G.A.R. Hall exterior

The G.A.R. Hall, which was built in 1885, will be the site of the national Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic meeting this week.

G.A.R. Hall exterior

The Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic’s national board of directors will have its annual meeting this week at the Grand Army of the Republic Hall in Litchfield.

The Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic has been serving veterans since 1881, when its first members began to raise money to build veterans homes, see to the needs of veterans and make sure that certain bills passed in Congress. The national congressionally chartered nonprofit is still going strong. Members today assist in veteran care, send care packages to currently deployed military, complete community service projects, and teach patriotism across the country. During this last year dealing with COVID-19, members made masks, continued to assist with veteran needs, took even more time helping shut-ins, and completed more than 14,685 hours of community service.

The organization donated to five special nonprofits during 2020-2021 that included Miss Sawyer’s “Kids with a Cause,” 22Kill, United States Army Brotherhood of Tankers, Raven Drum Foundation, and the Eagle’s Healing Nest. All of the nonprofits seek to help veterans in a myriad of ways. The Ladies of the G.A.R.’s continuing national project is supporting the national nonprofit “Pets for Vets, Inc,” where money is raised to match prepared shelter dogs to Veterans for companionship.

Litchfield’s Grand Army of the Republic Hall was built in 1885 for the Frank Daggett GAR Post No. 35. It is one of four remaining GAR halls in Minnesota. On May 21, 1975, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of many original and authentic G.A.R. Halls remaining in the United States. The Meeker County Historical Society Museum building was added to the rear of the hall in 1960, but the hall was left exactly as it was when the “Boys of ‘61”, as they called themselves, met there 75 years earlier in 1885.

Anyone interested in joining the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, or for more information, can visit https://suvcw.org/LGAR/Home.html or follow them on their social media platforms. All members are female blood kin descendants of Union soldiers or Army nurses who served in the United States Civil War. The mission of The Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic is to teach patriotism and preserve the history of our ancestry.