The County-owned Minisink Battleground Park near Barryville encompasses the site of the only local battle of the Revolutionary War.
Barryville, NY – Barryville residents Debra and John Conway have been named by the Sullivan County Legislature to serve as the co-chairs of a new commission to coordinate the County’s celebration of the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution.
John Conway is the longtime official Sullivan County Historian and Debra is a co-founder and Executive Director of the non-profit history education group The Delaware Company.
The U.S. Congress has established the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission to inspire Americans to participate in the anniversary, and in 2021, the New York State Legislature passed the “New York State 250th Commemoration Act” to commemorate the anniversary and recognize New York’s vital role in the Revolution. Nearly one-third of the battles fought in the American Revolution took place in New York State.
In a resolution passed in October, the Sullivan County Legislature created the Sullivan 250 Commission, empowering the co-chairs to select up to 10 additional members. The Commission will remain in existence through 2033, marking the 250th anniversary of the end of the Revolution.
“We envision many different kinds of events taking place every year, beginning in April of 2025, which would be the 250th anniversary of the start of the Revolution at Lexington and Concord,” John Conway said. “And, of course, the big events will take place in 2026, marking the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and the de facto founding of our nation.”
Debra Conway noted that the idea is to plan and stage events that will be meaningful for residents while also bringing people into the County to participate.
“Sullivan County has a number of connections to the Revolutionary War,” Ms. Conway said. “We can use the Minisink Battleground Park and Fort Delaware Museum of Colonial History to help us tell the stories of those connections.”
Mr. Conway said that in October, the Delaware Company was awarded a registered trademark by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its concept of “Revolution to Revolution” that tells of Sullivan County’s unique roles in the American Revolution and the cultural revolution of the 1960s.
“The celebration of the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution fits perfectly with that concept,” said Legislature Chairman Robert A. Doherty. “In the hands of the Conways, you can expect this series of events to be fun, educational and locally focused.”
Anyone interested in serving on the Commission should email a letter outlining their background and area of interest to John Conway at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is hoped that members can be in place by January 2023.