Chapter Speaker’s Bureau
The Silas McDowell chapter has an established speaker’s bureau that is available to speak at schools, churches and civic associations.
The speaker’s bureau is a free service from our chapter. Our topics are wide-ranging and can be customized to your classroom or group’s specific needs. Topics range from the Rutherford Expedition, the Origin/Causes of the American Revolution and a background on Alexander Hamilton.
Our meetings are held on the third Monday of March, April, June, August & October beginning at 5:00pm for “eating and greeting.” Formal meeting begins at 6:00pm at the Boiler Room Steak House, 1024 Georgia Road, Franklin, NC 28734.We welcome summer visitors from other states and chapters. Make our Chapter your “home away from home”.
We also encourage those who think they may have a Revolutionary period ancestor, to call (828) 526-3374 and let us assist you in finding your link to the past.
Silas McDowell Chapter: A Review of 2014 Chapter Activities
Our focus in 2014 was to “Reach Out” to other SAR chapters, DAR chapters, and the community and our efforts resulted in the most active and productive year in the history of our little chapter!
We identified, cleaned the stones, contacted descendants, organized, and conducted FIVE Patriot grave marking Ceremonies and we co-sponsored a Patriot and Compatriot ceremony with the Blue Ridge Mtn. chapter GASSAR for a total of SEVEN Patriot/Compatriot grave ceremonies in one year. We participated in two NCSSAR events with color guard and wreath presentations, Battle of Cowan’s Ford and Battle of Ramsour’s Mill. We participated in the Western Waters & Felix Walkers re-dedication of Patriot Wm. Moore’s grave site. After a chapter work party cleaned the monument and site, we participated in the re-dedication of Patriot Cpl. White’s grave with the Battle of Sugar Town DAR. We participated in the Western Waters chapter Award ceremony for a WWII hero at the Asheville VA Hospital. We made presentations on the SAR to the Battle of Sugar Town DAR chapter and the Highlands Rotary Club.
Compatriot Ruble joined with the Blue Ridge Mtn. Chapter GASSAR in a Flag Retirement ceremony in Blairsville, Ga. as a member of the color guard. We invited the Presidents of Western Waters and Blue Ridge Mtn. chapters to conduct two of our four Revolution topic programs. Compatriot Ruble participated with the BRM chapter, GASSAR, color guard in the Memorial Day parade in Blairsville, Ga.
We provided the Revolutionary color guard at the Memorial Day program in Franklin, NC. And, Compatriot Col. McCracken was the guest speaker at the Waynesville, NC Memorial Day program. We had the Regent of the Battle of Sugar Town DAR speak at a meeting on the history and relationship of the DAR and SAR and their community activities. We participated with the Battle of Sugar Town DAR in their Constitution week activities.
Our chapter provided 400 copies of the Constitution for incoming freshmen to the DAR and joined them in the presentation to the Macon Co. School Board. Compatriot Yates accompanied the DAR in skits on Colonial Life to grade school children in Macon Co. while President Long in Revolution Officer Dress uniform gave a talk on the Constitution to high school students at the Nantahala School. President Long also attended the Constitution Day program in Hayesville, NC conducted by the Archibald D. Murphey chapter DAR.
We participated in the Franklin, NC Veterans Day parade pushing WWII Vets in wheelchairs. Compatriot Anderson and members of the Blue Ridge Mtn. chapter GASSAR participated in a Veterans appreciation ceremony at the Ellijay, Ga. VA care center. We contributed to the Wreaths across America SAR program. After many schedule conflicts were finally resolved, we inducted Congressman Mark Meadows into the chapter along with 5 other new members for an increase in membership, including duals and transfers, of 40 %.
We submitted a local Eagle Scout in the SAR scholarship contest. We awarded 4 certificates of appreciation, one Flag certificate, two Military service certificates and medals, one War service certificate and medal and a chapter Distinguished Service award was presented to Compatriot John Ruble for his dedicated service to the chapter as Secretary, Treasurer, Genealogist, and Color Guard coordinator. We awarded the outstanding cadet at Cherokee High School with the SAR certificate and medal. We initiated the grade school Poster Contest with several Macon Co. schools. Two chapter members had supplementals approved and were presented their certificates.
Throughout the year local regional newspapers covered almost all of our public events and activities, many with associated color photographs. Due to the limited availability of our members to be active in chapter activities, we will continue to partner with the Blue Ridge Mountain chapter, GASSAR, in any 2015 events.
Silas McDowell Chapter: A Review of 2013 Chapter Activities
The chapter focused our efforts in 2013 on recruiting new members through extensive press releases in our 6 county region of every activity as well as participating in region Festivals with a display tent and members in Revolution attire. Through these efforts we identified 21 prospects for membership, completed one approved application and have two more applicants in progress. Overall we lost two members and gained one over the 12 months to end the year with 15, of which only four actively engaged in one or more of our activities.
Chapter activities for which we received newspaper coverage (most with accompanying photos and some in color) included:
- Delivery of donated winter clothing to the Homeless Veterans rehab center in Asheville, VRQ. Three members were in Revolution attire. (covered in three area newspapers)
- Lead off speaker at Memorial Day ceremonies in Revolution attire with Betsy Ross and SAR flags (two members in uniform) Covered in three area newspapers.
- Genealogy workshop for those signing up at region festivals (covered in two area newspapers)
- Patriot Grave marking ceremony with American Legion Color Guard and Piper (covered in three region newspapers)
- Patriot grave cleaning in anticipation of marking ceremony at two cemeteries (covered in two area newspapers)
- In addition we made a SAR/BSA Eagle award in Revolution attire and presented the outstanding Jr. ROTC cadet of Swain High School with the SAR certificate and medal.
Submitted by chapter president Tom Long, Silas McDowell Chapter.
Silas McDowell Chapter: A Review of 2012 Chapter Activities
Last year our chapter moved our dinner meeting to a very nice private dining room with a substantially improved menu at the The Boiler Room Restaurant off 441 S. in Franklin.
We had many very interesting and informative programs from History Professors, Historical Society Officers, and in November we hosted the Education Committee from the Joseph Habersham Chapter in North Georgia demonstrating their Grade School “Traveling Trunk” program.
And, we added four new members with two more applications pending!
Our chapter has undertaken two National/State SAR programs: (1) Recognition and Awards to Area Eagle Scouts, and, (2) Awards to the Outstanding Jr. ROTC graduate at Swain High School. We will participate in Revolutionary Uniform, in an Eagle Scout Court of Honor in Robbinsville in May, 2013 and also at the Jr. ROTC Annual Awards Banquet when scheduled in the spring.
In addition, we are currently working four projects which will not only provide a service to our community but increase our exposure for recruiting new members.
Our “Service to Veterans” project to provide clothing to the homeless veterans in the Asheville Veterans Restoration Quarters is highly successful and very fulfilling.
The identification and marking of Revolution Patriots graves in the area is under way. We have identified eleven graves in the immediate area that we will work to clean up and plan to conduct the first SAR Grave Marking Ceremony in April 2013.
We are progressing toward a Uniformed Color Guard and now have four members with uniforms and anticipate that two more will join us. And lastly, we are working to provide media coverage of our meetings and community service at every possible opportunity.