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The Jacob Shinn Post #6, Grand Army of the Republic, a Civil War Veteran Group was organized in Port Norris on Jan. 12, 1887. They initially met at the Knights of Pythias Hall in Port Norris.
In 1889, the G.A.R. bought a piece of ground on Main St, Port Norris from Charles Lake.
By 1890 the G.A.R. had erected a building, constructed mostly by civil war veterans. The building is 20’ x 40’ with two stories. It has 8” x 8” sills on a brick foundation. Joists are 4” x 10” local white cedar. Siding is cedar clapboard and windows are trimmed in white cedar. The roof is metal and the soffit is ship nose construction with 5 1/2 “crown molding. All nails are cut nails. Each corner is wind braced.
In 1890 the second floor was used by the G.A.R. as its lodge headquarters. The first floor was rented to Gibson Andrews, who operated a dry goods store.
On May 14, 1891, the Prosperity Temple #5, Mason link was organized. This was a woman’s lodge and they met every Tuesday in the G.A.R. Hall.
Perseverance Home #18 was organized Dec 6, 1894. They met each Thursday evening at the G.A.R. Hall.
In 1920 Robert DuBois Jr. and Edward DuBois bought the G.A.R. Hall. They rented the building to a variety of enterprises, including a variety of retail businesses, law offices and for a long time the Port Norris Post Office was in this building. The post office moved in 1955 at which time Marie Cobb and father (Sam) rented the downstairs. They operated an apothecary and variety store until 1971. The upstairs portion was made into an apartment. Some occupants were Oscar Henderson in the 1930’s and Mahlon Cobb in the 1950’s.
On June 29, 1977 the Dubois heirs sold the building to Laws (John) and Taylor (Henry). They continued to rent out retail space and an apartment on the second floor.
On August 2, 1985 Henry Taylor and wife, Charlotte sold their interest to John and Janice Laws, (Laws & Laws).
The last occupant of the building was the Bayshore Discovery Project, now the Bayshore Center at Bivalve. They rented the whole building for office space and a museum.
In 2012 the Port Norris Historical Society purchased the building from John and Janice Laws.
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June 6, 1888
Shinn Post has unanimously adopted the following: Resolved, that it is the sense of this Post that a resolution of thanks be given to Rev. J.M. Scott, Revs. D. Ackley, Sunfield, and Margerum for their services, the Cornet Band of Dividing Creek, the Ladies Circle, Sons of Veterans, Idaho Tribe, the choirs of the M.E. and Baptist churches, and all who contributed flowers, teams and other service, for the aid and service given the Post on Decoration Day.
June 26, 1888
A very interesting and unlooked for surprise was given the Shinn Post, G.A.R., of this place, on Saturday night last. The Ladies of C.M. Peace Circle presented them a handsome flag, 10x20; the presentation speech on behalf of the circle was made by Mrs. Jennie Andrews, the president, who in conclusion said, "In behalf of C.M. Peace Circle, I now present you this flag." "Red, White and Blue," was then played by the Band after which Commander Major McDaniels in reply said, "I am unprepared to say anything on this occasion but had I known I would have been prepared but this is something that all should appreciate and we can all say hurrah for the stars and stripes. Thanks God it makes all good citizens and you ladies deserve a great deal of credit for this generous offering." Commander Lee said, "I congratulate the ladies on their generosity, there is no country so noble as this, and I think every member of the Post should thank the ladies for their generous gift." After "Marching through Georgia," played by the Band, three cheers were proposed and given to the Ladies for the flag and three more for the red, white and blue.
Feb 27, 1888
On Saturday afternoon last, a number of teams drew up in front of the Grand Army Hall and in a short while, they were loaded with the members of Shinn Post, the ladies of C. M. Peace Circle, and Rowley Camp S. of V. they were bound to Haleyville on a mission of benevolence and the labor of love. The goal of these kindhearted people was the residence of Mrs. Levi Sharp, whose husband was a veteran of late war, and these, his remaining comrades by their acts of kindness, desire to show his widow and children that although he had gone to answer at the last roll call his memory was still fresh in their hearts.
After reaching the house, and after Mrs. Sharp had somewhat recovered from her surprise, a very pleasant time was had for a while, speeches were made by a number of the members among whom were Major McDaniels, comrades Andrews, Peace and O'Neil, and Mr. Jesse Pritchard. Mrs. Sharp was presented with a large quantity of groceries and provisions and in addition, a handsome purse of money was given to her. The lady was completely overcome by their generosity. The guests took their departure for home with their thanks and good wishes ringing in her ears, and arrived safe, well satisfied with having done a kindly act. The Post desires to tender their sincere thanks to the following gentlemen: John C. Hand, Daniel Turner, Jesse Pritchard, Jos. Owens and Samuel Shinn, for having so kindly furnished the teams, and desired to publicly express their gratitude to them. COLLEY CIBBER
March 5, 1888
The Shinn Post, G.A.R., of this place will give a musical entertainment in K. of P. hall on Saturday evening next for the benefit of the Post fund. Let all charitably disposed turn out and help swell the fund.
September 13, 1888
The comrades of J. C. Shinn Post, 6, G. A. R. Dept. of New Jersey will meet at the Post's Hall on Sunday a. m. 8 o'clock, Sept. 16, 1888, for the purpose of attending divine service at the Mauricetown M. E. church. All honorably discharged soldiers and sailors are cordially invited to join with us on that occasion. Also the Sons of Veterans are cordially invited to attend this service with the post. By order of Commander, G. C. Andrews, adgt.
December 16, 1890
A large delegation of veterans from J. C. Shinn Post, No. 6, G. A. R., attended the re-union of 24th Regt., N. J. Vols., at Millville.
February 18, 1890
The Ladies of the G. A. R. will meet in the G. A. R. Hall on Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock.
September 13, 2014
My grandfather was Oscar Henderson. Way back when they used to live in the yellow building, and they had a store in the blue building when I was young.
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