Volume XIX No. 3
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Thank you to everyone for an exciting reunion last summer in South Hadley, MA. Our main speaker, Jim Thunder, successfully conducted a remote (zoom) presentation with vivid graphics on Atty. Daniel S. Dickinson. Mount Holyoke College once again served delectable meals on both Friday and Saturday. As usual, the Willits-Hallowell Center in-house accommodations were very clean, safe and convenient. I sincerely appreciate all the work, volunteerism, and interactive participation with Jim Thunder in effort to hold our 2022 reunion. Jim says “thanks everyone” and intends to be available for a repeat performance at a future reunion. We also may provide a repeat presentation via Zoom this winter and are considering another remote presentation at a future reunion.
We are currently planning our 2023 reunion for June 23 and 24th with a strong consideration to hold it in Northampton, MA. The DFA is also planning a return to the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, MA and future reunions in Wethersfield, CT and Hatfield, MA. The Emily Dickinson Museum recently reopened to the public in August 2022 after completing a series of renovations. Renovation work will continue as they received a large donation from an alumnus of Amherst College to upgrade the museum with modern conveniences while restoring various rooms to their original décor based on photos from the 1800’s and other historically accurate information.
In 2021, Smith College donated 30 items from Sophia Smith’s collection to the Hatfield Historical Society. The gift represents a homecoming of many items to Sophia Smith’s birthplace. Smith College was chartered in 1871 with a bequest from Sophia Smith’s estate. The Dickinson and Smith families both resided on Nathaniel Dickinson, Jr. homestead lot along Main Street in Hatfield, MA on which the Sophia Smith birthplace house currently stands. The Hatfield Historical Society/Hatfield Public Library and Farm Museum are located only a short walking distance from their homestead and contain several other items related to the Dickinson family. Caleb Cooley Dickinson, founder of the Cooley Dickinson Hospital, resided at the corner of North St. and Main St. in Hatfield, MA a short distance north of the Library. The Hatfield Public Library (also known as Dickinson Memorial Hall) was a bequest by Samuel Huntington Dickinson in 1894, who conveniently resided across the street. Several other Dickinson Family homesteads and/or historical buildings are also found along Main St. which will be the subject of a future walking tour. More information to follow…We look forward to seeing you in 2023!
DICKINSON HISTORY IN NH & VT
FALL FOLIAGE FIELD TRIP 2022
We recently took a fall foliage trip along Route 9 in southern Vermont and Route 119 and Route 10 in southwestern New Hampshire. Here are some highlights from our trip:
In Brattleboro, VT at the intersection of Dickinson Rd. and Kipling Rd. there is a “Dickinson Estate Historic District” which is located on a portion of the “World Learning” organization’s main campus. Frederick Zelotes Dickinson commissioned the design and construction of a 20 room Colonial Revival mansion house when he purchased the former Bliss Farm in 1899. Several other buildings were constructed on the property circa 1900 and are still utilized today. Frank Z. Dickinson was the son of Zelotes and Mary Jane (Smead) Dickinson who were the former owners of the Brattleboro Woolen Factory and several other stores found along Main St. in Downtown Brattleboro. Frederick Zelotes Dickinson was part owner of Hopkins, Dickinson & Co. (a bronze hardware manufacturer), opened the slate quarries in Guilford, VT and was an agent for the National Oil Stone Co. in NYC prior to purchasing the Bliss Farm.
Lt. Samuel Dickinson, an entrepreneurial blacksmith, owned a mill and shop along the Whetstone Brook in Brattleboro from 1795 to 1817. Samuel also ran a tavern/stage house which was located where “Hotel Brooks” now stands at the intersection of High St. and Main St. A successful 1800’s stove and tin shop, owned by Ashbel Dickinson, was also located at this intersection. More info can be found at the Brattleboro Historical Society.
A short distance east of Brattleboro, VT is Dickinson Pond, located on Fiddle Hill Rd. in the Ashuelot Village portion of Winchester, NH. General Erastus (b. 1800) and Ansel (b. 1822) were both sons of William and Lucinda (Gardner) Dickinson who settled in Swanzey, NH circa 1770. They operated a large land tract lumbering operation in the mid-1800 thru early 1900’s (now Pisgah State Forest). A hiking trail located at the Old Chesterfield Road Visitor Center in Winchester, NH leads to the Broad Brook Trail where the sawmill, barn and boarding house foundations, and interpretive signage are located. The Dickinson Real Estate and Logging Co. merged into the New England Box Co. in 1898. Ansel Dickinson served as its Principal; his farmhouse on Rte. 119 now serves as the local office for the “Ashuelot Head Start Program”. Ansel was known as the “Lumber King”. He formed and owned several other businesses in Winchester and Swanzey, NH. More info can be found at the Cheshire County Historical Society.
From 1765 to 1790, Dr. Nathaniel Dickinson (son of Nathaniel Dickinson IV from Northfield, MA) served as the first physician in Bennington, VT after serving in the French & Indian War. In 1790, Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Fisk) Dickinson removed to Cambridge, VT; however several of his children’s gravestones remain in the iconic Old Bennington Cemetery (site of Ethan Allen’s home lot), located a short distance from the Bennington Battle Monument. More info to follow on Dr. Nathaniel Dickinson in a future newsletter.
2023 DFA SCHOLARSHIP ALERT
One of the most important functions of the Dickinson Family Association is the awarding of our annual scholarship. For the year 2022, the Scholarship Committee selected Ruthie Davis and Kaitlyn Reed to each receive a scholarship of $1,500. Ruthie Davis attends Norwich University, Northfield Vermont and Kaitlyn Reed is at Emmanuel College in Boston, Massachusetts.
The 2023 Scholarship application process will again be online. For information you may go to our website under “Scholarship” or contact our scholarship chair, Lisa Butler, 12 Cove St. Noank, CT 06340, email@example.com.
E-MAIL CHANGES REQUESTED
We know e-mail addresses change frequently and it is easy to forget to update them. So if you plan to change your e-mail address we would greatly appreciate your sending the new one to our membership clerk, Beth Landolina, at firstname.lastname@example.org If this newsletter was sent to an e-mail address that will soon be obsolete, please let us know.
The Dickinson Family Association is doing well, but change is always imminent. We ask that you think about volunteering to help out. We will elaborate on this and other opportunities to help in the January newsletter, but please be thinking positively about joining our operating team.
Web site: www.dickinsonfamilyassociation.org
Newsletter editor: Dale Williams