May 18, 2005

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The parade to the cemetery forms about 1907 in front of the Ganges Methodist Church on 68th Street (now the Blue Star). In the background is the old Ganges Union School which was raised in the 1950s and replaced with a one-story
brick building. The white clapboard Methodist Church burned in 1929 and was also replaced in brick.

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Veterans and others surround the Ganges Civil War monument in Taylor Cemetery that was first dedicated in 1906 for Memorial Day services. At the far right, Major William H. Dunn, formerly of the 10th Michigan Cavalry, sits on a horse.

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Major Dunn ca 1863


With so many Civil War veterans in Ganges Township, Memorial Day (first called Decoration Day because it was the day the graves were decorated with flowers) was always celebrated with enthusiasm. Treva (Miller) McKeown, whose grandfather, Adam Miller, was both a Civil War veteran and a member of the Ganges band, wrote:
"About the years 1906 to 1912 Civil War veterans were guests of honor at the Memorial Day services at the Ganges Methodist Church. After the benediction and tributes to those tired old men. and a program of local talent, including the reading of the "Gettysburg Address," all who cared to "marched" to the Taylor Cemetery.

On one such occasion that I remember vividly Major W. H. Dunn, a veteran cavalry officer, decided to ride a horse in the procession. As the assemblage was being organized, Major Dunn rode up on a fine looking well-groomed horse. Everything went well until the horse became excited and thrashed about and became unruly. For a few minutes much concern was felt for the elderly rider, and all those standing nearby, but with the good horsemanship of Major Dunn, and the aid of several men, the horse was quieted down. The procession finally started with the accompaniment of our local Fife and Drum Corps, consisting of George Gaze on the fife, Marion Pressler on the bass drum and my father, Bertrand Miller, on the snare drum. After reaching the cemetery the children placed the lilac and snowball bouquets on the graves of veterans." by Kit Lane

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