April 2009 Newsletter


A message from the President             

The location of this year’s reunion bears some personal significance.  I am descended from Obadiah, who was one of two sons of Nathaniel who left Hadley MA and returned to Connecticut: Thomas to Hartford, and Obadiah to Wethersfield.  In later generations, of course, members of other lines became Connecticut residents, including Abner (descendant of Joseph) at whose home in Glastonbury the first reunion occurred in 1859.  Today a good number of our current membership resides in Connecticut, including some board members.          

Although it has been 25 years since our last Connecticut reunion, many earlier reunions were held there.  The most popular location was Elizabeth Park in Hartford where all the reunions from 1929 to 1947 were held.  I recall my father telling me once that his parents attended one of those.  That park has been restored in recent years and is well worth a visit.  It boasts the oldest municipal rose garden in the nation, and one of the largest.  The park itself was designed by the Olmsted firm in 1904 and the DFA first used it for a reunion in 1916.  Perhaps some year we might once again have a reunion there.          

Ever since I became active in the DFA I’ve wished we could have a reunion in Connecticut and I’m delighted that this year we will.  If you are a Connecticut resident, we hope the closeness of this venue will entice you to come.  If you are from a greater distance and have not visited this area you will have a wonderful chance to do some exploring.  Please accept this invitation to attend our 2009 annual reunion.          

Hoping to see you in June, 
Alan C. Dickinson, president 
139th ANNUAL REUNION SCHEDULE FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009          5 PM               Board Meeting, J Michaels Tavern, Wethersfield, CT            6 PM               Social Hour, J Michaels Tavern            7 PM               Dinner, J Michaels TavernSATURDAY, JUNE 27, 2009            9:30-Noon       Gathering of Cousins, Wells Fellowship Area                                                First Church of Christ                                                250 Main Street                                                Wethersfield, CT 06109            12 Noon          Welcome and Lunch            1 PM               Annual Meeting            1 PM               Children’s Activities            2 PM               Program by Wethersfield Historical SocietyPlease return your reservation card as soon as possible.Driving directions will appear in the June newsletter. 
2009 DFA SCHOLARSHIP REMINDER Applications for this year’s DFA scholarship have been arriving.  If you know of someone who is planning to apply and hasn’t yet done so, please encourage them to get their application in promptly, as the deadline is April 30.  Application forms and information can be found on our website and should be submitted to the scholarship chair, Jean Blackmer, 61 Sever St., Worcester, MA 01609.
News from the Research and Publications Committee At the 2008 Dickinson Family Association (DFA) reunion, President Alan Dickinson announced the formation of a Research and Publications Committee.  Serving on the committee are Andrew Dickinson, Elizabeth Haydon Keithcart, and John Haydon.  The committee selected a recently published dissertation to present as the committee’s first offering to the DFA.Elizabeth Keithcart, author of the dissertation, has prepared an article containing highlights of her dissertation as the first publication of the committee.  Due to space limitations it is not included with this paper copy of the Newsletter, but will be posted with the electronic copy on the DFA website later this month.  For those of you who do not have internet access, copies will be available at the annual meeting in June, and after that we hope to make them available by postal mail.The committee for Research and Publications is asking for suggestions for completed research about Dickinson family members to publish in the column and for possible inclusion in book form at a later date.  Submissions may be sent to Elizabeth Keithcart at keithcarte@yahoo.com or mailed to Elizabeth Keithcart, Benerd School of Education, University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95204.
J MICHAELS TAVERN, WETHERSFIELD, CT     Those of you who will be attending the Friday evening events of our upcoming reunion weekend are in for a special treat.  We will be guests at J Michaels Tavern in the heart of Old Wethersfield, in the historic Standish House which dates from 1737.     Board members and any others are invited to attend our “informal board meeting” at 5 pm.  The social hour begins at 6 and a cash bar will be accompanied by a cheese board and vegetable crudite.   The dinner at 7 pm will begin with a Mesclun Salad with house-made Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing and bread.  The entrée choices include Flat Iron Steak with a Cabernet Demi Glaze, Raspberry and Almond Salmon, Roasted Pork Loin with Cabernet Demi Glaze and a vegetarian offering, Portobello Napoleon.  Chef’s choice of potato and vegetable will accompany the meal and dessert will be apple crisp with ice cream, accompanied by coffee or tea.     You may view more about J Michaels Tavern online at www.jmichaelstavern.com.    Michael DiPiano, owner and chef, is looking forward to making our evening a delicious and enjoyable one, so do plan to join us for this occasion.
MORE ON THE WETHERSFIELD/HARTFORD CT AREA             The January Newsletter mentioned several attractions that may be of interest to our members.  All available web links to these attractions have now been posted on our website (click on “Annual Reunion”).            A few additional places in Hartford that you might want to explore include the Old State House and the Ancient Burying Ground in the downtown area, and Elizabeth Park, on the west boundary of the city (partially in West Hartford, actually).  The Old State House is open M-F 9-5 with tours available (small admission fee). The cemetery has free self-guided tours, and Elizabeth Park is open from dawn to dusk with free admission.  The roses should be in bloom at the time of our reunion!  Web link to these three attractions may also be found on our website.  Locations and directions will appear in the June Newsletter.             
Cemetery tour announced.   See Reunion page.
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