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250th anniversary of Beeline March to be celebrated throughout coming months

By Tabitha Johnston, The Shepherdstown Chronicle

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — For the first time since its founding in 1990, the West Virginia Association of Museum will hold its annual conference in Shepherdstown.

The conference, scheduled for June 6-8, will focus on the theme, “America at 250: West Virginia Plans for the Semiquincentennial.”

“The purpose of the conference, as I understand it, is for different parts of the state to compare notes on what they are going to do to commemorate the nation’s 250th anniversary,” said Shepherdstown resident Peter Smith on Friday.

Among the local organizations connected with the West Virginia Association of Museum, the Historic Shepherdstown Commission & Museum will be one of the most involved, as the nonprofit organization will host the conference’s opening reception at its museum, the Entler Hotel. In addition, a group of local citizens connected with the Historic Shepherdstown Commission & Museum and Jefferson County Museum will be presenting plans for Shepherdstown’s 250th commemoration of the Beeline March to Cambridge, Mass.

“On June 14 of 1775, the Continental Congress issued a resolution calling for the mustering of 10 companies of riflemen in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland, to go aid George Washington up in Boston,” said Smith, who is one of the commemoration’s organizers. “The local legend has it that the company was raised here at land that is now private out near Morgan’s Grove Park. The legend goes that they were the first to get there. In reality, it was actually a Pennsylvania company that got there first. It is believed that the Beeline March company covered the most ground in the most days, though I don’t know if that’s true.

“History is always a kind of moving target. People forget things and they embellish things. This Beeline March, however, is quite well documented, because of Henry Bedinger’s diary,” Smith said, referring to one of the company’s members who recorded detailed records of the events surrounding the Beeline March.

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