Gateway to the Mountains
Chapter 34: Bicentennial Celebration — 1951
The Bicentennial Celebration of 1951 was, without a doubt, one of the greatest celebrations ever staged by the
citizens of Thurmont. When a community such as Thurmont, reaches its 200th birthday, it's time for a celebration.
It all began in the Spring of 1951, when a group of civic-minded citizens called a community meeting to discuss plans
and begin preparations for a gala week-long celebration and homecoming. The response to this meeting and the interest shown in the celebration
from its inception to the thrilling climax, was the reason for its tremendous success.
The first order of business was to select a Steering Committee to shoulder the many responsibilities pertaining to
such a celebration. The following citizens were appointed:
- Howard R. Damuth — General Chairman
- D. Saylor Weybright — Vice Chairman
- S. Elmer Barnhart — 2nd Vice Chairman
- George W. Wireman — Secretary
- Edgar B. Palmer — Treasurer
General Chairman, Howard R. Damuth, called many meetings and followed closely the progress of the committees. After
many weeks of hard work, Chairman Damuth called a special meeting of all committee chairmen on July 17 at which time last minute de-tails were
discussed and attended to. By Saturday, July 21, the town was buzzing with activity for the long-awaited celebration was just a day away.
The streets and business places were gaily decorated with flags as were many of the individual homes. Many former
residents of Thurmont had returned for the celebration, visiting with relations and friends. The many and varied decorations, window displays
and exhibits attracted visitors and residents alike, and even tourists passing through stopped for a stroll before continuing on their
Sunday, July 22, 1951
The first day of the celebration was ushered in with special church services conducted by the churches in the
community. Those who took part were: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, St. Stephen's, Harriet Chapel, Evangelical United Brethren, St. Johns Lutheran,
Thurmont Methodist, Church of the Brethren, Trinity Reformed and Apple's Church.
From Noon to 3:00 P.M. former residents and visitors to the community, visited the Firemen's Hall where they were
officially registered. Registration committee members enjoyed their job and renewed many old friendships.
By 3:00 P.M. a large crowd had gathered at the site of the old Town Hall, for the dedication ceremonies of the new
Preceding the program, Mrs. E. G. Miller of Boonsboro, Maryland, gave an organ recital, and her daughter Betty,
rendered several enjoyable accordion solos.
D. S. Weybright, President of the Guardian Hose Company, acted as Master of Ceremonies. The Rev. Charles H. Corbett,
St. Johns Lutheran Church gave the invocation. Members of the Building Committee, the Bicentennial Queen and Her Court, visiting firemen as
well as County and State officials present were recognized and introduced. Howard R. Damuth, Vice President of the fire company, presented a
historical sketch of the company from its beginning in 1887 to the present.
Governor, Theodore R. McKeldin then dedicated the new $40,000.00 building and delivered a most inspiring address,
"Here Is America." He pointed out that it was events such as this, held all over America, that combine to make this nation of ours great.
James Fisher sang a solo, "God Bless America" after which the ceremonies closed with the benediction by the Rev. Edouard Taylor of Trinity
Open House was then conducted by the local firemen and light refreshments were served by Mrs. Harry O. Miller, Mrs.
John P. Weddle, Mrs. Carroll Brown and Miss Blanche S. Eyler.
Following the dedication Governor McKeldin and his party, accompanied by a small group of local citizens, mostly
members of the Bicentennial Committee, walked about the town viewing the many window displays and exhibits of old relics of days gone by.
The group then visited Cozy Restaurant where they were entertained and served a delicious ham supper. The proprietor,
Wilbur R. Freeze, presented the Governor with a large Maryland cured country ham.
The first day of the celebration closed with vespers and a hymn sing in the beautiful little Memorial Park. The
program, getting underway at 7:30 P.M., was under the supervision of Rev. Ivan G. Naugle, who presented a most inspiring service. The program
included singing by the congregation; musical selections by the choirs of the various churches; a trombone solo by Luther Robinson, Jr.; solo
by Miss Patsy Shook, and a lesson from the scriptures.
Monday, July 23, 1951
Only two events were scheduled for Monday, but everyone turned out for them. The soaring temperatures failed to keep
any-one home or from joining Louis A. Jones, who served as lecturer on a tour of the many points of interest in and around the community.
Included in the tour was the Match House, Webster's Spring, Catoctin Mountain Park, Cunningham Falls, Tresselt's Fish Hatchery, the Floyd
Akers estate where Herbert Hoover visited on occasions, Jungleland Snake Farm, Weller's Church and the old Weller home-stead. The tour was
made by bus and private cars, leaving the Square at 1:00 P.M. and returning at 5:15 P.M.
In the evening, the Thurmont High School auditorium was filled to capacity for the showing of "Thurmont On Parade," a
moving picture sponsored by the Thurmont Lions Club and featuring such highlights as the ground breaking ceremonies of the Thurmont Shoe
Company; the opening of the farm shop during World War II; lo-cal citizens leaving their respective churches following Sunday services, and
many other memorable occasions. Also included on the program was a film featuring highlights of the George Washington Sesquicentennial
Celebration staged by the citizens of Thurmont in 1932.
Tuesday, July 24, 1951
Tuesday was reserved for the Bicentennial Picnic, sponsored by the Thurmont Conservation and Sportsman's Club. This
event was held at the club's headquarters along the Monocacy River near Creagerstown. A very enjoyable outing with many amusements and lots of
food was well attended. The Bicentennial Committee arranged transportation for those who needed it and everyone agreed that the Committee had
left nothing to chance in preparing for the event.
Wednesday, July 25, 1951
Wednesday morning was reserved for the judging of the flower and vegetable gardens and the many homes and window
displays. In the afternoon a large crowd gathered in the United Brethren Cemetery to pay tribute to the founder of Mechanicstown, Jacob
Weller. The special memorial services were conducted by the Ed-win C. Creeger, Jr. Post 168 of the American Legion. In honoring Jacob Weller
and the other early pioneer settlers, Post Commander, Lloyd C. Mackley said in part:
"We pay tribute today to those strong and courageous pioneers who passed this way 200 years ago in search of a home,
and finding these surroundings much to their pleasure, remained to build their homes, laying the foundations of this great community which
we now claim as our own.
"Not only do we pay tribute to these pioneer settlers who have experienced untold hardships and met dangers, but in
the same pride and spirit of devotion we honor their brave sons who have paid the supreme sacrifice to preserve for us this heritage and
keep us free from the tyranny that threatens the world.
"As we place these flags upon the grave of Jacob Weller as a token of the sacredness of his memory, and to all the
pioneer settlers, and upon the spot marked with a monument "To The Unknown Soldier," may we exemplify their devotion, and all that we note
of them, in our daily living in this hour of grave responsibilities.
"To our heroic dead, before whose monument we extend this our National Emblem, may we ever likewise be devoted and
reminded that they have not died in vain. May that spirit of giving the last full measure of devotion be our spirit as we continue to defend
and protect her glory."
The Bicentennial Committee sponsored a buffet supper in Memorial Park beginning at 5:30 P.M. and all who attended this
event will agree that there was every kind of food available and in great quantity.
Following the supper, hundreds more gathered in the park for a hand concert by the Yellow Springs Concert Band, under
the able direction of Charles C. T. Stull. The band presented a most enjoyable concert, playing a wide variety of selections. Included on the
program were marches, overtures, popular numbers and several solos. During the program the band played Fillmore's march, "His Honor,"
dedicating it to Mayor S. Elmer Barnhart. The concert closed with the playing of the "Star Spangled Banner" as everyone stood at attention.
All who witnessed the concert agreed that it was one of the finest performances ever given by the band.
Thursday, July 26, 1951
The three major industries of Thurmont held open house, inviting the citizens to visit their plants and sec them in
The Thurmont Shoe Company presented a most interesting tour which featured the 265 operations necessary in the
manufacture of a pair of shoes. This firm produces approximately 1,400 pairs of shoes daily and over 330,000 pairs annually. There are 170
per-sons employed by the shoe company and the finished product is sold at 101 stores located throughout the country.
Moore Business Forms, Inc., the world's largest manufacturer of business forms of all types, welcomed the opportunity
for open house, as they were new to Thurmont, having just opened the Thurmont Plant in December of 1950. The tour began in the office, where
samples of the business forms printed in Thurmont were displayed and explained. The public was then invited into the factory, where they could
see the various steps required in producing "the right business form for every form of business."
The Claire Frock Co., which manufactures garments sold through-out the United States and Europe provided a most
interesting tour of their operations. Beginning with the first operation in the cutting room, they took the visitor through each step of
manufacture. The tour concluded with a visit to the packing room where the dresses are pressed, folded and prepared for shipment. Three
thousand dresses are produced daily by the company and they employ 125 persons.
Thurmont is very proud of these industries and is deeply grateful to them for providing local employment.
The Thurmont High School auditorium was the scene of a most colorful pageant, "Gateway To The Mountains," presented on
Thursday and Saturday nights to capacity crowds. The pageant depicted life in Mechanicstown from the time of the early settlers to the
Written by Miss Laura Sylvester, the pageant was under the direction of Miss Mildred Trevvett, music teacher at the
local school. The scenery which added greatly to the production was painted under the supervision of Paul R. Strine, artist and designer.
Lee Munshour acted as historian and entered in the first scene through the gateway which opened and revealed the
mountain range in the background. The lighting effects in the second scene when the Indians sat around and smoked the peace pipe, made one of
the most colorful scenes of the pageant. Other scenes were well arranged for the various outstanding events in the life of the early settlers.
A choir of twenty voices, directed by Miss Trevvett, contributed fitting selections throughout the pageant. Those
taking part were: Jeanne Barnhart, Alice Bittner, Peggy Blair, Lucy Corl, Olive Duble, Evelyn Green, Naomi Mackley, Lois Mumford. Betty
Miller, Erma Rice, Bernadette Warrenfeltz, Patsy Wolfe, Harold Bittner, Raymond Boller, James Fisher, Emmert Rice, Emory Stottlemyer, Daniel
Weybright and Harold Weybright. Miss Madeline Buhrman was the accompanist.
Listed below are the scenes and those taking part in them: Scene I. "The Gateway," Lee Munshour, historian.
Scene II. "The Indians of the Forest," Medicine Man, Don Rogerson; Indian Chieftains, Frank Martin, Murray Miller;
Drummer, Ernest Rice; Braves, Dickie Creager, Gerald Freeze, Jim Hoffman, Calvin Lawyer, Donald Lynn, Mickey Miller, Terry Miller; Squaws,
Dorothy Barnhart, Shirley Broadbent, Laura Clabaugh, Ethel Jeanne Gardner, Claudia Hoffman, Ruby Lidie, Elizabeth Reid and Beth Royer.
Scene III. "The Arrival of the Early Settlers," Pioneer Family, June Brown, Don Rogerson, Donald Stitely and Larry
Scene IV. "Activities of the Home," Early Settlers, Bonnie Blair, Margaret Carback, Edith Creager, Lillian Damuth,
Lucille Martin, Gertrude Stoner and Margaret Weddle.
Scene V. "The First Matches." The Weller Brothers, Frank Martin and Peachy Lewis.
Scene VI. "Pioneer Worship," Preacher, D. S. Weybright; Congregation, Barbara Bittner, Shirley Broadbent, Laura
Clabaugh, Minnie Corbett, Edith Creager, Janice Lewis, Lucille Martin, Eleanor Miller, Patsy Shook, Betsy Smith, Gertrude Stoner, Margaret
Weddle, Leroy Boller, Donald Lynn, Murray Miller, Don Rogerson, Donald Stitely, Larry Tressler, Franklin Valentine and Chester Zentz.
Scene VII. "School Days," Teacher, Tolbert Lawyer; Students, Claudia Hoffman, Sue Hoffman, Sara Gray, Lila Lee Martin,
Dorothy Jeanne Strine, Pat Strine, Shirley Zentz, Dickie Creager, Jim Hoffman, Calvin Lawyer, Mickey Miller, Ernest Rice and Donald Wilders.
Scene VIII. "Finale," Faith, Beth Royer; Industry, Pat Fraley; Brotherhood, Lila Lee Martin.
There were a number of committees who worked hard on the pageant and without their help it would not have been the
success it was. Some of the committees necessary in producing "Gateway To The Mountains" were, Art and Scenery, Properties, Lighting, Stage
Managers, Posters, Tickets, Ushers and many others.
Serving on these committees were the following: Paul R. Strine, Janet Boller, John Bailey, Shirley Broadbent, Beatrice
Freshman, Tolbert Lawyer, Frank Martin, Don Rogerson, Dorothy Wagerman, Dickie Hobbs, Jackie Miller, Leroy Riffle, Harold Weddle, Laura
Clabaugh, Lottie Clabaugh, Betty Ann Favorite, Sue Ferguson, Dorothy Gorman, Dottie Ann Jackson, Janice Lewis, Linda Shook.
Before the pageant opened each evening, Howard R. Damuth, Chairman of the Bicentennial Steering Committee. spoke
briefly, extending thanks and appreciation to all who helped in making the pageant and the Bicentennial Celebration a success.
Friday, July 27, 1951
On Friday morning, starting at 10 o'clock, open house was held at the following general industries and business shops:
Creager's Funeral Home, Creager's Furniture Store, The Thurmont Bank, Hershey's 5 and 10c Store, Gall and Smith, Weigle and Testerman, Howard
F. Late Company, Thurmont Flooring and Lumber Co., Thurmont Recreation Center, Cozy Restaurant, Kesselring's Machine Shop, Hammaker's
Memorial, Thurmont Co-Operative, and the Eagle Broom Works.
Local citizens as well as visitors to the community were surprised at the activities in Thurmont and it was suggested
that open house should be held from time to time to better acquaint the citizens with their community.
Friday evening citizens and homecomers alike gathered at the High School Cafeteria for a banquet celebrating the
town's 200th birthday. More than 200 persons were in attendance. Mr. Charles Mathias of Frederick, a "son of Thurmont" presided as
toastmaster. Following the singing of "America," Rev. Charles H. Corbett gave the invocation and a delicious roast turkey dinner was served.
The program opened with the group singing "Daisy, Daisy," led by Miss Elizabeth Reid, Queen of the Bicentennial, and
her court. Greetings were extended to all by Mr. Mathias and Howard R. Damuth, Chairman of the Bicentennial Steering Committee.
On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, Mayor S. Elmer Barn-hart presented a gift to Mr. Damuth in appreciation for
all the work which he had done in making the Bicentennial Celebration a grand affair which will be long remembered.
Mrs. Clifton Blair sang "Life's Lullaby," accompanied at the piano by Mrs. Harry Zcntz.
Toastmaster Mathias remarked that he felt that an appropriate theme for the banquet would be, "Backward, turn
backward, 0 time in your flight, Make me a boy, just for tonight." He recalled his early days in Thurmont and the two boys who were his pals —
Horace Rouzer, who lived on Church Street directly opposite his home, and Russell Waesche, who lived just a short distance up the street. He
cited how each had made a great name for himself before passing into the Great Beyond.
It might be well to point out here that Horace Rouzer became Assistant Architect of the Capitol in Washington, D. C.,
and Russell Waesche joined the United States Coast Guard and was advanced to a full Admiral.
Although not mentioned at that time, friends as they chatted together during the evening recalled to memory Robert
Tyson, also a "son of Thurmont" who likewise made a name for himself as Vice President of the United States Steel Corporation.
A number of citizens were called upon to give some events out of the past and these were very interesting. Those who
contributed to this portion of the program were: A. J. Williar, Miss Linnie McGuigan, Miss Grace Henshaw, Miss Mary Waesche, Miss Carrie
Boblitz, Mrs. Sadie Sayler Boerner, Miss Ada B. Crouse, Mrs. Raymond Creager, Robert Freeze, George Lickle, Mrs. Lottie Gall and others.
Miss McGuigan read a greeting from William Schnure, who had been in Thurmont several days during the celebration, but
was unable to remain for the banquet.
Miss Mary Ruth Weybright contributed to the program by playing a piano solo, "Marsguena," by Lecuona.
Before closing the program, Mr. Damuth gave special recognition to the Banquet Committee Chairmen, Mrs. Morris
Willhide and Mrs. Ross C. Firor, and to the Dining Room Committee Chair-men, Mrs. Murray Miller and Mrs. Viola Seipler.
As a fitting close to the program, Mrs. Blair sang "May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You." The group then sang "Auld
Lang Sync" and the benediction was pronounced by Rev. Corbett, after which old friends got together for a chat and a friendly visit.
Saturday, July 28, 1951
There were only two events scheduled for Saturday; a baseball game at 2:00 P.M. and a repeat performance of the
pageant at 9:00 P.M.
The baseball game was between Thurmont and Damairy, both teams being members of the County Baseball League, proved to
be very interesting, but Damairy defeated Thurmont by a score of 7 to 2. As the local team members walked off the field they found themselves
at the very bottom of the league standing. Middletown was first. Union Bridge second, Damairy third, and Thurmont, last.
Saturday evening the local school auditorium was again packed for the second performance of the pageant, "Gateway To
The Mountains." There were a number of citizens in attendance who were seeing it for the second time and remarked how entertaining and
instructive it was.
Sunday, July 29, 1951
Sunday morning the churches of the community conducted special services as they had previously done the week before.
From Noon until 3:00 P.M. the members of the Edwin C. Creeger, Jr. Post #168 of the American Legion were hosts to the
community as they held open house and dedicated the new legion home located on Park Lane.
On hand for the dedication ceremonies was the Second Army Band from Fort George G. Meade, who rendered a full hour
con-cert. In addition to the selections by the band there was a vocalist who sang "Some Enchanted Evening" and "The Last Time I Saw Paris." It
is believed that the vocalist was none other than Eddie Fisher, who was in the service at the time and traveled with the band on its personal
appearances. A group of the men in the band also sang several musical selections.
The dedication ceremonies began at 2:00 P.M. and were under the direction of Post Commander, Lloyd C. Mackley.
Invocation was given by Rev. Charles H. Corbett, pastor of the St. Johns Lutheran Church.
Commander Mackley spoke briefly on the history of the local post and the new Legion Home. The local post was founded
in November of 1945 and the new home was constructed in 1950 and completed just a week before the dedication, at a cost of $58,000.00. The
post was named after Edwin C. Creeger, Jr., the first lad from Thurmont who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of his country during
World War Il.
Robert T. Fink, the newly-elected Post Commander, acting as Master of Ceremonies, introduced Mayor S. Elmer Barnhart
who spoke briefly. Mrs. Jean Riffle, Unit President was then introduced and in turn introduced Unit State officials.
Commander-elect Fink then introduced visiting guests, invited to the event by the local post.
Marine Brigadier General James P. S. Devereux, retired hero of Wake Island was the main speaker. Stressing the need
for strong economy in our government, General Devereux stated that our pressing problem at present was that of our economic ills. He suggested
that the reducing of money and credits and the increasing of production will be two ways to combat inflation. By reducing taxes on businesses,
production will be encouraged and that will be a partial answer to the question. It is also necessary to reduce the funds for the Federal
Government, he said. A strong defense is necessary, but in closing he remarked that our economic ills can weaken even the strongest defense.
Daniel Burkhardt, Department Adjutant was then introduced and the new Legion Home was dedicated. Mrs. Edna Marks, Vice
President of the Western Maryland District, dedicated the Colors of the Auxiliary Unit. Mrs. Maude Prendergast served as Sgt.-at-Arms and Mrs.
Florence Ford and Mrs. Lucille Fraley were color bearers.
Following the dedication of the Post Home and the Auxiliary Colors, Rev. Corbett pronounced the benediction. The
Colors were retired, a volley fired by the firing squad, and echo taps sounded.
Sunday evening, Memorial Park was the scene of community vesper services, conducted by the Rev. Clarence G. Leatherman,
D.D.. Lutheran minister, retired and a native of Lewistown. The combined choirs of the community churches sang several anthems under the
direction of Mrs. Charles H. Corbett.
Ministers taking part in the service were Rev. Charles H. Corbett, Lutheran; Rev. Ivan G. Naugle, Evan. United
Brethren; Rev. E. D. Bright, Trinity Reformed, retired; and Rev. Robert Huebener, Moravian, retired.
Mrs. Kathleen Elower and Mrs. Harry Zentz were accompanists for the music. James Fisher sang several solos and led the
Although the vesper service was the closing event of the week-long celebration, there were several events scheduled
for the following week. The Annual Firemen's Carnival was being held from July 30 through August 4, and the Bicentennial Committee in
co-operation with the local firemen, thought it best to combine the Annual Firemen's Parade with the Bicentennial Parade and stage just one
Entertainment for the carnival consisted of Monday, Blue Ridge Melody Makers; Tuesday, Martinez Society Animal Circus;
Wednesday, Coronation of Bicentennial Queen, Mammoth Parade, and Concert by the Baltimore Colt's Band; Thursday, Yellow Springs Band Concert;
Friday, Harmony Concert Band; and Saturday, the Hagerstown Civic Band. The carnival proved to be one of the finest the firemen have ever held.
The Bicentennial Parade turned out to be the largest and most colorful parade ever held in Thurmont. Area newspapers covering the event stated
that Thurmont was liter-ally bursting at the scams and rightfully so, for an estimated crowd of 15,000 persons lined the streets to witness
the coronation of the Bicentennial Queen and to watch the parade that immediately followed.
Wednesday, August 1, 1951
The Coronation ceremonies, held in the beautiful setting of Memorial Park, opened with the invocation by Rev. Adam
Grim, Pastor of the Thurmont Methodist Church and President of the Thurmont Ministerial Association. The Honorable Mayor, S. Elmer Barn-hart,
welcomed the visiting dignitaries and guests and introduced the Chairman of the Parade Committee, George W. Wireman, who acted as Master of
Ceremonies. Mr. Wireman gave special recognition to the members of his committee and thanked all persons who had helped with the Coronation
and the parade. Following this he introduced the many dignitaries gathered on the rostrum. These included Col. Fred Delmore, Commanding
Officer of Fort Detrick; Russell H. McCain, personal representative of Governor Theodore R. McKeldin; State Senator, Jacob R. Ramsburg, and
Howard R. Damuth, Chairman of the Bicentennial Steering Committee. At this point the Hagerstown Civic Band rendered a stirring march, "The
Stars and Stripes Forever." As the band concluded its number, the Queen escorted by the Honorable Herman L. Mills, Mayor of Hagerstown,
arrived at the park pavilion. Accompanying the Queen
were the six lovely ladies comprising her court, each escorted by a service man from Fort Detrick. Little Miss Barbara
Hoover, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William R. Hoover, Jr., acted as the crown bearer.
Russell McCain was then introduced and spoke briefly, bringing the best wishes of Governor McKeldin and Mrs. McKeldin,
who were unable to be present due to a previous engagement. Turning to the crown bearer he accepted the crown and proceeded with the
Coronation. As he placed it upon the head of Miss Elizabeth Reid, he spoke these words:
"On behalf of Theodore R. McKeldin, Governor of the State of Maryland, it is with great pleasure that I crown you
'Queen of the Bicentennial.' I am deeply honored to have been chosen by the Governor to act on his behalf in bestowing upon such a lovely and
charming lady this great honor. The citizens of Thurmont are proud of you and the members of your court. Each member of your court is a queen
in her own right. May your reign be successful and filled with happiness."
Following the Coronation, George W. Wireman introduced TV star Bailey Goss, Grand Marshal of the parade. Bailey spoke
briefly and after several dares, kissed the newly-crowned queen, catching her by surprise.
Mayor Barnhart then presented copies of the Bicentennial Brochure to Russell McCain, Herman L. Mills and Bailey Goss.
Mr. William Zentz, President of the Thurmont Lions Club presented a little token of appreciation to Miss Reid and the members of her court.
Rev. Robert Heubener, retired Moravian minister, then pronounced the benediction. As the Hagerstown Civic Band played the "Star Spangled
Banner," a special detachment of troops from Fort Detrick retired the colors. The Queen, escorted by Bailey Goss, left the rostrum followed by
the members of her court. They were met at the park entrance by Mrs. Margaret Thompson and Mrs. Virginia Baker who assisted in arranging the
girls on the beautifully decorated float, sponsored by the Thurmont Lions Club. The float then proceeded to the parade ground, led by the
Hagerstown Civic Band and the troops from Fort Detrick.
Barley Goss escorts Queen to her float
As the Queen arrived at the parade ground, she was greeted with cheers and loud applause. Following a slight delay,
the parade moved off in the following order:
DIVISION I. Bailey Goss, Grand Marshal; George W. Wireman, Parade Chairman; S. Elmer Barnhart, Mayor; Frederick County
Commissioners, U. Grant Hooper, Samuel Young and Robert Rhoderick; Commissioners of Thurmont, Ross V. Smith, Charles R. Ambrose, Russell
Flanagan, and Dory Beard; Russell McCain, personal representative of Governor McKeldin; Color Guard, Edwin C. Creeger, Jr. Post 168, American
Legion; The Baltimore Colts Band; Members of the Guardian Hose Company led by Chief George Black followed by the old hose reel and three
engines; Detachment of Troops, Fort Detrick; Hagerstown Civic Band; Queen's Float, Thurmont Lions Club; Cannon Shoe Company, float; Camp Airy,
Float; Brunswick Vol. Fire Co.
DIVISION II. VFW Drum Corps, Greencastle, Pa.; Irishtown Vol. Fire Co. and equipment; New Windsor Ladies Auxiliary;
New Windsor Vol. Fire Co.; Methodist Church, float, portraying the 100th Anniversary of the Methodist Church in Thurmont; Thurmont
I.O.O.F. Lodge #46; New Market Vol. Fire Co.; Group of Children on bicycles.
DIVISION III. VFW Drum Corps, McGlaughlin Post, Waynesboro, Pa.; Ladies Auxiliary, Westminster, Md.; Westminster Vol.
Fire Co.; Blue Ridge Vol. Fire Co.; Weller's Meeting House, float, sponsored by the United Brethren Church; Pleasant Valley Vol. Fire Co.;
Creagerstown 4-H float; Gaithersburg-Washington Grove Vol. Fire Co.; Gettysburg Fire Company Hook and Ladder Truck.
DIVISION IV. Harmony Concert Band; Boonsboro Ladies Auxiliary, American Legion; Claire Frock Company, float; Owings
Mills Vol. Fire Co.; Taneytown Vol. Fire Co.; New Oxford Vol. Fire Co., New Oxford, Pa.; Graceham Moravian Church, float; Creeger Motor
Company, float; Pikesville Vol. Fire Co.; Mt. Airy Vol. Fire Co.; Thurmont Grange, float; Girls 4-H float.
DIVISION V. Moose Drum Corps, Hagerstown, Md.; Ladies Auxiliary, Hampstead, Md.; Hampstead Vol. Fire Co.; Union Bridge
Vol. Fire Co.; Thurmont Farm Equipment Center, float; Hammaker Brothers Memorials, float; Gettysburg Vol. Fire Co.; McSherrystown, Vol. Fire
Co., McSherrystown, Pa.; Antique car.
DIVISION VI. VFW Drum Corps, Charles Rittenhouse Post, Chambersburg American Legion; Trinity Reformed Church, float;
Thurmont Boy Scout Troop, float; Arcadia Vol. Fire Co.; Fairfield Vol. Fire Co.; Sykesville Vol. Fire Co.; New Midway Vol. Fire Co.; Ladies
Auxiliary, New Midway; Roy Wisotzkey, Hershey Ice Cream Float; Bostion's Garage Tow Truck; St. Johns Lutheran Church, float, M. L. Creager and
DIVISION VII. Morris Frock Drum Corps, Hagerstown American Legion; Thurmont Bank, float; Emmitsburg Vol. Fire Co.;
Walkersville Vol. Fire Co.; Middletown Vol. Fire Co.; Manchester, Vol. Fire Co.; Williamsport Vol. Fire Co.; Gainesville Vol. Fire Co.,
Gainesville, Georgia; Two women on horseback.
It might be well to mention here that although the Gainesville, Georgia Fire Company did not receive an invitation to
the parade, they just happened to be passing through Thurmont and stopped to find out what was going on. Upon hearing of this the Chairman of
the Parade Committee invited them to take part in the parade.
During the parade, Bailey Goss was kept busy waving to the children who greeted him all along the parade route with a
hearty "Hi Bailey."
Highlight of the parade was the appearance of the Baltimore Colts Band. This band, organized in 1948 as a part of the
Baltimore Colts football team, featured many outstanding musicians and was honored by leading the Miss America Beauty Pageant Parade on the
boardwalk of Atlantic City in 1949 and 1950. Thurmont was most fortunate in being able to obtain this outstanding organization for the parade.
Following the parade the Colts Band rendered a concert on the Carnival Grounds, during which time the six lovely and
talented majorettes presented their famous fire-baton twirling exhibition.
At 10:00 P.M. parade prizes were awarded to the following: Best appearing float, Thurmont Methodist Church; Best
appearing hand, Hagerstown Civic Band; Best appearing drum corps, Morris Frock Post, American Legion, Hagerstown; Fire Company coming the
longest distance, Pikesville Vol. Fire Co.; Best appearing Ladies Auxiliary, Hampstead, Md.; Best appearing Fire Company, marching with
equipment and musical organization, Irishtown Vol. Fire Co.; Best appearing Fire Company without musical organization, Middletown Vol. Fire
Company. Following the presentation of the awards, Robert Cissin, Director of the Colts Band presented Parade Chairman, George W. Wireman with
an all-metal baton and was given the honor of directing the band in the "National Emblem March."
Thus ended the celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the founding of this distinctive little community. Although the
actual date when a few rude huts, clustered at the foot of the beautiful Catoctin Mountains, actually became deserving of classification as a
town or village may be cloaked in obscurity, there is ample evidence to support the contention that about 1751, the Wellers chose this
picturesque site as the spot where they wished to make their home. Many and varied have been the circumstances through which this settlement
has passed with the relentless march of time. Through peace and war, through tranquility and disaster, the little settlement of Mechanicstown
grew and prospered, while its population gradually increased until today it boasts proudly of being the third largest municipality in
But amid the joy of our accomplishments during the first two hundred years, we must never forget those sturdy souls
whose early sacrifices and hardships made all of this wealth of development possible. Their struggles with the forces of nature, their
indomitable courage which led them to carve from the mountain fastnesses a place they might call home, their braving the terrors of Indian
war-fare, of isolation, and of solitude — all of these high qualities of spirit have been the soil in which our civilization of today has been
fostered and nourished. It will be difficult for those of this generation to follow in their footsteps and leave behind us during the next two
hundred years, a heritage so worthy of emulation.
| Chapter 35: Historic Wallpaper Decorates White House
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