The Lansdowne Christian Church (Hull Memorial) (aka. The Hull Memorial Christian Church or GAR Church) celebrated its 75th birthday in 1978 and had been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior in 1977, because it was the only church in our nation that was dedicated to the Grand Army of the Republic.
The following is the remembrance of “Grand Army Day” as the late C. Joseph Hull (grandson of the founder Charles Wesley Hull) wrote: “Then we celebrated Grand Army Day, the community’s biggest event of the year. When I was a child, the second Sunday in May was known in Lansdowne as Grand Army Day. Each Grand Army Veteran wore a carnation. A special train brought these G.A.R. Veterans and a contingent of V.F.W. (Spanish American War and Boxer Rebellion Veterans) to Lansdowne, where they were met by the Lansdowne Band, Lansdowne V.F.W. several units of the Boys Brigade, the St. Mary’s Industrial School Band, and several drum and bugle corps.
100th Year Memorial Day
They paraded to the church where the G.A.R. Veterans, all more than 70 years old, entered our church for services while the rest of the parade proceeded thru Lansdowne. After the service the G.A.R. Veterans were served dinner in our Sunday School room by our Ladies Aid.” Mr. Hull continues after a time of camaraderie; “…memorial and military ceremonies were held. A drill team performed. Patriotic speeches were delivered and a campfire with a huge iron Civil War mess kettle that was suspended from a tripod was lit. At the conclusion of the day the Veterans were served dinner in the picnic grove, after which they all met at the railroad station and boarded the train for Baltimore.” The 100th Memorial Day Celebration service was on the last Sunday in May ( May 29th 2005). The ladies of the Auxiliary to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and the Members of the Dushane Corp #3 participated in the service along with the Walter Howard Shaw VFW Post 327. This year was the grand celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first Memorial Day Service. Beginning at 9:30 a.m., there was a parade from the railroad tracks to the church led by the Fire department, Flagbearers, the Federal City Brass Band, and veterans able to make the walk. A Memorial service followed at 10:00 a.m. which commemorates the very first service. An old fashioned picnic on the lawn of the Church parish house was held following the service. Then at 1:00 p.m., an outdoor concert was given by the Benfield Brass Band.ou.
BENFIELD BRASS BAND
Benfield Brass Band is a traditional British style brass band. It is a volunteer organization that was originally formed by the members in 1998 for the express purpose of participating at the first Gettysburg Brass Band Festival, where the band has played ever since. In the British style, the band is composed totally of brass and percussion instruments. The instrumentation consists of cornets, flugelhorn, tenor horns, baritones, euphoniums, trombones and basses, as well as percussion.
Federal City Brass Band
The Federal City Brass Band, founded in 2002 by Jari Villanueva and Mark Elrod, recreates the sound and appearance of a regular U.S. Army regimental brass band of the 1860s. With the exception of some reproduction rope-tension drums, all of the instruments used by The Federal City Brass Band are originals dating to the mid 19th century, and come from the collections of band members and from the Mark A. Elrod Collection. The sources of the music the band plays include original band journals and sheet music of the Civil War era. Members of The Federal City Brass Band are professional musicians, music educators, historians and re-enactors, and collectively represent some of the finest brass and percussion players in the Civil War music field today. The band is based in Baltimore, Maryland, but some members travel from as far away as parts of New York State and Pennsylvania for rehearsals and performances.