Pa. Daughters of the American Revolution honors Penny Pines
A special portion of the Allegheny National Forest — the Penny Pines forest of the Daughters of the American Revolution — was re-dedicated on Saturday.
The event, which included a luncheon at the Conewango Club and then a site visit to the Penny Pines forest outside Tidioute, was attended by members of DAR from across the state.
The event was aimed to honor the “1939 conservation endeavors in the Allegheny National Forest by 107 Pa. state Chapters and members in Tidioute and Warren, Pa,” according to a statement from the DAR.
“In 1939, PSSDAR (Pennsylvania State Society Daughters of the American Revolution) members gathered to dedicate the Penny Pines Memorial Forest,” said State Regent Cynthia B. Sweeney. “They had a true commitment to our country and to conservation. That commitment continues with today’s PPSDAR members.”
“In 2019, 85 members representing all six districts of our state organization gathered to learn the history of this initiative and to rededicate the Penny Pines Memorial Service,” she continued. “Each one celebrated that initiative of 1939 and embraced the opportunity to continue with its purpose. We thank the Forestry Service for working with us for our forests. Conservation was and still remains a focus of today’s DAR.”
The essence of the Penny Pines program was this – each DAR chapter “was to pledge, at the very least, one acre of pine seedlings,” according to the DAR. “Five dollars an acre at a penny each equals 500 trees.”
The CCC was then tasked with doing the work.
Ilene Altenhein, the Pa. State Historian for the DAR, spoke of how President Roosevelt’s idea would serve the purpose of solving two problems. It would offer employment to Americans age 18-26, who were out of work because of the failing economy, plus, it would help the National Forests that were in deplorable condition due to over-harvesting, devastating fires and little replanting, according to the statement.
The Pennsylvania Memorial Forest, according to the DAR, was initially 106 acres but expanded to 150. 75,000 trees were planted under the direction of State Regent Mrs. Joseph Forney in 1939.
A new plaque at the forest site was dedicated as well.
“The doorway for DAR has been opened between the two pines one more,” District Director Joan Miller Olp from the Punxsutawney Chapter of the DAR, said. “All we need to do is follow the light to a better tomorrow in DAR. The events of the day will be a reminder to all in DAR that we are a society of daughters set in a family circle, created in strength and love, founded on faith for a better world and forever joined with love of God, Home and Country.”