The Daughters of the American Revolution is proving its worth as a volunteer service organization, not only in the local area but across the nation and worldwide.
The John Hart Chapter of the DAR was established in 1907 in Elkins. Out of the 16 founding members, 10 of them were descended from John Hart, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and the chapter took his name to honor his lineage.
Today, the chapter has 70 members and is active in the Randolph County community. One key example of the organization's contributions at work is the restoration of the Kump Education Center in Elkins.
The center was established by a group of volunteers to preserve and develop the Kump House as an education center to improve and support the success of all West Virginia students.
The Kump Center Porch Project will scrap, repair and repaint the front entrance and repair the back porch and steps of the historic home. As an education center and historic site, the house needs safe access for students, teachers and other visitors who tour or hold meetings there.
"The preservation of the Kump House in order to develop it as an education center will contribute to the future children and youth of Elkins and the surrounding area," explained Barbara McCreary, the current vice regent for the John Hart Chapter, in a letter to the Special Projects Grant Scholarship Program, sponsored through the DAR, provides grant funding to support local community projects which exemplify the three mission areas of DAR: historic preservation, education and patriotism.
"It will also save an important piece of history for the city of Elkins and for the state of West Virginia," McCreary said.
She mused there was a very special reason the Kump Education Center was chosen as the site of the Special Projects Grant, which provided $10,000 that was matched by the center for the restoration.
"Edna Scott Kump, the wife of Governor (Herman Guy) Kump, was one of the 16 charter members of the John Hart Chapter DAR when it was organized in 1907," she said. "The three Kump daughters also became members of the chapter. This is a way for us to help honor her and her family."
McCreary credits her involvement to her grandmother.
"My grandmother was a member and this is a way of carrying on her legacy," she said.
The Kump Center is showing its thanks to the DAR by giving them a tribute during the Fair at the Crossroads today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m..
"It's good to know that people are aware that we are a service organization and we are here to help," said McCreary.
For more information on the DAR and the John Hart Chapter, call the chapter's regent Mary Emily Moyer Anger at 304-614-1229 or McCreary at 304-636-8107.
The DAR is dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history and securing America's future through better education for children. Since the organization's founding in 1890, with 175,000 members in 3,000 chapters across the globe, and a history that dates back to the early days of the American Revolution, the DAR has promoted many worthwhile projects, including preserving historic sites, assisting in genealogical research, giving scholarships, supporting schools, sponsoring programs for young people, serving veterans, distributing flags and copies of the flag code and helping celebrate such patriotic events as Constitution Week.