Historical group ready to move on
after date change
(8/16) A three-year battle to remove
Emmitsburg’s questionable founding date from town documents finally ended this
month and the local historical society which fought for the change is ready to
The Emmitsburg Town Council
voted unanimously on Aug. 7 to pass a resolution to remove the town’s founding
date from the town flag and all town letterhead and other official documents,
leaving just the official incorporation date.
‘‘Unfortunately, every time the ‘founding date’ discussion came about, it
divided instead of united the community,” Commissioner Chris Staiger wrote in
an e-mail to The Gazette on Tuesday. ‘‘Previous Councils had attempted to
address the subject but the outcome still remained confused. Flags were ordered
and then they were destroyed. Minutes were approved and then they were
Staiger wrote that he felt it was necessary for council to make a clear policy
statement that the only ‘founding date’ officially recognized by the would be
the unambiguous Incorporation Date of 1825.”
Mayor James Hoover, who no longer votes with town commissioners, agreed with
the board’s decision.
‘‘I think it’s the right thing,” Hoover said Monday. ‘‘It’s
the same decision that passed in 2003, and then was
reversed at the very
president of the Emmitsburg
Historical Society, which led the fight for the change, said he was
relieved at the decision.
‘‘I’m glad it’s done, but I’m sad at the initial response that the truth
brought about, because
the truth was 100
times more exciting, interesting and fascinating than the lie that had been
presented for the last 50 years,” he said. ‘‘I’m glad it’s done because
now we can get on rediscovering all that had been lost. History needs to be
based upon facts, not folklore.”
The battle began when Hoover asked Hillman to look into the founding date
issue, just to historically certify the town had the correct information. After
doing some research, Hillman discovered that the information displayed on the
town’s seal was wrong.
Now that the Historical Society’s mission has been accomplished, Hillman said
they can concentrate on other things.
‘‘We’re going to shift our focus back to interviewing all the
World War II veterans,
sadly many of which have died. We were unable to capture their stories because
we were focused on addressing this issue,” Hillman said.
He said the group also plans to research the history of the Shield family,
focusing on the history of the Shield farm that was recently given to the town
The society also wants to get together with the
Emmitsburg Lions Club and
plan a celebration of the
Creek Hundred Revolutionary War Patriots as part of next year’s
Emmitsburg Community Day.
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