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Cozy era ends – Cozy’s eyes open

Sarah Harrington

(7/1) In June 2014 the Historical Cozy Restaurant closed its doors for good.

A year later two backhoes began working through the rubble that remained of the Restaurant and Inn after it had been torn down.

The Cozy had been a part of Thurmont for over 85 years. The Cozy was built by Wilbur Freeze and had been a town favorite since it was opened in 1929. Freeze built several other buildings alongside the Cozy on that same land.

Jerry Freeze, Wilbur’s son, informed employees in June 2014 that they would be closing for good after 85 years of running. Now a year later the demolition of the restaurant and Inn has started to make progress.

Freeze sold a majority of the land to neighboring business Criswell Chevrolet. Before moving forward with the sale and allowing Criswell to do what they intended with the land, Freeze made sure that one of the original guest cabins from the inn would remain in Thurmont.

The cabin was offered to the Thurmont Historical Society as a gift, and subsequently moved to the grounds of the Cregger House. The society plans to restore and maintain the cabin using it as an exhibit on the grounds. Councilman Kirby Delauter volunteered to do the honors of moving the cabin. Kirby provided an experienced crew of six who were able to successfully move the cabin to its new home.

With the cabin moved safely Criswell Automotive was able to begin their demolition plans. Delauter provided his services once again in the tear down of the restaurant and inn. During the clearing of the rubble one of Delauter’s workers, Jack Merrbaugh, noticed insulation in the rubble moving. After giving the rubble a closer look Merrbaugh discovered 3 kittens that were only 2 weeks old. Upon being notified of the discovery, Kirby ordered a halt to all demolition until a through search of the area was made to verify all kittens were rescued from the rubble. The kittens names were Cozy, Jerry, and Scatch. They were placed with the local Feral Cat Rescue group, and once they are old enough they will be placed for adoption.

Two days later, seven 3-week old baby skunks were found amongst the debris. Once again Kirby ordered a halt to ruble removal. Thanks to the quick efforts of local Thurmont naturalist John Zuke, the litter was safely moved to a wild life rehabilitation center, and when old enough, will be released into the wild.

Once the rubble is cleared, Criswell will expand their buildings and car lots onto the land formally occupied by the Cozy. The expansion in scheduled to begin in August.

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