, bulb suction devices, hats, cord clamps, and blankets.

Packets of ten different varieties of non-GMO seeds were distributed to 450 families at Biointensive Agriculture workshops at four villages in Kiminini and Khalwenge.

Pastor Jon held worship twice a day with Pathfinder Academy students and was assisted by Merri Sayler, a Methodist Deacon at Trinity UMC of Emmitsburg, and Lisa Riffle of St. John’s Lutheran Church of Thurmont. Bible school was held for the students of Pathfinder Academy, Lenana Girls High School, and at Khalwenge villiage by Phyllis Kelly, Tracy Sebold, Betsy Miller, Lisa Riffle, and Merri Sayler.

Over 400 Bibles were distributed among the men, women, and children of Kiminini and Khalwenge.

The nine members of Team Kenya returned to the United States tired and exhausted, but with new friends and memories that will last a lifetime.

think pink donationFor the month of October, the Town of Thurmont sponsored a “Think Pink” fundraising campaign, during which many businesses and residents contributed to the Patty Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund at Frederick Memorial Hospital. “Think Pink” resulted in an impressive response. Through the cooperation of residents and businesses in Thurmont, the Town of Thurmont presented the Patty Hurwitz Fund at Frederick Memorial Hospital with a check for $5,287.10 at the town’s November 18, 2014, meeting.

Thurmont’s Chief Administrative Officer, Jim Humerick, stated, “To have this type of participation and support from businesses and residents for the first year of our program is phenomenal. This speaks volumes about our community.”

“Thanks to all the ‘Think Pink’ Business participants, the residents, and the Town of Thurmont. Thurmont rocks!” added Thurmont’s Main Street Manager, Vickie Grinder.

John Nickerson

Emmy Award winning producer, Chris Hough, premiered his highly anticipated film documentary, Almost Blue Mountain City: The History of Thurmont, on Sunday, October 26, 2014, at The Springfield Manor Winery & Distillery near Lewistown. The showing was a great success, and everyone left knowing a lot more about the founding of the original Mechanicstown—now Thurmont—as well as how Thurmont got its name and what the lives of the people who worked and raised families in the area was like over the years. The event was sponsored and organized by Donna Voellinger and the Thurmont Historical Society, with representatives in attendance from the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, Main Street Thurmont, the Frederick County Department of Tourism, and more.

It was a beautiful, sunny fall day on the edge of the Catoctin Mountains at historic Springfield Manor, former home of James Johnson, one of the original owners of the Catoctin Furnace. He lived in the house from 1793 to when he died in 1809. The manor provided the perfect setting to learn the history of Thurmont in the film documentary, which was comprised of well-researched documents dating back to the early 1700s, as well as video interviews taken over the past fifteen years from long-time Thurmont residents such as George Wireman, Sterling Kelbaugh, Albert Zentz, and many more. Their reminiscing provided interesting, humorous, and poignant insights into the events that have shaped today’s Thurmont. A recurring theme was the overall sense of community and scenic beauty that have characterized Thurmont since it was founded. Interviewee Margaret (Bruchey) Krone spoke of her arrival in Thurmont that, “We felt that we’d moved into Heaven.”

Fine local wine and excellent fare—served by the Carriage House Inn—were provided during intermission. Chris gave an excellent talk on the making of the program and was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation and the first-ever awarded “Frederick County Oscar.” It was well deserved! At the conclusion, Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird, said, “This is a proud moment for the town of Thurmont and it’s an excellent film. I recommend everyone see it at the first chance possible.”

The documentary is a valuable and priceless film that collects and preserves our local area’s history, trials, tribulations, and ups and downs for future generations. The Almost Blue Mountain City DVD will be available for purchase for $25.00 at the Creeger House during the Christmas in Thurmont celebration on Saturday, December 6, 2014, and for the Museums by Candlelight Tour the following Saturday, December 13. Stop by between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on either day.

Director Chris Hough and Event Coordinator and Thurmont Historical Society President Donna Voellinger are all smiles at the World Premier showing of Chris Hough’s film, Almost Blue Mountain City.

Deb Spalding

The evening of November 15, 2014, was one to be remembered, as Thurmont native and international tenor, Richard Troxell, returned to his alma mater, Catoctin High School (CHS), to present—along with current students of the CHS music program—a world-class concert to benefit the Catoctin High School music program and the Thurmont Senior Center.

This benefit concert included operatic works in several different languages that Richard has sung in different characters, including “Quanto e bella” from l’eslier d’amore, “La Donna e mobile” from Rigoletto, and “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables, as well as some show tunes and classics. Richard framed his concert around two universal elements that he experiences everywhere. “The first is love… I see everywhere I go, every country I am in, from Chili to Israel, from Taiwan to Beijing, from Italy to France to Canada to the United States. Everywhere I go, I see love… People wanting to be in love, I see people in love, and I see people who love has messed them up so much… The other thing I always see is music. It’s in every person’s life… It’s on your cell phone, on your alarm clock, when you wait on the phone to the cable company, it’s on everything… It’s a trillion dollar industry,” said Richard.

 The concert was peppered with Richard’s stories about love and music. He shared humorous personal stories about his childhood loves, and stories about how love changed as he grew into an adult.

Richard identified other CHS graduates who became famous in the entertainment business, including Neal (Angleberger) Coty, a singer-songwriter who now resides in Nashville; Susanne Mentzer, a mezzo soprano from Thurmont; Michael Gray, a drummer with the Lee Brice Band (he performed during this concert, along with the CHS band); Ann Perry, Dale Webster, Jimmy Rickard, Mickie Late, and many others. He acknowledged former teachers and mentors with gratitude. 

Richard taught a masters class to CHS students the day before the concert. CHS soprano soloist, Katelyn Claxton, said, “The concert was awesome and the masters class was amazing! We are really lucky to have had Mr. Troxell teach us.”

Claxton, Diana Burch (alto) and Taylor Zentz (soprano) also presented solos, and Cody Horman performed a guitar solo. The Jazz ensemble was joined by noted performers.

Music and Band teacher, Mr. Z (Zamostny), presented Richard with an honorary Tri-M National Music Honor Society life membership at CHS.

Special thanks was extended to piano accompanists Dr. Kathleen Taylor, Christine Merki, and Windy Schmidt. The evening’s financial sponsors included His Place Auto Repair, Mrs. Gail Frantz, and Mrs. Karen Graf (in loving memory of her husband.)

Richard chose this concert to officially release his new CD, So In Love. One dollar from every sale will benefit the CHS music program and the Thurmont Senior Center.  If you would like to be a donor to the CHS music program, please visit

“It doesn’t matter what kind of music we enjoy. We’re all connected,” expressed Richard.


Richard Troxell and his Russian accompanist took their bow with the CHS choral ensemble and bands at the end of the benefit concert at Catoctin High School.

MSS Breakfast with Santa & Christmas Bazaar

Shop Mother Seton School’s (MSS) Christmas Bazaar and enjoy the Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 6, 2014, from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., at 100 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Event features door prizes, crafters, bake table, pictures with Santa, and more! New this year is a Kid’s Bazaar, featuring lots of gifts under $10.00. Admission to Bazaar is free. Breakfast with Santa tickets are $7.00 (age 7 to adult); $5.00 (ages 3 to 6); free (ages 2 and under).

Start Pulling Out Your Holiday Decorations!

The Catoctin Banner’s

Holiday Home Decorating Contest

Will your home sparkle and shine in celebration of the holiday season? Be festive, creative, and use your imagination when decorating, then enter The Catoctin Banner’s Holiday Home Decorating Contest. Nominate your own home or a home you think could win by Friday, December 19, 2014. The Catoctin Banner will judge only the homes you nominate on December 19 and 20, so please leave your lights on for us between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Please email The Catoctin Banner at to give the address of the home you are nominating. Homes must fall within the coverage area of the newspaper, which includes zip codes 21780, 21719, 21787, 21788, and 21727. We will feature a photo of the winning house in the January 2015 issue. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winner of the Decortating Contest, as well as to the runner-up. Happy Decorating!

Beth Watson and the Thurmont Thespians Present Noises Off by Michael Frayn

Come enjoy a good hearty laugh with the funniest farce ever written. Noises Off is a roller coaster, side-splitting look at theatre—inside and out—as a hapless troupe of actors attempt to mount the dreadful comedy Nothing On. Door slamming, missed cues, and romantic intrigue will have you roaring with laughter as the casts’ collective sanity slowly unravels.  Yet, the show must go on, despite the catastrophe being played out on stage and the vicious antics among the actors backstage.  All-the-while, an ill-fated tray of sardines mysteriously appears and disappears.

Michael Brown is directing this talented cast. The cast includes Rose Alexander as Dotty, Matt Bannister as Lloyd, Kyle Tirak as Garry, Erin Schwartz as Brook, Dr. Greg Ochoa as Frederick, Jennifer Brown as Belinda, Paul Smaldone as Selsdon, Emily Cofer as  Poppy, and Ian Fowler as Tim.

The creative team includes scenic and sound design by Michael Brown, costume design by Mary Lou Royer, and lighting design by Cynthia Kaminsky. The stage manager is Paula Smaldone, and the master carpenter is Rich Friis.

Performances will be held in the Thurmont American Legion auditorium, located at 8 Park Lane in Thurmont, on November 7, 8, 14, and 15, 2014, with a 7:30 p.m. curtain. Performances on November 9 and 16, 2014, will have a 2:00 p.m. curtain. The ticket price is $15.00 per person.  There will also be a dinner theater on November 15, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. for $35.00 per person (dinner and show included.)  Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 301-271-7613. Tickets will also be available at the door, though seating is limited. Noises Off is being presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

The Cast of Noises Off from left: (front row) Erin Schwartz, Matt Bannister, Rose Alexander; (back row) Ian Fowler, Paul Smaldone, Kyle Tirak, Jen Brown, Greg Ochoa. In the cast, but missing from the photo is Emily Cofer.

Old Field Woodworking’s Christmas Open House

See what they can create for you at Old Field Woodworking’s Christmas Open House in Thurmont on November 22, 2014, from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Bring in and show them their advertisement and you can receive a discount!

Troxell—One Name…One Night

Catoctin High School and the Thurmont Senior Center present Troxell—One Name…One Night concert on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at 7:00 p.m., at Catoctin High School in Thurmont. The concert benefits the Catoctin High School Music Program and the Thurmont Senior Center. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. Tickets reserved in advance are $10.00 per adult (age 17 and up) and $5.00 for ages 16 and under. Tickets purchased at the door will be $12.00 per adult and $8.00 for ages 16 and under.

EVAC Bingo Bash

The Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company (EVAC) is holding a Bingo Bash on November 9, 2014. Doors will open at 4:00 p.m. Games will begin at 7:00 p.m. Bingo features twenty-two games, three $1,000 jackpots, and a meal. Tickets are $35.00 in advance, and $45.00 if purchased at the door.

Concerts at MorningStar Family Church

Come on out to the Southern Gospel Concert with Kevin Spencer, Gaither Alumni, at the MorningStar Family Church, on November 9, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. View their advertisement on page 38 for more information.

MorningStar Family Church will also be holding a Quiet Love Concert “Sweet Little Jesus Boy” on Sunday, November 30, 2014, at 6:00 p.m.

MSS Thirty-One, Coach & Vera Bradley Bingo

Mother Seton School (MSS) is holding a not-to-miss Thirty-One, Coach & Vera Bradley Bingo on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at 100 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with games starting at 7:00 p.m. Bingo features specials, raffles, and door prizes. Concessions will be for sale. The cost for tickets for twenty games is $20.00 in advance or $25.00 at the door. Event is sponsored by the MSS Home & School Association.

Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association Events

The Blue Ridge Sportsmen’s Association is holding a Cash Bingo on November 2, 2014. Doors will open at 11:00 a.m. Games will begin at 12:45 p.m. Their Meat Raffle and Buffet will be held on November 21, 2014, at 6:30 p.m.

Country Butchering

Country Butchering will be held on November 22, 2014, at the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company, located at 13527 Motters Station Road in Rocky Ridge, Maryland. Benefits Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company.

Veterans Day Open House at Thurmont Senior Center

An Open House Veterans Day Celebration honoring our local Veterans and their families from Thurmont and Northern Frederick County areas will be held on Saturday, November 8, 2014, at the Thurmont Senior Center, from 12:00-4:00 p.m. The American Legion, AMVETS, Emmitsburg VFW, the DAV, Thurmont Lion’s Club, Main Street Thurmont, The Catoctin Banner, Catoctin Civitan Club, and others will be on hand to honor the Veterans. Refreshments will be served throughout the day and Chuck Fisher will be providing entertainment. Scheduled guest speakers will be Attorney David Wingate, Eldercare, at 12:00 p.m.; James Burger, Fort Detrick Community Based Outpatient Clinic Coordinator, at 1:00 p.m.; Mike “Mad Dog” Sater of DAV, at 2:00 p.m.; John Kempisty will do a presentation about a captured WWII Nazi flag with the flag on display. Parking is available at the Center, behind the Police Station, and across the street at the elementary school.

Retro-Rockets 50’s and 60’s Dance

Rock and Roll with the Retro-Rockets on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at the Emmitsburg Ambulance Hall, located at 17701 Creamery Road in Emmitsburg. The dance will be held 8:00 p.m.-midnight. Tickets in advance are $15.00 per person or $100 for a table of eight. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $20.00 per person or $35.00 per couple. Benefits Emmitsburg Osteopathic Primary Care Center (EOPCC).

Trinity United Church of Christ’s Veterans Day Worship Service and Recognition

On Sunday, November 9, 2014, Trinity United Church of Christ will hold a special Veterans Day Worship Service and Recognition at the church, located at 101 East Main Street in Thurmont. The service will begin at 11:00 a.m., with a luncheon immediately following. Special recognition will be given to those currently serving, those who have previously served, as will as any named persons who are deceased and had served their country. Honored guests are Dale Williams, speaking; Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, reading Veteran’s names; Honor Guard, patriotic music; musical group Solid Ground; Larry Clabaugh, patriotic readings.

The Wonder of Winter Art Exhibit

Don’t miss the Art Exhibit featuring The Wonder of Winter, being held on Saturday and Sunday, November 15-16, 2014, at 14726 Old Frederick Road in Rocky Ridge, Maryland, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. Light refreshments will be served and raffles will be held for special prizes. The event benefits the Catoctin Forest Alliance.

Santa’s Christmas Craft Show

Visit the Santa’s Christmas Craft Show on Saturday and Sunday, November 22-23, 2014, at the Carroll County Agriculture Center, located at 708 Agriculture Center Drive in Westminster, Maryland. Event times are: Saturday, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Sunday, from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Cost is $3.00 for adults; children, ages 15 and under, are free. You won’t want to miss seeing Santa arrive in a helicopter on Saturday (weather permitting) at 11:00 a.m.!

Guardian Hose Company Holiday Bazaar

A Holiday Bazaar will be held on Saturday, November 1, 2014, at the Guardian Hose Company’s Activities Building, located at 123 East Main Street in Thurmont, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Bazaar will feature crafts, The Pampered Chef, Thirty-One, Origami Owl, and more!

Volunteers Wanted! Sunday, November 2, 2014, will be a trail work day, from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. The day begins at Rainbow Lake on Hampton Valley Road in Emmitsburg, with free coffee, doughnuts, orange juice, bagels, and fruit, and the day finishes with a barbecue in the Community Park. Please consider joining us. Tools will be provided. Dress for the weather. Interested or Questions? Please contact Commissioner Tim O’Donnell at TODonnell@EmmitsburgMd.Gov.

Thurmont Holiday Gallery Stroll

The Thurmont Holiday Gallery Stroll will be held on Friday, November 14, 2014, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. on Main Street in Thurmont. Rebecca Pearl will unveil her two new portraits: Cozy Restaurant and Trinity United Church of Christ. Yemi will have a genre of his Thurmont artwork, along with Joann and Nancy selling great mural items for Christmas gifts! The event features great musical entertainment by Paul Zelenka and Mary Guiles, local artist Gnarly Artly with cool art, and Judy Ott showing her pottery. The Thurmont Regional Library will be on hand for kid art participation. Other local artists will be there, too. Also, Detour Winery will be present for tasting and purchasing, with great appetizers from Celebrations Catering, and much, much more!

Be at Heart & Hands for the unveiling at 6:00 p.m. of the new art for the front of the Masons building and side. Heart & Hands will be the talk of the county!

For more information or to become a participant, email

Free Children’s Christmas Party

The Emmitsburg Lions Club will host its annual Children’s Christmas Party on December 6, 2014, at the Vigilant Hose Company, located at 25 East Main Street in Emmitsburg, starting at 10:00 a.m. The event is free and will feature children’s crafts, face painting, Khan-Du the magician, and hot dogs and hot chocolate. It is also anticipated that Santa and Mrs. Claus will make an appearance.

Catoctin Forest Alliance Art Exhibit and Show

Catoctin Forest Alliance (CFA) will be celebrating “The Wonder of Winter” in an art exhibit and show on Saturday and Sunday, November 15 and 16, 2014, from 2:00-5:00 p.m., at the Art Studio, located at 14726 Old Frederick Road in Rocky Ridge, Maryland. The exhibit will feature original paintings, photographs, prints, and cards done by local artists. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the CFA. The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend. For more information about the art exhibit and show, contact Elizabeth Prongas at 301-271-4459.

CFA is a 501 c 3 organization and is partnered with Catoctin Mountain Park and Cunningham Falls State Park. Their mission is to preserve and promote the health of the Catoctin Mountain forest for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. Some of the programs that CFA conducts include SUCCESS, Seasons 101, Artist in Residence, and Trout in the Classroom. SUCCESS is a program with the FCPS that brings youth to the parks, where they learn about CPR, plants and animals, the use of hand tools, trail safety, etc. The students put their knowledge and skills to use as they do projects in the parks. The Seasons 101 program brings youth to the parks to  learn about fishing, orienteering, creek exploration, and photography. Bringing youth to the forest is a step in growing the next generation of forest stewards.

The Artist in Residence program brings juried artists from all over the United States to Catoctin Mountain Park and Cunningham Falls State Park for two-week residencies (three per year).  During the residency, each artist does a public presentation in the parks. Then the artist donates one piece of art to CFA. The art pieces have been exhibited at the Delaplaine Center for the Arts and the Thurmont Regional Library. The collection of art will soon be displayed in the Manor Area Visitor Center at Cunningham Falls State Park.

Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is a project conducted through Chuck Dinkle, Maryland TIC Coordinator. CFA provides fish tanks and coolers, plus some man power to deliver the trout eggs to the schools. Currently, there are seventeen schools in Frederick County participating in the TIC program.

For more information about CFA, visit or contact Jim Robbins, CFA President, at or 301-693-9703.

Poetry Reading at Holy Grounds Cafe

On November 21, 2014, Jane O’ Callaghan Edwards—poet, librarian, and storyteller—will read at “Catoctin Voices” Evening of Poetry, at 7:00 p.m. at the Holy Grounds Cafe in Emmitsburg. Edwards is the publisher/editor of a literary and photography journal, First Lights. Poets and the public are invited. Open readings precede. For more information, call 301-418-3375.

Noises Off

Noises Off presented by Thurmont Thespians on November 7, 8, 14, and 15, 2014: 7:30 p.m. Showtime; November 9 and 16, 2014: 2:00 p.m. Showtime; November 15, 2014: Dinner Theater, 6:30 p.m. Showtime. Call 301-271-7613 for tickets. Performanes held at the American Legion, located at 8 Park Lane in Thurmont.

Foothills Artists

The 8th Annual Foothills Artists Studio tour will be held on November 22 and 23, 2014. Meet local artists in their studios where their work is created. Meet four new artists this year among the ten studios, representing painting, pottery, woodworking, calligraphy and printmaking, jewelry, color pencils, stained glass, and photography. Studios are open from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

Visit for locations and additional information about the artists. Come and enjoy the beautiful Fairfield valley; bring the family, meet the artists, enjoy the day!


Lindsay Brandt

eyler stablesThe Eyler Stables in Thurmont now hosts weekend flea markets. The idea for opening the stables for weekend markets was that of owner, Niki Eyler, and her friend, Emily Kemp, who has been working a similar operation in Virginia.

The Eyler Stables property has been in the Eyler family for generations. Eyler’s great-grandparents started the facility in 1933, and it was then handed down to her grandparents, then to her father, and now to Niki, who was born and raised on the property. She took over the management of it in 1999. “This facility was just sitting empty for most of the month, and I just really wanted something else going on here,” Eyler said.

Eyler stated that the grand opening of the market was held on October 3, 2014. The market has had a good response from the community. Eyler recalls, “On the first day, we were going to close at 3:00 p.m., but I was here until a quarter after eight. People just kept milling in and looking around, and I was like, ‘well, just hang out, look around!’ It was great. I had two people who just came to browse and actually want to rent vendor space!” (Both indoor and outdoor are available.)

Eyler’s goal is to have as many vendors as possible. She hopes to fill the outdoor space and grow that portion of the flea market. She states that the property could hold limitless vendors, but easily accommodates over a hundred.

The flea market will ultimately sell anything and everything. “Most vendors are local; I have some people from Pennsylvania who have some things consigned, as well as from Virginia. We have some outdoor vendors who come from the tri-state area who will set up during the weekends.”

Among the many things Eyler has put up for sale, three small vases that she has acquired stick out to her. When she bought them, she discovered the items had pieces of paper stuck in them. When she pulled out the note in the first vase, she read, “Vase is given to Nancy, 1945.” Eyler then pulled the second vase closer, pulling out a second piece of paper, which read, “In remembrance for Nancy on her second birthday, from Mrs. Dudrear.” The third vase, and the last piece of paper, contained the information on Mrs. Dudrear’s obituary. “I just thought that was so neat, you know, a little bit of history tied to those vases.”

The Eyler Stables Flea Market will stay open (through the end of the year) every Friday and Saturday, from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; Sundays, from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. They will take a short break before reopening in the spring.

For an indoor, 8-foot space, the cost is $40.00 a month. You stock your own merchandise and price it. If you want just a weekend at the market, the cost is $20.00 for one day, $30.00 for two days, and $40.00 for all three days.

Lindsay Brandt

Sharon-Burd-USEWhen the residents of Sabillasville, Maryland, travel to their local post office, they won’t be seeing the familiar face of their resident postmaster, Sharon Burd, kindly waiting to help them. Sharon Burd (pictured right) of the United States Postal Service retired from her post on September 28, 2014, after almost thirty-one years. “I like working here, because you get to see all local people you know every day,” said Burd.

Burd has been the postmaster at the Sabillasville Post Office since 2006. She started working for the United States Postal Service in 1983, and after working in both Frederick and Hagerstown, she wound up at the Sabillasville location when the post opened in 2006.

Burd grew up and attended school in Upstate New York. She met her husband, Dick, while in school, and they became high school sweethearts. As young high school students, they are pictured on the cover of their year book holding hands. Their family grew to include their five children, sixteen grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. They relocated to Sabillasville, because her husband, who was in the U. S. Navy, was stationed in the area.

Before working for the USPS, Burd taught classes part-time at the YMCA in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. In addition, for a span of twelve years, she volunteered her time as a Brownie and Girl Scout leader in Sabillasville, while also teaching Sunday school at St. John’s United Church of Christ, also located in Sabillasville.

Burd already has big plans for her retirement. She wants to continue the renovation of her 100-year-old house, and to cross a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum off of her bucket list. She plans to visit the museum with her sisters.

Burd has three sisters and three brothers. Though they reside at various points across the United States, she remains close with her siblings by talking with them each week by phone. She even had a recent surprise visit by her brother, who was in the area during a business trip from New York. She was working around the house and the doorbell rang, revealing her brother. They were able to spend some time together before they went to watch her grandson play football.

Her daughter, Shannon (Burd) Brown, said, “She worked nights for twenty years. She hardly slept, but she did all of this stuff. She is a very good mom, always doing fun stuff. I’m glad she’s my mom; I definitely got lucky in the mom category.”

Daughter, Pamela (Burd) Beard, said, “My mom had an outstanding career with the United States Postal Service. I remember how excited she was to become the postmaster at the Sabillasville Post Office. She was always courteous and professional to all customers. She provided customer service with a personal touch.” Pamela’s daughter and Burd’s granddaughter, Camelia Beard, expressed, “I really enjoyed going to work with my Grandma. I saw the importance of good customer relations. People came to the Sabillasville Post Office from all over the area. She did a great job.”

Her role of mother doesn’t just apply to her actual family. Her coworkers at the Post Office noted how she always said that they were her kids, too. “She worries about us from the time we leave to go on the road until the time we get back,” said Pam from the Sabillasville United States Post Office.

Throughout the years, Burd would bring eggs from her chickens to share with her employees. They even stenciled “Burd’s Eggs” on the cartons.

“It’s going to be sad after all this time,” Burd said.  Her coworkers in Sabillasville, including Pam, Davie, and Jay, stated that she was very easy to work for, adding, “We are going to miss her.”