Observance to be held for anniversary of Battle of Minisink

| 16 Jul 2015 | 03:03

The public is invited to the 236th Anniversary of the Battle of Minisink on July 18 at the the Grave of the Unknown Soldier in Lackawaxen, and an observance at Sullivan County’s Minisink Battleground Park in Minisink Ford, N.Y.

Starting Friday evening, July 17, living historians of the Navasing Long Rifles and Third Ulster Militia will set up an 18th century encampment at the Battleground Park located on County

Route 168. The public is welcome to visit through Sunday morning and learn about significant sites in the militia’s bloody skirmish with the British Tories and Mohawks led by Captain Joseph Brant, as well as weaponry and other equipment of the period.

For more information on the Upper Delaware ceremony, call 570-559-7444.

On Saturday, the observance moves across the Upper Delaware River, where Pike County Historian George J. Fluhr will host his 42nd consecutive commemoration ceremony at 1 p.m. at The Grave of the Unknown Soldier, and other activities at the battleground.

Then at 4 p.m., observance moves back up to the memorial field at Battle of Minisink Park where Delaware Company President and Sullivan County (NY) Historian John Conway of Barryville, N.Y. will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

Following the welcome by John Conway, who is also a director emeritus and life member of the Sullivan County Historical Society, which has for decades spearheaded the annual Minisink commemoration, there will be brief words of welcome from the Honorable Andrew Boyar, Supervisor, Town of Highland (NY) and Honorable George J. Fluhr, Pike County (PA) Historian. Following will be: an invocation by Rev. William H. Chellis, M.Div., J.D., pastor Jeffersonville United Methodist Church; Presentation of Colors by Tusten-Highland-Lumberland Post #6427 Veterans of Foreign Wars, Sylvan Liebla Post #1363, American Legion, Town of Highland, and the Navasing Long Rifles; the Pledge of Allegiance led by 8-year-old living historian Elektra Kehagias; and the recitation of The American’s Creed led by Kathleen L. Alevras, Regent, Minisink Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

The keynote address “Preservation of the Minisink Battleground in a Landscape of History Lost” will be delivered by Kristina M. Heister, Superintendent, Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, followed by placement of memorial floral tributes by the Beaverkill, Minisink, and Old Mine Road Chapters DAR in NY, the Wayne Chapter DAR in PA, and the Navasing Long Rifles. A Time for Recollection will then include the reading of names of the battle dead read by members of the Navasing Long Rifles, each punctuated by the ringing of a bell, then a solemn closing Benediction lead by Reverend Linda Bohs of the Eldred and Narrowsburg United Methodist Churches.

Leo Kehagias, 12-year-old living historian and colonial musician, will accompany the recessional with his soulful rendition of “Ashokan Farewell.”

“The Delaware Company is pleased to help continue this long tradition kept alive through the years by the Sullivan County Historical Society,” says Executive Director Debra Conway, who points out that the group takes its name from the original group of Connecticut Yankees who first settled in the Upper Delaware valley, some of whom took up arms and fought in the Battle of Minisink. “We thank everyone involved for their participation in this most noble effort, commemorating the ultimate sacrifice of these patriots in the cause of liberty, fighting and dying right here on Sullivan County soil.”

At the program’s anticipated 5 p.m. conclusion, participants are welcome to enjoy the park’s picnic facilities, which include a grill and tables, and self-guided hiking trails.

There will also be an observance at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 22, at the battle’s monument in the village of Goshen, N.Y. (near the village green).

No reservations are necessary to attend either commemoration in PA or NY.