The Mecklenburg Chapter was chartered on April 27, 1928 as a chapter in the State of North Carolina Society of the sons of the American Revolution.
Charlotte is a Hornet's nest of rebellion.
- British General Cornwallis after he was driven out of the city by hostile residents.
The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was signed on May 20, 1775, making Mecklenburg County the first part of the Thirteen Colonies to declare independence from Great Britain.
November 20, 2014 - Chapter Meeting Highlights
The Mecklenburg chapter held our final membership meeting of 2014 tonight with a special guest speaker, author Randell Jones. Randell spoke about the men and women who gathered to climb Kings Mountain and eventually defeat the British. Randell has written a book about these brave men and women, "Before They Were Heroes at Kings Mountain." See Randell in the photo below.
We also welcomed a new member, Mark McBeth, seen below taking the SAR oath of membership delivered by Jay Joyce.
November is also our chapter's annual meeting, so awards were presented to several chapter members for their outstanding service during 2014. In the top photo below, chapter secretary Ken Luckey receives the SAR Chapter Distinguished Service Medal from Jay Joyce.
Two of our chapter's key members and past presidents, Tim Berly and Tom Phlegar, were presented with the Eagle Award of Meritorious and Unselfish Service (see photo below).
And both Bill Anderson and Dave Alls received the Bronze Roger Sherman Medal of Service for their major contributions to the SAR, our community and our chapter (see below photos.)
November 8, 2014 - Annual Charlotte Veterans Day Parade
The Mecklenburg chapter, along with members of the Battle of Kings Mountain chapter, the SCSSAR, the Mecklenburg Historical Association and the South Carolina Sixth Regiment, formed a Combined Color Guard to lead the Charlotte Veterans Day parade today. We had two drummers and a fife player leading the Flag corps. The parade is sponsored each year by the Carolina's Freedom Foundation. The photos below are from the parade.
(In the photo above, left to right, Tom Phlegar, Ray Maxson, Dave Alls,
Neil Hohmann and Doyle Campbell gather to march in the parade.)
(In the photo above, left to right, Tom Phlegar, Tim Berly, Tom Burgess and
Ray Maxson are ready to march in the Veterans Day Parade.)
November 7, 2014 - Chapter Attends Freedom Breakfast
The Mecklenburg chapter sponsored a table at the annual Carolina's Freedom Foundation Breakfast in Charlotte today. The Patriotic event is an annual fund raiser for the foundation's educational scholarship and youth training initiatives. Attending members included Jim Prosser, Jay Joyce, Tim Berly, Jim Wood, Ray Maxson, Dave Alls, a prospective new chapter member and Tom Phlegar. NC Governor Pat McCrory spoke about NC veterans programs.
October 18, 2014 - Two Patriot Grave Markings in Concord, NC
The Mecklenburg chapter and the Lt. Col. John Phifer chapter co-sponsored a dual Patriot grave marking ceremony for Rev. Hezekiah James Balch and Benjamin Patton held at the Poplar Tent Presbyterian Church in Concord, NC. Several DAR chapters joined the SAR to present wreaths and honors. Our very special guest speaker was local historian and author Scott Syfert, who spoke about the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence from his latest book. Attending from our chapter was Tim Berly, Jim Wood, Ken Luckey, Ray Maxson, Dave Alls, Jim Prosser and Jay Joyce. The photos from the ceremony are below:
(Above left, Mecklenburg chapter secretary Ken Luckey conducts the indoors portion
of the ceremony. Above right, Charlotte attorney, author and speaker Scott Syfert
delivers an exciting presentation on the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.)
(Above, the graves of both Patriots await the official unveiling of their SAR bronze
markers during the ceremony.)
October 7, 2014 - Kings Mountain 234th Anniversary
Several members of our Mecklenburg chapter attended the 234th anniversary of the Battle of Kings Mountain in Kings Mountain, NC, today. Tim Berly, Ken Luckey, Ray Maxson, Jim Wood represented our chapter at the annual ceremony. SAR President General Lindsey Brock was in attendance. A group photo of the North Carolina Combined Color Guard is below.
October 4, 2014 - Mecklenburg Honors Two North Carolina Patriots
Members of our Mecklenburg chapter participated in the dual Patriot grave marking ceremony for Daniel Bryson and James Bryson, sponsored by the Silas McDowell chapter, NCSSAR.
"The day and the event could not have been more perfect to honor these two Patriot family members," said Jay Joyce, Mecklenburg chapter president. "Jim Wood, Tim Berly, Ken Luckey and I represented our chapter and assisted our friends in the Silas McDowell chapter with the SAR grave marker unveiling ceremony. It was a beautiful fall day and there were approximately 75 descendants, SAR and DAR members in attendance." (In the photo below, past NCSSAR and Mecklenburg chapter president Jim Wood renders honors during the ceremony.)
(In the photo above, Mecklenburg chapter secretary and NCSSAR Western Adjutant Color Guard Commander Ken Luckey watches over the ceremony."
(In the photo above, NCSSAR Sr. Vice President, and past Mecklenburg chapter president, Tim Berly, renders honors during the grave marking ceremony.)
September 25, 2014 - We Can Only Imagine...
This is a photo taken on September 20, 2014 during the Graham and Brevard grave marking ceremony at Machpelah Presbyterian church and cemetery in Iron Station, NC. Past Mecklenburg chapter president Ray Maxson is carrying the "Betsy Ross" to the church cemetery in a brisk wind. We can only imagine that this type of scene repeated itself many times during the Revolutionary War.
September 20, 2014 - Patriot Plonk Grave Marking & Highway Sign
The Mecklenburg chapter sponsored a grave marking ceremony for Patriot Jacob Plonk II today at the Plonk Family Cemetery in Crouse, NC.
"Jacob Plunk II was a shoe-maker and carried a drawing of each man's feet so he could make shoes for them," said Bill Anderson, event chair and member of the Mecklenburg Chapter, NCSSAR. "All they had to do was to tell Jacob they needed a new pair of shoes and he would pull the pattern out of his saddle bag, along with some leather, and make the shoes."
The SAR grave marker was unveiled by two Plonk family descendants, as seen in the photo below.
Many Plonk family descendants were on hand to participate in the ceremony by honoring their Patriot ancestor. (The photo below shows Mecklenburg chapter member and Plonk family descendant Bill Anderson rendering honors during the ceremony.)
Immediately following the grave marker dedication, the Mecklenburg chapter participated in the unveiling of a new highway historical marker that the Lincoln County Historical Society funded and installed. Other NCSSAR chapters participating in the day's events included the Lt. Col. John Phifer chapter, the Catawba Valley Chapter, the Battle of Kings Mountain chapter and the Captain George Dickey chapter. NCSSAR State President Ken Wilson also attended the events.
"The new historical marker will help others who would like to stop and view the Plonk Family cemetery," added Anderson. "We were proud to be a part of this historic ceremony and honor one more Patriot who helped forge our country's independence."
September 20, 2014 - Patriots Graham & Brevard Grave Markings
The Mecklenburg and Catawba Valley Chapters co-sponsored a dual Patriot grave marking ceremony for General Joseph Graham and Captain Alexander Brevard at Machpelah Presbyterian Church cemetery in Iron Station, NC. (In the photo below, a short service is held inside the Machpelah church, dated from 1848.)
"Joseph Graham served as a major in command of the Mecklenburg County Dragoons from 1779-1781 fighting in 15 engagements across North and South Carolina during the Revolutionary War," said Tim Berly (in photo below), event chair and Sr. Vice President, NCSSAR. "Graham later served as Major General, 5th Division, in the North Carolina Militia. Graham Street in Charlotte is named in his honor and he is an ancestor of the Rev. Billy Graham."
Alexander Brevard served as a 1st LT in the 1st NC from 1776-1778 until ill health while at Valley Forge forced him to return to North Carolina. "He then served as Captain and Quartermaster to General Gates, participating in the battles of Camden and Eutaw Springs," added Berly.
Both Patriots were honored with the unveiling of the bronze SAR grave markers at each of their grave stones. (In the photos below, General Joseph Graham's grave marker is on the left, and Captain Alexander Brevard's marker is on the right.)
September 18, 2014 - Chapter Dinner Meeting & Skepticism!
Our chapter September dinner meeting featured a very special guest, Charlotte attorney and historical author Scott Syfert, who talked about his book, "The First American Declaration of Independence?"
"We had 54 members and spouses in attendance to enjoy socializing and a wonderful dinner and dessert," said Tom Phlegar, chapter treasurer and event coordinator. "We always ensure that our members have ample opportunities to socialize before and during dinner."
The star of the night was Scott Syfert with his lively presentation and ensuing discussion about the origins, rumors and truths on the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Many members fielded questions and observations about Scott's book and discussion.
"To many historians and residents, the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence is one of the greatest mysteries in American history," said Syfert. "Did, in fact, Mecklenburg County declare independence from Great Britain more than a year (May 20, 1775) before anyone else?"
Syfert is the co-founder of the May 20th Society in Charlotte, the official annual commemoration of the MecDec.
A new member, Winborne Springs, was brought into the chapter by Jay Joyce, while several new members joined us with dual memberships: Chad Lloyd and Sam McKinstry. We also had several prospective members join us for the evening.
September 17, 2014 - Mecklenburg Attends Sen. Broyhill Speech
Mecklenburg chapter color guard members Jim Wood, Tim Berly and Jay Joyce traveled to High Point University to join the combined NCSSAR Color Guard to present the Colors for a speech delivered by former NC Senator James Broyhill.
"Senator Broyhill delivered a colorful presentation about the unique secrets and history of the U.S. Capital building," said Jay Joyce, Mecklenburg chapter president. "He shared the history of the actual building along with some funny stories about his 20+ years of service in the Capital itself."
September 13, 2014 - Patriot McJunkin Honored at Ceremony
The Daniel Morgan Chapter, SCSSAR, sponsored a grave marking for Patriot Major Joseph McJunkin beginning at The McJunkin Cemetery, 3535 Whitmire Hwy., Union, SC 29379. Major McJunkin served at the Battle of Kings Mountain, Cedar Springs, Hanging Rock, Musgrove's Mill, Hammond's Store, Blackstock's Ford, and the Battle of Cowpens. He was taken as a captive to Old Ninety-Six, where he was released on parole. He then aided Gen. Nathanael Greene at the Siege of Ninety-Six. Our chapter secretary, Ken Luckey, represented the Mecklenburg Chapter. In the photo below, Ken Luckey renders honors to Patriot McJunkin's grave.
August 23, 2014 - NCSSAR Board of Managers Meet in Raleigh
The NCSSAR Summer Board of Managers meeting was held at the NC State University Club in Raleigh, NC, today. Among the highlights of the meeting was the formal change of command ceremony of retiring NCSSAR Color Guard Commander Dick Bishop and the induction of incoming NCSSAR Color Guard Commander Gary Green. There were also many awards from the SAR National Congress held back in July in Greenville, SC, presented to members. Compatriot and past NCSSAR State President John Thornhill announced that he is seeking the national position of SAR Historian General. The BOM unanimously endorsed Compatriot Thornhill for his campaign. Photos from the BOM are posted below.
(Above, chapter member Jim Wood receives applause for his longtime
service in the NCSSAR and the SAR.)
(Above, Mecklenburg chapter secretary and Western North Carolina Color
Guard adjutant Ken Luckey, prepares for a change in the Color Guard command.)
(Above, the Mecklenburg chapter receives the Partners in Patriotism Certificate from
outgoing SAR President General Joe Dooley.)
August 16, 2014 - Patriot John McNeely Grave Marking Service
The Marquis de Lafayette and Salisbury chapters, NCSSAR, sponsored a grave marking ceremony for Patriot John McNeely at Back Creek Presbyterian Church and Cemetery in Mt. Ulla, Rowan County, NC. The ceremony included a large NCSSAR Color Guard and a large number of McNeely family descendants. Attending and participating in the Color Guard were Jim Williams, Dave Alls, Ken Luckey, Ray Maxson, Neil Hohmann and Jay Joyce. (In the photo below, descendants of Patriot John McNeely unveil the SAR grave marker during the ceremony. In the second photo below, members of the NCSSAR Color Guard stand easy for a group photo following the ceremony.)
August 13, 2014 - Chapter Summer Socials a Big Success!
Mecklenburg chapter members conclude a summer tradition of "chapter social lunches" at Charlotte restaurants. "This is one of my favorite chapter activities because it's purely social and the topics of discussion cover just about everything," said Mecklenburg chapter member Bill Anderson. (See photo below.)
August 9, 2014 - Mecklenburg Honors the Tryon Resolves
The 239th commemoration of the Signing of the Tryon Resolves (August 14, 1775) was sponsored by the Battle of Kings Mountain Chapter, NCSSAR, and held at the Tryonota Volunteer Fire Department, just 100 yards from the original signing site. Mecklenburg chapter members Jim Wood, Dave Alls, Ken Luckey and Jay Joyce attended and participated in the Color Guard. Photos from the event are below.
August 2, 2014 - Mecklenburg Visits "House in the Horseshoe"
The Marquis de Lafayette chapter, NCSSAR, sponsored a wreath presentation ceremony for Patriot Col. Benjamin Williams at the "House in the Horseshoe" in Sanford, NC. The rains failed to materialize in a downpour and some 50 or more SAR & DAR members, color guard representatives and re-enactors were present to witness this inaugural event. Patriot Colonel Benjamin Williams served his country at Guilford Courthouse and as a four-time governor of the State of North Carolina. Representing the Mecklenburg chapter was Ken Luckey and Tim Berly (in photo below).
July 26, 2014 - Mecklenburg Members Attend Schlup Ceremony
Several members of our Mecklenburg chapter participated in the grave marking ceremony for Patriot Conrad Schlup held at the Savitz United German Church Cemetery in China Grove, NC. Conrad Schlup is the father of the Sloop Family in North Carolina. The Salisbury chapter, NCSSAR, sponsored the event. Mecklenburg chapter members Ray Maxson, Dave Alls and Ken Luckey attended the grave marking and participated in the Color Guard. In the photo below, all three Mecklenburg chapter members participate in the ceremony.
July 20-23, 2014 - Mecklenburg Attends SAR National Congress
Several members of our Mecklenburg chapter attended the SAR National Congress held in Greenville, SC. Attending from our chapter included Ray Maxson, Robin Lattimore, Ken Luckey, Tim Berly, Paul Callanan, Jim Wood, Jim Prosser, Jay Joyce and Tony Zeiss. In the photo below, members of our chapter participated with the NCSSAR Color Guard to march in the parade to the Memorial Service held on Sunday, July 20th.
July 16, 2014 - Summer Social Chapter Lunch in Dilworth
Our July social chapter lunch was held today at Dilworth Neighborhood Grille. Everybody enjoyed the conversation, food and time for getting to know more about our members. The next summer social chapter lunch is August 13 at the Dilworth Neighborhood Grille. Please RSVP with Jay Joyce at firstname.lastname@example.org. The August 13 lunch will be our last lunch of the summer (believe it or not!)
July 12, 2014 - 234th Anniversary of the Battle of Colson's Mill
The Colson's Mill chapter hosted the 234th Anniversary of the Battle of Colson's Mill today in Norwood, NC. The largest crowd to date gathered to honor the history, men and women of this famous Revolutionary War battle, including representatives from the SAR, DAR, SR and civic organizations.
Special guest speaker Dr. Tony Zeiss (above in photo), member of our Mecklenburg chapter, portrayed his famous Revolutionary War figure, 16-year-old Thomas Young, from his award-winning novel, Backcountry Fury. Our Mecklenburg chapter members Ken Luckey, Dave Alls, Gus Succop, Tony Zeiss, Tim Berly, Doyle Campbell, and Jay Joyce participated in the Color Guard.
June 21, 2014 - 234th Anniversary of Ramsour's Mill
The 234th Anniversary of the Battle of Ramsour's Mill was held today in Lincolnton, NC. Chapters from around NC and SC were represented, along with DAR and local civic organizations. Our Mecklenburg chapter members Neil Hohmann, Ken Luckey, Jim Wood, Dave Alls, Tim Berly, Doyle Campbell, Ray Maxson and Jay Joyce participated in the Color Guard.
The Battle of Ramsour's Mill (June 20, 1780) was a fight involving neighbors, not regular army troops on either side. The battle itself claimed between a hundred and a hundred fifty lives, about the same number on each side. More than a hundred more were wounded. Some of those who fought at Ramsour's Mill and survived would die at Kings Mountain, some would nearly starve to death in the ensuing months because of a lack of supplies.
June 14, 2014 - Revolutionary War Patriot Receives Honors
Members of our Mecklenburg chapter participated with The Battle of Kings Mountain chapter as they sponsored their first Patriot grave marking ceremony for William Patterson at the historic Shiloh Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Grover, NC. Members from the NCSSAR, the SCSSAR, regional DAR chapters and Post 243 American Legion from Bessemer City participated in the event. A 21-gun salute and "Taps" were provided by Post 243 American Legion. Participating members from the Mecklenburg chapter included Tim Berly, Ray Maxson, Ken Luckey and Jay Joyce.
(In the photo below, Mecklenburg chapter secretary and Western NC Color Guard Adjutant Ken Luckey commands the combined Color Guard.)
(In the photo below, past chapter president Ray Maxson renders honors.)
May 20, 2014 - "Meck Dec" Debuts at Charlotte Knight's Game
The annual celebration of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence extended beyond Trade and Tryon Streets this year. "Our Mecklenburg chapter joined the May 20th Society to bring the Meck Dec day ceremonies to the pre-game show in the new Charlotte Knight's stadium," said Mecklenburg chapter president Jay Joyce. (In the photo below, our Color Guard waits in the shadows of the 3rd base tunnel to enter the field.)
The pre-game show included a produced movie about Captain Jack and the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, a patriotic marching onto the field from our chapter Color Guard and May 20th Society reenactors, musket firings, a reading of the Mecklenburg Declaration and a cannon firing.
Participating from the Mecklenburg chapter Color Guard included Jim Wood, Tim Berly, Neil Hohmann, Ray Maxson, Tom Phlegar and Jay Joyce. Earlier in the day, the traditional Meck Dec ceremony was held on Trade & Tryon Streets and our participating members included Jim Wood, Tim Berly, Ray Maxson and Dave Alls.
May 17, 2014 - Jim Wood Receives Patriot Medal at Patriot's Day
The 18th Annual Patriot's Day was held today at the Alamance Battleground Park and sponsored by the Alamance Battleground chapter. A surprise part of the day's ceremony was the awarding of the SAR Patriot Medal to our own Jim Wood! (In the photo below, current NCSSAR State President Ken Wilson, on left, presents Jim Wood with the Patriot Medal.)
"The Patriot Medal is awarded only by a state society and it is the highest award given for service at the state or chapter level," said Mecklenburg past president and current NCSSAR Sr. Vice President Tim Berly. "This medal is presented only to individuals and represents long, faithful and outstanding service at the state and/or chapter level to the SAR."
We congratulate Jim on his fantastic service to our chapter and state!
May 16, 2014 - JROTC Medals & Scholarship Awarded
As part of our chapter's dedication to presenting JROTC medals and an annual JROTC Outstanding Cadet scholarship, we attended the promotion awards ceremony today at the Military & Global Leadership Academy in Charlotte.
"Each year we attend this awards ceremony to honor 8th grade and high school JROTC cadets," said chapter president Jay Joyce. "We were lucky enough this year that our chapter's Outstanding JROTC Cadet Scholarship attends the academy so we could present the medal in person with the cadet's family and school watching."
In the photo below, Mecklenburg chapter president Jay Joyce has presented the SAR JROTC Bronze medal and certificate for outstanding academic and community achievements to Cadet Nathaniel Vang. Nathaniel's parents joined the presentation.
In the photo below, the Mecklenburg chapter's 2013-14 SAR Outstanding JROTC Medal and Scholarship was then presented to Cadet Caroline Tello. She was joined by her parents for the medal and $250 scholarship award presented annually by the Mecklenburg chapter.
May 15, 2014 - WWII, New Members & Awards at Meeting
Our spring membership meeting was held tonight at the Hilton Executive Park hotel in Charlotte with 58 members and guests in attendance, despite the soaking rain.
Following dinner and fellowship, new member Fred Alls was inducted by chapter president Jay Joyce (in photo below) as Fred's son, current chapter Color Guard Commander Dave Alls, assisted in the ceremony.
Four chapter members were then honored with the Bronze Good Citizenship Medal for their continued community service through various civic and community organizations. In the photo below, Jay Joyce, at left, presents the medal and certificate to Neil Hohmann, Ken Luckey, Dave Alls and Bill Anderson.
The night's feature presentation was delivered by 20-year SAR member and WWII veteran Tom Burgess. Tom's presentation shared many photos from his collection of service in Germany as he and his Third Army Division moved across Europe. "I was 17 years old and part of the 87th Infantry Division fighting in France and Belgium, then eventually crossing into Germany," said Burgess. "My unit was one of the first to arrive in the town of Plauen, which was nearly destroyed by bombs." Tom served as an Infantryman fighting in the "Battle of the Bulge" and others.
Tom served with the "Golden Acorn" division stationed at Fort Benning during World War II and was the first Infantry division to be decommissioned after the war.
Also honored and semi "roasted" was Paul and Keitha Callanan (in photos below). Paul received greetings from fellow chapter members in the form of throwback jokes from the likes of the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts from the 1970's! Both Keitha and Paul took time to thank chapter members and to encourage members to get more involved with the SAR to make lifelong friends and memories. Paul and Keitha are moving to Michigan in June to begin a new chapter in their lives. We wish them well and will see them at SAR events.
May 10, 2014 - Patriot Lewis Jetton Grave Marking
Our Mecklenburg chapter co-sponsored a Patriot grave marking with the Mecklenburg Chapter, DAR, for Lewis Jetton today at the Centre Presbyterian Church in Mooresville, NC. Patriot Jetton (1749-1826) is reported to have fired the first shot at the Battle of Cowan's Ford held in January 1781.
"Working with Regent Miriam Smith of the Mecklenburg chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, is a real privilege for our chapter," said Mecklenburg SAR chapter president Jay Joyce. "The DAR grave marking service is a wonderful blending of patriotic, religious and musical tribute."
Mecklenburg chapter DAR Regent Miriam Smith unveiled the DAR marker while Mecklenburg chapter SAR secretary Ken Luckey (below in photo) unveiled the SAR marker.
Representing our Mecklenburg SAR chapter at the grave marking were Ken Luckey, Neal Hohmann, Ray Maxson, Paul Callanan, Jim Wood, Tim Berly and Jay Joyce. "Ken Luckey organized all of the SAR and Color Guard participation on behalf of our chapter," added Joyce. "We are already talking with the DAR to co-sponsor more grave markings and community events around our region."
May 8, 2014 - Chapter Members Attend "Colonial Gem"
Members of the Mecklenburg chapter participated in the "Colonial Gem" held at the Charlotte Museum of History. Approximately 300 community leaders and community organization members attended the awareness and fund raising event. (In the photo below, chapter member Tom Phlegar plucks the banjo to some colonial music while Jim Prosser and Ken Luckey stand next to the statue of Alexander Hezekiah.)
Jim Prosser, Jay Joyce, Pete Hubicki, Gus Succop, Charlie Succop, Tom Phlegar, Ken Luckey, Neil Hohmann and Mike Cathey represented the SAR and the Mecklenburg chapter. In the photo below, members gather to enjoy hand-crafted beer made from the stream water that flows on the Hezekiah Alexander property.
April 26, 2014 - North Carolina Annual State Convention
The annual NCSSAR state convention was held in Fayetteville, NC, this weekend. Members attending from our Mecklenburg chapter included Neil Hohmann, Paul Callanan, Tim Berly, Ray Maxson, Jim Wood, Ken Luckey, Jim Prosser and Jay Joyce. (In the photo below, NCSSAR state president and Mecklenburg chapter member Jim Wood prepares to pass his command to incoming president Ken Wilson.)
"The le Marquis de Lafayette chapter hosted this year's annual conference and they did an outstanding job for all of the attendees," said Jay Joyce, Mecklenburg chapter president. "The meeting and dining rooms were comfortable, large and featured some of the best audio visual presentations of any convention."
The workshops on Saturday featured topics like, "What a Chapter Secretary Needs to Know," "Being a Good Chapter President," and, "Helping New Members with Genealogy and SAR Application Assistance." (In the top photo, Ray and Helen Maxson enjoy the formal dinner festivities, and in the bottom photo, Paul and Keitha Callanan smile for the camera.)
Saturday night was the formal awards presentation for the previous year's chapter and individual achievements. "Mecklenburg chapter won several awards including the 95% Member Retention Award, the Americanism Report Completion Award, the Large Chapter Membership Growth Award, and the Most Flag Certificates Presented Award," said Joyce. "In addition, several of our members earned individual achievement awards for their service to the chapter, state and SAR national levels."
April 12-13, 2014 - Chapter Holds Genealogy with Scottish
The Mecklenburg chapter participated in the 21st Scottish Festival at Rural Hill, NC, with a genealogy "tent" open to any visitor who wanted to document their ancestry for application into the SAR. (In the photo below, our chapter genealogy tent is prepared to greet the thousands of festival visitors.)
"Over the two days we spoke with hundreds of people who stopped by our tent inquiring about documenting their ancestry and how to pull all of the research together to possibly join the SAR," said Jay Joyce, Mecklenburg chapter president. "Out of all of those conversations, we have approximately 25 solid applicants who know their connections to Revolutionary War Patriots and are interested in pursuing the SAR application." (In the photo below, chapter members Ken Luckey, on left, and Jay Joyce, on right, talk with a prospective new SAR member who is interested in documenting his links to his Patriot ancestor."
"This was our first year participating with the Scottish Festival," added Ken Luckey, Mecklenburg chapter secretary. "Outside of Scotland, North Carolina is the largest geographic area of Scottish settlers with enormous ties to fighting for American independence in the Revolutionary War. This was a very successful genealogy workshop and we have already committed to participate again next year."
March 16, 2014 - Forgotten Patriots of Color are Honored
The NCSSAR hosted a ceremony honoring fourteen Forgotten Revolutionary War Patriots of the North Harlowe community by dedicating a memorial marker at the Harlowe-Havelock Senior Center in Havelock, NC. Families of Free Persons of Color before the American Revolution populated the Harlowe communities of Craven and Carteret Counties. Read a newspaper article with full details here. (In the photo below, Mecklenburg chapter member Paul Callanan, on right, commands the Color Guard during the ceremony for the 14 Forgotten Patriots of Color in Havelock, NC.)
“These families furnished at least fourteen of their men to fight for the cause of Liberty throughout the Revolution,” said NCSSAR President Jim Wood. “They fought from the battles around New York and New Jersey in the early part of the War, through Valley Forge, where the American Army was truly born, the battles in Pennsylvania, both sieges of Charleston, and the battles of the Southern Campaigns that ended the War.” (In the photo below, NCSSAR President and Mecklenburg chapter member Jim Wood, on right, poses with SAR President General Joseph Dooley, on left, and a descendant of one of the Forgotten Patriots in front of the granite monument listing the 14 Patriot's names.)
The Patriots that were honored represented these small groups of families. Various members of this group of Patriots fought in some of the key battles of the Revolution and some manned the garrison at Fort Hancock at Cape Lookout, the only fort constructed in North Carolina during the Revolution. Descendants and family members were present. And SAR President General Joseph Dooley addressed the gathering. A granite monument was unveiled containing the names of the 14 Forgotten Patriots.
March 15, 2014 - 233rd Anniversary of Guilford Courthouse
The 233rd anniversary of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse was held today in Greensboro, NC, at the Guilford Courthouse National Battlefield Park. (In the photo below, NCSSAR President and Mecklenburg chapter member Jim Wood walks alone to his post to address the event.)
"We had several hundred SAR, DAR, SR and Revolutionary War reenactors participate in the main ceremony and program," said chapter president Jay Joyce. "Our SAR President General, Joseph Dooley, delivered an exciting talk about Generals Cornwallis and Greene and their personal accounts of the battle, which turned out to be quite different from each other!"
(In the photo below, Mecklenburg chapter secretary Ken Luckey, on left, talks with NCSSAR Color Guard Commander Dick Bishop about the fine details of managing a Color Guard.)
February 20, 2014 - President's Day Community Dinner a Success
Our chapter's second annual President's Day Community Dinner was held tonight with an excited audience of 170 people. "The large majority of the 170 audience members were non-SAR members of all ages," said Tom Phlegar, chapter programming chairman. "We had 8-year-old Cub Scouts, college-aged youth and adults of all ages in attendance to enjoy a wonderful evening of early American history, dinner and community spirit." (In the photo below, two young Wolf rank scouts chat with Mr. Washington before dinner.)
The Hilton Executive Hotel main ballroom was beautifully decorated and adorned with patriotic bunting and candles. During dinner service, a strolling violinist entertained each table with violin music from the Revolutionary War era. "The past two years we have had the violinist as an added feature and people really enjoy her music as it sets the mood for our guest speaker," added Phlegar.
Following dinner, George Washington took the stage for the evening's main feature. Mr. Washington spoke of his youth, his service in the guard at any early age, his service as commanding general during the Revolutionary War, and his eventual service as our nation's first president of the United States. (In the photo below, Mecklenburg chapter member Ray Killian talks with George Washington following dinner."
"Professional historic actor Kevin Grantz portrayed Mr. Washington and he was absolutely brilliant," said Phlegar. "His portrayal of Washington remained in character from the very moment we introduced him until the last guest had left after the event."
The purpose of the annual President's Day Community Dinner is for our chapter to sponsor a public event to help maintain presence for the people, events and history of the Revolutionary War. "This is a large undertaking each year, but we touch members of our community that we otherwise would not reach, and we hope that attendees will spread the word about this vitally-important Era of history to our nation," added Phlegar.
Next year's guest is tentatively planned as either Patrick Henry or Benjamin Franklin. (In the photo below, from left to right, Jim Wood, NCSSAR president, Mr. George Washington, Allen Bosbyshell, Tim Berly, NCSSAR Eagle Scout Scholarship program chairman, and William Bosbyshell pose for a photo following Allen's acceptance of the $1,000 in SAR scholarship awards.)
"We also presented our chapter and North Carolina state SAR Eagle Scout scholarship award to Allen Bosbyshell of Troop 1 in Mecklenburg County," said Phlegar. "Allen won our chapter scholarship award of $250 and our North Carolina state society award of $750. We award the SAR Eagle Scout scholarship each year during the President's Day Community Dinner program."
February 10, 2014 - George Washington in Charlotte February 20
Our nation's first President of the United States, George Washington, will be our guest this year at our chapter's annual President's Day Community Dinner beginning at 6:00pm on February 20, 2014, at the Hilton Executive Park Hotel in Charlotte! Tickets are $26 per person. All ages and audiences are invited. Buy your tickets here!
"The honor of having President Washington host a dinner for 260 guests and hear his stories and accounts of serving as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, serving as the founding father of our nation, and serving as our country’s first president of the united states is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity"” says Tom Phlegar, program chairman, Mecklenburg chapter. "President Washington’s interaction with the audience and his amazing ability to recount his role in numerous historical events from a first-person point of view will delight, inform and entertain everybody in attendance." Read more here.
February 1, 2014 - Cowan's Ford Marks 233rd Anniversary
The Mecklenburg chapter sponsored the 233rd Anniversary of the Battle of Cowan's Ford at Hopewell Presbyterian in Huntersville, NC. Representatives from the SAR, DAR, SR, Children of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames of XVIII Century and descendants of General William Lee Davidson participated in the day's ceremonies. (in the photo below, NCSSAR state president Jim Wood, at podium, addresses the 100+ in attendance.)
Central Piedmont Community College president and Mecklenburg chapter member Dr. Tony Zeiss delivered the day's presentation on the life of General William Lee Davidson and his ultimate death at the Battle of Cowan's Ford. (In the photo below, Mecklenburg Color Guard Commander Dave Alls renders honors at the grave site of General William Lee Davidson during the Cowan's Ford ceremonies.)
January 18, 2014 - Chapter Members Attend Cowpens Anniversary
Compatriots from across the country and from our Mecklenburg chapter attended the 233rd Anniversary of the Battle of Cowpens during frigid 25-degree temperatures and brisk winds. SAR President General Joseph Dooley was in attendance and delivered the keynote address before a crowd of several hundred spectators.
Mecklenburg chapter members Jim Wood, Dave Alls, Ray Maxson, Ken Luckey, Neil Hohmann, Tom Phlegar and Jay Joyce participated in the Color Guard. In the photo below, chapter member Neil Hohmann carries the Hornets Nest flag in the ceremonial Color Guard.
In the photos below, Mecklenburg chapter Color Guard Commander David Alls (in left photo) sports an authentic version of a Militia-style uniform as he moves forward with the Color Guard. In the photo on the right, chapter member and NCSSAR President Jim Wood, on left, poses with SAR President General Joseph Dooley during the ceremony.
December 30, 2013 - New SAR Members & Medals Presented
During the November 21st chapter membership meeting, we had two new members receive their membership oath from NCSSAR state president Jim Wood. In addition, we honored two chapter member's wives with one of the most prestigious SAR awards that can be presented to a chapter officer's wife.
In the photo above, new Mecklenburg chapter members Carl Burchette, on left, and Lesley Bush, in middle, are inducted as new SAR members by NCSSAR state president Jim Wood, on right.
Jim Wood and past chapter president Paul Callanan presented the SAR's Lydia Darragh Medal to Shelia Wood, at left in above photo, and Keitha Callanan, at right in above photo. The Lydia Darragh Medal is given to recognize the Lady that the chapter or State president determines to have been the most helpful to him during his tenure in the progressive line. The particular lady must have been involved for a minimum of three years. Lydia Darragh (1729 – December 28, 1789) was an American woman said to have crossed British lines during the British occupation of Philadelphia during the American Revolutionary War, delivering information to George Washington and the Continental Army that warned them of a pending British attack.
December 16, 2013 - SAR Medal Awarded to CMPD Officer
Mecklenburg chapter president Jay Joyce presented the SAR Law Enforcement Commendation Medal this morning to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Officer Reginald Gilmore (on left in below photo). Officer Gilmore is a 17-year veteran with CMPD and currently is serving as a community policing officer with the North Tryon Division.
"His nickname in the communities that he serves is 'Officer Friendly,' due to the types of interactions he has with citizens, especially the youth," said Joyce. "Officer Gilmore is currently a volunteer coach for the PAL soccer league and he has been a coach for PAL basketball teams where he has mentored many youth. In addition, Officer Gilmore volunteers for reading programs at division schools where he spends time reading to elementary students."
December 10, 2013 - Member Receives SAR WWII Certificate
NCSSAR president and Mecklenburg chapter past president Jim Wood surprised a member of the Mecklenburg chapter today by appearing at the Charlotte Rotary Club meeting to present an award.
President Wood presented Ray Killian, Sr. with his SAR War Service Medal for Killian's service in World War II. In the photo below, Jim Wood, on left, presents the certificate to Ray Killian, Sr., on right.
December 10, 2013 - Mecklenburg Law Enforcement Award
The Mecklenburg chapter presented the SAR Law Enforcement Commendation Award to a member of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's office today. Field Training Officer Adam Goodman, a member of the Sheriff's office since 2008, received the award from Mecklenburg chapter president Jay Joyce at the North Jail Facility.
"Adam is a highly motived and dedicated officer and one who takes pride in his work, his actions, and his service to the citizens of this community," said Joyce. "He is tasked with training new employees and preparing them for the responsibilities of their job within the jail facilities and teaching new officers how to perform their duties efficiently and effectively."
November 15, 2013 - Member Tony Zeiss Awarded Gold Medal
We are excited to announce that our own chapter member and author, Tony Zeiss, has earned a most-prestigious honor for his book, Backcountry Fury. Tony was awarded the Gold Medal by the Military Writer's Society of America. Tony's historical fiction novel won the top national award in the "Young Adult" category.
His book features a sixteen-year-old South Carolina patriot who fought at Kings Mountain, Musgrove's Mill, the Cowpens, and in several other battles in the Carolinas in 1780-81. Vowing revenge after his brother is killed by Bloody Bill Cunningham and his marauding Tories, 16-year-old Thomas Young joins the Little River Regiment of Mounted Militia in 1780. This book chronicles 18 months in Thomas' life as he fights in the South Carolina back country during the Revolutionary War.
"We are so proud of the work that Tony has done, not only with his book, Backcountry Fury, but with his work around Charlotte on honoring and preserving the history from the Revolutionary War," said Mecklenburg chapter and NCSSAR president Jim Wood. "So many of us have had the honor of seeing Tony portray the title character in his book at local, state and national SAR meetings. He does a fantastic job and we are honored that Tony is a member of our chapter."
November 11, 2013 - Honorable U.S. Flag Retirement Ceremony
The Mecklenburg chapter and the Mint Hill VFW co-sponsored an Old Flag Retirement Program today. More than 100 people attended and we had over 1,000 old flags to retire. The Marine Corp VFW gave us a Rifle Salute and a bugle call, then all the flags were brought forward honorably by the scouts. Mecklenburg chapter member Ray Maxson served as the burn master. In the photo below, a scout renders honors to the Flags about to be retired.
November 9, 2013 - The Charlotte Veteran's Day Parade
Members of our Mecklenburg chapter, along with members from the SCSSAR, joined us to lead the annual Veteran's Day Parade down Tryon Street in Charlotte today.
Several thousand people lined the streets on a cool, beautiful morning to watch the ROTC units, the Charlotte Fire Department, USAir floats and several bands to honor our veterans.
(In the photo above, Mecklenburg chapter members David Alls, on left, and Ken Luckey, on right, prepare to lead the Charlotte Veteran's Day Parade.)
Members of our chapter participating in the parade include Jim Wood, Neil Hohmann, Tim Berly, Tom Phlegar, Ken Luckey, David Alls and Jay Joyce.