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Step Back in Time at the 1920s-Inspired Lawn Party: Commemorating President W. G. Harding's Visit

Step back in time at the 1920s-Inspired Lawn Party

Temple Lodge No. 9 A.F. & A.M. in conjunction with Evergreen Forest No. 49 is organizing a 1920s-inspired Lawn Party on Saturday, June 10th, from 12 to 4, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of President Warren G. Harding's visit to Milford. During his visit, President Harding was initiated into the Tall Cedars of Lebanon at the residence of Dr. Frank L. Grier.

"Several Milfordians, including business owners and Masons, joined the Tall Cedars of Lebanon, an independent branch of Freemasonry," stated Chris Fitzgerald, a Freemason and event organizer.

"Membership in Freemasonry was a prerequisite for joining this club, and their motto is 'friendship, frolic, and fellowship.'

Their primary objective is to raise funds and awareness for muscular dystrophy research.

They joined this organization 100 years ago, traveled to Washington, D.C., and had an audience with the President, inviting him to Delaware. Knowing that he was a Mason, they hoped to discuss ways to further their mission. Surprisingly, he accepted their invitation."

On June 9, 1923, President Harding arrived in Delaware, delivering a speech to the Young Men's Republican Club in Wilmington, followed by visits to Newark and Dover, before driving south to Milford.

The town was adorned with American flags as residents lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the motorcade.

"He arrived in Milford, attended a baseball game, visited the Grier home, and was initiated as a Tall Cedar on the spot," Fitzgerald explained.

"They then proceeded to Lewes, continued the celebration, and eventually boarded his presidential yacht, returning to D.C. What we are doing now is commemorating President Harding's visit to Milford and his initiation into our group, the Tall Cedars of Lebanon, under the auspices of Freemasonry.

We are celebrating our connection to U.S. history and the presidential association with Masonry."

The event will take place at the former Grier home, currently Rogers Funeral Home, located at 301 Lakeview Avenue in Milford.

It will commence with a small parade starting at the Masonic Lodge, situated across from the post office on Lakeview Avenue, featuring the Tall Cedars of Lebanon officer team.

The program will include a series of speeches, followed by a cocktail party and live band.

Guests are encouraged to dress formally in 1920s attire. The event is open to the public, and tickets are priced at $40 per person.

Each ticket includes a selection of heavy hors d'oeuvres and one complimentary drink.

"We will have actors portraying President Harding and his wife," added Fitzgerald. "They will be on the second-floor balcony, where he will deliver a speech reminiscent of the past.

The event will proceed rain or shine, but if the weather is inclement, we have been granted permission to move indoors.

The Milford Museum will host a small room showcasing artifacts collected over the years related to the visit, as well as information about the Tall Cedars of Lebanon."

President Harding remains the sole U.S. President to have visited Milford. To purchase tickets for the June 10th event, please call WB Jim Bennett at 302-228-1228.

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