Hannah Weston Chapter DAR. Burnham Tavern Open Every Saturday During Summer.

Machias Valley News Observer, Wednesday, June 3, 1936. The Burnham Tavern is a historic landmark of the Revolutionary War.

My maternal ancestor, Joseph Getchell Jr., fought the British in the rebellion for independence of the American colonies to prevent the British from taking their primary resources: timber for ships and their hard-earned money, taxation without representation. Once British demands were made, residents of Machias not only refused to comply by providing timber or paying their taxes, they erected a “liberty pole” in the town square. And then, they set out to seize British ships that entered their harbor.

A group of townsmen met to decide on their plan of action. Once agreed upon at the Rubicon, the brook they all jumped across to seal their pact, these men collectively captured the British ship “Margaretta” and hid her upriver. Joseph Getchell Jr. was among the first men who jumped on board the Margaretta in the assault. The captured British ship captain died. His blood remains in the Burnham Tavern where they took him after their assault. It was the first naval battle of the American Revolution.

The preservation of the Burnham Tavern is overseen by the Hannah Weston chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), as a reminder to future generations never to yield to tyranny.  The DAR chapter in Downeast Maine is named for Hannah Weston, a Revolutionary War heroine who carried ammunition through sixteen miles of wilderness for the men who were engaged in the first naval battle of the war which took place in Machias Bay. I am proud to be a member of the Hannah Weston chapter of the DAR, as was my mother, Louise Johnson Rier. It is the second largest DAR chapter in the state of Maine, second only to Portland.

My great grandmother, Nellie Getchell Means, was the great grandchild of Joseph Getchell Jr., Revolutionary War soldier at the age of 18. His father, Joseph Getchell Sr., was the first Getchell settler at Machias in 1769. My great grandmother’s father was Marshfield Getchell, son of John who was the son of on Joseph Jr. Thus, Joseph Getchell Jr. is my 4X great grandfather.

Reference: History of Machias, Maine by George W. Drisko. Press of the Republican. 1904.

The Burnham Tavern, beautifully preserved, as it is today.

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This summer, the Tavern will be open from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday, beginning on Tuesday, July 5th and continuing through Friday, September 2nd.  In addition, it may be possible to arrange visits at other times if a docent is available.  Please call 207-733-4577 or e-mail <info@burnhamtavern.com> for further information.

 

 

 

 

 

My Dad, James “Gene” Rier and Phil Watts. Just Kidding Around.

July 23, 1963. The trio publicized the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Machias that year.  Men in town grew beards, sported top hats, and dubbed their group “Brothers of the Bush.” Dad and Phil failed to achieve the 10-inch length of Mr. Goat’s whiskers, the original member of the group.

It was the only time my Dad had a beard. I recall it well because he had dark brown hair but his beard was red, revealing his Irish ancestry.

10 Survival Tips That Kept Your Great-Grandparents Alive

Written by: Kathy Bernier Extreme Survival [ repost: http://www.offthegridnews.com/extreme-survival/10-survival-tips-that-kept-your-great-grandparents-alive/ ] Unless you are fairly young, chances are your great-grandparents already have passed on. But if they were around in today’s tenuous times, our great-grandparents might have a few words of advice for us. Survival was something most of our ancestors did well, and a few […]

via 10 Survival Tips That Kept Your Great-Grandparents Alive — How to Provide

Mom and Friends. Rotary Anns Bowling Team Trophy. 1959.

If you lived in Machias, Maine in the 1950s and 1960s, you went bowling at Machias Valley Bowling Lanes. As kids practiced their skills, our parents were on teams in the bowling league, part of the social fabric of Downeast Maine.

My Mom, Louise Rier, is in the back row on the far left of the photo. I was seven years old at the time. She is 39 years old, a lot younger than I am now.

Good memories, good times.

When I married and left Maine in 1970, I learned how to bowl with big balls.  Today, I learned that candlepin bowling was primarily practiced in the Canadian Maritime provinces and New England in the US. The history of the sport is interesting and this version of bowling is still promoted in Maine.

Related posts:

Mom Keeps Men at Stewart Field Air Force Base on High Alert. 1944.

Mom’s Adventures in Portland: Horse Back Riding. 1942.

Mom Hanging Out with Friends.

Mom at 16. High School Graduation. 1936.

My Mother Louise Adele Johnson.

What Objects Will You Leave Behind For Your Descendants?

 

“The few worldly possessions she left behind, accumulated over the course of more decades than you or I will probably live, didn’t take up much space in the tiny two-room church-owned apartment where she spent the last 27 years of her life.”

“We have too many things, too many distractions, too many items offered to us, too many messages, and a person like Emma struggles to emerge,” the Rev. Giuseppe Masseroni, who himself is 91, said at Ms. Morano’s funeral on Monday.”

Repurposing My Ancestors’ Boot Box

I found the wooden box in the barn of my great grandparents home where I grew up. It was covered with faded and frayed upholstery fabric. I stored it for seven years. When I moved into my home, I began to work on it. I tore the fabric off and removed the stuffing of straw and old coats of children from under the top.

Underneath the once pretty upholstery material, I found brown burlap with a unique embroidered pattern in red.

I had red burlap in mind for a cover.

I realized I should have been documenting the process. The embroidery pattern was a part of family history. My ancestors were making use of whatever they could lay their hands on, more than once. They needed storage and another place to sit. I did too.

I began to take photos of the old burlap, decided to hang it in my shed for contemplation. Then I discovered the box was originally used to ship boots from Boston to CW Vose and Sons in Machias, Maine. I expect my ancestors bought their boots there, then put the box to use in their home, more than once.

Now the boot box sits in my living room next to a child’s rocker of my great grandparents and a lamp as old as I am. The box contains material for sewing projects that I want handy for use. And, it’s another seat on metal wheels that are in remarkably good condition. You won’t find metal wheels like that anymore.

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