Chapters of the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution gathered Saturday to rededicate the Daniel Boone Marker, which was originally dedicated in 1928 and moved to the shores of the Kanawha River in 1985.
The rededication kicks off the centennial of the Kanawha Valley chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which was founded here in the buildup to World War I, said Shirley Gilkeson, the chapter’s parliamentarian and honorary chapter regent.
“We’re calling it a ‘Century of Service,’” Gilkeson said. “We started when World War I started.”
On Saturday, members of the Sons of the American Revolution brought out their muskets and colonial garb for a flag ceremony and the Pledge of Allegiance. Everyone bowed their heads for a prayer and sang the “Star Spangled Banner,” rededicating the four-ton piece of Indiana limestone to future generations of patriotic Americans.
Before and after the ceremony, those gathered celebrated with fried chicken, cookies and refreshments at the Daniel Boone Park on the riverfront.
The ceremony was timely, happening on Flag Day, and the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner.
Perhaps more famous for being a frontiersman, Boone was actually involved in many skirmishes with Native Americans as a militiaman in sparsely settled parts of the early United States.
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, he made his mark in modern-day West Virginia and Kentucky. He served as a delegate for Kanawha County in the Virginia General Assembly in 1791.
He moved west to Missouri in 1799 after an arrest warrant was issued for outstanding debt in Mason County, Virginia. He died in 1820 in the Femme Osage River Valley in Missouri.
Some of Boone’s lasting impacts in West Virginia are Boone County, named after him, and the monument rededicated on Saturday.
April Gardner, the regent of the Kanawha Valley chapter, said that the monument was dirty and covered in moss before a group of volunteers came out to clean the limestone for the rededication.
“It hadn’t been cleaned, and so we completely cleaned it,” Gilkeson said.
She said the Kanawha Valley chapter has 115 members.
Gilkeson said the chapter has donated $500,000 over the last year to various veteran causes such as the Wounded Warrior Project and the West Virginia Veterans Home in Barboursville.
They also have essay contests, march in parades and donate scholarships to high school students, Gilkeson said.
To join the Sons or Daughters of the American Revolution, you must be able to trace your lineage back to someone who fought in the American Revolution.
Reach Jack Suntrup at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5119.