Facts and Events
DAR travels to Orlando to mark founder's grave; tree planting here By Special to The Record Posted: Monday, March 27, 2006 ; Updated: 8:22 AM on Monday, March 27, 2006 The date was April 2, 1896, and the note began:
"Dear Mrs. Dodge: You are requested to meet at the residence of Mrs. Shine, Wednesday afternoon, 30 minutes after 4 o'clock to form a chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution. Enclosed find applications papers.
"Truly yr friend, M. J. Shine."
In early January, 16 members of the DAR and SAR stood by Maria Jefferson Eppes Shine's gravesite at Greenwood Cemetery in Orlando to place a DAR marker and flowers on her grave.
Emma Jesse Dodge did, indeed, become a founding member of the Maria Jefferson Chapter, but Maria died Sept. 8, 1896, and did not get a chance to see her chapter become a reality.
Members of the chapter she founded wanted to honor her and said they were shocked to learn she did not have a DAR marker on her grave.
They felt Thomas Jefferson's great-granddaughter should be honored for her legacy to St. Augustine.
After placing the marker and having lunch, Irbe Phue, owner of Francis Eppes House, invited the group on a tour.
Francis Eppes was the son of Thomas Jefferson's youngest daughter, Maria, and lived with his grandfather until Jefferson's death.
Francis Eppes then brought what was left of the family and goods to Tallahassee.
In 1841, he became mayor of Tallahassee, an office he held until after the Civil War. In 1868, he built the first house in what is now Orange County.
Maria Jefferson Eppes Shine, founder of the St. Augustine chapter, was one of his 13 children.
She married Dr. William Francis Shine and they lived at Central (now Martin Luther King Avenue) and Bridge Street in St. Augustine.
On President's Day, members of the Maria Jefferson Chapter DAR gathered at Casa del Hidalgo in downtown St. Augustine to plant a Chaste Tree from George Washington's River Farms.
The tree is fast-growing and has beautiful purple flowers.
This is the sixth year that the chapter has planted a historic tree in downtown St. Augustine.
Karen Lewis, chairman of the Conservation Committee, presented St. Augustine Mayor George Gardner and the chapter regent a certificate from Historic Tree Nursery authenticating the tree.
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Mary Jefferson Eppes.