Hannah Hammond called Thurmont home for more than 65 of her approximately 95 years. Census records fluctuate regarding her year of birth, but the range falls between 1879 and 1885. The only story of her upbringing we’ve seen is that her parents died when she was four years old. Hannah appears on the 1910 Census in Thurmont as 28 and a live-in servant for James and Laura Hamill on Carroll Street, where they lived across from the Stocksdales. In a hand-written enumeration of people in the adjacent photo that we hold, the author identifies the woman standing at top, center as Hannah – the photo is a Stocksdale family reunion.
It isn’t clear when Hannah joined the Hamill household, but both Hamills were from the same area in West Virginia – the eastern panhandle – as Hannah, and Laura’s maiden name was Hammond; Laura was about 25 years older. Hannah’s place of birth is always called Virginia, but that area in West Virginia was part of the Commonwealth of Virginia until 1863. The Hamills married in West Virginia on January 2, 1895.
James Hamill died in 1914, and some time before the 1930 Census Laura and Hannah moved to an apartment in the Thurmont Bank building. However, Laura Hamill died in 1931, and Hannah eventually bought a three-room bungalow on Summit Avenue. In the 1940 Census she still is listed as a servant; Hammond continued working in domestic roles for one or more families in town as well as at Camp Airy.
In 1946 Miss Hannah, as she always was called, moved into the Carroll Methodist Home for the Aged in Baltimore, and she sold her home in 1947. After the Carroll Home closed she moved into the Montevue Infirmary in Frederick, and then moved into the new Frederick Citizens Nursing Home in December 1976 but died a few months later in May 1977. Hammond was an active parishioner at Harriet Chapel throughout her years in Thurmont and Frederick County; she’s buried at Blue Ridge cemetery. Her obituary associates her with the C Forrest Hammond, Sr. family, which likely is Laura Hamill’s younger brother.
The Thurmont Historical Society has a doll owned for years by Miss Hannah, which was donated by Elizabeth Anderson.