It is my understanding that my Grandmother wanted to write a book. That’s what my parents have told me anyways. As we started thinking of all the ways that we could make our 50th year as a campground special, we naturally gravitated towards the photo albums that my Grandmother left behind when she passed away in 2006.
Let me stop for a moment to introduce myself. I’m Chelsie. Daughter of Warren and Addie. Sister to Danielle and Gesse. Mother of Bowden. And granddaughter of Gerald and Helen, the couple who created the Double G, and turned this land from dirt and mountains into a little slice of heaven that people now call a home away from home at Deep Creek Lake.
As we started flipping through these “photo albums” it became quite clear that these were so much more than just books filled with pictures. My grandmother had created time capsules within each of these books. Photos were included of course, but there were also newspaper clippings, business cards, brochures, maps, advertisements, letters, thank you cards, price sheets, announcements, and my personal favorite, handwritten pages of memories.
Now, many of these handwritten memories are near and dear to our hearts and mean way more to my family than they will ever mean to anyone else. However, many of them are from her time spent building and working Double G.
After discovering just how much personal family value is held within these shelves of scrapbooks, I realized how clear it was that my grandmother very well could have written a book. And as we enter our 50th year as a campground, and 60th year in the recreational business, I don’t think that there is any better way to honor her than to share these memories that she recorded from her days spent living, raising a family, and building a business alongside her husband, at Double G.
These are my grandmother’s stories. And I am truly honored to be sharing them with you. As I read through each one, I felt like I was transported back in time. I could feel the joy, struggle, pain, frustration, and laughter, as if I was right alongside her while she wrote these stories, and lived out each moment in time. I hope that you get a little sense of that too as you read through.
You can get a brief overview of our history by visiting our About Us page. But to read about our history as it was being made, continue on.
I have included each of her pages so that you can see her beautiful handwriting, and get lost in the stories the same way we did. If you knew her, you can hear her voice as she was writing these pages. She wrote exactly like she talked. It brought laughter and an emotional presence to each of us who knew her. Each of her pages have also been transcribed for a quicker read.
*Please note that these stories have been transcribed just as she wrote them, grammatical errors and all.
Horseback Riding- Hay Rides
By: Helen Glotfelty
When son Denny was born, a couple years later, Gerald decided to buy a pony for him and of course, three years later Johnny was born and that really moved him to buy another or more.
Of course we were deep in milking cows and harvesting crops, cooking for men at times.
The word got out to some of the lake people and they came up and checked if they could ride the ponies. Of course you have to be good to everyone and was happy to oblige. It got to the place I would be busy cooking etc. had to stop, go to the barn and saddle up ponies, and would get thank you for it. It was just going too far.
I told Gerald we are going to take donations. We then would get maybe $2.00 or thank you.
It was getting serious business, so Gerald said we would put a sign out and of course at this time he had several head of horses and ponies. When Labor Day came we had 75 riders. We were then in business.
We continued to milk and farm. He bought work horses and of course that led to horse drawn hay rides. He had regular hay rides taking the people up on the hill overlooking the lake.
I would take chocolate cakes (my own mix) have cokes, marshmallows and potato chips. The riders would have to bring their own hot dogs and buns, so we weren’t responsible for illness.
These businesses kept growing in numbers. We had kids hired for guides on the trail for safety. Boys and girls didn’t mix as there was little affairs so we hired girls only.
We decided we couldn’t milk cows properly and profit and do hay rides also. Gerald tried to have the cows come fresh in the fall after summer fun. We found a buyer for the cows and sold the whole herd.
We now have horseback riding and hay rides only. We started a little store in the camp ground in a small mobile home along the driveway, a couple years before this, so we thought the milk parlor and milk house would make a good store. It was moved.
The campground was finished into 128 sites plus tenting.
We were running keeping everything going, but was successful, good for raising the boys.
On hayrides we had four wagon loads, 110 people, 2 drawn with horses and 2 with tractors. They were a group from Washington D.C. We had wonderful testimonies and singing around the campfire that night. Praise the Lord!!
Frostburg State College enjoyed the hill one night more than one.
We had a hog roast one night. It was partially done ahead and took up on the hill and hung by scaffles. Delicious
One night a special group of 32 went riding back to the barn singing beautiful in the wonderful moonlight.
One night we had a group of singles. We were late getting back to the barn. We never had a time limit. When we got back to the barn ________________ got his guitar out started playing and singing. The group circled and done the Virginia Reel plus others. It was 1:30 A.M. when broke up.
We got our schedule messed up one time. We were relaxing and here comes several cars down the lane. Guess what? A hayride not prepared for. Had to go to Raymond Klotz Farm for a wagon. They were patient and we were going 90 MPH.
For years we didn’t have a closing time for riding. One night in particular at dusk, riders were coming in off the hill. As they were coming down the hill the methodist preacher from Cresaptown was singing “Home on the Range.” You could hear him plain at the barn.
This business went on for 29 years. Denny and Warren took over 19___ and it really prospered. We had as many as 209 riders a day. We saddled 32 each day for awhile.
Many local kids would come each day and first play around to be there. Adults would bring their kids to ride and would sit on the benches and have lots of conversation.
Elaine Evans, daughter of Gus and Joyce Evans was one young lady that didn’t miss many days.
The Catholics went to church on Saturday night and then rode horses on Sunday morning.
Friends of our sons would hang around a lot which was good for our boys.
During the years Gerald kept farm animals around barnyard. One summer I counted 47 rabbits sitting in yard about 8:00 p.m. o’ clock. We might raise an old hen and little peeps.
Two women was looking at one hen and her peeps. One said “Do you think she had all those babies?” The other answered “She would have been a heck of a looking thing if she did?” Ha. This is true!!
We had couple sheep once and a couple goats. The geese would make their way to the pond each evening (4:00 p.m.) in a line going down the the barnyard bank.
The cross rooster took after son, Warren, up at the barn bridge one time, and run him to the back door of house. Warren was scared to death.
Friends gave us a duck, as they didn’t want it anymore. We took it down and throwed it in the pond. Scared it to death! It greeted us at the door every morning. The porch got scrubbed lots. Beautiful!
The goats would race up around the farm, across the barn floor, out the back big window, and down over the old milk house roof. A lady was waiting in her van car sitting under the wheel with the back door open and those goats run up, jumped in the back of her car, scared her to death.
It is so fun to see how she let her mind wander, and jotted down some of her favorite memories, possibly with the intention of elaborating in the future. For us, it brings so much joy to get a glimpse into the past in these short variations.
This is the first of several sets of memories we are excited to share with you. These stories were categorized, by my grandmother, and if you enjoyed this set about horseback riding at Double G, then you can also look forward to memories of the campground, mobile home renting, and covered wagon, all of which will be posted in the coming weeks and months.
Did reading this remind you of some of your own favorite memories of The Double G Ranch days? We would love for you to share your stories with us! Whether you joined in on hay rides, rode horses, led trail rides, or just hung out at the farm, we want to hear about it. You can connect with us through Facebook, Instagram, or email to share your own personal memories. We are planning to make a scrapbook of our own and would love to include your history with us at Double G.
Welcome to 50 years at Double G!
Grandma’s Stories Part 2: The Campground is now available. Click here to continue the adventure.