Visible displays of national pride wax and wane in the United States, but one group has been unwavering in its efforts to instill patriotism in citizens while remembering those who fought for American independence: the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Today, a tiny chapter of that nationwide group will meet in Schoharie and celebrate 100 consecutive years of meetings to foster patriotic citizenship and perpetuate the memories of those who died fighting for independence.
The Schoharie Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will meet at historic Lasell Hall from 2 to 4 p.m. today to celebrate a century of that work.
The Schoharie chapter of DAR has maintained the same rituals throughout the decades, Regent-elect Ann Hendrix said.
Hendrix, historian for the town of Schoharie, is among the small group of about 20 members who have traced their roots to patriots of the American Revolution.
A 40-year member, Hendrix will begin a three-year term as head of the group starting in June.
Some of the members are local and others moved away but stay in contact via e-mail. Many of them, like Hendrix, were made aware of the group through their parents or grandparents.
They’ll open their meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the national anthem in the home, built in 1795, that was donated to the group by the Lasell family in 1913, Hendrix said.
“Before that, they met in people’s homes,” she said.
Lasell Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
Each year, the group gathers some money to offer students prizes for essays and name them DAR Good Citizens. Often, the topic is history and patriotism, Hendrix said.
The historic home has been in the hands of the organization since 1913.
An addition was put on in 1855 to accommodate the Lasells’ 14 children and to board students from the former Schoharie Academy school, situated in the 1800s where today’s Schoharie High School stands.
Massive beams hold the home solid. It’s built of brick surrounded with wooden clapboard both inside and outside, Hendrix said.
The Schoharie Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution owns roughly 7.5 acres in the village, part of which serves as the parking lot for the nearby county office building.
In compensation, the county’s DPW handles maintenance for the building, Hendrix said.
Roughly 80 guests, including descendants of the Lasell family who live in California, are expected for the event, as are U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., and state Assemblyman Pete Lopez, R-Schoharie.
Founded in 1890, the nonprofit volunteer women’s service organization has roughly 165,000 members in 3,000 chapters.
More information about the Daughters of the American Revolution can be found at www.dar.org.
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Categories: Schenectady County