Contact & Directions


12805-A Mink Farm Road • Thurmont, MD 21788–1402

301.271.2823 • Fax 301.271.2060 • Email: [email protected]

ThorpeWood is nestled in a rocky and heavily forested stream valley, 1,500 feet up in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland.

It is only an hour and fifteen minutes away from Washington and Baltimore, yet offers seclusion and a sense of remoteness.


Click on one of the links below to open a printable map and directions in a new browser window:


THORPEWOOD STAFF If you would like to contact a member of ThorpeWood’s staff, please call 301.271.2823

Sam Castleman

President/Executive Director

Sam grew up in North Carolina. He attended the University of Washington, School of Forest Resources, and earned a BS in Forest Management. Sam arrived in Frederick County in 1995, when he began his work as Executive Director of ThorpeWood.

Sam’s greatest work pleasure over the last 25 years is that ThorpeWood is recognized not merely for its timber-framed Lodge, its farm animals, its arboretum, its spring-feed mountain stream and pond but more significantly as place where a community of folks who identify ThorpeWood as a place of safety, comfort and growth opportunities consider it their “place”. This fact coupled with our effort to give the ThorpeWood experience mainly to those who are the least likely to have such an experience makes our work sweetly rewarding.

Sam is married to Julie whose company, Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood, runs all events on the ThorpeWood property. Julie has been part of the ThorpeWood experience since our doors opened in 2000. Aside from being my best friend and life partner, Julie in her inimitable way has been central to ThorpeWood’s development of “community” as all who know her even in the slightest would readily agree. Julie and I immensely enjoy spending time with family, cooking, kayaking and exploring our beautiful USA.

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Jeff Isaac

Property Manager

Jeff is a graduate from University of Pittsburgh Johnstown with a degree in Marketing Management. He started working at ThorpeWood in March 2019 as Assistant Property Manager, and within a few months he was promoted to Property Manager. Prior to ThorpeWood, Jeff worked in the pool industry for twenty years. He’s enjoying the change of scenery, the various job responsibilities, and the challenges that come with maintaining a 155-acre farm. In addition to his job as Property Manager, Jeff assists the other programs on the farm as needed – Head Start and Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood. Working at ThorpeWood has been, and continues to be, an amazing learning experience!

Jeff and his wife, Katie, got married at ThorpeWood in October 2016. They have a son, Luke, who is almost 2 years old. In his free time, Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, playing tennis, watching sports (Go Nats!) and playing numerous musical instruments.

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Katie Guth

Program Director

After being raised among hounds in rural New Jersey, Katie migrated to Pennsylvania to attend Gettysburg College, from which she received her B.A. in Sociology, with accompanying minors in Education and English. As part of that education, she interned at ThorpeWood and afterward refused to leave. And so, in time, she was adopted as one of the farm animals, a barefoot creature who subsists on mud and sunshine. Given these muddy roots, Katie is passionate about bringing children and adults alike into her world of buttercups and bugs.

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Joy Smith

Barn Manager

Learning of ThorpeWood and its EAL Program by chance led Joy to become an equine volunteer in 2012. Two years later, the vast equine knowledge and experience gained from buying and caring for her own horses from age 12 made this position a perfect fit. Joy loves the 9 Icelandic horses, the 2 goats, the 14 chickens and the numerous visiting hound pups that are all included in our farm programs. The animals’ names may vary day to day, but don’t be confused. Joy spontaneously nicknames all her living and mechanical friends on the farm. And her lightning fast flip of the wrist action when mucking stalls has earned her the title of Master Pooper Scooper.

She fondly describes her job: “I am paid to play with horses, chickens, goats, puppies and children. It doesn’t get any better than that!’

After hours, she hikes with her dog, Greta, who also joins in the farm’s daily activities and programs and is an avid reader and gardener. Playing with her grandson, Jack, is a major priority!

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Julie Castleman

President/Owner, Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood

Julie joined the staff of ThorpeWood in November of 2000. Prior to coming to ThorpeWood she worked for 17 years in D.C. for a high school student exchange. During this time Julie had the opportunity to visit many countries and work with high school kids around the world.

In March, 2013, Julie took over as owner of the events business at ThorpeWood, calling the new company Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood, LLC. She will continue assisting clients through the planning of weddings, corporate events and so much more!

Julie has three daughters, Hannah, who just graduated from Salisbury University with a degree in Elementary Education; Kelly, mother to Clayton and Camden, and Lindsay, mother of Christian and the only granddaughter, Grace. Julie enjoys spending time with her grandkids and loves animals (all of them!), camping, paddling, hiking, horseback riding, traveling and more!

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Lexi Hartner

Assistant Director, Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood

Lexi joined the ThorpeWood staff part time in 2011, assisting Julie with weddings and corporate events. Lexi and her husband James were married at ThorpeWood in 2009. February 2013, she joined Julie, as the Assistant Director of Mountain Memories at ThorpeWood.

She is a 2006 graduate of the University of Richmond, where she majored in Rhetoric and Communication studies and was a scholarship athlete on the Women’s Division I Lacrosse team. Since graduating from college, she has worked in the events industry with experience working for an events company that specialized in private and corporate events and as an onsite coordinator, assisting with registration services for some of the largest trade shows in the country.

Lexi’s passion is working with people. She enjoys helping brides and grooms as they plan their wedding. She is always eager to ensure a couples’ wedding day at ThorpeWood is memorable.

When Lexi is not working can she can be found with husband, James, her 3 daughters, Anslea (8.5), Addison (6), Olivia (4.5) and her son, Beckett (2) on the lacrosse field, at Maryland 4-H shows or spending time with their extended families.

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