New Hamburg Countryside Garden Club

New Hamburg Countryside Garden Club met April 6 at the Greenville VFW Blue Room.

Hostesses Sue Mathison, Jenny Dougherty and Nancy Lutkemier decorated the room with a spring/Easter motif including candy and spring flowers.

Members were asked to verify their information in the new Members Booklet since some information is missing.

This month’s special speaker was Kinorea Tigria, Master Gardner representing the Penn State Extension Office. She shared details regarding the Seed to Supper Program.

The program offers the community the opportunity to start growing food for free. It also provides information to new gardeners on soil preparation, garden planning, planting,and maintenance to harvest.

Anyone interested in becoming a part in the new program may contact the Extension Office at 814-350-7748, 724-513-9003 or e-mail for more information.

The next meeting is scheduled for May 4 and will feature a plant exchanfge. Judy Wood and Lin Murrin will be the hostesses.

Jamestown Study ClassJAMESTOWN — Seventeen members met at The Manor in Jamestown for the April 12 meeting of the Jamestown Study Class. After the minutes were read, the treasurer’s report given and correspondence reported, Estella Hyde appointed a nominating committee for securing officers to run for next year, the entertainment committee discussed the June luncheon, and Barb Stuver presented the proposed program for next year. The program presentations were then given.

Debbie Ormston opened the topic of voodoo with members offering words they associate with voodoo. Debbie told us the voodoo doll and zombies are not a part of voodoo.

She passed out spells and charms for members to read to the group. She told of beliefs in Haiti where 85 percent of people are Catholic and 15 percent are Protestant but 100% believe in voodoo. They believe in Bondye as their God and IWa as the spirits for rituals. Debbie reported on voodoo as practiced in Louisiana, a more matriarchal, gentler form, that was never banned but was restricted in practices, and is now a “Tourist Voodoo.”

Pat Kirby gave a presentation on The Allegheny Arsenal Explosion of 1862.

She told us that since it happened on the same date as the Battle of Antietam of the Civil War, it never received the attention that an incidence of 78 deaths might have gotten in history. Even local history of the Lawrenceville area of Pittsburgh doesn’t give much mention other than a small monument and a plaque in the local school named Arsenal.

The 38-acre area where 308 people were employed to make cartridges for the Civil War had an explosion of some buildings on Sept. 17, 1862. There were 78 people killed, mostly women workers and children of Irish, Catholic heritage.

Thirty nine people were buried in a mass grave and the dead were identified by who picked up their paychecks that day.

Members adjourned after these interesting topics and will meet in May again at The Manor.

Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil WarA recent meeting of Madaleine Gilbert Tent #23 was held at Papa Louie’s in Brookfield, Ohio.

President Paula Orndorff brought the meeting to order with six members in attendance.

Senior Vice President Tracy Fazekas asked if the Tent could have its own private Facebook page.

Secretary Wanda Hicklin will check into it.

While completing annual reports, it was suggested that the members think about ways to do volunteer work in the coming year. Tracy volunteered to teach the group how to clean headstones in cemeteries.

Patriot Instructor Patti Vetter shared information about her recent trip to Blenheim House in Fairfax, Va.

The house was used during the Civil War as a place to heal from illness, rest, and prepare for battle. The significance is the large number of messages and drawings left on the walls of the house by the soldiers while staying there.

Approximately 125 names have been identified.

More information about the Blenheim House and a list of names can be found online. Patti said it’s well worth the visit.

Chaplain Lori Caldwell suggested that we have brief demonstrations at our meetings, sharing information about our ancestors who fought for the north in the Civil War.

For more information about this organization, visit

The national organization involves 12 Tents just in Pennsylvania.

The national convention will take place Aug. 3 to 7 in Gettysburg.

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