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Early History of Berks County

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Objectives and How They Are Met

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Historical Society of Berks County

 

 

 

The Objectives of the Society:

(1) To perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence by the acquisition and protection of historical spots, and the erection of monuments; by the encouragement of historical research in relation to the American Revolution, and the publication of its results; by the preservation of documents and relics, and of the records of Revolutionary soldiers and patriots, and the promotion of celebration of all patriotic anniversaries.
(2) To carry out the injunction of Washington in his farewell address to the American people, "To promote as an object of primary importance institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge", thus developing an enlightened public opinion and affording to young and old such advantages as shall develop in them the largest capacity for performing the duties of American citizens.
(3) To cherish, maintain and extend the institutions of American Freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty.

                                           

  Clock donated by the Berks County Chapter to National Society

                                         How We Meet Our Objectives

                       

On November 10, 2007, the Berks County Chapter, NSDAR celebrated its 115th year of service to the community and the National Society.  Organized November 8, 1892 with Mrs. W. Murray Weidman, Organizing Regent; it was the 7th chapter in Pennsylvania and the 29th chapter in the nation. During the past 115 years we have striven to meet the objectives of historic preservation, promotion of education and patriotic endeavor.

 

The chapter's interest in historic preservation is illustrated by the the handsome tall case clock appearing above. It was donated to the National Society for preservation and stands in the foyer of the Pennsylvania Room at headquarters.  Our registrar and past regent, Mary Bahr, stands beside it.

 

During the 1930's we placed markers to Revolutionary War soldiers in local cemeteries. We honored pioneer nurse and naturalist, “Mountain Mary” Jung, with a bronze marker for the many years she cared for her parents and neighbors by making simple medicines from herbs and barks. Another bronze marker was placed in Christ Church Lutheran Cemetery, Stouchburg, PA marking the memory of Regina Hartman, who was captured by Indians during the French and Indian War and later re-united with her family. The chapter illustrated the stories of these two women in a slide presentation and presented it to the National Society for their distribution to other chapters in 1982. We started helping at naturalization court by handing out American flags to new citizens, a tradition that we continue today. In the 1940's we planted 50 trees in Baer Park and began the annual President's Day Luncheon with the SAR and Berks County Historical Society, which we still participate in today. In the 50's and 60's we started honoring the Good Citizens from each of our county high schools. Our annual American History Essay contest winners read their essays at one of our meetings. We were responsible for organizing the Conrad Weiser Society CAR, the second in the U.S.

 

Berks County DAR has contributed toward the restoration projects of both the Statue of Liberty and of Ellis Island, the WWII Memorial and many campaigns to restore and keep our DAR building in Washington the beautiful and functional place that it is. We participated in our nation's Bi-Centennial celebration and have participated in many local parades and celebrations. We give a medal to a deserving cadet in the JROTC program from Boyertown and Reading High Schools. We support our Veterans in VA hospitals by sending them stamps. Three years ago Barbara  O'Connor , Wyomissing native and Conrad Weiser History teacher won the outstanding American History teacher from Berks County and Pennsylvania. Who could forget the haunting story of Severin Fayerman, a holocaust survivor, as he received our Americanism Medal, given to an Americanized citizen?

 

During the 115 years since our inception our society and culture have gone through numerous changes. Several things, however, have never changed: those being our pride in our heritage, our love for the best country in the world, and our quest to keep the spirit of the Patriots of the Revolutionary War alive and well for our children and our children's children. May our spirit and the spirit of those brave men and women continue for centuries to come and may God Bless America.

 

                                              

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