152nd Collett McKay picnic


One hundred and seventy cousins from almost 20 states met together at the family owned four-acre picnic site, located on Gurneyville Road, a dozen miles northwest of Wilmington. The weather was great for this, the 152nd Collett McKay picnic.

After leading them in a traditional Quaker silent prayer, Susan Doster called the group together. She thanked cousins, Steve and Doug Pidgeon, for bringing water for the bathrooms, Steve Collett for all he does to prepare the grounds, Ashley and Allen Inwood, and John Mothersole for mowing the grass. Then Doster directed the cousins to the three long 1879 tables for lunch under the old maple trees.

Mary Dudley led children’s activities. She also baked the black walnut cake recipe from her late grandfather, McKay Collette. Daniel Collette, McKay’s son, was seen taking the last pieces home to Delaware.

For the second year, the picnic celebration actually started at 5 p.m. on Friday evening. That’s when four cars arrived with their own sandwich suppers at the picnic site. This year, family started by touring the Mt. Pisgah Methodist Church site, the location of the first five picnics a half-mile northwest of the present picnic site on Gurneyville Road.

Attendees toured McKay houses, and a George McKay cemetery on Clinton County New Burlington Road. Family also visited the Moses Collett house near Roxanna on Greene County Roxanna-New Burlington Road. Finally, attendees toured the Quaker cemetery on Warren County New Burlington Road where Revolutionary Private Daniel Collett, never a Quaker, was buried by his five Quaker daughters-in-law.

Signing the ledger were Ernie Wengler, now 88, and Jeanette McKay Musser, now 89.

Rosale Shelby, born February 2017, may have been the youngest cousin present. Other first-time attendees include Kate Jackson Dargon, William J. Doster and Lindiwe Phiri. After discovering an announcement on the McKay website, Grace Jacobson, Ivan Jacobson and Mark Jacobson came to their first picnic from California.

Jonathan McKay of Wilmington brought his father, Rod McKay.

Out-of-state cousins included Robert “Buzz” and Louella Ramsey of Opelika, Alabama; W. Robert Doster, Buckeye and William J. Doster of Goodyear, Arizona; Grace and Mark Jacobson, Davis, and Ivan Lee Jacobson of Santa Monica, California; Rachel Pidgeon of Denver, Colorado; Daniel and Seth Collett of Wilmington, Delaware; Chad, Charlie, Karen Fabian of Des Plaines, Illinois; Fred, Robin, Evan and Cory Maker of Elk Grove Village, Illinois; Gail and Parry Lindsey, Marion, and Susan Doster of West Lafayette, Indiana; Greg Stephens, Glen Burnie, Bradley Collett, Brenda, and Todd Stephens of Linthicum, Maryland; Daniel James Doster of Boston, Massachusetts; Dave Doster of Novi, Michigan; Marilyn Talmadge of Freehold, New Jersey; Brian and Bernice Magee of Dryden, New York; Kate Jorden Dargen of Incline Valley, Nevada; Dan, Melody, and Lizzie Doster of Raleigh, North Carolina; Krystal Billingsley, Logan Blacker, and Natalie Prickett of Marysville, Tennessee; Doug and Jane Doster Strecker of Medical Lake, Washington; Guy Lee Fields, Elizabeth, Gary, Ben, Megan, Charlie, and Mollie Schow of Taylorsville, Utah; and Ellen Magee of Madison, Wisconsin.

D. Howard Doster, a family recorder

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