Lady Fenwick Chapter
Daughters of the American Revolution
Cheshire, Connecticut
History of Lady Fenwick Chapter
The Lady Fenwick Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was organized by Miss Nettie C. Smith and founded in Cheshire, Connecticut, on June 10, 1910. NSDAR granted a charter to Lady Fenwick Chapter on November 2, 1910. The chapter had 31 charter members.

Nettie Smith was the first regent, serving four terms, for a period of 14 years between 1910 and 1930. She was a lifelong resident of Cheshire and a dominant figure in the local community.

Lady Fenwick Chapter has a current membership of over 60 women.
In the 100+ years since its founding, Lady Fenwick Chapter's diverse activities and community involvement typify NSDAR's mission to promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism.
The first official event of the chapter in 1911 was the observance of July 4th, coordinating a town-wide event with parade and floats, speeches, music, folk dancing for the children, athletic events for the boys, a ball game for the men, supper for everyone, dancing in the Town Hall and fireworks.
In 1912, Lady Fenwick Chapter published a history of Cheshire from its incorporation through 1840. The first half of the volume is a detailed history, written by Joseph Perkins Beach; the second half contains nearly 300 pages of baptism, marriage, and burial records, as well as American Revolutionary War service records.
Also in 1912, the chapter helped finance the publication and distribution of immigrant guides to American life, a project begun in 1910 by CTDAR. The guides were written first in Italian, and later in English, Yiddish, and Polish. A copy of a letter from President William H. Taft thanking the Connecticut Daughters has been carefully preserved in the Lady Fenwick Chapter archives.
In 1914, the chapter began the custom of annually marking the graves of patriots of the American Revolution, in observance of July 4th, a tradition continued to this day.

For the bicentennial in 1976, Lady Fenwick Chapter placed bronze markers at three town cemeteries in memory of the patriots therein buried.
Lady Fenwick Chapter was instrumental in organizing the Cheshire chapter of the American Red Cross and the Public Health Nursing Association. The chapter started the movement to end trap rock quarrying and preserve the Sleeping Giant, which is now a state park. Members have transcribed headstones at the town cemetery to replace lost town records, conducted genealogy workshops, sponsored history essay contests in our local schools, rewarded students with "Good Citizenship" awards for exceptional service, and sent cards and gifts to U.S. military personnel overseas.
Our founder, Nettie Smith, was a journalist for the New Haven Register, a member of the Cheshire Women's Club, the Cheshire Library Board, St. Peter's Episcopal Church, and served on the board of directors for numerous civic organizations. She was made an honorary member of the 20th Connecticut Regiment for her work compiling Civil War memorabilia and photographs of its veterans.
Scrapbooks, begun by Nettie Smith and continued by later chapter members, detail every Lady Fenwick Chapter meeting, letter, and activity, providing a rich insight into the challenges and daily life of a growing town in a changing world.

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