Members of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution met on January 25, at Pelham United Methodist Church, to organize the Elk River Chapter, chartered in Pelham.
The meeting was called to order by Organizing Regent Mary Cay McKelvey. The Reverend David Gardener of Pelham UMC opened the meeting with a scripture reading and invocation. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Martha Cummings, Honorary Regent, Emory Road Chapter, NSDAR. Jane Chambers, Regent, Martha Dandridge Washington Chapter, NSDAR led the reciting of the American’s Creed and the Star Spangled Banner was led by Cecile Wimberley, State Regent, TSDAR. McKelvey welcomed members and guests to the gathering and Wimberley performed the installation of chapter officers. Elaine MeKelvey, Chaplain, Elk River Chapter led a prayer. A reception followed to celebrate the new chapter.
The new Pelham chapter has been named Elk River, called Chuwalee by the Native Americans, which begins at Burrow’s Cove at Elk Head, and flows from beneath the Cumberland Plateau from several springs coursing its way through the upper portion of Grundy County before eventually joining the Tennessee River on its way to join the Ohio River. The Elk River is nearly 195 miles in length. Along its course, there are several century farms, but evidence of the use of this area by Native Americans dates back before the Ice Age. Numerous large caves along the waterway provided shelter for tribes hunting in the area. The fertile soil of the Elk Valley provided excellent hunting grounds for Native Americans, particularly the Cherokee, and attracted white settlers to the area for farming. This river is a local landmark which has been in use since before the Revolutionary War. Today many families in the Elk River valley are descendants of the Cherokee.
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is a volunteer service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children. Any woman 18 years or older who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible to join.
The Elk River Chapter will meet on the first Saturday of each month at the Pelham United Methodist Church. Meetings begin at 10 a.m. Interested persons may contact Regent Mary McKelvey at 423-939-0271.