Memorial Sunday recognizes heroic acts and sacrifices of the Grand Army of the Republic

May 27, 2020

May 30, 1845

On Monday night last, a building formerly occupied by F. A. Lewis, Esq., as an iron foundry adjoining the ship yard of Mr. Rolerson, was destroyed by fire. It is supposed to have been the work of an incendiary. A vessel on the stocks within a few feet of the fire, was fortunately saved by the direction of the wind, which blew the flames from it, and the exertions of the firemen.

May 30, 1895

The annual observance of Memorial Sunday took place at the Universalist church May 26th. The weather was rainy, yet there was a full congregation. The church was appropriately trimmed and presented a neat and patriotic appearance. The altar was covered with an American flag, and the starry banner was draped upon the walls at each side. On top of the altar were pots of bright flowers, and a large palm stood on the platform in front. On the right of the platform was a jardiniere of brilliant flowers, and on the left a white monument, very prettily draped with bunting and vines. Small flags depended from the chandeliers, and the rail of the choir gallery. At the opening hour Thomas H. Marshall Post, G. A. R., 38 men, marched into the church and took the seats reserved for them at the front….Rev. Myra Kingsbury was expected to deliver the Memorial sermon this year, but she was obliged to be out of town, and engaged Mr. Wells to supply her place. His address was able, scholarly and patriotic, abounding in sentiments intensely American, yet devoid of offensive allusions to any person, sect or part. The central thought was that Memorial day represents to us, in the highest sense, loyalty and progress, loyalty to our country and its institutions as exemplified in the lives of those who faced death on the battlefield, and progress in all departments of our national life, as made possible by the heroic acts and sacrifices of the members of the Grand Army of the Republic. It was a logical and scholarly production, and its delivery was at once forcible and pleasing.

June 3, 1915

Belfast is now looking its best. The vistas down our tree-shaded streets are a delight to the eye, and everywhere are seen well-kept grounds, ornamental shrubbery, foliage, plants and flowers. We did not have an organized clean-up day, but as usual individual effort – better directed with each succeeding season – has accomplished much in the way of beautifying a city which all visitors find unusually attractive, and which never looked better than it does at this writing, May 31st.

May 30, 1919

A Belfast lady interested in Red Cross work has been making button holes in pajamas and Tuesday reported that she had made a thousand and intended to continue in this special line in which she is really an expert.

Compiled from archival holdings by Sharon Pietryka, Reference & Special Collections Librarian at the Belfast Free Library.

If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.