2023 DFA REUNION
The 152nd reunion of the Dickinson Family Association was held on Saturday, June 24, 2023 at the Fish Tales restaurant in Hatfield, MA.
On Friday, June 23, several DFA members met at the Hatfield History Museum for a driving/walking tour of Hatfield. Our guide was Rob Wilson, Vice President of the Hatfield Historical Society. After an introductory talk, we drove south to the John Dickinson house, a salt-box colonial from 1764, with a distinctive, hand-carved Connecticut River style doorway. The current owners, George and Monica Vachula have spent several years restoring the house. They spoke to us about their work and showed an exhibit of some artifacts from the historic house.
We then drove north on Main Street and stopped in front of the Victorian style William H. Dickinson house (1875). The son of the owner told us about the restorative work they have done. Rob gave us some information about the house and others in the vicinity, including those of the Smith family.
We drove past some other points of interest prior to ending up at Fishtales for dinner.
The Saturday reunion drew a somewhat unexpectedly large gathering of cousins. Approximately 44 were in attendance, a big change from the preceding reunion. The morning speaker was David Murphy representing Smith Charities. He spoke of Sophia and Oliver Smith and the formation of Smith College.
After lunch the annual meeting commenced. This year’s scholarship award recipient was Veronika Reed of Anchorage, Alaska. She plans to attend San Francisco University in the fall and begin her work toward an eventual MD degree. The recipient of the “farthest travelled” award was Elizabeth Kiethcart from California. The officers elected for the coming year were the same as those of the preceding year except that Andrew Dickinson was elected to fill the vacancy of Vice President. The usual “counting of the cousins” and group photo concluded the formal meeting.
Our main speaker, Judge W. Michael Ryan was unable to attend due to illness. The delightful and informative text of his presentation on Caleb Cooley Dickinson was read by DFA historian, Alan Dickinson.
President Ken Dickinson provided two other tours for those interested. One was of the Hatfield Museum, located in Dickinson Memorial Hall and led by Hatfield Historical Society’s curator, Meg Baker. The other was a tour of the former grounds of the Dickinson Hotel and Cider Mill (Aaron, Caleb and Edward N. Dickinson’s Homestead) in N. Hatfield. This was led by Rob Wilson, who, incidentally, was the former property owner as well. These tours rounded out an interesting, delicious and very enjoyable reunion.