150th G.A.R. bean dinner held

| August 21, 2017

A framed certificate was presented at the 150th G.A.R. bean dinner held Sunday, Aug. 20 at McElwee Park in New Castle by Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War members Kent Dorr (left) and Brad Tilton to McElwee Park committee members Karen Locke and Everet Beatty (right). The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War group was founded in 1881 and can be found on the internet at www.suvcw.org. Mark Fortune | Beacon

NEW CASTLE – The 150th Grand Army of the Republic bean dinner was held on the beautiful Sunday afternoon of Aug. 20 at McElwee Park in New Castle with a large crowd in attendance. Various awards were presented and the Walhonding Rube Band and Chestnut Ridge Bluegrass Gospel provided musical entertainment. Chris Hart portrayed a Civil War character from Gettysburg and a morning flag raising was conducted by Boy Scout Troop #344 from Howard.

Everet Beatty, who serves as president of the McElwee Park committee said about the event, “This was started right after the Civil War to help out widows and orphans, to try and give them some relief and get some legislation enacted to help the widows and orphans”.

“We kind of use this now as a homecoming along with the bean dinner. People just like to get together. The beans being cooked out over an open fire like that seems to be a big draw.”

“We’ve had ice cream, cornbread of course and this year we’re trying something new, some sweet corn in honor of the 150th. We figure maybe they had some back then – we’ll have to try some in a little bit.” (The sweet corn was prepared and served by the Mohawk Valley 4-H Club and provided by the Everet Beatty family)

“This is a community effort. It takes a lot to put this on. We get a lot of help – the committee – the bean dinner and the park committee, and folks that just turn out to help. We worry every year that we won’t have enough help but every year people just show up.”

“It’s just wonderful. We couldn’t ask for any better weather. I would like to thank all the people that helped – some of the folks this year have never been to a bean dinner and they’re helping. We always want to make sure the first timers get exposed to the culture up here. We even try to get the first timers to stir the beans. If you’ve never stirred a pot of beans you ought to get that under your belt so your life is complete.”

Tom Staats, who is from Danville and was one of the “first time bean stirrers”, said, “I’ve never been here before, my granddaughter invited us. So I stirred some beans. It was excellent – I enjoyed it. This is a nice community, a historical event. It brings back memories from the past and I hope the next generation can keep it going. There is no secret to stirring’ the beans, you just keep stirrin’ ‘em so they don’t stick to the pot. They didn’t tell me that – I just knew it – there was no training. I said, ‘You want me to stir’em?’, and they said, ‘yeh, you can’ so I stirred em!”

Category: Arts & Entertainment

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I live with my beautiful wife Nancy on a small farm just outside Coshocton. We have been married for thirty two years and have two grown children, Jessica and Jacob. Jessica is married to Aaron Mencer and they are employed with Coshocton City Schools. Jacob is a sophomore at Kent State University. I graduated from River View High School, have a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina Wesleyan University and am actively involved with the Roscoe United Methodist Church, serve on several local committees and am a member of the Coshocton Kiwanis Club, having served as Past-President. I love reading, especially military thrillers, the Civil War and history in general. My goal is to write a novel. My wife and I are also AdvoCare distributors and encourage anyone wanting to lose weight, gain energy and better health to explore AdvoCare at our website; www.fortunes4advocare.com. I love the media field, innovative technology and have worked in newspapers for over 30 years – in fact, my first job was delivering newspapers. The Beacon is a dream made possible by the support of this community and a great team. I hope to continue serving Coshocton County for many years.

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