November of 1902, a group of women held a meeting with the
State Regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
The purpose of this meeting was to determine what was required
to form a local chapter in Rochester. The requirement was
that there had to be twelve ladies with approved applications
by the National Society in Washington, D.C. By the time
the June 1903 meeting was announced, they had the necessary
number of approved applications to form the Rochester Chapter.
At the November 1903 meeting, a full slate of officers was
named and our chapter was formed.
the last 100 years, our local chapter has remained active
in our community. In the first decade, we made donations
to the YMCA Building Fund and the Womens Building
at the Soldiers Home in Minneapolis, and we donated
prizes for school essays. Our local chapter raised enough
money to furnish one room at the YMCA. The Rochester Chapter
was involved in a local project with an Indian Burial Ground
north of Rochester.
was in 1910 when our chapter decided to make a tribute to
the pioneer days by attempting to purchase the Dee
Log House built in 1862. The owner of the log house
gave the dwelling to the City of Rochester in honor of Dr.
William Worrall Mayo, to be presented at the opening of
Mayo Park. Today, this log house is located at the Olmsted
County Historical Society. During this same period, the
State Society decided to purchase the Sibley House Historic
site in Mendota, MN. Our local chapter joined the Sibley
House Association along with the other chapters in the state.
1914, our chapter regent (who was also the founder of our
chapter) passed away. In her memory the members of our chapter
dedicated a sundial
to honor her. The sundial was dedicated on May 28, 1914,
at Mayo Park and the engraved inscription read, Amidst
Ye Flowers, I Tell Ye Hours. Unfortunately this sundial
was placed in storage and cannot be located at the current
time. Hopefully in the future it will be found.
WWI, our local chapter made collections to help the French
Red Cross, raised money for the starving Belgian people,
and helped the Boy Scouts raise money. We bought a flag
and presented it to the Boy Scouts to honor their service.
We also donated to the Olmsted County Red Cross and to the
War Relief Fund.
of the chapter members kept busy during the war by making
jelly and grape juice for the Fort Snelling Hospital. They
rolled bandages, knitted items, sewed, and worked for the
the war was over, the Rochester Chapter assisted in many
local, state, national, and international projects: the
women held a card party and raised money for the French
Orphan Relief; they also raised money to donate to an industrial
school in Tamassee,
South Carolina (this school is still currently being
supported by the DAR); they visited soldiers at the Rochester
State Hospital and the Oronoco Sanitarium; they provided
an Immigrants Manual and a silk flag to each new American
Citizen in Rochester; they sent gifts to Ellis Island; sent
money to flood victims in Florida; made contributions to
Memorial Continental Hall, Constitution Hall, and a bell
tower at Valley Forge; and they sponsored a local Girl Scout
at summer camp.
1932, in honor of George Washingtons 200th birthday,
they planted a Washington Elm Tree at Soldier Fields Park.
This tree was grafted from a tree that was located in Westchester
County, NY, where Washington was headquartered at one time.
A bronze plaque was placed at the base of the tree.
1937, the chapter started sponsoring a DAR Good Citizen
high school student; this student was called a Good Citizen
Pilgrim. To honor the Northwest Territorial Centennial,
the chapter sponsored a float in the downtown parade. The
theme of the float was Betsy Ross making the first
flag. It was decorated in red, white, and blue.
years later the women found themselves sewing for another
war: the beginning of WWII. The local radio station provided
airtime for five DAR programs. The women remained very active
on the local, state, and national levels: they collected
magazines, toys and books for Indian children; collected
stamps for the veterans; presented 80 flags to new citizens;
sent a Girl Scout to summer camp; presented two history
essay medals; sponsored a Good Citizen Pilgrim; collected
contributions towards the Valley Forge bell tower, Ellis
Island, and DAR schools; and assisted the war relief effort
as well as on-going work for the Red Cross.
also thought of those injured in the war by participating
in a Red Cross Mobile Blood Drive. Every DAR chapter in
Minnesota pulled together and they were able to provide
a truck and station wagon fully equipped as a mobile blood
plasma unit. There were 32 of these units nationwide. These
units were maintained throughout the war by money donated
by the DAR.
the WWII, the Rochester Chapter still remained very active
in the community. For example, they sent clothing to St.
Marys School for Indian Girls at Springfield, South
Dakota; and they sent books to the Kate
Duncan Smith School.
the 1960s, forty-nine members of the Rochester Chapter DAR:
showed antiques representing 75 years of the DAR; presented
a large outdoor flag to the YMCA; donated 60 flags to children
in Fountain, MN in grades 1-4; donated money to the restoration
project of old houses in Philadelphia, PA; and took up a
collection for the Freedom Foundation Center.
the 1970s, the Methodist Hospital received a flag pole,
and the chapter members were invited to a play at the civic
theater. Meeting attendance dwindled in the following years.
After the autumn of 1976, no meetings were held. Dues were
still paid for all members but that was all.
in 1979, the Rochester Chapter was brought back to life.
The Post Bulletin advertised the newly reformed organization
and invited those who believed they qualified to contact
a chapter representative. The chapter rapidly grew and was
up and running again. By the end of 1979, there were nineteen
paid members. They continued the tradition of being active
in the community by donating a copy of the DAR Patriot Index
and three supplementals to the Olmsted
County History Center (now known as the History Center
of Olmsted County). For safekeeping, they voted to have
all the chapter's past records placed in the archives at
the Olmsted County Historical Society. They started making
yearly program booklets and a Chapter History Scrapbook
was created; they delivered lap robes to the Veterans Administration
Hospital in Minneapolis; they volunteered at Sibley House;
and a Norway Pine was planted at the Olmsted County Historical
Society in honor of George Washingtons 250th birthday.
They also made an every name index to the 1878 plat map
of Olmsted County, in which over 2,000 names were indexed.
In 1983, the chapter won a gold ribbon for their yearbook.
1985, the Rochester Chapter hosted the State convention.
It was headquartered at the Kahler Hotel. Unfortunately,
Mother Nature had other plans - a major blizzard developed
and much of the convention had to be cancelled. In 1986,
a chapter of the Children
of the American Revolution - C.A.R. was formed. It was
named the Pipestone Society. The C.A.R. gives young people
leadership training for their future and the opportunity
to make history come alive. The Pipestone Society planted
a Norway maple near the Dee Log Cabin at the Olmsted County
Historical Society in 1987.
the 1990s, there were many excellent programs at our chapter
meetings. These programs are designed to enrich our members.
They covered a variety of topics: Patriotism, American History,
Education, American Heritage, and National Defense. These
programs still continue at most of our meetings currently
held. The chapters involvement in the 1990s was still
on a national, state, and local level. On a local level,
they cleaned and winterized the Dee Log Cabin; they participated
in the annual Memorial Day Observance; they donated books
to the Spring Valley Public Library; and they held an annual
award ceremony for the local and area students who have
won the American History and DAR Good Citizen Awards.
chapter is currently involved with: supporting veterans
affairs; hosting the DAR Good Citizens contest; promoting
patriotism; preserving history; promoting the display of
the American Flag and the Pledge of Allegiance; continued
involvement with the Dee Log Cabin; supporting the DAR schools
and education; and continuing involvement in the Memorial
chapter celebrated our 100th anniversary in November of
2003. It was a very fun year. We had four DAR women dress
in 1903 costumes and ride in a horse drawn carriage in the
Parade. We also hosted the MN State Conference in October
of 2003 at the Radison Hotel in downtown. We donated a memorial
bench to Quarry Hill Nature Center in honor of all of
the deceased Rochester Chapter DAR members from 1903-2003.
We ended our year by making a donation to Soldiers
Field Veterans Memorial: we donated a large concrete
pad that will be the home for an Iraqi War cannon and a
First World War cannon. A special granite
paver acknowledges the Rochester Chapter DAR and our
2007, several of our members started selling tributes for
a Special Veterans Day Edition of the Rochester Post
Bulletin. We joined forces with the Soldiers Field Veterans
Memorial group to pay tribute to all our veterans by helping
create this special edition. The funds our chapter received
for our part in this special edition was enough for our
chapter to start an endowment fund for the future. The Rochester
Chapter DAR has edited, sold ads, and written articles for
the Special Veterans Day Edition of the Rochester Post
Bulletin. This special edition is distributed to over
48,000 individuals and businesses in the SE Minnesota area.
In 2012 the Veterans Day Edition was 65 pages in length
and won Awards at the National DAR level.
nominated Mr. Wayne Stillman for the DAR Community Service
Award for his outstanding work with the Soldier's
Field Veteran's Memorial. We are very proud of Mr. Stillman
and his contribution to the Rochester Community. We were
very excited and proud when Mr. Stillman won the National
Community Service award in 2007.
In 2008, our
chapter started volunteering at Ironwood
Springs Christian Ranch at the "Operation Welcome
Home" events and the "Wounded Warrior Weekends."
We helped serve candle light dinners to the soldiers that
had just come back from Iraq and their spouses as part of
"Operation Welcome Home." For the "Wounded
Warrior Weekend" our members helped serve a picnic
BBQ meal. Our chapter has also sponsored a couple to attend
"Operation Welcome Home." We continue our support
every year to support our veterans.
In June of
2009 we hosted a Naturalization Ceremony here in Rochester.
This was the first time our chapter participated in a Naturalization
ceremony. We provided cake, punch, and patriotic goodie
bags to those new US Citizens. We handed out patriotic goodie
bags to the new US Citizens each year since 2009.
in 2010, nominated Mr. Bob Bardwell for the DAR Community
Service Award for his hard work and dedication in creating
Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch and for his commitment
in helping the military soldiers and veterans coming back
from overseas reintegrate with thier families and their
community via "Operation Welcome Home". Mr. Bardwell
went on the win North Central Division and National. We
are very proud to have two National DAR Community Service
winners in a three year period.
is active in maintaining the Dee Log Cabin. We are also
active in the DAR Good Citizen Essay Contests, Christopher
Columbus Essay Contest, and the American History Essay Contests.
We have also made donations to institutions and projects
including the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, DAR Project
Patriot, and Tamassee DAR School. We also set up a display
at the Rochester Public Library for Constitution Week during
the month of September.
In 2012 our
chapter sponsored the History Center of Olmsted County for
a NSDAR grant to help make repairs of the Dee Log Cabin.
The History Center received a $3000.00 grant from NSDAR
for this project.
At the MNSSDAR
State level our chapter sponsored the History Center of
Olmsted County for a matching $400.00 grant (total of $800.00)
to help preserve the Cutshall Photographic Collection that
was donated to the History Center. This photo collection
has over 50,000 photographs and negatives that are to be
placed in protective sleeves and inventoried. This is an
ongoing project that our chapter members continue to work
on even after the grant money has been used.
In 2012 our
chapter hosted the MNSSDAR State Conference at the Mariott
Hotel in Downtown Rochester. We had two trolley tours: one
to Asissi Heights which included a tea; a second tour to
Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch the home of "Operation
Welcome Home" which included lunch.
of 2013 we planted a tree at the History Center of Olmsted
County in memory of deceased Rochester Chapter members from
2003 - 2013.