Local DAR celebrates 8th birthday

Contributed Photo Courtesy Gila Valley DAR: Members of the DAR Gila Valley Chapter and guests gather to welcome a new member, install officers, support their first historic preservation project, and celebrate eight years as a chapter. Pictured are, back, from left, Clara Page, Peggy Moon, Paula Price, Vicki Foote, Donna Wright, Kerry Kelley, Helen Masten, Joyce Major, Stephanie Newton, Judy Motes (guest of Linda Curtis), Ruth Hernandez, and Ebenezer Bryce; front, from left, Mollie Carlin, Lauri Natividad (Guest-FHC Director), Ruby Cochran, Talana Hooper, Linda Curtis, Gayle Bryce, and Bonnie Briscoe, with Brenda Kempton and Stan Natividad (Guest-FHC Director) behind the camera.

By Bonnie Briscoe/DAR

It was a patriotic gathering as the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Gila Valley Chapter met for their meeting in late April. First on the agenda, was the welcoming of a new member, Linda Curtis of Thatcher, into the chapter by Helen Masten, Regent.

In order to become eligible to join DAR, it is a major requirement to document family lineage directly to someone who served as a patriot during the American Revolution (1775-1783); anyone who supported the cause for American independence. Therefore, after the welcoming ceremony, Linda Curtis shared stories about her family of patriots, Maria Elizabeth Petrie Schell and, her husband, John Christian Schell, who defended themselves against the attacks of Indians and Loyalists in New York’s Mohawk Valley. During one of those attacks, their 11-year-old twin sons, Henry and Mark, were captured by the Indians and transported to Quebec, Canada. With the family not knowing for years what had happened to the twins, those boys at the age of 18 were able to return to their homeland for a joyful reunion.

The welcoming was followed by the installation of the 2022-2024 chapter officers. Those taking the oath of office included Helen Masten, Regent; Peggy Moon, Vice Regent; Mollie Carlin, Chaplain; Stephanie Newton, Recording Secretary; Vicki Foote, Corresponding Secretary; Paula Price, Treasurer; Bonnie Briscoe, Registrar; Talana Hooper, Historian and Joyce Major, Librarian.

During the regular business meeting, the last item on the agenda was the chapter establishing their first historic preservation project by supporting the Ebenezer Bryce Foundation, with a donation and any other needed help. The Foundation will be restoring the 125-year home of Ebenezer Bryce in nearby Bryce, setting up a museum for the public, and creating a park-like area on the grounds outside the home.

Following the meeting, the chapter celebrated its eight years as a chapter with food and an applesauce birthday cake made by the Rustic Barn Bakery, using a Virginia recipe from the late 1700s. After the celebration, the members and guests were given a tour of the Ebenezer Bryce home.

Any woman18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background who is interested in taking her own journey in search of a patriot in order to join DAR, can contact Chapter Regent, Helen Masten (928-899-4482), Chapter Registrar, Bonnie Briscoe (928-428-5904) or any member of the Gila Valley Chapter. To learn more about the work of today’s DAR and this chapter, visit www.dar.org and www.gilavalleydar.weebly.com.

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