my Days on Kelbaugh Road
Thomas J. Martins, used to tell me all kinds of stories
of his life visiting his grandparents at Deer Dale,
Kelbaugh Rd. Thurmont, Md. The mailing address was
Thurmont, but they considered their place, Emmitsburg.
My great, great, grandparents Francis and Elizabeth
Krietz came to America from Germany and they settled in
a log home on Kelbaugh Rd. Francis was a cobbler and
visited homes and stayed there until the families shoes
were finished. He didn't always get paid in cash.
Sometimes he came home with extra chickens, and food
My fatherís Grandmother Margaret (Maggie) Krietz-Bailey married a orphan from Civil War who lived in
Gettysburg named Abraham Bailey. They also lived on
Kelbaugh Rd. The log house had already been bricked over
by tend. They had 6 children, one Rose, was my
grandmother and of course my Dad's mother.
Rose met a gentleman while working near Baltimore.
His name was Thomas H. Martins and they had 4 children,
one was my father, Thomas J. Martins.
My father said that he spent some time living with
his Mother at Deer Dale and remembered going to school
at the one room school house near St. Anthony's Church
on the road to the Grotto. He also spoke of coming to
Thurmont by train and my Grandmother Rose driving a
horse and buggy to pick him up.
Anyone who knew Rose Martins, saw a very tiny lady,
not even 5 foot. We just could not imagine her driving a
horse and buggy. After she married they had stayed in
Baltimore Md. until Mr. Martins retired from The
Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. They then settled on
Kelbaugh Road in the 1950's. They restored the house and
stuccoed the outside, enlarged the porch and replaced
the original room that once was the cobble shop and
kitchen on the end of the house. I remember the big old
wood stove in there before they remolded.
I remember having to go down into the cellar to get
potatoes and onions. We were scared of the spiders &
possible snake. There used to be a barn with horses, a
pig pen, chicken coop and a 2 seater out house, which
was a real trek to get to, but that was all gone after
they remodeled it. It sure was great when the bathroom
was put in! After awhile they changed the name to Shady
Brook. (Which is exactly what I named our place when we
moved to PA in 1974) We also have a small brook shaded
by small trees.
We went to visit my grandparents just about every
other weekend until they passed away. Weather and health
permitting, the suitcases were packed and we got to
sleep under quilts and our heads rested on pillows and
bolsters. It wasn't always a great ride, because our car
didn't have a heater, and in the winter we had covers
all wrapped around us and still had cold feet. We lived
in Baltimore and I guess it took us over a hour to get
My cousin, Patricia, also lived up there and as a
child I met all the different children who she played
with on Kelbaugh Rd: The Ridenours, Knotts, Seltzer,
Krietz, Miller, and more. It was great fun to play in
the mountains. We would cut through the woods and the
quarry to visit the little chapel behind Mt. St. Mary's
College. Some of our family is buried in that little
graveyard. My grandparents are buried in Emmitsburg.
Hardly anyone went up to the Grotto back then and the
little Church always looked lonely. We used to pick
wildflowers and put them on the altar.
Both myself and my cousins will never forget all the
good times walking through the woods to go to one of the
stores, Jordan's or Seitz's. My grandmother always found
a coin for us to get something good to eat or drink when
we walked down.
We had good innocent fun and I will never forget my
days going to town (Emmitsburg) to get groceries or go
to the corner
drug store or up to the
Bowling Alley and
get a real good sundae.
I remember my Dad being upset when they took the
center statue out of the center of the square in
Emmitsburg. I can't remember it. I am 57 years old now
and I sure wish I was young again and back with my
friends sitting on the bridge singing songs on Kelbaugh
The bridge is long gone, but we used to rock it back
and forth all the time. It had wood slats and we could
hear it rattle all through the night as cars would pass
I sure miss my grandparents, my Mom and Dad too, but
I know they are looking down from time to time and
remembering the good times spent on Kelbaugh Rd.
Thanks for listening, Kathy Martins Conley.
Have your own memories of
Emmitsburg of Old? Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org