Chapter Projects

The Margery Sullivan Chapter has a long history of preserving local landmarks. Committed to historic preservation, the chapter has worked tirelessly to preserve our local history for future generations.

In addition, the chapter is involved in promoting Constitution Week and works with local schools for the DAR Good Citizens Committee Awards, the American History and Christopher Columbus Essay Contests, and DAR Scholarships.


pixFirst Parish Church Site
During the regency of Mrs. Fannie Dow French (1901-1903), the chapter built a beautiful retaining wall along the front of the First Church site, on Dover Point, and placed a bronze tablet in the wall. Unveiled on July 7, 1902, the tablet reads, "1633-1902, the first house of worship in New Hampshire was erected near this spot by the First Parish, organized in 1633. Its second meetinghouse, built in 1654, stood on this site and was surrounded by a wooden fort, the outlines of which are still visible. This wall is erected by the Margery Sullivan Chapter, D.A.R."

With Mrs. Winifred Lane Goss as regent (1905-1907), it was decided that the chapter's work of marking the site of the first meetinghouse in New Hampshire would be completed by preserving the outline of the earth works with an iron fence.


pix General John Sullivan Cemetery
Under the direction of Regent Katherine V. N. Brown (1907-1909), iron gates were purchased and placed at the Sullivan Cemetery in Durham. General John Sullivan and his mother, Margery Browne Sullivan, are buried here, along with several distinguished members of the Sullivan family.

Under Marion Herd's regency (1972-1978), the chapter was represented at the dedication of a plaque on the John Sullivan House as part of Dover's 350th Anniversary Parade.

2014 will mark the 300th birthday of our chapter namesake, Margery Sullivan. Plans include restoring and updating the Sullivan Cemetery. The century-old iron gates are in need of repair, including replacing stones in the stone wall and pruning a large tree in the cemetery.


pixMargery Sullivan Gavel
Mrs. Eva C. Hale, vice regent (1913-1915), presented the chapter with a gavel made from the wood of an old apple tree that grew in the Sullivan Cemetery in Berwick, Maine. This cemetery is where Master John and Margery Sullivan were originally buried. Their remains were later exhumed and moved to the Sullivan Cemetery in Durham, New Hampshire.


pixMajor Richard Waldron Gravesite
While under the regency of Mrs. Sarah Abby Pike (1915-1917), the chapter assisted the Society of the Colonial Wars in restoring the Waldron Burying Ground, and placing a boulder with bronze tablets on the grave of Major Richard Waldron. The Waldron Cemetery is one of the oldest in Dover, New Hampshire, and is where many of the earlier settlers of the area are buried.

In 1676, in an attempt to capture the local natives, Major Waldron invited hundreds of Indians to a mock battle against the militia. This deception led to the execution of several Native Americans, and the remaining sold into slavery.

Thirteen years later, the residents of Cocheco considered the incident forgotten. On June 27, 1689, two native women appeared at the local garrison houses, asking to sleep by the fire. In the early morning hours, the women opened the garrison doors and allowed several hundred Penacooks into the town. Waldron was particularly tortured by the Native Americans, who cut him with knives, saying, "I cross out my account." He was later forced to fall on his own sword. Fifty-two colonists were captured or slain in the Cocheco Massacre.


pixMajor John Demerit Homestead
Regent Madeline T. Reynolds (1927-1929) unveiled a boulder and bronze tablet at the John ("Powder Major") Demeritt homestead in Madbury, New Hampshire.

On December 15, 1774, several local patriots, including Major Demeritt and General John Sullivan, orchestrated the first act of aggression against the British crown. The men took a gondola from General Sullivan's house in Durham, down the Cocheco River to Fort William and Mary in Portsmouth Harbor. The men waded in the frigid waters in silence, mounted the fort, tied the captain, and took one hundred barrels of gunpowder.

A part of the powder was taken by Major Demeritt to his house in Madbury, while the bulk of it was stored under the pulpit of the old meetinghouse, and sent later to Charlestown, Massachusetts, where it was used in the Battle of Bunker Hill.

The inscription on the tablet reads, "This tablet marks the site of the home of Major John Demeritt, Revolutionary Patriot, buried nearby. He assisted in the capture of Fort William and Mary at New Castle in 1774, and brought to the premises some ammunition of the American Revolution."


pixPomeroy Cove
During the regency of Mrs. Madeline T. Reynolds (1933-1935), the chapter placed a marker at Pomeroy Cove, marking the landing place of Dover's first settlers and the beginning of the first public roads in New Hampshire. At the same time, a flag pole with a bronze marker was given by Mrs. Maud Swift in honor of her ancestor, Edward Hilton, a founder of Dover. A dedication of these gifts was held and New Hampshire Governor Murphy was in attendance. Over the years, the chapter purchased new flags to be flown on this memorial pole.


pixTree Plantings
Regent Margaret S. Sumner (1985-1989) had a tree planted at the Strafford County Court House, during a Constitution Day celebration and historical program by Donald Sumner.

Regent Maryann Wentworth (1995-1998) had a tree planted near the covered bridge in Dover, New Hampshire, in memory of the Margery Sullivan Chapter's founding Daughters. Due to upgrades to the Butterfield gym and grounds, this tree was moved during the regency of Mae Strawbridge (2007-2010) to Dover's Riverwalk area.


pix Informational Markers
In 1998, markers were placed at three entry routes to Dover, with information about the chapter's meeting times. In 2014, the chapter plans to replace the signage.


pixDAR Lineage Books
Regent Alta Hartdorn (2001-2004) coordinated fundraising to provide rebinding of several worn DAR lineage books at the Dover Public Library.


pixNational Purple Heart Hall of Honor
Under the regency of Patricia Holt (2010-2015), the chapter is working to ensure local Purple Heart recipients, dead or alive, have a place in the Hall of Honor at the Purple Heart Museum in New Windsor, New York.

pix Recent Purple Heart recipients added to the Hall of Honor through her efforts are Captain Ann "Darby" Reynolds (pictured at right), retired United States Navy Nurse Corps, who served in Vietnam from 1964 - 1965; and Kenneth C. Hersey (left) of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, killed in action in July of 1944 during World War II.


pixEllis Island Day
For several years, the Margery Sullivan Chapter has partnered with the Horne Street Elementary School third grade class to participate in Ellis Island Day. Students choose a country of origin that they research, then dress and act as immigrants from that country. Students "sail" into Ellis Island, debark, and go through the health checks, make sure their paperwork is in order, pass the language and money conversion tests, and several other stations before they are "cleared" to enter the United States.