It was a pleasure to join the New Hampshire Daughters for their Fall Meeting October 18-19, Phyllis Gagnon, State Regent. With a theme of “Celebrating and Strengthening a Lasting Profile of Patriotism and Service,” the weekend began with State Officers, Honorary State Regents, State Regent of New Jersey, Connie Olde, and I at the State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen. There we viewed a potential location for a monument to the Revolutionary War patriots who ensured our freedom, which is the proposed project of the Gagnon Administration. The fall colors and crisp, cool air were a welcome enhancement for our visit to this lovely and peaceful setting.
From there we drove to Dunbarton for a fascinating tour of the Molly Stark house which was built by her father Capt. Caleb Page, c. 1759. Elizabeth “Molly” Page Stark was the wife of Gen. John Stark, a Revolutionary War hero and the last surviving General of the American Revolution. General Stark coined the state motto “Live Free or Die” when he issued the battle call of "There are your enemies, the Red Coats and the Tories. They are ours, or this night Molly Stark sleeps a widow!" before engaging in the Battle of Bennington. Molly’s brother, Jeremiah, later a Superior Court Justice and delegate to the first Constitutional Convention and the Stark’s son, Caleb, who served at the Battle of Bunker Hill also lived here.
Dr. Herb and Laraine Allen own the Molly Stark home and have created a magnificent house museum. Laraine is a Page/Stark descendant and they have preserved and restored this home in a manner most fitting for the stature of the residents. Laraine, a member of the Molly Stark Chapter, has filled the home with period antiques including many from the Page and Stark families. Although it is their private residence, they graciously welcome visitors interested in the families which were so important to the colonial history of New Hampshire.
Herb has recreated the fort built by Capt. Page in 1751 and filled it with more antiques and relics, including the bed in which Gen. Lafayette slept while staying with the Starks in 1825. The Allen’s passion for this history truly makes it come alive. Herb was delighted to learn recently that he has a family connection to the Starks as well. Following a thorough and informative tour, we were treated to a delicious soup dinner.
After leaving Molly Stark’s childhood home, we drove 1-1/2 hours to the Snowy Owl Inn in the White Mountains where my husband, Steve, joined me and was warmly welcomed by the New Hampshire Daughters. With nearly 10% of the New Hampshire members attending, Saturday featured reports and presentation of certificates from Continental Congress. State Organizing Secretary, Patricia Theberge, announced the goal of the Chapter Development and Revitalization Commission was that no prospective member be lost due to lack of help with the application.
After sharing some of the activities and objectives of the Young Administration, I was delighted when Nancy Howard, the Celebrate America! Chair, announced the 1,043 New Hampshire Daughters have already accumulated 22,913 hours of community service so far this year! (Report your Celebrate America! hours here!) Phyllis Gagnon continued the tradition begun by the Vermont Society and presented me with a charm of New Hampshire as a lovely memento, along with a generous check to the President General’s Project and a painting of a purple lilac, the state flower.
It was an honor to welcome members of the Heritage Club to a tea and to share with them some of the ways in which their generosity enables NSDAR to continue to fulfill our mission. One member volunteered that she often receives requests for donations but limits her gifts to her church and to DAR because she knows we make such a large impact throughout the country and that we use her funds wisely.
New Hampshire Daughters certainly are Celebrating and Strengthening a Lasting Profile of Patriotism and Service!