March 5, 2015
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“Fundraiser for Rare Civil War Banner Set!”
SOUTHOLD, NY. The Southold Historical Society is pleased to announce a special fundraiser – a Chinese Auction – which will take place on Saturday, April 11, 2015. The auction will be held at the Peconic Recreation Center, located at 970 Peconic Lane, Peconic, New York and will be open from 11am to 4pm. The ‘Honest Abe’ fundraiser will benefit the conservation and preservation of the Society’s rare, Civil War “Wide Awake” parade banner.
The banner was originally created for the Mattituck “Wide Awake” Club. The “Wide Awakes” were a paramilitary campaign organization affiliated with the American Republican Party during the United States Presidential election of 1860. Local newspapers report that on the day before the election of 1860, the “Wide Awake” groups of the North Fork marched in a torchlight parade through Southold in support of Abraham Lincoln’s election. The Mattituck Club is mentioned as marching in that parade.
While the banner survived mostly intact over the years, it does require preservation work to ensure its long term survival. “Conservation is quite expensive,” stated Geoffrey K. Fleming, Director of the Society, “but this object is so important and so rare – not another example is known from Long Island – that it merits being fully preserved so that it can be shown to the public once more in all its glory.”
At the Chinese Auction, there will be a large selection of special items, including elaborate gift baskets, fine jewelry, and art to bid on. Cathie Dunn, who volunteered to run this fundraiser for the Society, has done many other similar events in the past for other local charitable causes. “We are indebted to her for volunteering her time for this event,” stated John Barnes, chair of the Society’s fundraising committee.
Those who attend the auction need not be present to win the item that day. Winners who cannot stay until the auction’s conclusion will be notified the following Monday to pick-up their winnings.
In addition to the auction, the staff at Jeni’s Main Street Grill, located at 54195 Main Road in Southold, will be donating all their tips on Friday, April 10th, towards the banner’s preservation. “We hope as many people as possible will partake of Jeni’s fine food and homemade desserts that day to aid our cause,” continued Fleming.
For more information on this or other Society programs, or if you would like to donate, please contact the Southold Historical Society at (631) 765-5500 or visit us on the web at www.southoldhistoricalsociety.org.