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The Sister's Story History

May 29, 1864

Three women -- Emma Hunter Stuart,16, her friend Sophie Keller Hall, 16 and Elizabeth Weaver Myers, 46 --  carried flowers to a cemetery beside what is now Zion Lutheran Church.  They were honoring Emma's father and Elizabeth's son, both killed in the Civil War.


Emma's father, Dr. Reuben Hunter, was a surgeon with the 54th Pennsylvania Regiment.  He had died of typhoid at Annapolis, Maryland, on September 19.


Elizabeth's son, Pvt. Amos Myers of the 148th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (commanded by future governor and Penn State trustee Col. James A. Beaver), had been killed at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863.

The women also put flowers on the graves of other war dead, including Revolutionary War and War of 1812 soldiers.  They agreed to meet the following year to do the same.

May 29, 2000

On Monday, May 29, the three women who made Boalsburg "The Birthplace of Memorial Day" were honored with a life-size bronze sculpture depicting the first Memorial Day in October 1864, six months before the end of the Civil War.

The bronze sculpture's was unveiled at noon by the man who conceived the idea and help make it a reality, Col. James V. Dearing, commander of Battery B, 3rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Light Artillery, the Boalsburg-based Civil War reenactment unit.  Beginning in 1993, he found a sculptor who shared his enthusiasm, Lorann Jacobs, and began the process of raising the nearly $ 100,000 needed for the project.

Laran Bronze Inc., a foundry in Chester, PA took Lorann's life-size clay model and then made a rubber mold, wax copy, ceramic shell and finally a silicon-bronze piece that was ground and finished.

On hand for the dedication were more than 100 "Civil War troops," both Union and Confederate, along with Maj. Gen. Walter Pudlowski, commander of the 28th Division whose shrine is in Boalsburg, and several local, state and possibly national politicians.   This included Rep. Kerry Benninghoff and Rep. Lynn Herman - himself a reenactor with the 148th Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Also in attendance were members of the Hunter and Myers families along with the sculptor, Lorann Jacobs.


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This site was last updated 12/01/02