Welcome to the Vinsans Trace Chapter

The Daughters of the American Revolution, founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children.

    DAR members volunteer millions of service hours annually in their local communities including supporting active duty military personnel and assisting veteran patients, awarding thousands of dollars in scholarships and financial aid each year to students, and supporting schools for underserved children with annual donations exceeding one million dollars.

    As one of the most inclusive genealogical societies in the country, DAR boasts 177,000 members in 3,000 chapters across the United States and internationally. 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.

The Vinsans Trace Chapter

In 1779, en route from Kaskaskia to the British fort at Vincennes, George Rogers Clark and his army of Virginia Militia followed a trail that passed through our area.  In the early days of our country, this trail was known as the old Vinsans Trace and was the trail for settlers moving west.  When researching records for a name for our chapter, the organizing members decided Vinsans Trace best represented our area.

    We continue to research and promote study of the Vinsans Trace.  To this effect, we have supported the commission of a bronze statue of Colonel Clark, which was placed on the Depot grounds and dedicated in October 2005.   (The Depot is a National Trust Landmark.)  In addition, we are participating with a local historian in the creation of a video which will include the history of our chapter and show some of the sites along the trail followed by Colonel Clark.  This video will be a permanent addition to the Depot for public viewing.

How It Happened:  The George Rogers Clark Statue in Flora, Illinois

It was simply a case of serendipity that Saturday morning in September 2004 at the Flora Academic Foundation's annual "Appleknocker Festival."  Don Leroy Morris is a native of Clay County, and as luck would have it, his wonderful wood carved statues were located in front of the Vinsans Trace NSDAR booth at the festival.  There was a brief moment that morning when the local DAR members could visit Don's booth and view all the beautiful carvings being displayed.  At that point, Vinsans Trace Chapter members realized that they would truly like to have a statue of George Rogers Clark placed in Flora.  After all, the chapter was named for his path through the area ..."The Vinsans Trace."
    Mr. Morris was approached with this idea; he was impressed with the history and the project and said, "YES" when asked if he could create a George Rogers Clark statue!  The Flora Community Development Corporation worked with the Vinsans Trace Chapter DAR to get the project going.  In just one year's time the statue was created by Don Morris and landscaping for the site was completed.  Dedication was on October 8, 2005.
    There are windows in time when serendipity serves to preserve our heritage.  We are eternally grateful for the guidance that put all of us in the right place at the right time to preserve a bit of Clay County's history.

This article was written by Mary Anne Ayers

Webmaster:  Alice Williams, Vinsans Trace Chapter NSDAR

Last updated: May 30 , 2017