Saturday, December 22, 2012

Day 111 - Emmitsburg, MD

Holiday Doorway
I can't believe I had never set foot in Emmitsburg.  I blame my daughter.  She was the director of a physical therapy clinic there for a number of years, and she never told me how wonderfully rich it is for photos, history, and just plain interesting things to see!  Of course, she was (and still is) singlemindedly focused on work and on being a mother, so advising her own mother on "must see" places for my photo walks is not on her list of priorities.

Emmitsburg is in northern Frederick County, just below Gettysburg.  To get there, you take a scenic drive north on Rt. 15, with the Catoctin Mountain range and its beautiful farms paralleling the highway for many miles.  On the highway, before turning to go into the center of town, you pass Mount Saint Mary's University, with its gold leaf, bronze figure of the Blessed Mother rising well above the trees like a golden beacon.  Mount St. Mary's and the grotto located there will be the scenes of future walks I take.

On the way into town, you pass huge buildings, including the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, FEMA's National Emergency Training Center, the Daughters of Charity, and The National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.  These historic places all combine to make Emmitsburg a big attraction for Catholics and firefighters alike, and the town reflects that in several ways.  They all have beautiful grounds, too, so more walks are being planned.

One of many churches in town.
I found Main Street and parked behind one of the many churches in town.  Emmitsburg also is a Civil War town, with a very rich history.  Its brick and stone buildings line Main Street, with commerce clustered in the center.  Big buildings such as the VFW, the fire department, some old inns/hotels that have been converted to apartments, and a few restaurants are clustered at the main intersection.

I walked from one end of Main Street to the other, photographing doors and homes and churches, as usual, when the fire siren sounded.  I happened to be at the main intersection at that moment, and the fire station was a few doors away.  I hurried to the station to see firefighters suiting up and jumping onto the trucks.  Two trucks roared away, and a couple of other emergency vehicles came from other areas of town.  They took off down Main Street, and as I walked to the other end of the street, I came across the Emmit House, sitting perpendicular to Main Street in the center of the road, forcing traffic to split into two directions around it.  Just beyond that were the emergency vehicles, but it looked like they were wrapping things up by the time I got there (I just happened to be going in the same direction on my walk -- I did not chase after them.)  The Emmit House has a long history, but it is now private apartments.  It has one of the original Doughboy statues in front.

Ott's window reflecting the VFW
I turned around and walked back to the center of town, and I went into Ott's to have a hot chocolate.  What a great bar!  It is next to the fire deparment, and the walls and bar top are covered with patches from fire departments around the country.  There is so much colorful firefighting memorabilia in that bar that it creates a delightful clutter.  Many firefighters come to Emmitsburg to the training center here, and patches from the visitors to the bar end up stapled on the wall as a reminder of their visit.  When I edited the photo of the firefighter running to the truck, I noticed that the wall of the fire station is also covered with patches.

I feel like I had a perfect holiday treat with my visit to Emmitsburg.  I look forward to going there again, soon!

Guarding the Remote

The Ott House Pub & Restaurant

Colorful clutter behind the bar

John Wayne on duty

My hot chocolate -- patches under the bar top

Hurricane Sandy Relief: Donate to the Red Cross, and I will mail you a 5 x 7 print from any of the photos I have posted on my blog OR any photo on my website.

Forward to me via email a receipt for donating to the Red Cross. Tell me whether the photo is from the blog or the website, and Include its title along with a mailing address. The name on the receipt to the Red Cross must match the name of the mailing recipient. Send the receipt and the photo request to

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Cam's rules for the Daily Photo Walk:
  1. walk every day
  2. the walk must be in addition to any other planned activity for the day
  3. post a photo every day
  4. use my Nikon P7100 (it is a very convenient size and weight)
  5. no weather excuses
  6. walk only where it is safe to do so

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