HISTORY OF THE CHAPTER
The chapter was officially organized on June 11, 1976.
In June of 1975, Mrs. Nicholas (Mary Elizabeth) Mahrtens, even though
in a wheelchair, entertained 20 Sun City Center ladies at her home who were members of various DAR chapters elsewhere or who were members at large. The purpose of this gathering was to consider the possibility
of forming a local chapter. It was an idea readily accepted by those
present and the groundwork was begun. After many meetings and a
great deal of organizational work by those dedicated ladies, the name of COLONEL GEORGE MERCER BROOKE was selected because of its
significant historical connotation in the Bay area of Florida's west coast.
Colonel George Mercer Brooke was commander of the fort at the mouth of the Hillsborough River known as Fort Brooke, the nucleus of what is now the City of Tampa. It was from Fort Brooke that a detachment of 100 U.S. soldiers marched in December of 1835 to bring aid to badly
troubled Fort King (Ocala). Aid never reached that fort. Ambushed by
Indians near what is now Bushnell, Florida, all but two of the hundred
soldiers were massacred, thus precipitating in the second Seminole War, which lasted seven years.