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A commemorative celebration of Daniel Morgan, Revolutionary war hero

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On September 12, 2020, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter sponsored a commemorative celebration of Daniel Morgan, Revolutionary war hero, at Mt Hebron Cemetery. The ceremony was emcee’d by Dale Corey with greetings presented by Chapter President Marc Robinson and Virginia State Society Sons of the American Revolution (VASSAR) 1st Vice President Jeff Thomas.

The Reverend Jim Simmons provided an invocation in front of a Color Guard consisting of members of the Colonel James Wood II, Colonel William Grayson, Culpeper Minutemen, Fairfax Resolves, George Mason and General Adam Stephens Chapters, and a contingent from the Trail Life youth organization from the Chelsea Academy in Front Royal. The Color Guard was led by Virginia State Color Guard Commander Ken Bonner. A presentation on Daniel Morgan was given by Brett Osborn:

Morgan was born in New Jersey about 1735 and ran away from home to the wilderness of Pennsylvania and western Virginia. He became a teamster, hauling freight between remote frontier settlements. In 1755 he was hired as a wagoner for the Braddock expedition against Fort Duquesne. Three years later he was an ensign with the Virginia Militia.

In 1763, he served as a Lieutenant in Pontiac’s War and in 1774 was fighting Indians in the Ohio Valley. After the Revolutionary War began, he raised a company of marksmen in Virginia and marched north to meet General Washington’s Army at a pace of over twenty-eight miles a day. This became known as the Beeline March. He was part of the assault on Quebec.

Morgan took command when Benedict Arnold was wounded, and led his men into the narrow streets of the Lower Town. While waiting for reinforcements, the unit was surrounded and captured, being held until late 1776. Morgan rejoined Washington’s Army in April 1777, after raising a new corps of sharpshooters. He was sent to join Horatio Gates in New York. His leadership was a major factor in the decisive American victory at the Battle of Saratoga.

In 1781, he led his men against the British Light Troops in South Carolina with a three tiered plan. The first row would fire two shots and retire, the second row 150 yards behind would do the same. The third row and a reserve force were his battle hardened veterans. On the right flank was his cavalry. The plan went off to perfection, almost totally destroying the larger more experienced British force, inflicting over three hundred casualties and taking six hundred prisoners out of the eleven hundred troops engaged. The Americans suffered seventy-two casualties in this the battle, known as Cowpens.

After the war, he operated a gristmill, speculated in western lands, took the field briefly during the Whiskey Rebellions as commander of a Virginia Militia outfit, and in 1797, won a seat in the House of Representatives. He died in 1802.

Wreaths were presented to honor the memory of Daniel Morgan. These included wreaths from VASSAR by 1st VP Jeff Thomas, the SAR Chapters represented by Will Reynolds (Col James Wood II), Mike Weyler (Col William Grayson), Mike Dennis (Culpeper Minutemen), Dave Cook (Fairfax Resolves), Ken Morris (George Mason) and Allan Phillips (General Adam Stephens). The DAR was represented by Anita Bonner (Lanes Mill DAR), Michelle Phillips (West Virginia State DAR) and Marlyn Keesecker (Pack Horse DAR). A musket squad comprised of Ken Bonner, Brett Osborn, Paul Christensen, Sean Carrigan, Dave Cook, Marty Keesecker, Art LaFlam, Eric Robinson and Barry Schwoerer fired three rounds prior to Marc Robinson playing Taps. Also participating were Flag Bearers Chip Daniel, Dennis Parmeter, Erick Moore and drummer Doug Hall. The Color Guard then formed up and marched the length of the cemetery to perform at the Birthday Celebration of the US Constitution.

Sentinels Marty Keesecker, Eric Robinson, Steve Englebright and Art LaFlam guarding Daniel Morgan’s gravesite.

Members of the Color Guard standing left to right: Jim Simmons, Allen Phillips, Mike Weyler, Marty Keesecker, Jeff Thomas, Eric Robinson, Erick Moore, Paul Christensen, Steve Englebright, Art LaFlam, Eniis Parmeter, Ken Morris, Barry Schwoerer, Brett Osborn and Doug Hall. Kneeling left to right: Chip Daniel, Dale Corey, Marc Robinson, Ken Bonner and Sean Carrigan.

The musket squad firing a round: Eric Robinson, Marty Keesecker, Sean Carrigan, Mike Dennis, Art LaFlam, Dave Cook, Barry Schwoerer, Paul Christensen, Marc Robinson and Ken Bonner.

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This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of September 25th

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Are you looking for the full movie-going experience without having to wait in the long lines that often accompany that experience? Then look no further because Royal Cinemas movie theatre is the answer. Get the whole gang together and enjoy a movie! We are continuing to practice “6 Foot Social Distancing” with 50% capacity reserved seating in all auditoriums.

Here is a list of this week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of Friday, September 25:

• Friday: 6:45
• Sat & Sun: 4:00 & 7:10
• Mon – Thurs: 6:45
Rated PG13  |  Run Time: 2 hour 30 min

• Friday: 7:00
• Sat & Sun: 4:10 & 7:00
• Mon – Thurs: 7:00
Rated PG13  |  Run Time: 1 hour 53 min

• Friday: 7:15
• Sat & Sun: 4:25 & 7:20
• Mon – Thurs: 7:15
Rated PG13  |  Run Time: 1 hour 35 min


Ticket prices are as follows:

  • Adult: $9
  • Child (under 12): $6
  • Military: $7
  • Student (college): $7
  • Senior: $7
  • Matinees, All Seating: $6

Other movies coming soon to Royal Cinemas:

  • “Infidel”
  • “Black Widow”
  • “007: No Time to Die”
  • “Soul”
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Constitution Day at Commonwealth Senior Living Facility

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On September 17, 2020, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution gave a reading presentation to celebrate the birthday of the Constitution of the United States at Commonwealth Senior Living Facility in Front Royal.  Dale Corey, Brett Osborn, Chip Daniel and Art LaFlam provided an oversight of the birth of the Constitution and an overview of what the original document means.

Dale Corey, Brett Osborn, Chip Daniel and Art LaFlam

The Articles of Confederation was the governing document for the federal government into the 1780s.  It was woefully inadequate.  It gave little power to the central government and lacked enforcement powers.  Decisions required unanimous approval of all 13 State legislatures.  Another problem was money.  They could print money, but it was worthless.  They borrow but couldn’t pay it back.  They had little ability to defend its sovereignty.  Many of the 625 man Army had not been paid, some were deserting and others were threatening mutiny.  There was  no international power to protect American interests from other nations.  Overall, it was a failed document.

In 1787, a convention was called at Philadelphia to propose a plan of government.  Original plans included 23 articles.  After considerable discussion and debate, a final draft was approved with seven articles.  By the end of July 1788, 11 States had ratified, and on September 13, 1788, a resolution was passed putting the new Constitution into operation.  The new government was in place effective March 4, 1789.  George Washington was inaugurated 8 weeks later as the first President of the United States.

There were 39 signers of the document, to include three from Virginia.  These were John Blair, James Madison and George Washington.  The Constitution with the Bill of Rights and the additional amendments are the basis of the governments structure and law and order in the United States of America.

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Able Forces Foundation hosting Department of Veteran Services

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Military and Veteran families are welcome to come by if you have issues with VA benefits, or need assistance or guidance on support.  Andre Miller, of the Department of Veteran Services, and Danielle Cullers, our area’s Homeless Advocate, will be at our office from 9 AM to Noon on Friday, September 25, 2020.  Please call for an appointment if possible: 540-631-9600.  Our office is located at 115 Chester Street, Suite B, in Front Royal.

Strict COVID protocols will be followed.

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2020 Hands & Harvest Festival offers a virtual event and in-person weekend to celebrate fall in the mountains

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Monterey, VA – Celebrate the beauty and bounty of fall with the annual Hands & Harvest Festival in Highland County, Virginia!  Held from Thursday, October 8, through Sunday, October 11, this year’s festival offers a unique hybrid of both virtual and in-person offerings.

The festival kicks off on Thursday, October 8, from 6 to 8 pm, with the first ever Virtual Hands & Harvest Festival, hosted by online event platform, BoothCentral.  Anyone in the world with an internet connection and email address has the ability to go online to discover, browse and shop with participating festival organizations and businesses.  The virtual event includes a video stream that highlights many aspects of the festival, including exclusive tours and special moments with the unique people and destinations of this rural, mountain community.  In addition, guests can directly interact with participating vendors at their own pace in their online vendor “booths.”  Tune in any time between 6 and 8 pm on Thursday, October 8, at this Virtual Hands & Harvest Link to learn all about what Highland County has to offer.  Preregistration is not necessary, although guests who register ahead of time will receive an email reminder on the day of the event.

In-person offerings will begin Friday, October 9, through Sunday, October 11, dispersed throughout Highland County.  See the full schedule and details at highlandcounty.org/hands-harvest-festival.  Here are some highlights of the sights, sounds and tastes of the season:

  • Activities for all ages include scaling over 100 steps on Sounding Knob Fire Tower from sunrise to sunset, watching the Valley AeroSpace Team’s amazing rocket launches, and visiting a mini equine sanctuary
  • Outdoor entertainment on Saturday at The Highland Center with their “Maple Tap Room” serving up craft and domestic beer and Big Fish Cider, followed by live music with Lynda Smith and 7th Street, an eight-piece party band that highlights Motown, disco, beach and classic rock
  • The freshly updated Highland County Barn Quilt Trail, including a chance to visit the barn quilt studio where many of these colorful quilt designs on wooden blocks are created
  • Several of Highland County’s Maple Syrup Sugar Camps will be open, with a chance to get your passport stamped after a tour as part of the new Virginia Maple Syrup Trail at participating camps.  If pure maple syrup isn’t enough of a draw, some camps will even offer delicious apple butter or cider, warm winter wear, pumpkins, BBQ, bluegrass music, hiking trails and more!
  • Instead of the Monterey Courthouse, arts and crafts vendors will be set up with one-of-a-kind gifts and treats at locations around the county like Monterey Presbyterian Church and The Church at the Old Oak.

“This hybrid event offers visitors the option to take part in the festival online even if they are unable to make it or if they feel uncomfortable with travel at this time,” says Executive Director of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce, Chris Swecker.  “Whether online or in person, people will get to experience what makes our rural community so special at this time of year.”

The 2020 Hands & Harvest Festival is sponsored by Big Fish Cider Co., the new HighlandCountyVA Blog, and The Highland Center.  The festival is brought to you by The Highland County Chamber of Commerce.

For both your safety and for the safety of others when traveling, please adhere to current CDC and Virginia Department of Health guidelines regarding the coronavirus.  To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, please observe social distancing of at least six feet from other visitors, wear a face covering when indoors or when you are in close proximity to others outdoors, and wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or apply hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.  Please stay home if you are sick, if you have signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has had COVID-19.  Prevention tips can be found at vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/prevention-tips/.


The Highland County Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) membership nonprofit organization with a mission to lift up local businesses and entrepreneurs, promote Highland County, and champion economic prosperity and quality of life.  For more information, please visit www.highlandcounty.org.

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Online auction to support St Luke Community Clinic

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Fundraisers have been difficult for our local non-profits this year. Please consider participating in St Luke Community Clinic – Online Auction starting September 21. Watch this video to learn more. Visit St. Luke’s site to see all items available!

Any items that would like to be viewed in person can be done in a private viewing by calling St. Luke Community Clinic at 540-636-4325. They will be happy to arrange a time for you to come look at any item you are interested in. The auction starts on Monday, September 21, 2020, at 7:00 am and ends on September 26, 2020, at 6:00 pm.

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Meet the local candidates Friday night at the Gazebo at 6 pm

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Meet our Mayoral and Town Council candidates (along with some current members) in a town hall forum setting outdoors.

Bring your questions! Let’s all get to know those who are making our decisions a little better. Friday, September 18th at the Gazebo at 6 pm.

** Rain venue will be the large tent behind the Virginia Beer Museum

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