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Jamison makes a name for herself in Sharpsburg

December 27, 2004

Editor's note: There are a lot of people you see around town that you recognize, but don't know anything about. People like ...

Anna Louise Jamison

Age: 80

Occupation: Sharpsburg town clerk

Hometown: Downsville; moved to Sharpsburg in 1943

Where would you see Jamison? The 1942 Williamsport High graduate has served as Sharpsburg town clerk under five mayors. She took the part-time position in 1971 while also working at Fairchild, but gave it up in 1979 when she had a brain aneurysm.

Jamison returned to work at Fairchild after six months off to recuperate and worked there until her retirement in 1983 with 31 years of service. She also worked for Baer Brothers, Victor Hosiery and Washington County Teachers' Credit Union.

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Jamison became town clerk again in 1997 when asked by George Kesler, mayor at the time. She works two nights a week from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., taking applications for building permits and issuing them if approved. She also takes notes at all Sharpsburg City Council meetings, and serves on the Planning and Zoning Board for the town.

"I enjoy doing this work. The council is so nice to work with," Jamison said. "I like working with people."

Chairman of the Sharpsburg Election Board since 1988, Jamison served on the town council from 1974 to 1979. She also is a lifetime member of the Ladies Auxiliary for the Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Co.

"She works a lot of hours outside the town hall," daughter Marjorie Jamison said.

Jamison, who doesn't have grandchildren, has a lot of extended "grandchildren" in the community. They call her Grandma or by her nicknames, "Mama J" or "Annouise," short for Anna Louise.

Family is important to Jamison. Named Anna Louise Waters at birth, she was raised by her maternal grandparents, Clinton and Rose Jamison, since age 5, after her mother died.

It was just coincidence that she married a Jamison, her mother's maiden name.

Jamison lives with her two daughters, Marjorie Jamison, a retired Washington County middle school teacher who serves on the Town Council, and Debra Jamison, the town tax collector.

They reside in the house that Anna Louise Jamison has lived in since she married her husband, Thirman, in 1943. The couple was married 44 years before his death in 1987.

Jamison's son, Lynn, and his wife, Sandra, live within view of her house.

To celebrate her 80th birthday on Dec. 1, Anna Louise's children threw her a surprise party, which proved to be no easy feat. It took a lot of little white lies, but they managed to pull it off.

"I was so shocked," Jamison said, convinced she was going to her church for a Christmas tea.

Hobbies: Jamison loves to bake and is known around town for her cakes, pies and breads. Her specialties are sponge cake with caramel icing, and pumpkin and coconut custard pies.

In addition, Jamison enjoys sewing stuffed animals and pillows, and doing crafts.

What does Jamison like best about Washington County? "It's a beautiful place to live, I think, especially the town," she said. "It's quaint. It has a small-town atmosphere, even with new people moving in." Jamison said new town residents are moving to Sharpsburg from Frederick and Montgomery counties, and Washington, D.C.

If you know anyone in the community who might make an interesting Our Town feature, contact Janet Heim at 301-733-5131, ext. 2024, or send e-mail to janeth@herald-mail.com.

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