Photos and article by Mary Alice Murphy and Lucy Whitmarsh - the final three photos are Courtesy of Whitmarsh

The Jacob Bennett Daughters of the American Revolution Silver City chapter celebrated 120 years since its founding.

The Founder's Day celebration took place at the Fort Bayard National Landmark Theater. Lucy Whitmarsh, DAR state historian and vice regent of the local chapter, served as master of ceremonies.

New Mexico District 29 Rep. Luis Terrazas gave the invocation.

Next came the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

Bryce and Sherry Wooten sang "The Star-Spangled Banner," followed by Sherry Wooten singing "O Fair New Mexico," while her husband accompanied her on the piano.

"We DAR members all have a common ancestor who fought or served in the American Revolutionary War," Whitmarsh said.

She noted the chapter had received congratulatory greetings from other chapters who were unable to attend the ceremony.

Whitmarsh introduced Michael Barger of the Sons of the Revolutionary War and John Glenn, a member of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Glenn said he feels like he's home at Fort Bayard, because his ancestor was stationed at the fort. "He married a Silver City woman and they moved to Texas."

Whitmarsh said local women descended from ancestors in the Revolutionary War started the Jacob Bennett Chapter on June 10, 1903.

New Mexico State Office of the DAR Regent Patricia French Barger read a statement from the national DAR President General Pamela Edwards Rouse Wright congratulating the chapter for their meaningful activities and "I applaud your active participation. May you continue to grow in steadfast service to your country."

Patricia Barger expanded on the explanation of the organization as a non-partisan, non-political entity headquartered in Washington, D.C. "Our members provide millions of hours of volunteer work nationally. We award scholarships, among many other activities. The Jacob Bennett Chapter upholds the proud objectives of our society."

Barger noted the chapter was founded only 12½ years after the founding of the national group in 1898. The Jacob Bennett Chapter was the second in New Mexico, after the founding of the chapter in Santa Fe. "You have lost the original charter for the chapter, but we're working on a replacement. Five of your charter members were related to Jacob Bennett. They wanted a chapter house, and they bought a parcel of land. However, in 1905, they lost the lot, which was sold for delinquent taxes. They put a park on College Avenue, and now College Street Plaza stands on the lot. They had logs for the chapter house, but they were stolen."

Among items the chapter has accomplished is a plaque at the Catwalk, which was replaced in 2019 after the Whitewater-Baldy Fire had destroyed the catwalk. "I spoke at the rededication," Barger said. "We are fortunate to be so close to Fort Bayard. Chapter members regularly attend events at the national cemetery, including Memorial Day, Veterans' Day and Wreaths Across America. We hand out Good Citizen awards. In 2018, your local chapter chose Gabriela O'Keefe, and she was also chosen as state Good Citizen. I add my congratulations from the New Mexico chapter on your achieving your 120th anniversary."

State Regent-elect Eleanor B. Ortiz said her husband attended Western New Mexico University. He also served as Gov. Bob Cooper's aide. "I was good friends with your long-time Rep. Dianne Hamilton. She was a force. We have a painting of the church that was in Mogollon." She noted that the mother chapter in Santa Fe, the Steven Wyatt Comey Chapter was found in 1898. "We want to donate $100 to your chapter. We are mighty proud of you kids."

Whitmarsh recognized with a framed certificate the effort of the Fort Bayard Historic Preservation Society. Society vice president Cecilia Bell accepted the award.

Bell thanked the attendees for making Fort Bayard a success. "We will be celebrating Buffalo Soldier Day in July and the fort's birthday in August." She pointed out the large flag hung on the wall of the theater and said it came from former U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, a native of Silver City, who presented the flag in 2012 for the Fort Bayard birthday.

Whitmarsh next recognized the Village of Santa Clara for its excellence in historic preservation at Fort Bayard, "with a focus of bringing visitors to Fort Bayard."

Santa Clara Mayor Richard Bauch said: "Santa Clara is so connected to Fort Bayard historically and in distance. We want to keep working toward restoring Foret Bayard to the beautiful place it is meant to be. Thank you Rep. Terrazas for your legislative funding to help us. There is so much history here and our young generation needs and deserves to know about it. Our projects include the Nurses' quarters, the old admin building and the maintenance buildings. We have a design to bring the fort back to life. We want to lease out the buildings to various agencies."

Village Administrator Sheila Hudman said: "I'm the one who makes things happen. We are working to restore the medical quarters, and the ones the mayor mentioned. We are working on a lease with the Marine Corps League Detachment 1328 for the old Quonset hut. They want to use it for their meetings and also as a repository for the Toys for Tots. We have the design for restoring the officers' quarters including the one used for the current Historic Preservation Society Museum. We restored all the windows here in the theater. Our next step is replacing the doors and getting heating and cooling into this building. I do all that stuff."

Bell noted the Spam cans used to hold the flowers on the tables. "During World War II, Spam cans were thrown off ships, and the natives of the islands were happy to have the food to eat. These cans honor D-Day."

Whitmarsh announced the rest of the celebration activities, which included lunch, tours of the museum and the opportunity for people to take self-guided tours around the former Parade Grounds. "At 3 p.m. we will have the dedication of the pollinator houses at the bridge in Santa Clara. The houses will be installed as soon as the park is complete. Another of our projects is conservation. The state supports increasing the pollinator population. We are the second installation in the state."

Bryce and Sherry Wooten sang "God Bless America," and asked attendees to join in on the last refrain.

Glenn noted that the Signers of the Declaration of Independence plan to focus on Spain's part in the Revolutionary War at their Fourth of July celebrations in Santa Fe. He invited attendees to come and join with them.

Rep. Terrazas gave the benedictions and the blessing of the meal.

Pollinator Houses Dedication Ceremony
By Lucy Whitmarsh

On Saturday afternoon on Saturday June 10, 2023 the visiting members and local members of the Jacob Bennett Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Village of Santa Clara Officials met at the Cameron Creek Footbridge in Santa Clara to dedicate the future home of Pollinator Houses that will be a portion of the new Farmers Market that the Village of Santa Clara is working on. Mayor Richard Bauch and Village Administrator Sheila Hudman welcomed the Daughters of the American Revolution as partners in the creation of the Pollinator House portion of the project.

During the dedication Patricia French Barger, New Mexico State Daughters of the American Revolution Regent acknowledged the contributions that the New Mexico State Organization National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and the Jacob Bennett Chapter in Silver City is making for conservation by Installing Pollinator Houses where pollinators can nest. State Regent Barger has a goal of installing pollinator houses at locations across the state in conjunction with local Chapter Conservation Committees.

Pamela Edwards Rouse Wright, President General of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution wrote "This meaningful service promoting conservation demonstrates your commitment to our Society and your community. Congratulations on this accomplishment, and I applaud your active participation in this rewarding volunteer opportunity available through our Society's committee system."

All pollinators need a place to safely nest, and Pollinator Houses provide for that need. Bees are one of the pollinators along with butterflies and bugs that need a safe place to nest. Not all bees live in hives. Thirty percent of the 5,000 native species of bees in North America build nests above ground. Bees provide important pollination services for crops like fruits and vegetables. Native bees are solitary and build their own individual nests.

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