Saturday, October 18, 2014

Society Saturday - Touring Atlanta

This year, the Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America had their October board meeting in Atlanta.  The Georgia chapter showed us what southern hospitality is all about.

Our Field Trip day started with a visit to the Atlanta History Center.  There, we viewed exhibits on local Folk Arts, Native Americans, the 1996 Olympic Games, and the Civil War.  The Civil War exhibit was extremely well done and attempted to tell both points of view - both north and south.

Next, we had lunch at the Swan Coach House - a cute little restaurant that is a favorite for teas and showers.  They also had a little gift shop for all those things you didn't know you "needed".

After lunch, we toured the Swan House.  This was a 1930's era mansion in the Buckhead neighborhood.  The gentleman who led the tour did it in first person as Mr. Inman, the owner of the house.

We learned a lot of tidbits about Georgia history over dinner that evening - for example, Georgia is the capital of the four P's - Peanuts, Pecans, Peaches and Poultry.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Society Saturday – Dedication at Adena Mansion

Every President General for National Society Sons and Daughters of Antebellum Planters has chosen a project in keeping with the objects of the Society.  This term, I chose Adena Mansion in Chillicothe, Ohio as the recipient of our Society’s donations.

Adena mansion was built in 1807 by Thomas Worthington.  At one time it encompassed nearly 3000 acres of land.  Thomas Worthington commissioned Benjamin Henry Latrobe (architect of the U.S. Capitol) to build a permanent stone house for his family on a hilltop overlooking the Scioto River.  This mansion was called the “most magnificent mansion west of the Alleghenies”.  He named his house “Adena”, a term descriptive of delightful places that he read in an ancient history book. 

Worthington is known as the “Father of Ohio Statehood“.  He was a delegate to the Federal Government to lobby for Ohio statehood.  He was primarily responsible for the selection of Chillicothe as the territorial capitol, as well as Ohio’s first state capitol.  He was also one of the framers of Ohio’s Constitution.  Worthington was elected sixth Governor of Ohio in 1814.

The view from the front lawn of Adena mansion was the inspiration for the Ohio State Seal.  Adena mansion currently has a series of gardens that are recreated to be as historically accurate as possible.  NSSDAP is funding the construction of a natural barrier to keep deer out of these gardens.

We dedicated this project with a ceremony in the garden.  Three officers of NSSDAP traveled to Ohio and were joined by members of the Adena Mansion Board of Officers. 

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Society Saturday - Lincoln Tales Tall and True

Our banquet speaker at Heritage Weekend was Brian "Fox" Ellis.  He is a story teller from central Illinois.  He gives very interesting programs on various personalities from the 19th century.

His program tonight was a first person interpretation of a boyhood friend of Abraham Lincoln.  He told of how Lincoln almost drowned by falling in muddy creek, how he almost froze to death during the winter of the Big Snow, how he played a trick on his stepmother by putting muddy footprints on her whitewashed ceiling, and other interesting tales.

His stories were interspersed by harmonica music and a sing-along.  It was a most enjoyable way to learn about the early years of our Sixteenth President.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sentimental Sunday - Farewell to an old Friend

This week I attended a memorial service for an old friend, Mary Elizabeth Partridge Albright.

I met Mary in 1995 when I transferred into her DAR chapter.  Despite the fact that she was old enough to be my grandmother we became friends.

During my term as DAR chapter Regent she was very helpful and supportive.  In fact, she was willing to hold offices even though she was up in years and had already served as Regent.  It was because of that the chapter honored her by naming her an Honorary Regent.

Honorary Regent Ceremony - Mary is on right
Mary helped me join some other organizations as well.  In addition to the Daughters of the American Revolution, we were both members of New England Women, Ancient & Honorable Artillery Company, Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America, and Daughters of Colonial Wars.  Mary was very proud of her New England Heritage, having descended from families like the Partridges and the Bulkeleys.

Mary encouraged our chapter to hold a special grave marking ceremony for a previous chapter Regent, "Brownie" Beak.  Mrs. Beak was active in the state and national DAR and had served as First Vice President General.  The grave marking ceremony was held on September 12, 2001.  Despite the events of the previous day, many DAR ladies from around the state were present.

Brownie Beak Grave Marking - Mary is 3rd from left
One day, Mary happened to make a comment that, despite the fact that her middle name was Elizabeth, nobody had ever called her "MaryBeth".  Ever since that day, some of us fondly called her "MaryBeth".  She enjoyed that little nickname.

Unfortunately, over the past few years, her health had declined and she no longer attended meetings of our lineage societies.  We still stayed in touch.

Mary died on 7 July 2014, just one day shy of her 99th birthday.  She is now resting with her husband in Cornell, IL.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Society Saturday - Heritage Weekend Begins

We are in the midst of the Second Annual Illinois Heritage Weekend.  This year we have 4 more organizations joining us and more attendees as well.

A national organization joined us for our luncheon - The Guild of Colonial Artisans and Tradesmen 1607-1783 was planning to have 2 national representatives join us and give our luncheon program.  While this organization traditionally meets in April during Lineage Week, they try to have an occasional fall meeting somewhere outside of Washington DC.  They thought that our Heritage Weekend would be a good opportunity for them to visit Illinois.

The Guild was founded in 2004 to honor our working-class ancestors.  Men and women who descend from a colonial artisan or tradesman are eligible.  The Guild website has a listing of these colonial trades - some of which are no longer in existence.

President General Nell White was planning to fly in from her home in Arkansas.  Unfortunately this was the same day as the air traffic control disaster, so her flight was cancelled.  Honorary President General Jeannine Kallal stepped in and gave her program about the "Trades of the Mayflower Passengers". 

We learned that many of the passengers were weavers, some were merchants and one was a blacksmith.  It was a very interesting program and inspired many of our attendees to look for an artisan or tradesman in their lineage.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Society Saturday - Touring Ansel Brainerd Cook's House

Our fall meeting of the Lac des Illinois Colonial Dames 17th Century chapter was in Libertyville, IL.  We started out with a tour of the Ansel Brainerd Cook house.

Ansel Brainerd Cook was born in 1823 in Haddam, CT.  He moved to northern Illinois in 1845, then to Chicago in 1853.  While in Chicago, he started a stone masonry business.  He provided the masonry for the iconic Chicago Water Tower, one of the few structures to survive the Chicago fire.  The stone came from a quarry which is now the site of the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower - another iconic Chicago building.

He was an alderman in Chicago, and also served in the Illinois State Legislature for 3 terms - initially from Cook County and later from Lake County.

In 1878 he built his country residence in Libertyville, on the site of that town's first post office.  After his death in 1898 he willed this house to Libertyville for use as a library.  He stipulated that his third wife be allowed to live there until her death in 1920.  The house was used as a library until 1968 when the present Cook Memorial Library was built adjacent to the home.

The house became the headquarters of the Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society and contains many donated period pieces, including furniture, small items, and many wedding dresses on display.

One interesting item was a banner on display for the Wide Awake Club.  This was a Republican Campaign Club that existed to aid in the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860.  The Libertyville delegation was the largest contingent to march in a torchlight parade on Chicago's State Street.  At the bottom of the picture are 2 of the torches carried in that parade.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Society Saturday - Merci Train part 2

OK, so this isn't really about a Society event, but it is a follow up to a previous Society Saturday post.

I previously discussed the Merci Train, which I learned about through a program at a Sons & Daughters of the Pilgrims meeting.

On my way to the Ohio Genealogical Society conference (back in April), I stopped to see one of the Merci Train  box cars.  This car is in Port Clinton, Ohio on the Camp Perry National Guard Base.  I was surprised at how short the car actually was.

A week later, I picked my daughter up from Indiana University in Bloomington.  We stopped in the Memorial Union to see "Ugolino and His Sons" by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-1875).  This sculpture was one of the archival gifts from France to the U.S. that was transported on the Merci Train that was destined for Indiana.  It was a lot bigger than I expected.