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Margaret Gaston Chapter of DAR celebrates its 120th anniversary

Caitlin Ring • Oct 4, 2017 at 5:23 PM

Members of the Margaret Gaston Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution celebrated their 120th anniversary of the founding of the chapter with the return of a bronze drinking fountain to its original home in Lebanon.

The DAR members are descendants of former patriots. They promote American history and support patriotic values.

The Margaret Gaston Chapter is the eighth oldest chapter in Tennessee. It was founded in 1897 and was then named after a British Navy surgeon.

The bronze drinking fountain was originally placed in Lebanon in 1802 to honor the pioneers who founded Lebanon. The fountain was chosen as this symbol, because it was “a practical and useful marker and symbolized the fresh flowing waters of the Town Spring.” The ladies of the chapter at the time held fundraisers to gather the money needed to buy and install the fountain.

During World War II, the fountain was taken from its home at the Lebanon Public Square. In 1976, the fountain was restored, and missing parts were replaced. The fountain was then added with a bronze plaque that read, “This fountain, originally located near the site of the famous Town Spring, NW Public Square, was dedicated by the Margaret Gaston Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, in public ceremony Sept. 22, 1925, to perpetuate the memory of the gallant Revolutionary soldiers who settled in Wilson County. Rededicated at this site by the Daughters on June 5, 1976 to honor Wilson County soldiers of all wars, many who gave their lives and property to establish our nation’s freedom. This plaque given by Mr. and Mrs. R. D. Lawlor.”

There were then 14 boxwoods planted around the fountain to represent the 14 chapters of the Margaret Gaston Chapter. The fountain soon disappeared again.

Pam Graves Tomlinson rescued the fountain, which was relocated to the Fessenden House in Lebanon and dedicated Wednesday in honor of the chapter’s 120th anniversary.

The fountain currently stands as a symbol of one generation to the next of the Margaret Gaston Chapter. The 120th anniversary was celebrated with recognition of the members, an unveiling of the fountain and ended with members filling the fountain.

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