Garrett County Gazette, December 2022

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Welcome to the December issue of the Garrett County Gazette.  I’m Chris Nichols, your guide to helping you find out what’s going on, what’s coming up and interesting tidbits from the area. Let’s jump right in!

New non-profit to assist women with substance abuse disorders

Reflection House is a new nonprofit organization and the first to establish recovery housing in Garrett County Maryland.  ​As a 12-month, Level 2 residential recovery program, Reflection House provides addiction counseling services, and linkages to health and behavioral health services to women with substance use disorder in Western Maryland. ​

Using a social enterprise model, residents receive training in life and relationship skills, job skills and real-world coping skills to support their sustained recovery.

I think this fills a critical need in the area, not only to help women who have issues with substance abuse, but to help them build the everyday life skills so that they are less susceptible to relapse.  Want to learn more about Reflection House and how to help? The website is always a good place to start and so is their Facebook page.  Terah Crawford just did a really great interview with Suzette Merrick of the organization, too.  Make  a donation or help them out if you can – getting a non-profit started from the ground up is really tough and those first few years are critical.

Fix your tax problem and save Christmas!

Speaking of non-profits, did you know they can fix your tax problems, make the world a better place AND save Christmas!
For your tax problem, there are many qualified 501(c)3 non-profits you can donate to and your donation is tax deductible (great for required minimum distributions as well!). 
A donation in your donee’s name to that organiztion also makes a great Christmas gift! Many will send a handwritten card acknowledging the donation to you or your giftee!  Let’s face it, does anyone really need another widget or tchotchke? Give a gift that makes everyone feel good and makes the world a better place!
Sarah Myers over the Deep Creek Times has done awesome job of compiling a list of local non-profits.
And Terah Crawford does a series of Community Talk interviews on the Deep Creek Real Estate Facebook page (like the one about Reflection House above) with lots of great info on local organizations and businesses that I’d encourage you to check out, too.

First Day Hikes

First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get outdoors.  On New Year’s Day, 5 of our local State Parks will offer ranger-led and self-guided hikes.  It’s a great way to bring in the new year with a healthy and fun family activity.  Plus, you can get a sticker, too! Here’s a listing of the Garrett County State Parks participating in the First Day Hikes.
Where should I be hiking and getting outside the rest of the year, you ask? Well, I’ve got you covered there, too! I’ve been working on better ways to get trail information out to people and just put together a sortable table of all of the public trail areas in the County. The table, on my wesbite, allows you to sort by criteria like the intensity and use types like walking, biking XC skiing and so forth. 

I’ve also put together a few other ways to get trail info out. Let me know what’s the most useful way for you to find out about new trails and outdoor stuff to do!

History Corner

There are a number of long forgotten towns in Garrett County, many of which rose and fell with the coal industry.  Shallmar, upstream from Kitzmiller on the Potomac, was one them.  In the fall of 1949, the residents of Shallmar, were starving. The coal mine that was the town’s only business had closed in March and most of the miners had no cars so that they could drive to another town to look for work. Their unemployment benefits had ran out over the summer and they had maxed out their credit at the company store.

Then the children began fainting in school. Principal J. Paul Andrick knew something needed to be done before things got worse. He began writing letters and making phone calls, hoping for a way to help the town’s residents.

As Shallmar’s story got out, people responded. Aid came from nearly every state in the country and from some other countries as well. just in time for Christmas.

Schoolboys at Shallmar unloading food and clothing donated by other communities

For the full story, local historian James Rada has an online article and a nice short book that will bring cheer to your heart about the giving nature of people.

And for my monthly plug for the Garrett County Historical Society, the December issue of the Glades Star has a nice article on forgotten or seldom seen places in the area.  It’s just $25 to join the GCHS and you get FOUR issues of the Glades Star every year! (remember that stuff about non-profits, and Christmas gift giving?)

Local stuff to do

Ice skating!
JTF Ice Rink is open in Grantsville Park, Pavilion 3.  They have a full schedule of public skates, party reservations, learn to skate sessions, and other special skates.  All sessions are limited on the number of participants so you should buy your admissions in advance but drop ins are also welcome.  Public skates are limited to scheduled times.  
Visit the JTF site for more info:

Light show

I’m getting this out a a bit late, but there’s still time to enjoy the great light show in Oakland through Jan 1st.
Joy of Christ Light Show: Oakland Community Center (aka the Armory) 5 to 10 PM each night. Show begins at the top and half of each hour. Just show up, park, and enjoy!

Blind Skier 50th Anniversary Gala
Feb 7, 5 to 10pm @ Wisp Report: A night you won’t forget to celebrate 50 years of the Deep Creek Lake Lions teaching visually impaired kids how to ski.  Delicious dinner and drinks, a keynote speech by Brian McKeever (the world’s most decorated Paralympic XC skier), fireworks, an amazing silent and live auction and more!

Events in 2023
I’ve also started a curated list of community events for 2023 which you can check out on my website.  The event listing is formatted in a handy postcard which I’ll be happy to send to you FOR FREE if you reply back to this email with your mailing address! 

Real estate perspective

The market seems to be shifting more towards buyers – there have been a number of price reductions for properties that have been on the market for awhile.  Combined with moderating interest rates and the wide range of loan products out there, it’s likely you can find a good deal at a monthly payment you can afford. For sellers, it’s all about have your property priced correctly when it hits the market and having reasonable expectations for what it is worth.  
Check out my real estate website for more information on what’s out there, or call or email me anytime! 
That’s it for this edition! Thanks for checking it out! If you’ve got ideas or suggestions for articles, or questions about the area, don’t hesitate to reach out!

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Published by Narrows Hill

Explore and connect with where you live. Some mapping, history and community service organization stuff related to Garrett County, Deep Creek Lake and the surrounding area. I'm Chris - welcome to my online attic!

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