HONESDALE - Wayne County Historical Society invites you to visit this year’s museum exhibit, celebrating a Century of Service ... Wayne Chapter DAR 1913-2013. The opening is planned this Saturday, April 20th.
The museum is located at 810 Main St., Honesdale. An open house is planned from 4 to 7 p.m. celebrating the museum's re-opening following the winter season.
In the late 1800's a revival in patriotism resulted in the formation of patriotic organizations. Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) began on Oct. 11, 1890 after Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) closed its membership to women.
Local sisters, Charlotte and Bertha Lane urged Harriet E. Rockwell Roberts, which were all members of DAR elsewhere, to organize a chapter in Honesdale. In 1913, Wayne Chapter DAR was granted a charter and the first meeting was held at the home of Harriet’s parents at 1416 Main Street, Honesdale. Her father belonged to SAR and several great-aunts had joined DAR chapters.
First officers where, Regent, Harriet E. Rockwell Roberts; Vice-Regent, Mrs. Fred B. Whitney; Recording Secretary, Miss Ethel Lee; Corresponding Secretary, Miss Charlotte Lane; Treasurer, Miss Bertha Lane; Historian, Mrs. Homer Greene; Registrar, Miss S. Louise Hardenbergh; and Chaplin, Mrs. Eben Clark. The Board of Management was made up of Mrs. Eben Clark, Miss Marian Wilder, and Miss Alice Birdsall. Wayne Chapter chartered with 32 members and peaked in 1934-35 with 63 members. Among charter members were Honesdale born and nationally known artist Jennie Brownscombe and Helen (Hardenbergh) Cooke, who wrote "Traditions of ... Wallenpaupack".
From the beginning, early chapter records show the emphasis on historical, educational, and patriotic endeavors laid out by the national organization (NSDAR) were supported. During the early years topics included women’s right to vote, raising funds for Philippine scholarships, endowment, and construction of NSDAR’s Constitution Hall. World War I brought focus on aiding the war effort by donating to the European Red Cross and the retraining of wounded soldiers, knitting of 690 sweaters and 730 pairs of socks, canning several dozen jars of jelly, supporting a child (Jean Bouteiller) in France, and helping rebuild the child’s home town. After the war, efforts focused on Americanization, American orphan relief, and child welfare.
Alma Gager Dix became and remained Regent of the Wayne Chapter in 1921 until her death in 1942. Her focus was historic preservation and placing historic markers throughout the area. A monument was dedicated in 1926 in Riverside Park, Honesdale commemorating Wayne County’s Revolutionary War soldiers. The chapter participated in Honesdale’s 1929 Centennial Parade, restored the Whites Valley octagonal school in 1931 and dedicated its plaque in 1933. Pleasant Mount’s Revolutionary War soldier, Sarah Benjamin’s grave was also marked.
Wayne Chapter DAR continues today to award Good Citizenship metals, organize history essay contests, celebrate Constitution week, award Dorothy Noble Scholarships, support education, veterans, and conservation efforts, as well as preserving and marking historical sites.
For more information about the Wayne County Historical Society visit www.WayneHistoryPA.org or call 253-3240.