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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

Historic Celebration of Minisink Ford

By Kaitlin Carney - reporter / photographer

By: Kaitlin Carney | Democrat
New York State Historian Devin Lander speaks about "Telling the Big Story with Local History" before the unveiling of the Minisink Project at the Commemoration of the 238th Anniversary of the Minisink Raid and the Battle of Minisink. It is thought that Lander's visit is the first time a New York State historian has visited Sullivan County.
story and photos
By kaitlin carney

BARRYVILLE — Both a solemn and informative event, the Commemoration of the Battle of Minisink on the anniversary of the Minisink Raid and the Battle, took place on Saturday.
Steeped in the history of the momentous battle, on the field where much of the action took place, the 238th Anniversary was made even more special by the unveiling of the Minisink Project Monument.
Master of Ceremonies and Sullivan County Historian John Conway gave the background of the events and the monument project. “A year ago, at this event, we announced the start of this project. Thank you to Sullivan County, Town of Highland Supervisor Jeff Haas and the Yulan Fire Department for the seating, to my wife Debra for her attention to detail. This project was spearheaded by the Delaware Company … just like the Revolutionary War was a collaborative effort, this project was a collaborative effort that couldn't have been done without Sullivan County, Brian Scardefield Director of Sullivan County Parks, Recreation and Beautification, the Department of Public Works, and County Manager Joshua Potosek.

Potosek also addressed the many who worked together, and provided the dedication. “Welcome to the Battleground … where partnerships have existed from battle to now. This is an example of how private groups and government can work together … how the Delaware Company accomplished so much with the support of the county. We dedicate this to Dr. Ben Tusten, who refused to leave soldiers and was killed at hospital rock. Finally, we have to thank the Sullivan County Legislature and staff committed to improving our parks system, part of success is relying on public and private partnerships. There are few better examples of partnerships than this monument.”
Reverend William H. Chellis, M. Div., J.D. , the Pastor of United Methodist Church of Kenoza Lake offered an invocation before the presentation of colors and Pledge of Allegiance, led by Nadia Rajsz, Sullivan County Legislator. Following the American's Creed, led by Kathleen Alevras, Regent of the Minisink Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, New York State Historian Devin Lander addressed attendees and honored guests.
Lander spoke about how “history is essential in our daily lives. No place is a community until it has an awareness of its history. History engages citizens, inspires leadership, is crucial to pursuing democracy for our future by preserving our past … that is the really big picture as to why local history is important.”
In the dramatic conclusion to a year of fundraising, design, work, and installation, Delaware Company Executive Director Debra Conway, Scardefield, and Elektra and Teresa Kehagias unveiled the Minisink Project Monument.
The program continued with the laying of memorial wreaths, reading of the names of the fallen, a military salute and taps, and benediction before Elektra moved the crowd with her violin rendition of the “Ashokan Farewell.” Many stayed to speak with participants, observe the monument up close and learn more about the Battleground.

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