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PAHS hears story of Washington crossing the Delaware

Published November 20. 2009 05:00PM

After a series of losses in and around New York in what was to be known as the Revolutionary War, George Washington was chased across New Jersey and the Delaware River. Secretary Betsy Burnhauser told members of the Palmerton Area Historical Society at its Nov. 9 meeting that soldiers' enlistments were near the end and the men would be returning home.

Washington's headquarters were in the Thompson-Neely House in what is now Washington Crossing State Park. Soldiers did not have housing and suffered from lack of supplies, illness, desertion and cold weather.

Also, it would take a win for this country or foreign countries to believe in the viability of the war. It was the fishermen from Marblehead, Mass., who had taken the army west across the Delaware and on Christmas it returned them east of the river. They marched on Trenton which became a turning point in the war.

After explaining the background, a video was shown about the crossing.

When General Charles Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, he said about Washington: "When the illustrious part which Your Excellency has borne in this long and arduous contest becomes a matter of history, fame will gather your brightest laurel from the banks of the Delaware rather than Yorktown."

There were two pieces of great news during the business meeting of the society: the mortgage on the building where the Heritage Center is located is paid off. It took only five years.

And it was announced that George Ashman received an award from the Delaware and Lehigh Heritage Corridor for helping with cleanup.

He said he "didn't know you got an award for pulling weeds and picking up trash," but he did.

A $500 donation was received for a gold membership. Other memberships are being renewed on schedule.

The Concourse Club is replacing benches in the park and wants to know if the historical society will sponsor one for $100. It will be discussed by the board of directors.

The clock received from the Zinc Company has been delivered to a watchmaker in Weatherly for cleaning and repair.

An April 24 banquet will celebrate the anniversaries of the society, 20 years, and the Heritage Center, five years. Other celebratory events are a tea and reception, walking tour, open house at the Heritage Center, Kibler Schoolhouse and Little White Church. An exhibit at the Heritage Center will focus on the history of the society. Watch for dates

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