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Benjamin Prescott Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution visits library, Barcelona lighthouse

Pictured are Marla Connelly, Park Ranger 2 at the Barcelona Historic Lighthouse, and Jay G. Bailey, Regional Director of NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The Benjamin Prescott Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution continues to meet.

The organization held its May monthly meeting at the Patterson Library in Westfield recently with 12 members present.

The opening ritual was led by Regent Bonnie Larkin reminding members that May 5 was the National Day of Prayer.

The President General’s Message was read by Linda Kuzara. It was the last address to be given by current President General, Denise Doring VanBuren. She discussed the challenges the group faced the last three years.

The DAR National Defense Article was read by Barbara Pietro and discussed the fate of the USS Sullivans in Buffalo Harbor and the efforts taken thus far to restore it.

L-R, Elizabeth Mourer, Phyllis Noble, Myra Johnston, Lisa Sedlmayer, Linda Kuzara, Bonnie Larkin, Brenda Johnson, Wendy Dyment, Marla Connelly, Susan Sipos, John Sipos.

Minutes of the April meeting by Secretary Linda Kuzara and the Treasurer’s Report from Deborah Langebartel were accepted as presented.

Registrar Barbara Pietro said there are three prospective members with completed paperwork in Washington, D.C., for processing.

Phillis Nobel gave a short presentation about her patriot, Obadiah Johnson, a private who absolutely believed in independence. He signed up for three years and fought under General George Washington and the Continental Army at Brandywine, Germantown, and the encampment at Valley Forge. After the Revolutionary War he also fought in the War of 1812 at Sodus Point, N.Y., in 1813.

In June, a dinner meeting of the chapter was held at the Parkview Cafe in Westfield. Regent Bonnie Larkin lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Ms. Marla Connelly, NYS Park Ranger for the Lighthouse and Mr. Jay Bailey Regional Director for NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation honored us with a presentation on plans with insight to preserve and protect the Barcelona Lighthouse followed with a tour of the Lighthouse. The need is great to preserve this Lighthouse so further generations can enjoy it and the exciting history of the people that made the Lake Erie fishing industry.

Attendees learned that the lighthouse was the ‘First in the World’ to use natural gas to light the lamp in the tower. It was built in 1829 and the Patterson Chapter of the NSDAR (now merged into the Benjamin Prescott Chapter NSDAR) placed a plaque on the front of the lighthouse above the door in 1929. In 1972 the lighthouse was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

This is a gem in our own backyard and many people have helped to preserve, protect and educate the public about its place in history. Chapter members wish to help to restore it to the next level and make it a real treasure for generations to come. At the present time visitors can not go up to the light and gaze out into the Lake. The chapter would like to see that happen.

Please watch for announcements about how you can attend the “Victorian Tea” at the Westfield Train Station on Sept. 18 to support the Barcelona Lighthouse restoration.

If you are over the age of 18 and had an ancestor who fought or gave aid to the American Revolutionary War and would like to join us, please call Barbara Pietro at 716-392-1166 or email her at jbpietro@gmail.com.

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