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DAR Chapter Celebrates 120 years

By Staff | Nov 3, 2016

'Regent Crystal Gansell-Whitcomb, presenting a check, on behalf of the Lycoming Chapter, to Bill Poulton for the Fort Muncy marker'

WILLIAMSPORT – The Lycoming Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution donated $1000 for a historical marker during its 120th Anniversary celebration, Saturday, October 22, 2016 at the Holiday Inn downtown in Williamsport, PA.

The program was “Washington’s Other Challenge The Frontier”, presented by chapter member Linda Poulton, and her husband and SAR member, Bill Poulton. It was a very informative program, both on Washington’s position in New England, plus on the local front along the Susquehanna Valley, including Fort Muncy to Fort Augusta. At the conclusion of the program, Mr. Poulton announced a joint effort between the Lycoming Chapter and the Muncy Historical Society, to erect a marker along old 220, for Fort Muncy. The Lycoming Chapter donated $1000 towards the $1625 project and the Tiadaghton SAR chapter agreed to donate the remainder.

Lycoming County Commissioner, Rick Mirabito, was also in attendance and presented Lycoming Regent Crystal Gansell-Whitcomb a Citation of Recognition from the Commissioner’s office. The Citation thanked the chapter and DAR for their service in the community, state and national levels.

The Lycoming Chapter was formed November 23, 1896, when 20 ladies met at the home of Mrs. Mary White Emery, who would become the chapter’s first Regent, and discussed the feasibility of organization. Their charter was granted December 8, 1896. The chapter boasts 3 ‘Real’ Daughters. A Real Daughter is one whose father fought in the American Revolution. A notable member was Ann Perley, who was a Chapter Regent, PA State Regent, Vice President General, but because of health issues, declined the nomination for President General. The President General is the head of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The chapter still honors Perley’s memory with a yearly award.

The Lycoming Chapter’s first major project, under Regent Carile Cone Brown, was to start a free public library in Williamsport. Mrs. Brown’s husband, James VanDuzee Brown, took a deep interest in the dream of the local ladies of the DAR and offered to sponsor their undertaking. This offer resulted in the opening of a free public library in Williamsport on June 18, 1907 – the James V. Brown Library. Sadly, neither Mr. or Mrs. Brown lived to see the completion of the library. Special guest, Barbara McGary, director of the James V. Brown Library was also among the guests.

During the celebration, DAR North Central District Director, Valerie Bieber presented the Regent with 2 Chapter Achievement Awards, one being for 100% Chapter participation honoring their heritage through meaningful community service.

The Chapter had memorabilia displayed, which included a copy of their original charter, first scrapbook from 1896 to 1918, and a copy of an original portrait in their possession, circa 1902-1907, of a chapter meeting on George Washington’s birthday. The ladies in the portrait were dressed in formal dress of that era. Attendees were encouraged to wear clothing from the American Revolution era, or the 1896 era and at the conclusion of the meeting, recreated that portrait.

Those in attendance included Vice President General, Bobbi McMullen, daughters from the Allegewi, Fort Antes, Fort Augusta, Shikelimo, Tah Gah Jute, Wellsboro and Wyoming Valley Chapters in Pennsylvania, plus 2 members from the Canandaigua Chapter in New York. Members representing the Sons of the American Revolution’s Tiadaghton Chapter, and Children of the American Revolution’s Regina Hartman Society also attended.

The 120th Anniversary committee members were: Crystal Gansell-Whitcomb, Regent; Ann B. Hess, 1st Vice Regent; Dorothy Snyder, Recording Secretary; Doris Teufel, Honorary Chapter Regent; and Nancy Coughlin, past Treasurer.

The Lycoming Chapter currently meets the second Tuesday of each month at 12 noon, excluding January, February, July and August, at the First United Methodist Church in Muncy. If you are interested in becoming a member, contact Regent Crystal Gansell-Whitcomb at CGansell@aol.com.