Memorial Day Monday, May 29th 2023
The Old Town of Eaton Museum will open on Memorial Day Monday, May 29th, for the first time this year! It has been a wet Spring and we hope God blesses us with a warm, clear day.
Memorial Day Monday in Eaton has always been our main event and honors the historic roots of Eaton and its many Revolutionary Soldiers, founders, Civil War Veterans, Vietnam veterans and all veterans.
The land mass itself was purchased from Col. William Smith, husband of Abigail Adams Smith (President Adams daughter). The area now Eaton and Lebanon were the first settlements and clearing of what is now Madison County. One of the more interesting aspects of our area is the old historic marker the stands on River Road marking Madison County’s early settlement history. The marker lies just below the Old Town of Eaton Museum and lists the first clearing in what is now Madison County…1788…The Bark Hut.
If one takes the time to pick throw Mrs. Hammond’s History of Madison County you will note many stories on our early founding including where men forged into what was still considered “Indian country”, and upon arrival made a rudimentary hut to stay in. This area actually formed what was actually a set of log homes that stretched from Lebanon to Eaton then dubbed “Log City”.
Most of these men and those that came later were veterans of the Revolutionary War and some had followed Col. William Smith to his land patent set up and built by Joshua Smith (not a relative) who served under him. Joshua was sent by Col. Smith to find him the best tract of land in the area…which Joshua did, and where upon he built a bark hut. These actual squatters were indeed our first settlers and ironically today over two hundred years later, many of these families names still live on here.
The area dubbed “Log City” was also considered Masonic settlement as many Members of the Masonic order set up homesteads here. Today many stone buildings on River Road once called Water Street, reflect that including the building that houses the Old Town of Eaton Museum dated to before 1800.
Some of the earliest settlers of the Revolutionary War era include notables Major Sinclair who purchased the land owned by Col. Leland, now with a historical marker for the Dunbar Farm. Sinclair kept a tavern and stable on that property for travelers.
This year the parade will be in Eaton and the Museum will have a special display under the tent on Main Street Route 26.
Also set up will be the Eaton Cemetery Association which will be trying to get donations for the mowing this year and who will be passing out copies of the Eaton Cemetery Tour. 4 Community Cats…a new not for profit…will be set up with items for sale to raise money to help neuter and spay strays in the area. The group will also be the recipient of the May can and bottle drive – so save your cans and drop them off on Monday, May 29th.
So for a day full of history please visit the Museum for its opening on Memorial Day Monday, May 29th from 9 – 1pm. Refreshments will be served and all are invited to travel back in time to our historic roots to honor our Veteran’s and our history.