Historical Society Holds Annual Dinner Meeting
Submitted by Marianne Ivers
The Chatham Historical Society held its annual dinner meeting on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 at the United Methodist Church. The annual dinner meeting resumed after three years of pandemic restrictions and disruptions. Special guest, His Excellency General Washington, entertained the audience with recollections of the most significant battles of the Revolutionary War, spiced with anecdotes of the United States’ journey to independency.
As customary the officers for the society were elected for 2023-2024. Amy Crandall and Karen Hoerrner will serve as co-presidents, Debbie Fabian as vice president, Christine Grobert as treasurer, and Stacey Keenan as secretary.
Long-time board members Diane Conlan andGerry Geisler were honored for their outstanding contributions to the Chatham Historical Society. The co-presidents also presented the Library of the Chathams with an annual contribution check for the library’s support and assistance.
General Washington’s presentation highlighted the many miracles that turned the tables on the British in the colonies’ long road to winning their independence. He touched upon the small role that Chatham played in the final stages of the war.
In August 1781 Washington and his troops set up a camp in Chatham. The bread ovens were constructed to fool the British into thinking that Washington and his troops were staying in the area and preparing to attack New York. In reality, Washington secretly planned to move his troops to the south and attack the British at Yorktown, Virginia. It took over a day for the British to realize that Washington had left the area. The American and French forces surrounded Yorktown on September 28, 1781. The battles continued for over two weeks until British General Cornwall surrendered on October 19, 1781 thus successfully concluding the Revolutionary War.
Chatham Historical Society will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2024. The society is looking for volunteers to help plan the upcoming celebrations of this milestone. More information on the society can be found on its website chathamnjhistoricalsociety.org.