Currently viewing the category: "Featured Articles"

Deb Spalding

The Roddy Road Covered Bridge is a coveted link to our local history in Northern Frederick County. It is one of three historic covered bridges in the area, along with Loy’s Station and Utica bridges. The forty-foot-long single-lane structure was originally built in the mid-1800s.

Last June, it was struck and partially carried away by a box truck. The resulting damage made the bridge unsafe, so it had to be closed. Repairs to the bridge began in October and were completed by Dean Fitzgerald’s Heavy Timber Construction, Inc., in cooperation with the Frederick County Department of Public Works and Frederick County Department of Parks and Recreation.

While the bridge was closed, Frederick County took the opportunity to re-route Roddy Creek Road away from Roddy Creek in order to open space for a new park that includes a playground, walking trail, bathroom, parking area, and a (future) bridge-like pavilion. They also took action to prevent future damage to the bridge by installing a passive over-height warning system that a too-large-to-pass-through-the-bridge vehicle will hit before getting to the bridge.

Several Frederick County officials and staff came out to celebrate the reopening of the bridge and park on Monday, April 17, 2017. Frederick County Public Works Director Chuck Nipe welcomed guests. He extended sincere appreciation to the residents who attended public meetings and provided recommendations about how to avoid future bridge damage incidents. He also thanked several entities, including Jeff Yokum, the bridge neighbor who provided land for the turnaround at the bridge; Fitzgerald Heavy Timber Construction, Inc. employees who rebuilt the bridge; HMF Paving employees who were instrumental in the apprehension of the individual who damaged the bridge; Frederick County Highway Bridge Construction Crew, District 1 Crew, and the sign crew who fabricated and installed the signage and protective devices; Frederick County maintenance personnel who completed the electrical work; and the Transportation Engineering staff who coordinated the project and the reconstruction efforts.

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner said, “In Frederick County, we are passionate about our historic covered bridges.” She talked about the historic significance of the bridge, and thanked all parties involved in its reconstruction and the formation of the surrounding park.

Other speakers included Frederick County Council President Bud Otis, Frederick County Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Mary Ann Brodie-Ennis, Frederick County Parks and Recreation Director Jeremy Kortright, Frederick County Parks and Recreation Commission members, Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird, and several other guests and staff.

Dean Fitzgerald, president of Fitzgerald’s Heavy Timber Construction, Inc., the contractors for the project, shared his memories of playing in the creek and on the bridge as a youngster. He said that at a young age he never imagined he would have a part in its reconstruction. He reminded us that we must continue to be vigilant about our covered bridges and our community. “These are blessings we don’t even realize we have.”

Dean remembered Shaeffer Bailey. Bailey was the bridge neighbor who lived in the brick house nearby, and the man who gave the land to Frederick County for Roddy Road Park. He was vigilant in protecting the bridge, taking Dean to task [and surely others] when he was caught throwing mudballs at the bridge. Bailey rallied the community to put the bridge back together in 1992, after it received damage. At the time, it took two days work for community volunteers to repair the bridge.

Dean announced that his company is partnering with Frederick County Parks and Recreation to construct a pavilion. “We want it to be similar to the covered bridge and potentially use some of the timber that was salvaged from the original bridge. The community is invited.”

Jeremy Kortright coordinated the cutting of the ceremonial ribbon. “This is an exciting day for the community,” he expressed, and thanked the parties involved in the restoration of the bridge.

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird, reminded us that the bridge opening is eight feet, six inches tall and not every vehicle is going to fit through that opening.

Once the ribbon was cut for the bridge’s official opening, the first to pass through it were people on foot, followed by bicyclists. The first vehicle through was a Chrysler minivan driven by Thurmont resident, Joe Eyler.

Dean Fitzgerald, president of Fitzgerald Heavy Timber Construction, Inc., the contractor for the bridge repair project, is shown as the sun shines on the beautifully completed bridge.

Honored guests and elected officials cut the ribbon to open the reconstructed Roddy Road Historic Covered Bridge.

James Rada, Jr.
November 29, 2004, was Army Specialist Erik Hayes last day alive. He didn’t know it. The decorated soldier had just turned twenty-four a couple of weeks earlier, and was a young man with dreams. He wanted to attend college and become a veterinarian; but most of all, he wanted to return home to his family.

As he sat on the roof of an Iraqi police station with Sgt. Daniel Hopson, watching the streets, Hopson posed a question. If Erik could go anywhere for a vacation, and money was no object, where would he go?

Hayes turned to his friend and said, “All I want to do is go home and work three jobs and get my brother home healthcare and get him taken care of.”

Bradley Hayes had been injured in a car accident two years earlier when he was only eighteen, and was being cared for in a Hagerstown facility.

Hopson, who has six sisters, was moved by how much Hayes loved his brother. “I need a brother like you,” he told Hayes.

Hayes looked at him with a bit of surprise and confusion in his expression. “Hopson, we are brothers, brothers in arms.”

Later that night, Hopson was with Hayes on the mortar tank that hit an improvised explosive device. Hayes died far from his home and became the sixth Marylander to die in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

On Saturday, April 15, 2017, Hopson, Hayes’ family, friends, politicians, and Veterans gathered near the Monocacy River to celebrate Hayes’ life, remember his service, and honor his sacrifice.

More than one hundred people were at the State Highway Administration building, where Maryland 140 crosses the Monocacy, to take part in the dedication of the bridge sign for the nearby bridge in honor of Hayes. The sign that would be installed at the beginning of the bridge was unveiled, and Hayes’ parents were given miniature versions that they could keep with them.

Maryland State Delegate William Folden, who is also a Veteran, said getting the bill passed that allowed the bridge to be named in Hayes’ honor was the first bill he had ever introduced in the legislature. More than a “feel good” bill, he expressed that acts such as this mean something to servicemen and their families. He said the idea for the bill had been inspired by a trip that he and his son had taken to West Virginia, where many bridges and other structures have been named in honor of fallen West Virginians. His son had asked about the people named, which had led to him looking up information about the serviceman.

“I hope that every time someone crosses that bridge, they will keep in mind the sacrifice he [Hayes] made, and other young men and women are making for the freedom we have,” said Frederick County Commission President Bud Otis.

To date, 145 Marylanders have been killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Frederick County Councilman Kirby Delauter was the emcee at the event. Also in attendance were Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner; Carroll County Commissioners Stephen Wantz, Richard Weaver, and Dennis Frazier; Taneytown Mayor James McCarron; and members of the local VFWs and American Legions. Patriot Guard Riders and Desert Knights also escorted a procession of cars to the ceremony.

Hayes was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, but he grew up in Thurmont and Harney. He graduated in 1998 from the Living Word Academy in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania. Before he had joined the military, he had worked at a dairy farm and trained to be an electrician.

He had enlisted in the army in 2001 to be able to use the GI Bill to get a college education when his duty was complete. He had trained at Fort Benning in Georgia, and served in Germany, Bosnia, and Kosovo before being trained in Iraq.

Hayes’ father, Daniel, said of his son, “He was a good boy. He loved people. He loved animals.”

Hayes was also an artist, drawing whenever inspiration hit him. His father remembers a drawing on the cover of one his son’s army notebooks that showed a camel smoking a cigarette out in the dessert.

His fellow soldiers also remember him with love and respect.

SSgt. Erik Pisauro of Charlotte, North Carolina, first met Hayes when he was eighteen and said that Hayes watched out for him and kept him from getting in too much trouble. “He was a big brother to a lot of us younger guys,” Pisauro said.

Sgt. Tim Grossman of Lexington, Kentucky, said, “Even though I outranked him, I learned to listen to what he said. He had a lot of wisdom for someone his age. When he spoke, you had to respect his answers; he wasn’t rash in his thinking.”

Grossman and others also noted that Hayes was generous to a fault. “He would give you the last five dollars he had until the next pay,” Grossman said.

SSgt. Andre Topaum of Raleigh, North Carolina, first met Hayes when he was eighteen. One memory that continued to shape his career in the military was something that Hayes said to him early on. “Dang it, Topaum, pay attention and take notes.” Topaum said it is something that he still continues to try and do.

Hopson, who is from Oklahoma, arrived in Iraq as a sergeant and didn’t have experience on mortar tanks where he was assigned. One of the first things Hayes said to him was, “I won’t ever let you get embarrassed, Sergeant; if you don’t know the answer to something, I’ll tell you.”

Hayes has touched the lives of these men so deeply that they were willing to travel hundreds of miles sixteen years after his death just to pay him one final honor.

“Just remember Erik’s name, and he will become a legend forever,” Hopson said.

(above) Army Spec. Erik Hayes’ parents, Debora Reckley and Douglas Hayes, stand next to the bridge sign for the MD 140 bridge over the Monocacy River that was named in honor of their son.

(below) The VFW Color Guard prepares to retire the colors during the April 15 ceremony that dedicated the MD 140 Monocacy River Bridge in honor of fallen Spec. Erik Hayes.

The Mount St. Mary’s University men’s basketball team took on the defending National Champion Villanova Wildcats in Buffalo, New York on March 16, 2017, during a nationally televised broadcast on CBS. The Mount trailed by just one at the half, but Villanova took over in the second session and won 76-56. The Mount’s Miles Wilson, C’20, led all scorers with 22. Although they came up short in their effort, the Mount showed the nation how they can play with the best in the country.

The Mount opened the NCAA Tournament with a 67-66 victory over the University of New Orleans on Tuesday, March 14. A combined 40 points from Junior Robinson, C’18, and Miles Wilson, C’20, was enough to allow the Mount to advance.

The team earned its automatic berth by capturing the NEC Championship with a win over Saint Francis University (Pennsylvania). It was the Mount’s fifth NEC title and first time it has clinched in front of its home fans. Junior Robinson, C’18, and Elijah Long, C’19, were named to the NEC All-Tournament Team, with Long also being named the Tournament MVP.

Last month, the Mount won the NEC regular season conference title for the first time in twenty-one years, defeating St. Francis Brooklyn 77-62.

As a result of the team’s success, the Northeast Conference named head coach Jamion Christian the Jim Phelan Coach of the Year. The award is Christian’s first, and he becomes only the second coach in the program’s history to take home the honors, behind the local legendary coach Jim Phelan, for whom the award is named.

Three players also received accolades, including guard Elijah Long, C’19 (All-NEC first team); guard Junior Robinson, C’18 (All-NEC second team); and guard Miles Wilson, C’20 (NEC All-Rookie team).

James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg Mayor Richard Sprankle’s remarks dedicating the VFW Memorial Community Pool in 1975 were all wet. Literally.
“At the close of the dedication ceremonies, Sprankle and new Park Commissioner Eugene Rosensteel were tossed into the new $250,000 Z-shaped pool, which has been named the ‘VFW Memorial Community Pool,’” the Frederick Post reported in 1975. The pool was named in honor of the VFW because the Emmitsburg VFW donated $40,000 to the project.

The Gettysburg Times reported that several hundred people turned out for the dedication. That first weekend the pool was open, the Frederick Post reported that it was filled to capacity, with 391 swimmers in the pool, and 49 kids in the wading area.

And every summer since then, area children and their families have been able to escape the heat of the summer in the cool waters of the community pool—except for this summer. In summer of 2017, there will be no local swimming pool. With the Emmitsburg Commissioners’ approval in February to build a new community pool, the timeline doesn’t work out for it to be open this summer.

The new pool is expected to cost around $369,500, which appears to be a bargain. The original pool cost $250,000, which is equivalent to about $1.1 million in today’s dollars. The town commissioners had initially only been planning on renovating the existing pool, but a pressure test of the plumbing showed that it needed to be replaced. Also, the beams beneath the pool were damaged and also need to be replaced.

“Once you got in there digging around, you saw where things were patched up for forty years,” Mayor Don Briggs said during an Emmitsburg town meeting.

The commissioners decided that it was worth the investment to rebuild the pool. It will be funded with the remainder of the money set aside for the renovations, money that is usually paid to a management company for the pool, and fund balances from other capital projects.

Last month, the commissioners started looking at the cost to put LED lights in the pool. They also considered a new diving board and a pool slide, but these two projects will have to wait until a future time.

The new pool is expected to be less expensive to run, primarily because water and chemicals won’t be leaking from the pool.

Makin’ Waves will be in charge of installing the new pool.

Although there will be no swimming pool this summer, the town will still be hosting three pool parties.

James Rada, Jr.

During the 1980s, Ed Metka lived in Thurmont and made the long daily commute to Washington, D.C., where he worked for the Army Corps of Engineers. At the time, he would have appreciated a quick form of transportation to work, but the Frederick station on the MARC line hadn’t opened yet.

Ed would have used it because he has been fascinated with streetcars since he was a child. He grew up in Chicago in the 1940s. Trolleys were starting to lose ridership to cars, but they saw a temporary resurgence during WWII. The large vehicles running along streets, powered by a thin pole connected to a wire, caught Ed’s attention.

“I was five years old, and it always fascinated me to see these things come down the street on a track,” he said.

Ed would ride on the streetcars with his mother and stand next to the motorman, pretending to be driving the trolley.

As a teenager living near San Francisco, he discovered that trolley museums existed, and he joined one in the Bay Area.

“I had thought I must be the only one who liked that stuff,” Ed said.

Like other trolley museum members, he started taking pictures of streetcars and collecting books and magazines about streetcar systems.

Trolleys were a slower form of transportation, primarily designed for urban areas that provided mass transportation around a city. However, they fell victim to the same problems as trains. After WWII gas rationing had ended, people began purchasing and using automobiles, and trolley ridership declined.

Thus, by the 1950s, most of the trolley systems in the United States had gone out of business, including the old Thurmont and Frederick trolley. The cars had been junked, sent off to museums, or abandoned.

Ed worked with the City of Frederick in a failed bid to bring a streetcar line back to the city. It was around this time that he had the opportunity to purchase ten streetcars from the Philadelphia Transit System (SEPTA). He decided that he needed to buy them to help keep that vanishing era of history from disappearing entirely. He rented a railroad siding from the Maryland Midland Railroad in Union Bridge and stored his streetcars there. Then, the opportunity came to buy even more streetcars.

“Well, I couldn’t fit them all in my driveway, but by then I was retired and flexible about where I lived.”

He began searching for a suitable and affordable piece of property, and found an old coal company storage yard in Windber, Pennsylvania.

“It’s kind of amusing,” Ed recalled. “The railyard was all covered over with trees and bush, and several local Windber residents didn’t even realize there was a railyard back there.”

He had the streetcars transported on flatbed trucks to Windber to create what most people call the Windber Trolley Graveyard. Although the site has no official name, trolley graveyard seems appropriate.

The 20-acre property is filled with forty streetcars that are shells of their former selves, skeletons if you will. Some lay on their roofs, others on their sides, a few still sit upright. Indeed, most are sitting on the mile of rail track that crosses the property, although some list to the side, seemingly ready to topple over.

You can climb on the cars to explore, but you need to be careful. (You also need to have permission, because the trolley graveyard is private property.) Some of the floors are missing, and most of the windows have been broken, so there is a lot of glass on the floor.
The site is not advertised as a tourist attraction, but word of mouth has spread its reputation. Visitors come from all over the Eastern United States. They come to photograph the trolley cars and explore what is left of them.
A dozen trolleys that are in decent shape—and Ed hopes to see restored—are kept in the repair building, out of the elements. However, such a restoration project is a massive undertaking and impossible for one man. So, Ed keeps those trolleys protected in the hopes that one day they will once again run on the outdoor track.

His “hobby” of collecting streetcars is now a business. He restores the best of the trolleys, sells parts from the ones that are beyond hope, and lobbies cities to include trolley lines in their tourism and economic development plans.

The streetcars, which date from 1912 to the 1950s, come from places like Philadelphia, Boston, Kansas City, Chicago, and Cleveland. They are spread throughout the property, along more than a mile of rail track. Their windows are busted. Leaves and debris litter the interiors. Many of the cars are covered in graffiti. “Mother Nature has taken its toll, as you can well imagine, because some of these cars have been here since the mid-90s,” Ed said.

The cars sit there, seemingly forgotten, but Ed remembers. He can tell you the story behind just about every streetcar on the property. The streetcars from Boston used to run on a suburban trolley line. The ones from Chicago were part of the L-system, the elevated tracks that run through the city. Two 1912 streetcars from Grand Rapids, Michigan, had previously been used for a lakefront cabin.

Ed can tell you about the parts of some of his streetcars that wound up in trolleys in places like Dubai, Aruba, and San Francisco.  He has even sold entire streetcars to a small trolley system in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Some day, he hopes to see those trolleys running again in American cities.

The general public, as well as area business and community leaders, are invited to see, firsthand, the effectiveness of fire sprinkler protection in homes, places of work, play, and worship. A specially designed live-burn prop will be showcased in the parking lot of the Frederick County Fire-Recue Museum / National Fire Heritage Center at 300B South Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg on Saturday, April 8, 2017, beginning at 1:15 p.m. There will be a “side-by-side” live-burn demonstration of two identical/typical residential dwelling living rooms—one with fire sprinkler protection and one not (see photo above).

Experts in fire sprinkler design, installation, and maintenance will be available to answer questions, while First Responders from the Vigilant Hose Company (VHC) and Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company will be participating in support of the demonstration, coordinated with the governments of the Town of Emmitsburg and Frederick County.

The demonstration is made possible by the National Fire Sprinkler Association and its Regional Chapter, the Capital Region Fire Sprinkler Association. Fire/Life Safety information, courtesy of the VHC, will also be available.

Parking in the rear of the Emmitsburg Community Center is recommended.  Following the demo, tours of the Museum and Heritage Center will be available, as will be light refreshments. Questions may be directed to Wayne Powell at 240-344-7390 or waynepowellnfhc@gmail.com.

March 2017

Emmitsburg

by James Rada, Jr.

Town Square Improvements Will Begin this Month

Maryland State Highway officials told the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners that the $3.5 million improvements to the town square and Main Street will begin this month.

The project will focus on Main Street, from Creamery Road to Timbermill Run, and a block north and south from the Seton Avenue intersection with Main Street. This includes two weekends when the Seton Avenue – Main Street intersection will be closed for waterline work.

The project will build new brick sidewalks that have curb ramps, to make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. New crosswalks and resurfacing of the town square intersection are also included in the project. Parking on the Square will be reconfigured. Other improvements include gutters, the traffic signal, and landscaping. The Bradford Pear trees along Main Street will be replaced with either snowgoose cherry, scarlet oak, or rotundiloba sweetgum trees.

There will be temporary road and sidewalk closures and restrictions of on-street parking while the project is ongoing. Officials will work with property owners to minimize their inconveniences.

  1. Romano Construction will be in charge of the project, which should be completed next summer.

 

Dog Park Fundraising Approved

The location for the new Emmitsburg dog park has been staked out west of the tennis courts in town. The location is relatively flat. It is an 80-foot by 200-foot site that will include a park for large dogs and one for small dogs.

The town has a $13,000 Project Open Space (POS) grant to use for construction, but the commissioners also approved a brochure that will be used to solicit donations to help fund the park amenities, such as benches, signage, water fountains, trash cans, and pick-up bags. These are things that the POS grant won’t pay for.

 

New Algae-control System Being Installed

The new algae-control system that the Town of Emmitsburg purchased last month will be installed at Rainbow Lake this month. The new system is expected to save the town money by making the filtration of the water easier.

The LG Sonic system uses ultrasound to destroy the algae, causing it to sink to the bottom of the lake. The cost of the system is $38,650, which not only pays for the system but gets it up and running. After that, the town will pay $13,000 a year for calibration, interactive monitoring to adjust the sonic waves for the different types of algae, and on-site servicing.

 

Pavilion Rental Fee Modified

Responding to concerns from citizens, the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners modified their pavilion rental policy to waive the rental fee for non-profit organizations.

 

Boys and Girls Club for Emmitsburg?

Emmitsburg Mayor Don Briggs has been talking with the Boys and Girls Club of Frederick County to get a branch open in Emmitsburg that would complement the after-school program at Emmitsburg Elementary School.

 

Thurmont

Town Enters into Mutual Aid Agreement

The Town of Thurmont entered into a mutual aid agreement recommended by the Maryland Municipal League and the Department of Homeland Security. The agreement is a formal recognition that if any municipality experiences an emergency or catastrophic event, other municipalities will respond with help as needed.

“Honestly, we probably would do that now, but this just really kind of formalizes the agreement,” Chief Administrative Officer Jim Humerick told the commissioners.

The agreement does not force the town to respond to another municipality’s emergency. It is left to the town to determine how to provide aid. The municipality is also indemnified from liability under the agreement.

 

Gene Long Week

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners proclaimed that March 5-11, 2017, was Gene Long Week in Thurmont. The proclamation recognized the many contributions that Long has made as a life-long resident of Thurmont. He has encouraged the preservation of agriculture in the county, volunteered with many Lions Club projects, helped create the Thurmont Trolley Trail, and proven himself a friend of Thurmont.

 

Program Open Space projects

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners are in the process of deciding on what their priorities will be as they seek Program Open Space funding this year. The state funding for parks is highly sought after among municipalities.

The commissioners decided that their two major projects will be getting additional funding for the East End Park special-needs playground, and converting the concession stand there to an ADA-compliant bathroom. The second project will be to get solar-powered lighting for the Thurmont Trolley Trail.

Another two or three projects will be added to the list before it is submitted on May 5. The representatives from the different county municipalities will meet to decide how to divide the pot of money that Frederick County gets from the state.

They do not expect to get money for all of their projects or even all of the funding for the projects that do get POS money. However, the projects that do get funding will be greatly helped.

Thurmont

Mayor John Kinnaird

The months of April and May are budget-crunching time here in Thurmont. Our department heads have submitted their department budgets and capital project requests, and our CFO has been busy organizing the requests and reviewing the recurring funding needs for the operation for the town. Beginning in April, the Board of Commissioners will be discussing our Draft FY2018 Budget, with the input of our staff and department heads. Budget workshops will be held on April 4, 11, and 18. The final budget will be introduced on May 2, with a public hearing on the tax rate and proposed budget on May 16. The tax rate and budget will be adopted on May 30. Residents are welcome to attend any or all of the budget workshops or hearings. Public comment will be welcome during the May 16 public hearing.

I am happy to announce that Frederick County is planning a dedication ceremony for the newly rebuilt Roddy Road Covered Bridge, and the vastly improved Roddy Road Park. The ceremony will be held at 3:00 p.m. on April 17 at the Roddy Road Park. I want to thank Frederick County for stepping up and repairing our covered bridge to its original appearance. There are three covered bridges in Frederick County, all of which are maintained by the Frederick County Department of Public Works. The County has demonstrated time and time again that they are interested in maintaining these historic structures so future generations can enjoy the living history embodied in these cherished bridges. There are new truck-height warning devices installed at both ends of the bridge to warn drivers of the height limitations. There is also a new truck turnaround being placed on the South side of the bridge for those drivers not deterred by the warning signs at the intersection of Apples Church and Eyler Road. The County is also installing new signage, intended to direct truck traffic back onto Rt. 15 to help keep trucks from getting to the covered bridge.  The improvements to Roddy Road Park will bring a new appreciation to the bridge and Owens Creek. There is a new parking lot with playground, picnic facilities, and even a new restroom! Roddy Road has been moved away from Owens Creek, so visitors can walk along the creek and enjoy the view of the covered bridge without worrying about dodging traffic. I look forward to the dedication ceremony and to visiting the bridge and park for many years to come.

The nice weather will mean that our children will be spending more time outdoors in the coming weeks. Be sure to watch out for children, and remember that they may not be watching out for you. I am sure everyone remembers what it was like when we were kids and the weather improved enough that we could get out on our bikes, play ball, ride skateboards and scooters, and walk to our friend’s houses! We were not always aware of our surroundings and would occasionally cross the street without looking both ways. Please be aware of our speed limits and watch out for pedestrians in the many crosswalks in Thurmont.

As always, I welcome your phone calls, emails, and text messages! I can be reached at 301-606-9458 or jkinnaird@thurmont.com, and on my Facebook page. Enjoy the nice weather before it gets too hot!

Emmitsburg

 Mayor Don Briggs

Warm weather, blooming flowers…and then eight-plus inches of “Robin’s snow.” No alarm, instead it was a quiet respite, a beautiful settled gesture to coax a slowdown to enjoy.

On the way to the town office last week, there, at the far edge of the parking lot, was a man and woman with two goats on lead lines and a group of children. The man, as it turns out, was a dear friend, Sam Castleman of Thorpewood, and the lady was his associate, giving Head Start program children the opportunity to learn, hands-on, and to lead the goats on the grassy school grounds behind the town office. Several years ago, Sam and I were two of the three founders of the Catoctin Land Trust (CLT), a conservation group, formed to preserve land in the Catoctin Mountain area. Through CLT efforts, a green belt of over 1,300 acres surrounding Emmitsburg has been preserved.

Spring weather or not, on Saturday, April 8, at noon at the Doughboy, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and town, will conduct a service to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the United States declaring war on Germany and entering World War I. (The actual date is April 6, but the commemoration will be held on Saturday, April 8.) Please join us.

Also, on Saturday, April 8, at 11:00 a.m., the sprinkler system at the Frederick County Fire/Rescue Museum National Fire Heritage Center on South Seton Avenue will be dedicated. This is a celebration of the two-year private and public collaborative effort. An effort of donated sprinkler industry materials and equipment and local installers labor working with town, county, state, and national elected officials and administrators. The National Fire Sprinkler Association intends to conduct a live-burn demo, using one of their “Side-by-Side Burn Trailers.” The unit then will go on directly to New Jersey for statewide public education use there. An identical unit will shortly be donated to the Maryland State Firemen’s Association for use across Maryland. That time is of the essence is never truer then when there is a home or building fire. Sprinkler systems can provide that time that saves lives. Vigilant Hose Company Chief Chad Umbel has approved fire company apparatus and personnel being on-hand in support of the live-burn demo.

Please note that even though the pool will be closed this summer for a major makeover, the town will still be hosting the Mayor’s pool parties. The venue will be the Community Park pavilion. Please join Lib and me for free hot dogs and lemonade, a DJ, and more! The dates for the pool parties are as follows: Friday, June 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Friday, July 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; and Friday, August 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

All this will be going on while the $3.5 million State-Highway-Administration-funded downtown streetscape–square revitalization and sidewalk project should be underway. At the March town meeting, the State Highway Administration (SHA) staff made a presentation and took questions from a resident-packed room. The project is scheduled to start the first week of April, with work beginning at the entrance to the Brookfield subdivision.

Renewable energy is provided using the natural sources the sun, wind, or hydrology. The town is committed to the renewal source of solar energy, now and in the future. Through this commitment, the town is doing its part not to compete with town residents for energy and driving up their energy bills. The town has twenty electric accounts. Currently, our solar production is outperforming our professional-supported expectations. By agreement, the excess is repurchased by our provider at wholesale costs, so there is a gap from our retail purchase. The gap is in the neighborhood of $1,300 a month. We have new accounts to bring on that should level this out, but we are currently not permitted to do so until after December of this year. Our goal is to provide the energy needed for the excess capacity of the state-mandated new wastewater treatment plant. Alas, growing pains.

Lent, in the past, seemed to always be attached to some form of mortification in giving something up. Today not so much; more so, it is the time to do things for those in need. In some ways, it seems to becoming the season of giving. The residents, the town, Lions, EBPA, churches, Knights, and Masons, are all contributing to the richness of the Lent and Easter season. Happy Easter.

Deb Spalding

As a youngster, Thurmont Historical Society Board Member, Robert Eyler, remembers seeing the Creeger House on his visits from his home in Frederick to his great-grandparents Joseph and Anna Mary Eyler’s house in Thurmont. “As a kid, it was the coolest looking haunted house,” recalled Robert.

Robert was enamored with haunted houses then, and still is. He participates in paranormal investigations. He said his interests have “come full circle” since he orchestrated an investigation of the Creeger House by the Gettysburg Ghost Gals last spring, and serves on the Society’s Board of Directors. He first became familiar with the Thurmont Historical Society when he utilized the Society’s volumes of history to research his family heritage. Robert’s fifth great-grandfather, Frederick, settled Eyler Valley. His son, Benjamin, helped build Eyler’s Valley Chapel for the Eyler family and their friends, because they had no place to worship there.

One day last fall, Robert and Board President, Donna Voellinger, were observing the progress of the brick sidewalk being installed at the front of the Creeger House. Oddly, they noticed dust emanating from the bricks on the front of the house. This seemed to be caused by the vibrations of a jackhammer being used on a patio.

The front of the Creeger House is a facade of bricks, encasing the original log cabin. The bricks are old and soft. To explain the current decay of the bricks, Robert said, “Bricks then weren’t made to withstand the road salt, jarring from equipment, and constant traffic.” Donna added, “At one point, the whole house was covered with Ivy and Wisteria, possibly adding to the decay.”

The Thurmont Historical Society Board of Directors have received a $60,000 quote for repairing the brick.

The Creeger House, located at 11 North Church Street in Thurmont, was originally owned and occupied by Daniel Rouzer and his family in the early 1800s. It is named after Edwin Creeger, who purchased the house in 1926. Edwin was the local Chevrolet dealer. His only son, Edward, was a naval aviator who lost his life in World War II. He was the first war casualty from Thurmont and is memorialized in the naming of the American Legion Post. After Mr. Creeger’s death in 1969, his wife, Ethel, left furniture, clothing, and books behind and never returned to the house. It was vacant for twenty years. In 1990, at the suggestion of Sterling Kelbaugh, Terry Best, and Buzz Mackley, she donated the house to the Thurmont Historical Society. Ethel died in the summer of 1995 and never saw the renovations and restorations that have been made to her old home.

Inside the house, the stories of triumphs and tragedies of the families who lived in the Creeger House, and other families of Thurmont, are housed and shared. Carol Newmann, with the help of Liz Stitely, currently manages the Society’s research library. This library has grown from a foundation of information and collections provided by the late Ann Cissel. It now includes many donations of genealogy and history provided by Thurmont resident and non-resident contributions.

“We have a good collection of books and papers. Most are local. Some are from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Carroll County, and Frederick County,” Newmann said. She can lead you to resources for tracing your family’s lineage, or show you historical photos and documents. You can visit the Creeger House on Sundays, between noon and 4:00 p.m., or call 301-271-1860 to make an appointment.

Donna Voellinger takes pride in managing the relics or “physical objects” that are part of the Society’s collection. See a wooden check that was written and cashed (see photo on page 12); stand in Edward Creeger’s bedroom and view his World War II uniform; see a Seatmore Ice Cream and Soda Table Set where people sat to enjoy ice cream at Wisotzkey Brothers Ice and Ice Cream on the square in Thurmont (see photo on page 12).

Carol and John Ford are the unsung heroes at the Society, quietly giving time and talent to various projects that need to be done. New volunteers are always welcome.

With determination and purpose, the current Board of Directors of the Thurmont Historical Society are tackling the next project in the life of the Creeger House. Monetary help is needed to “Save the Creeger House.” An estimated $30,000 will be raised and matched with grant funds. To help, send a donation.

Online donations can be made with PayPal by visiting www.thurmonthistoricalsociety.org, by mailing to Thurmont Historical Society, 11 N. Church Street, Thurmont, MD 21788, or by dropping by the Creeger House on Sundays between noon and 4:00 p.m. Call 301-271-1860 for inquiries.

Pictured is a wooden check that was written and cashed, part of the Historical Society’s collection.

Displayed at the Creeger House is a Seatmore Ice Cream and Soda Table set, where people sat to enjoy ice cream at Wisotzkey Brothers Ice and Ice Cream on the square in Thurmont

Whether it’s the Weis Pharmacy robbery, the rebuilding of Roddy Creek Covered Bridge, or the deterioration of the Creeger House, they have all caught the attention of Thurmont’s newest newsman, Warren Schaefer.

Warren brings a new perspective to local news: a kid’s perspective. The Thurmont Elementary School third-grader has started a YouTube channel called Thurmont News – a kid’s perspective. The first episode was posted on January 23 and a second episode was posted on February 6, with more on the way.

“After the first one, I had a giant positive response,” Warren said.

The idea for Thurmont News was born out of Warren’s early efforts of filming himself broadcasting weather reports whenever a major weather event hit the area, according to Warren’s father, Steve Schaefer.

Warren wants to be a news reporter, so this was a natural extension of that idea.

Warren comes up with the stories that he wants to write about and then researches them using newspaper and online resources.

“I also ask the mayor (John Kinnaird) if anything is going on,” Warren said.

Warren then goes out with his father to take pictures and interview people. Once he has all of his information, he writes the script, which he said is “pretty hard.” His parents then review it to tighten it up and make sure it reads well.

Then it’s into the spare bedroom in his house, which has been set up as a studio. Steve Schaefer films Warren reading his script until they are satisfied with the result. Steve then edits in photos and the beginning credits.

“It is fun and challenging,” said Warren. “Sometimes we have to film takes over and over, and it gets frustrating.”

“I love being able to work with him and help him explore his passion and ideas,” expressed Steve.

The response to Thurmont News – a kid’s perspective has not only encouraged Warren to continue, but he has expansion plans. He announced in his second episode that his next episode will have a new segment called “Have You Noticed.” Warren plans on going out and finding things in town that adults tend not to notice. He may also expand the length of the shows, which are under five minutes currently.

“I’d like to have my friends on as guest stars and do the weather,” Warren said.

You can find his program by searching for Thurmont News – a kid’s perspective on YouTube.com or visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdP0UKlNcmN4f2-PaGW7INA/videos.

Young broadcaster, Warren Schaefer, is shown in his home studio.

by James Rada, Jr.

Emmitsburg

Town Approves a New Pool

A pressure test of the Emmitsburg Community Pool plumbing has revealed that it should be replaced. Also, the beams beneath the pool are showing damage and need to be replaced.

This is not entirely surprising. The pool is forty-five years old, and during that time, no significant work has been done to it.

The commissioners had authorized renovation work, but this may prove only a temporary fix that might not be worth the money. Replacing and reconfiguring the plumbing in the filter room, repairing the beam, running a leak detection test, and having a structural engineer examine the pool will cost at least $260,000. A new pool will cost around $369,500.

“If we’re going to do this thing, we might as well put the new one in and be done with it,” said Commissioner Cliff Sweeney.

The rest of the commissioners seemed in agreement, but they need to find the best way to fund the project. The unused funds allocated for the renovations can be applied to the project, and money that is usually paid to a management company for the summer could also be reallocated. They decided to take the balance needed to fund the project from the fund balances in other capital projects so that no money will need to be borrowed to fund the project.

The new pool is expected to be less expensive to run, primarily because water and chemicals won’t be leaking from the pool.

The company making the renovations, Makin’ Waves, is also the company installing the new pool.

Because of the extent of the repairs needed, the pool will not be able to open this summer.

 

Voluntary Water Restrictions Continue

Although rains in the area raised the level of Rainbow Lake, Emmitsburg Town Manager Cathy Willets told the Emmitsburg Mayor and Commissioners that the town wells are still forty-one feet below their optimal levels from May 2011.

“Although all this rain brought our lake up, it hasn’t had much effect on our wells,” Willets said.

Because of this, the voluntary conservation of water in Emmitsburg will continue.

An Emmit Garden Playground?

A group of citizens asked the Emmitsburg Commissioners to consider building a playground in the Emmit Gardens areas. Currently, the closest playground is in Silo Hill, which requires Emmit Garden users to cross MD 140.

The citizens are asking for a baseball field, swing set, slide, and monkey bars.

Commission President Tim O’Donnell passed the request onto the town’s Parks and Recreation Committee to consider the request and any possible options.

 

What Brown Water Means

In February, some residents saw brown water coming out of their faucets. It was reported to the town office, and staff investigated.

Brown water is caused by a sudden spike in water pressure, which comes from unauthorized access to the water system. In this case, it came from an unauthorized access to a fire hydrant. It is illegal to tap into a fire hydrant without approval from the town. Not only does it cause brown water, it can damage the water pipes.

Please notify the town immediately at 301-600-6300 if you see any individuals, other than town staff and the fire department, using fire hydrants.

 

Algae Control System Approved

The Emmitsburg Town Commissioners approved a new algae-control system that will destroy algae in the water of Rainbow Lake.

LG Sonic uses ultrasound waves to destroy algae. It modulates the ultrasound frequency to target different types of algae to prevent them from rising to the surface to reach sunlight. Without sunlight, the algae die and sink to the bottom. Most of the systems use solar panels to power the technology, so there is little energy consumption.

The cost of the system is $38,650, which not only pays for the system, but gets it up and running. After that, the town will pay $13,000 a year for calibration, interactive monitoring to adjust the sonic waves for the different types of algae, and on-site servicing.

If the system doesn’t live up to the commissioners’ expectations, Kershner Environmental Technologies will buy the system back for $15,000.

 

Town Gets Clean Audit Report

The Town of Emmitsburg received an unmodified opinion (good) in its annual audit of town finances, conducted by Draper and McGinley of Frederick. The audit is required of all municipalities, to be conducted annually to make sure that they are following the best financial practices, and if they are not, alert them to changes that need to be made.

 

Commissioner Appointments Made

The Emmitsburg Commissioners appointed Joyce Rosensteel to a five-year term on the town Planning Commission. The alternate member position is still vacant.

The commissioners also appointed Dianne Walbrecker to a three-year term on the Board of the Appeals. Ronald Lynn was also appointed to fill out the unexpired term of Larry Pavek, who resigned from the board, and a three-year term following the end of the unexpired term. This still leaves two vacancies on the board: one for a regular member and one for an alternate member.

 

Thurmont

Thurmont Police See Jump in Calls for Service

In 2014, the Thurmont Police Department’s calls for service were 8,465. Last year, that number was 12,482.

“I’ve been here eleven years, and that’s the highest I’ve seen it since I’ve been here,” Chief Greg Eyler told the commissioners.

He attributed some of the increase to more crime, but he also noted that citizens were being more proactive in reporting suspicious activity. Answering a question from a commissioner, Eyler also noted that some of the crime increase could be from crimes, such as vehicle break-ins, that people are committing to fund drug habits.

He pointed out that despite the increase in calls for service, Thurmont has a low level of serious crime.

Some citizens were concerned about the number of calls that took Thurmont Police officers out of town to assist other law enforcement agencies. This came about from some misinterpreted data in the Frederick News Post. According to Eyler, of the 12,482 calls for service, only 252 were to assist other agencies, and of that number, only 110 required a Thurmont officer to leave Thurmont. This is less than one percent of the calls for service that Thurmont Police answered in 2016.

 

Creeger House Needs Repairs

Members of the Thurmont Historical Society told the Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners that the home of the Thurmont Historical Society Creeger House is desperately in need of repairs. Ethel Creeger donated the house to the historical society in 1989. The original portion of the house is a log cabin built in the 1920s. Col. John Rouzer, a state senator and Civil War soldier, called the building home. It is not only a historical structure, but it contains artifacts, documents, and genealogy of local interest.

The building has “big problems,” according to Historical Society President Donna Voellinger.

The exterior bricks are deteriorating, and, in some cases, turning to sand. The brick cladding on the log cabin is also threatening to pull away in some places. The roof has holes in it that sunlight can be seen through.

The Historical Society is seeking donations to help pay for the needed repairs. The funds will go toward a matching $30,000 grant from the Maryland Historical Trust. This means that for each donated dollar, the historical will get another dollar.

“The Creeger House does not belong to us,” Voellinger said. “It belongs to the community, and we’ve lost a lot of buildings already; we don’t want to lose this one.”

The Town of Thurmont is considering adding a donation to the town’s budget to help the Historical Society. Work on the Creeger House would not start until at least July.

Last year, more than two hundred people visited the Creeger House from twenty different states.

 

Thurmont Receives Clean Audit

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners received their annual audit during the February 7 town meeting. McLean, Koehler, Sparks and Hammond of Frederick conducted the audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015. Megan Baker and Barbara Walker of MKS&H presented the highlights of the audit to the commissioners and answered any questions.

“This audit is probably one of the best we’ve ever had,” Walker told the commissioners. The town received a clean audit report, which means that the town is handling its money and assets and reporting it in a proper way.

 

Commissioners Want to Turn Railroad Bridge into Art

The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners recently discussed how to improve the old Midland Railroad bridge over Church Street and turn it into something attractive.

Commissioner Marty Burns wants to spearhead the effort and form a citizen’s committee that will make recommendations to the town about what can be done with the bridge.

The 1936 bridge shows some rust and worn paint on the metal bridge, while the abutments show wear and water staining.

Mayor John Kinnaird supported Burns’ efforts and showed some pictures of what other communities have done with their railroad bridges. They have used the abutments to paint murals and painted the bridges with attractive colors.

Both Burns and Kinnaird said they would like to see the bridge painted with the word “Thurmont” or “Welcome to Thurmont.”

Kinnaird said that he believes that the bridge wouldn’t need to be sandblasted, which would save a lot of money. He said that he believed a fish-oil paint could be used on the bridge, and it would hold up well.

“It is quick, instantaneous,” Burns said. “People will see it change to the positive just with paint on it. It doesn’t cost us a lot of money.”

It would also allow the town time to see if a grant could be found to make improvements to the bridge. It is estimated that it would cost about $13,000 to refinish the abutments and prepare them to be painted.

 

Food Bank Parking Lot Expansion Approved

The Town of Thurmont had purchased the home at 8 Frederick Road with the idea of expanding the parking lot at the Thurmont Food Bank. The Thurmont Mayor and Commissioners recently approved a bid of $33,925 from R. L. McNair and Sons to demolish the house, grade the property, and apply asphalt to expand the parking lot.

 

Appointments Made

New Thurmont Police Officer Richard Gast was sworn in during a recent town meeting.

Also, the commissioners reappointed Board of Appeals members Kirby Delauter and Carol Robertson to the commission. They also appointed alternate member Jason West to a new term as a full member of the board.

 

Mayor John Kinnaird

March is upon us and brings with it the hope of nice weather! With this in mind, the Thurmont Green Team is currently taking applications for the Community Garden on Carroll Street. This project was started last year by the Green Team as a way for residents to have small garden plots for growing vegetables, flowers, or fruit. The Community Garden was a big hit, and I am sure this year will be as well. Be sure to stop at the town office to reserve a spot before they are all gone. I thank the Green Team for starting this project, as well as many others, including the planting of wildflowers along the Maryland Midland tracks.

Speaking of the Maryland Midland railway, Commissioner Burns has once again brought forth the idea of getting the Church Street railroad bridge painted and having Thurmont added to the steel bridge to welcome visitors to our town. Once we get permission from the parent company, Genessee Wyoming, to move forward with the project, we will be asking for volunteers to help establish a committee to help guide the process. Several years ago, Karen and I approached the railroad but could not get a commitment from them to allow any work to be done. We had made a proposal based on a plan to paint the steel bridge, repair the abutments, and then add a mural to each of the abutments. I had proposed painting a mural of the Western Maryland Railway Station, with a steam locomotive on the West abutment. On the East abutment would be a mural of the Hagerstown and Frederick station, the adjoining substation and a trolley car. It is my hope that we can at least get the steel painted and have Thurmont, our town seal, and the Genessee and Wyoming logos placed, and have the abutments repaired and coated. The murals can be added as we get funding or donations of time. The murals may be a good way to get art students at Catoctin and local colleges involved in community service. Once we get going, please think about helping us with either a donation or hands on assistance with the work.

The repairs on the Roddy Road Covered Bridge are nearly complete, and Frederick County plans on it being open to traffic sometime in mid-March. One of the final improvements to be completed prior to the opening is the installation of height warning devices at both ends of the bridge. These will consist of two structures made of wooden posts, with a cross beam and a metal plate hung to the 8’ – 6” maximum height allowed over the bridge. The warning devices will be set far enough from the bridge that they will have little visual impact on the bridge itself. There is also going to be a truck turnaround area on Roddy Road, to the South side of the bridge. The town will be working with the County to improve the truck route signage within Thurmont to help guide trucks safely to Rt. 15. The bridge is looking great and looks almost exactly as it did before the truck damaged it last year. The County has also made vast improvements to the Roddy Road Covered Bridge Park. Roddy Creek Road has been moved away from the bridge and a small park with parking, picnic facilities, and nice walkways will now greet visitors interested in stopping at the bridge.

As a resident, and now Mayor of our community, I have always been very proud of our Police Department, and I am pleased to welcome our Force Officer Richard Gast. Officer Gast comes to us with many years of experience in the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and as a member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His duties will include investigations, traffic enforcement, and patrol. Please be sure to welcome Officer Gast to our community!

As always, I look forward to speaking to our residents and remind you that I can be reached via email at jkinnaird@thurmont.com or by cell at 301-606-9458.

Mayor Don Briggs

With the winter banquet season now drawing to a close and the Super Bowl behind us, there is not much left to blur the stark reality of winter. Left to a sullen impatience is the unsettled longing for spring. While heartened by the unhurried longer daylight hours, it was the surprise guest of a few warm days that gave a nod to the hope of an early spring. Also stirred by the elixir of warmer temperatures so obliging to my anxious imagination, was the restless ambition of Lib’s perennials pushing up throughout the backyard to confirm the possibility. Oh, so tempting the signals be.

If I seem particularly attentive to the signs of spring, it is because this is the spring the Square – Main Street revitalization project is to begin. Yes, finally after four years of plotting and planning, that seems to us at times to be moving at a glacier pace, but to our development partner the State Highway Administration (SHA), as moving along at an unimpeded rush. This project along with the now underway East Street – Flat Run Bridge replacement, a 100 percent SHA project, when complete, will, for the first time, provide connected sidewalks through the downtown along Main Street, from the Brookfield and Pembrook Woods subdivisions to the west and the Silo Hill commercial area to the east.

All of this has been done as a compatible part of a State of Maryland Sustainable Communities Program. One of the first decisions I made when I came into office was to go with the Sustainable Community Program, and not the state Main Street program, a decision I haven’t regretted for a minute. Private property façade grants under the program, together with our own initiatives, have exceeded expectations. To the five consecutive years of matching grant awards, totaling $250,000, results in $500,000 invested in the town historical property façades area. During the same period, pedestrian connectivity and safety has been enhanced, with eight sidewalk connections throughout the town. Now with the downtown revitalization project about to start, it is all coming together. We are moving to a goal of a more walkable town. Thank you for your patience.

On April 6, 1917, the United States, through joint congressional action, declared war on the German Empire. On April 8, 2017, the American Legion and VFW will recognize the 100th Anniversary of this declaration at noon at the Doughboy.

Working through the State House is a blighted properties bill. Though giving much-needed attention to a municipal problem, the bill seems to give a pass to banks and their foreclosed-on properties. The bill might have to be accepted as at least a step in the right direction.

Another pending bill is Senate Bill 141 that would require Maryland’s local board of elections to establish polling places at each public and private college and university in the State that awards baccalaureate or graduate-level degrees and has campus housing. The local election boards must pay a reasonable fee to cover the costs of the space. Imagine everyone in Emmitsburg having to go to the Mount.

My response: If public schools need to take back a normal closing day, Election Day, the Town of Emmitsburg has an optional location for polling. Moving the polling site to the Mount would be inconvenient and expensive for the town residents, and particularly devastating to our senior residents. More to come on the progress of this bill.

 

Deb Spalding

The members of the Thurmont Community Ambulance Service, Inc. have officially opened a large facility for public event rentals and their own fundraising activities. This 28,600-square-foot venue was designed by Company member, Jim Rice. It is situated on 21.5 acres of ground, adjacent to the Thurmont Little League baseball fields in Thurmont, and accessed by Lawyer’s Lane off of Route #550.

The 10,000-square-foot main room seats eight hundred people spaciously, and can accommodate many more, standing. The stage is 46’x18’ and is accessed by stairs or a lift. Five ambulance bays, a storage bay, and a huge, and a fully-equipped (thanks to a gracious donor) kitchen complete the spacious facility. From the main room, there are several serving windows, including a self-serve soda fountain and two bar windows.

Future plans include the use of the grounds for festivals, weddings, and outdoor events. In the future, pavilions and amenities will be built on the grounds for that purpose. The water wheel from the former Cozy Restaurant will eventually be installed in some manner for all to enjoy.

The Company’s president, Lowman Keeney, said, “The construction took two-and-a-half years, and there were many road blocks. Our own membership did a tremendous amount of the work.” Donations and grants were heavily relied upon throughout the process. Funding was provided through Frederick County Bank, with Denise Guyton Boyer and Roxan Welch managing the allocation. “Thanks to all who volunteered to make the project come to life,” expressed Keeney.

Renters may either arrange that the Ambulance Company to cater their events or rent the facility and contract their choice of caterer. The Ambulance Company has a full liquor license for events they sponsor. The Ambulance Company has planned sportsman dinners, seafood feeds, bingos, and concerts inside the complex, beginning with an Open House for the community to tour the facility on February 11, 2017, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Upcoming events include a Turkey, Ham & Oyster Dinner on February 18, a Wing & Fried Shrimp Feed on March 25, a Pot Pie & Fried Chicken Feed on March 31, and the band, The Amish Outlaws, on November 11.

“We appreciate when citizens attend a function, because their participation comes back as a donation for the community to provide emergency services. The alternative is paying taxes for the services. We do have twelve-hour career staff from 6:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday,” said Keeney.

dsc_3478

The spacious main room at the new Thurmont Community Ambulance Event Complex is shown.

dsc_3485

Pictured is the grand, fully equipped kitchen at the new Thurmont Community Ambulance Event Complex.