Throwback Thursday – 120 years of history and education: the local DAR

Throwback Thursday this week is dedicated to the 120th anniversary of the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Founded in 1902 by 15 chartering founder women, the Samuel Davies chapter is southcentral Kentucky’s tie to the war for American Independence. 

All of the Daughters of the American Revolution, or DAR, have a direct line of descent to a patriot who pledged to the colonial cause. The DAR is officially a non-profit whose mission is historic preservation, education, and patriotism. 

Our local chapter’s first Regent was Miss Jeanie Davies Blackburn. A 1920 issue of the DAR Magazine reported she had a natural instinct for caring and was instrumental in the founding of our local Red Cross chapter. The first World War saw a direct need for Red Cross efforts, and she even adopted a French orphan after the Great War ended. 

Many strong Bowling Green area women were part of the DAR, including the fashion icon and entrepreneur Carrie Burnham Taylor. The Paducah News Democrat reported in 1914 that Bowling Green was hosting the 18th annual DAR state conference, and that Carrie Burnham Taylor was the local chapter’s Vice Regent. 

Many local Samuel Davies DAR events were held during the tenure of Mildred Hardcastle’s Regency leadership from 1938 to 1967, including the golden anniversary in 1952. Margie Helm, the namesake for Helm Library and the newly-opened Helm Commons at WKU, was a DAR member. Today, the DAR focus mostly on historic preservation. Earlier this year, we reported the Historic Preservation Medal was awarded to Kristina Lemon for the restoration of the historic Hobson House Victorian ceiling. 

The chapter meets every week and studies American and local history, sometimes even taking immersive activities trips, like visiting the Green River Gun Club to learn about the arms of the American Revolution. In nonprofit news, earlier this month, the local chapter held a book drive for the Warren County Public Library. Follow along on Facebook for more information about historic preservation, education and scholarship donations, and other nonprofit work the local chapter conducts.

Throwback Thursday is brought to you by Hart County Tourism.