Local DAR chapter celebrates centennial

Published 7:07 am Friday, July 30, 2010

Staff Writer

The Major Reading Blount Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution marked its 100th anniversary Thursday at Bellefont Plantation with a wreath-laying ceremony at Blount’s grave.
“This is something we’ve been looking forward to for a year,” said chapter Regent Johanna Huber. “One member said we needed to start in September and do one thing a month.”
Reading Blount was named a major in the Revolutionary Army at the age of 19 and served for nearly seven years. He passed away in 1807.
The DAR, founded in October 1890, has 165,000 members worldwide who aspire to promote patriotism and preserve American history. Membership in the DAR is open to women 18 and over who are lineal descendants of someone who fought in the American Revolution.
“The hard part is the genealogy,” Huber said. “You can do your own or you can get someone to do it for you.”
At the anniversary luncheon, some members reflected on the changes in the organization during the past 100 years. Huber estimates there are currently 35 chapter members, a number that has dropped over time.
“One of the reasons is that schools don’t teach history like they used to,” said Vice Regent Lillian Hooker. “Kids are not interested because it is not taught, and that’s what ancestors are: history.”
“People have this misconception that we are a bunch of little old ladies who sit around sipping tea,” added Carolyn Cordes, a former state DAR officer.
Colleen Lupton hopes her two daughters will get involved, but she understands they have other commitments.
“We used to have 60 to 70 people (in the chapter),” Lupton said. “Young girls go to work now. I would love to have them in the DAR, but they work. Many younger women are involved with child care and have kids playing sports and dance.”
One of the newest chapter members is Phyllis Boyd, who joined in February.
“I had been thinking about it for a long time,” Boyd said. “I know I had a relationship with someone who served and I should be proud of it.”
Boyd had little trouble proving her genealogy as her cousin, Betsey Lee Hodges, was already a DAR member. Both are direct descendants of Major Reading Blount, and Boyd also is owner of the Bellefont Plantation, Blount’s former home.
“Being a descendant of Major Reading Blount and owning his home made the decision (to join) easier,” Boyd said.