Edward F. Fry loved books. His wife, Gertrude, explains, “Many times he told me how he visited every house in Point of Rocks and borrowed books. He said he read every book in town. He also told me he made a promise if he ever made enough money, he would establish a library in his beloved Point of Rocks.”
Flash forward to today. The Edward F. Fry Memorial Library at Point of Rocks is the first of its kind for Frederick County Public Libraries. Mr. Fry’s dream, aided by Ms. Fry’s dedication, has led to the creation of this small, satellite facility under the auspices of Frederick County Public Libraries.
Mr. Fry was born in nearby Tuscarora on May 15, 1917. Mr. Fry’s parents died when he was young, so he was raised in Point of Rocks by his grandparents, Edward and Sarah Elizabeth Fry, and by an aunt and uncle, Ned and Addie Blessing.
Prior to World War II, Mr. Fry worked as an accountant for a contractor of the Army Corps of Engineers, building an airstrip in Surinam in anticipation of the war. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, Mr. Fry enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a Second Lieutenant and saw action in the South Pacific.
Later, Mr. Fry became a well-respected builder of residential homes in Bethesda, as well as a real estate investor and all-around entrepreneur. He owned and operated the Edward F. Fry Insurance Company, the Edward F. Fry Building Company, Inc. and Cordell Sandwich Shop in Bethesda.
Before meeting Edward, Gertrude came to Washington in 1969 to work in the White House as Staff Assistant to the president. She eventually served in the Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations. Following their retirements, they decided to return to the area he loved, close to family and church, near Point of Rocks.
The Edward F. Fry Memorial Library will serve as a continuous reminder of their generosity and love for this part of the county.
The library collection at the Edward F. Fry Memorial Library at Point of Rocks will focus its 5,000 carefully selected items on current and perennial favorites. Strengths of the collection include:
- The Edward F. Fry Collection of 500 titles, including the 120-volume series of the Official Records of the Civil War, a significant collection of Civil War history, a biography collection and a number of English History titles
- 2,700 volumes for Preschool and K - 8 Children
- 180 "board books" for Toddlers
- 375 McNaughton Collection Books ( a rotating group of popular and leisure reading titles that the library rents instead of purchasing. In this way we are able to provide direct access to materials that we may not wish to add to our permanent collection. New titles arrive each month as older titles are removed and returned to the vendor.)
- A small but powerful Reference collection comprised of an encyclopedia set, dictionary, atlas and other frequently used items
- 200 educational and recreational DVD's
- 60 educational and recreational Videos
- Many titles listed on the High School suggested reading lists
- Fifteen magazine titles of general interest
In addition to books and other library material, the library will also provide two public-access Internet stations, Open Office software, online access to the entire FCPL library collection and free transfer of materials from other FCPL branches.