Page 1 - August Banner 2018_Neat
P. 1

AUGUST 2018     |   Vol. 23   |    Issue 8    |     Mail Run: 8,355    |     Total Print Run: 11,500

        Your Good News Community Newspaper, Serving Northern Frederick County, Maryland, Since 1995

             New History in the Making at Pen Mar Park

              Eileen Dwyer

              Located on the                                                                                                               she was just two
            border of Maryland                                                                                                             years old and visits
            and Pennsylvania on                                                                                                            every chance she gets
            South Mountain, Pen                                                                                                            today. “My mother
            Mar Park became a                                                                                                              would bring us up
            prominent resort in the                                                                                                        here every Sunday,
            late 19th century. The                                                                                                         back then, to dance.
            owner of the Western                                                                                                           Just like it is now.”
            Maryland Railroad felt                                                                                                           Shirley Rienks
            the scenic location in                                                     Photos by Deb Abraham Spalding                      of Waynesboro,
            the cooler Blue Ridge                                                                                                          Pennsylvania,
            Mountains would                                                                                                                especially remembers
            entice Baltimore-                                                                                                              “Everybody’s Day”
            area residents out of                                                                                                          when she was a
            their city dwellings                                                                                                           youngster. She said,
            during hot summer                                                                                                              “They had babies.
            months. And, utilizing                                                                                                         I have a picture of
            his railroad, the city                                                                                                         that.” Everybody’s
            dwellers did just that.                                                                                                        Day will be held
            Back in its heyday,       Pictured are Doris Flax (left) and Shirley Rienks (right) at the   Dancers enjoy swing and ballroom dancing at the Pen Mar Dance   on August 26
            Pen Mar Park boasted                    Pen Mar Dance Pavilion.                             Pavilion on Sundays.             this season. It will
            many first-class hotels,                                                                                                     feature the Ray Birely
            a dance pavilion, dining hall,        re-opened in 1980. Currently, Pen    of the Pen Mar Park of yesteryear.    Orchestra. The Rocky Birely
            playground, scenic overlook, roller   Mar Park holds live music concerts   Twenty-five to fifty percent of       Combo is also one of the featured
            coaster, Ferris wheel, carousel,      during the summer in the multi-use   those who attend are considered       bands at Pen Mar Park. Rocky’s
            penny arcade, shooting gallery,       pavilion (located at the site of the   regulars, with dance groups from    father, Ray Birely, was the original
            movie theater, beer garden and a      original dance pavilion). Visitors   Pennyslvania, Viriginia, and          band leader at Pen Mar back in the
            miniature train.                      also enjoy the playground, rent the   Maryland.                            day.
              The park was by far one of the      pavilions for gatherings, hike the      On an afternoon at the dance          Joe Etter of Carlisle,
            most popular resorts in the eastern   Appalachian Trail, and take in the   pavilion at the end of June, where    Pennsylvania, has been dancing
            United States, with close to 20,000   picturesque view from High Rock      folks gathered to watch, listen,      at Pen Mar “off and on for about
            visitors taking the 71-mile trip      Summit.                              or dance to fifties music and easy    twenty years.” A seasoned dancer,
            from Baltimore to Pen Mar each          It is like stepping back in time   listening provided by “Détente,”      he’s known to be the local expert
            summer weekend. President Grover      to visit the Pen Mar dance pavilion   David Jacoby of Gettysburg was       about everything Pen Mar Park.
            Cleveland, Dr. Walter Reed, and       on Sundays between 2:00 and 5:00     visiting. He took relatives on a tour   He recalled his favorites from
            even actress Joan Crawford counted    p.m., where various musicians        of the area and included stopping     childhood: the penny arcade and
            among the Pen Mar’s early visitors.   provide entertainment as part of the   at Pen Mar Park, Thurmont,          the carousel.
              Unfortunately, by the end of the    Jim and Fay Powers Music Series.     Emmitsburg, and Gettysburg along         Vicky Anderson from
            1920s, the once-glorious Pen Mar      Visitors of all ages dance or simply   the way. He said, “I just like this   Montgomery County, Maryland,
            Park began to lose its luster, as     watch and soak it all in. Whether    place. I’ll stop when I’m close by    grew up in the area. She returns
            tourist numbers declined. Over the    a seasoned professional of swing     and have some fun.”                   when she can and makes a day
            next few decades, the park fell into   or ballroom dance or a complete        Doris Flax was raised in           of it by stopping for a meal in
            rapid decline.                        uncoordinated amateur simply         Emmitsburg, but currently lives in    Thurmont, bringing a book to read,
              In 1977, Washington County          wiggling to the tune, this place     Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She      and then dancing, “It’s really nice.
            purchased the park, and it was        and activity replicates the spirit   started visiting Pen Mar Park when    The view from High Rock is just
                                                                                                                                The Pen Mar Park Music
                                                                                                            Scan QR          Series will continue through
                                                                                                            code with
                                                                Residential Customer
                                                                                                            a mobile         September 30 this season. Pavilion
                        E D D M
                                                                                                            phone            reservations and park information
                       P A I D
                                                                                                            to link          may be obtained by contacting
                                                                                                            directly         the Washington County Buildings,
                                                                                   Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727
                                                                                                            to our           Grounds & Parks Department at
                                                                                   515B East Main Street
                                                                                                            website.         240-313-2807.
                            PRSRT STD
                                                                                   The Catoctin Banner Newspaper
                                                   The Catoctin Banner Newspaper •
   1   2   3   4   5   6