James Rada Jr.
Besides a Catholic Saint who once lived here, Emmitsburg has a famous riflemaker in its history, as well as other artisans. It’s a town heritage that Town Planner Sue Cipperly would like to see developed in the future.
Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs and Cipperly told the Emmitsburg Commissioners that an effort was underway to find a place where a statue of riflemaker John Armstrong could be placed. Artist Gary Casteel has expressed an interest in creating the statue.
Armstrong is most famous for the variation of the Kentucky long rifle. His rifles are highly sought-after collector’s items today. However, he is not the only artisan or famous person to come through Emmitsburg.
The Eyster Family had a number of notable clockmakers, and John Hoover was also known for the clocks he made. One of them can be seen in the Maryland Room of the C. Burr Artz Library in Frederick. George Miles, author of the unofficial Confederate National Anthem, came from the town, as well as Stanley Krebs, a noted psychologist. Then there are the authors, artists, and notable graduates from Mount St. Mary’s.
“I would love to try and showcase more of the earlier history of Emmitsburg,” Cipperly said. She said that occasionally people bring artifacts and other pieces of Emmitsburg history into the town office, hoping to find more information about them. “We have a lot of people who know quite a bit about the history of the town.”
While there are already established sites in Emmitsburg connected with its religious history, Cipperly would like to see other areas developed. Depending on what is developed, a walking tour through town could be put together that includes the Elizabeth Ann Seton sites, fire museum, and other significant points of interest.
“There’s not a lot of towns our size that have the amount of history that we have,” said Cipperly.
While the developing Emmitsburg’s cultural history is on her radar, it is not something to pursue in the immediate future. The town has major projects ongoing with the Route 140 bridge, sidewalks, and town square going on right now.