Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Brookeville to fete its incorporation bicentennial

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Residents of the Town of Brookeville will gather Sunday to celebrate a milestone in the town's history: the 200th anniversary of its incorporation.

Although the legislation was not officially enacted until Dec. 24, 1808, the town has chosen to celebrate the event when the weather is good and the festivities can be held outside.

"The timing just works well for Brookeville," said Town Commissioner Katherine Farquhar, who is organizing the celebration.

The program will begin at noon at the Brookeville Academy, 5 High St., with a flag ceremony performed by the Knights of Columbus and a reading of the governor's proclamation recognizing the bicentennial of the town's incorporation.

There will then be a reenactment of the original incorporation document, which instructed the town commissioners to lay out the boundaries and streets of the town.

Farquhar said the commissioners and residents will walk down the hill on Market Street, passing several structures that existed two centuries ago.

"This will be a symbolic gesture to appreciate the steps that the town incorporators took to lay out the town we know today," she said.

A town picnic will follow.

Farquhar said county, state and federal officials have been invited to attend the event.

This celebration is a precursor to a larger event coming in six years. In 2014, the town will celebrate the 200th anniversary of President James Madison taking refuge in Brookeville on Aug. 26, 1814, during the War of 1812, making it the U.S. capital for the day.

Farquhar says she expects a celebration each August leading up to a large-scale event in 2014, similar to when the town celebrated its bicentennial in 1994.

"We're expecting nationwide recognition for our celebration, which will be one of the last events commemorating the War of 1812," she said. "We will host an event in appreciation of the courage and stalwartness of the Brookeville residents at that critical moment in 1814."