Dar Essay Contest 2011

Pictured: Illinois State Regent Sharon Frizzell and Elizabeth Strebel

Elizabeth Strebel, an 8th grade student at St. Francis/Holy Ghost School in Jerseyville, is the Illinois state winner of the Daughters of the American Revolution History Essay Contest. The contest is open to any 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students, public or parochial school, and is locally sponsored by Dr. Silas Hamilton Chapter NSDAR Jerseyville.
The topic for 2016-2017 was in celebration of the 100th year anniversary of the National Park Service which was established by Congress in 1916. The National Park Service manages approximately 84.4 million acres of national parks. Students were to pretend they are writing a journal while visiting one of the 58 national parks. They were to identify its location and discuss why and when it was established as a national park and what makes this park one of our national treasures. Submitted essays should be 600-1000 words for grades 6-8. Bev Metzler is the chapter chairman of the American History Contest.
Elizabeth, daughter of Kevin and Heather Strebel, was honored at the Illinois State Conference Youth Day Awards Luncheon at the Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center in Bloomington on April 29. Elizabeth received a certificate, medal and cash award. This is the fifth state winner for the chapter: Anne Scheffel, 8th grade in 1981; Ryan McGuire, 6th grade in 2009; Michael Dizon, 6th grade in 2011 and Connor Berry, 6th grade in 2016. Michael also became the first to advance and win the North Central Division which is comprised of seven states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois. His essay was then sent to Washington D.C. for judging at the National Level. His essay was awarded National Second Place Winner for the 6th grade category during the annual Continental Congress of DAR in July that year.
The chapter will meet at the Jerseyville Public Library for a salad luncheon May 6 at 11:30 a.m. Members are asked to bring a half recipe of a favorite salad. Crackers and drink will be provided.

About The Lagonda Chapter

Lagonda Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution was organized April 21, 1895, with 14 charter members. It was the 10th chapter in Ohio. The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR), begun in Washington, D.C., in 1890, incorporated by an Act of Congress in 1896. Lagonda Chapter was organized by the first regent, Mrs. Asa S. Bushnell, her daughter, Harriet Bushnell Diamond and Louise Baldwin Dial. The women were assisted by members of the Cincinnati Chapters of DAR and SAR and encouraged by Asa S. Bushnell, soon to become Governor of Ohio. Harriet Bushnell Diamond received the earliest national number for a Lagonda member in the national organization.

In the early years, meetings were held in the homes of members, with Governor and Mrs. Bushnell enthusiastically guiding the new chapter. Governor Bushnell read a paper on the Battle of Lexington at one of the meetings. Other meetings were held in the Arcade Hotel, the Lagonda Club and even in a log cabin which had been built by Colonel William Ward, an associate of Simon Kenton. The purchase of the cabin was considered as a permanent home for the chapter but the idea was deemed unfeasible. Other meetings were held in the Fairbanks Building (Mrs. Fairbanks was a member), Memorial Hall and Christ Episcopal Church Parish House.

In January, 1902 the name was changed from the Springfield Chapter to Lagonda Chapter, after the Indian name for the creek which traverses Springfield.

The Lagonda Chapter is one of the few National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) chapters which owns and operates a museum, The Pennsylvania House Museum.

The Pennsylvania House Museum

The Pennsylvania House, built around the 1820's, on a land grant dated 1807 was an important stagecoach stop on the National Road for many years. Historical figures that are believed to have stopped at the Inn include: Presidents Martin Van Buren, James Knox Polk, William Henry Harrison and Andrew Jackson; Ohio Governor Thomas Corwin, Henry Clay and Charles Dickens. In the 1930's the house was closed as it had become a health hazard. At that time, it was decided the owners would allow the Lagonda Chapter to purchase the 26 room Inn for a minimal fee if they would pledge to restore and preserve it. This took place on September 7, 1937.

The challenges of preservation and restoration have been met by our chapter for over 60 years with untold numbers of volunteer hours dedicated to this effort. Lagonda Chapter is the only Ohio NSDAR Chapter which owns and operates an historic house museum. Several Ohio Chapters assisted with the furnishing of the house. Click to visit the Pennsylvania House Museum website.

Madonna of the Trail

The Madonna of the Trail monuments were erected by state chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution to honor the early settlers who used the old National Road to travel west. Created by sculptor August Leimbach and funded by contributions, the Madonna of the Trail monuments were intended to provide a symbol of the courage and faith of the women whose strength and love aided so greatly in conquering the wilderness and establishing permanent homes.

There are twelve such monuments, one in each state through which the National Road travelled. Springfield's Madonna of the Trail Monument was the first to be dedicated on July 4, 1928. It was re-dedicated by the DAR on July 4, 2003, the 75th anniversary of its original dedication.

Springfield's Madonna of the Trail Monument was originally located on the grounds of the Ohio Masonic Home. In 1956, the State of Ohio expanded Routes 40 & 4 to four lanes and the monument, which was in the path of the projected highway, was moved to its present location. The monument has been relocated to downtown Springfield in 2011.

American History Essay Contest

Open to students in grades 5 through 8. Every fall a topic is announced and contest instructions are sent to the schools by participating chapter. Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness. Winners receive a beautiful certificate and an opportunity to read their essay to the chapter. Awards are given at chapter, state, and national levels. National awards are presented during the Continental Congress in July.

In 2010 the Lagonda chapter had 69 entries for the essay contest. Many local schools public, private and home school, participated.

A special thanks to all who participated and congratulations to the winners!

Supporting Our Military & Veterans

Coupons for the Military: a program that provides coupons for food and non-food items that are collected, sorted into categories, and shipped to the military for their use. Coupons are good for two months past the expiration date.

Supporting Veterans from Home: a project that Lagonda Chapter participates in by having members donating Christmas cards, signing them, preparing them for mailing, to our active service men and woman as well as our veterans. All-occasion cards are also provided so they can send cards to their families. Lap robes, neck scarves and shoulder wraps are made by one of our members with yarn that is donated by chapter members. These items are taken to the veterans home for their use.

Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Awards Program: A medal and certificate are presented to an outstanding JROTC Cadets from local schools each year.

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