Marguerite Kearns April 24, 2018

The roadside marker in Huntington, NY, officially dedicated on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, is now part of the downtown business area near Wall and Main Streets. The marker is part of a program of the William G. Pomeroy Foundation to erect historic road markers throughout New York State.

Hundreds of nonprofit organizations have applied for these markers, citing the benefits for cultural heritage tourism and for educating the public. The Long Island Woman Suffrage Association applied for and received the funding for the marker in Huntington, NY. The markers commemorating the woman’s suffrage movement have been popular, according to Pomeroy officials.

The Huntington, NY marker commemorates the confrontation between pro and anti perspectives during a rally and street parade in July of 1913—105 years ago. During the parade, Mrs. Mary Jones confronted Edna Kearns who had been riding in the “Spirit of 1776” wagon. Mrs. Jones was the mother of Long Island suffragist Rosalie Jones. Mrs. Jones was active in the “anti” movement along with her other daughter, Rosalie’s sister.

FROM MARGUERITE KEARNS:

The heritage road marker in Huntington, New York is a thrilling development. Although my grandmother Edna Kearns isn’t mentioned by name on the marker, she was in the horse drawn wagon, the “Spirit of 1776” when the confrontation took place in July of 1913. I heard this story when I was age ten and it inspired me to ask more questions which led to many more stories.

The story of the wagon confrontation in Huntington, NY inspired a lifetime of me attempting to put all the pieces together of my family history, the legends, and the essence of the truth. Did George Washington really use the old wagon to inspect troops before the Battle of Long Island in 1776? Did Edgar Allan Poe actually sit on the chairs in my grandfather Wilmer’s living room? That’s part of the storytelling that brings together the past, present, and future.

For more information, follow Suffrage Wagon News Channel (SuffrageWagon.org).

3 thoughts on ““Spirit of 1776” roadside marker in Huntington, NY official

  1. Marguerite, we enjoyed your article and the dedication video. Having your perspective and additional context really adds to recognizing the history. Thanks so much! – Steve Bodnar, Communications Manager, The William G. Pomeroy Foundation

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