Harmony Hall Chapter, NSDAR
NSDAR Website of the Month Award

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

Sample title

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded on October 11, 1890, by Mary Smith Lockwood, Ellen Hardin Walworth, Mary Desha, and Eugenia Washington, a great-grandniece of George Washington, not long after the centennial celebration of Washington's inauguration sparked a renewed interest in United States history. From this pioneering group of women to today's vibrant members, the Daughters of the American Revolution have carried the torch of patriotism.  

The objectives laid forth in the first meeting of the DAR have remained the same: 

Historical - To perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American independence;

Educational - To carry out the injunction of Washington in his farewell address to the American people, "to promote, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge, thus developing an enlightened public opinion…"; 

Patriotic - To cherish, maintain, and extend the institutions of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty.

The DAR is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization and one of the most inclusive genealogical societies in the country. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a Patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership. 

Harmony Hall Chapter, NSDAR

Door to Harmony Hall Manor

The Harmony Hall Chapter, NSDAR, was organized April 14, 1984, in Fort Washington, Maryland. Our founding members chose the name, "Harmony Hall", because of the historic importance of the 18th century Harmony Hall Manor located on a 62.5-acre open pasture land estate along the Maryland side of the Potomac River in Fort Washington.

We are very proud of our small chapter and its accomplishments. Comprised of about 25 members, the Harmony Hall Chapter is a sterling example of women of different ages, from different backgrounds, celebrating patriotism, promoting the education of America's children, and preserving our history. We are dedicated, enthusiastic, joyful, and a whole lot of fun!

While it is true that genealogy and lineage are central to the existence of the DAR, it is the chapter's mission and our strong friendships that make the Harmony Hall Chapter, NSDAR, a group in which we all love to belong.

The chapter generally meets the third Sunday of the month from September through May. If you are interested in attending a meeting to see us in action or catch us out at a community event, please click the email icon at the bottom of the page.

Harmony Hall Manor

Harmony Hall Manor, Fort Washington, MD

What is called Harmony Hall Manor today was originally called Battersea. Built in 1769 by the wealthy landowner and tobacco merchant Enoch Magruder, the grounds for the house were most likely chosen because it was close to the Potomac River which was the principal means of transportation and shipping during the eighteenth century.

In 1786, Enoch Magruder left the mansion to his daughter Sarah who was married to Colonel William Lyles. In 1792, two brothers John and Walter Dulaney Addison and their new brides rented the house for a year. Elizabeth Hessilus newly married to Walter Dulaney gave Battersea its now well-known name Harmony Hall. Life was pleasant for the young and well to do couples and the name Harmony Hall remained.

Over the ensuing years and a succession of owners the historian, lawyer, and preservationist Charles Collins bought Harmony Hall in 1929 and completed many renovations that are still prevalent today. Originally from Alabama, Collins was an expert in banking law. Part of Collins renovations included the English cow herd ditch, known as a ha-ha.

The remains of an older structure called Want Water or Lyle’s House still stand at Harmony Hall alongside a canal which was built to facilitate the transfer of tobacco. Near the canal once stood an eighteenth-century tobacco warehouse as well as several weighing stations and taxation points for all tobacco shipped to England. The canal may be the earliest man-made canal built in the colonies.

In 1966, Collin's wife sold the property to the National Park Service in hopes of preserving the decades of southern Maryland cultural heritage represented here.

Our Founding Members

Porch Light at Harmony Hall Manor, Fort Washington, MD

On April 14, 1984, the organizational meeting of Harmony Hall Chapter, NSDAR, was held at Oxon Hill United Methodist Church in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Chapter officers included: Organizing Regent, Jackie V. Innamorato; First Vice-Regent, Dorothy P. Cahoon; Chaplain, Minia Massie; Recording Secretary, Mary D. Faust; Corresponding Secretary, Emma D. Stickmeyer; Treasurer, Judy G. Manion; Registrar, Marie W. Lee; Historian and Librarian, Phyllis Cox. 

Special Delegate, Marie W. Lee, and Martha J. Dietrich, guest speaker and State Regent, 1979-1982, dedicated the chapter to its founder, Jane R. McCafferty.

Mrs. McCafferty began her DAR association as a member of Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R.) at the age of fifteen. She served twice as a chapter regent, state committee chairman, and volunteer genealogist at NSDAR. Mrs. McCafferty chose the name, Harmony Hall, because of the historic importance of Battersea/Harmony Hall in the area.

Chapter Organizing Members

Cynthia C. Beres 
Dorothy P. Cahoon 
Linda M. Cortes 
Phyllis Cox 
Patricia W. Curran 
Mary D. Faust 
Bridget M. Green 
Ruth F. Hahn 
Margaret G. Harucki
Adele F. Hilton 
Marilee G. Horvath 
Jacqueline V. Innamorato 
Marie W. Lee 
Agnes C. Luskey 
Judy G. Manion 
Minia Massie 
Jane R. McCafferty
Virginia D. Phlegley 
Mary F. Shugart 
Emma D. Stickmeyer 
Etta W. Thompson 
Betty F. Wren 
Kelly Wren 
Lisa Wren 
Robin Wren 
Judith P. Wright

Chapter Charter Members

All the above-listed organizing members and 
Mrs. Mary G. Cox 
Mrs. Mary C. Williford

Chapter Officers 2021-2023

Executive Board members fill an elected position for a two-year term.

Regent: Karen Markey Janczy

Vice Regent: Lynn Watson

Chaplain: Willie Walke

Recording Secretary: Kathie Price

Treasurer: Andrea Parish

Registrar: Suzanne Plourde

Historian: Deanna Lutz