January 2023 Newsletter

Dickinson Family Association


Caleb Cooley Dickinson House (1770), Hatfield, MA


Hello Cousins,

The 2023 Dickinson Family Reunion will be Saturday, June 24 with a Friday night gathering of cousins on June 23.   General Location: Hatfield, MA (25 miles North of Springfield, MA) approximately 3 miles from Exit 27 off of Interstate 91.  We are planning to hold Saturday’s reunion at Fish Tales Restaurant, 12 School Street adjacent to the Hatfield Fire Station/Town Hall Complex.  Friday’s dinner may also be held in the same location (TBD).  Nathaniel Dickinson was one of the original proprietors of Hatfield which was settled in 1661.  Start time and other details will be provided in the April Newsletter. 

Our reunion will celebrate all Dickinsons who were raised in Hatfield with a focus on Caleb Cooley Dickinson (Nov 25, 1804 – September 16, 1882); farmer, shoemaker, businessman, horse trader, shrewd investor and original benefactor of the Cooley Dickinson Hospital located in Northampton, MA.  Only after a highly contested, supreme judicial court case, Dickinson Hospital was established in 1885.  We are pleased to announce that retired lawyer and district judge, W. Michael Ryan, who has conducted extensive research on “Cooley” Dickinson, is intended to be our main speaker. For more information on Caleb Cooley Dickinson see the following website links:



Dickinson Family – Buildings of interest along Main St. in Hatfield:

1 South St. (at intersection with Main St.) = John Dickinson House (1762): Lt. Colonel has interesting doorway.

22 Main St. Sophia Smith Birthplace (1790) / Nathaniel Dickinson Homestead lot (1661): Federal style

26 Main St. Sophia Smith House (1867): Queen Anne Victorian

39 Main St. Dickinson Memorial Hall / Museum / Public Library (1894): Italian Renaissance Revival

54 Main St. Samuel H. Dickinson House (1792 w/ 1837 Greek Revival renovation) bequested library

71 Main St. Joe Smith/Caleb Cooley Dickinson House (1770): Federal with English Barn

83 Main St. Myron Dickinson House / Solomon Dickinson Lot (1865): Queen Anne Victorian

86 Main St. William H. Dickinson House (1875): Queen Anne Victorian with farm complex

100 Main St. Caleb D. Dickinson House (1850): Greek Revival

116 Main St. Caleb D. Dickinson House (1860): Greek Revival

7 North St.  William H. Dickinson Homestead (1800): Federal

35 School St. Elijah P. Dickinson Home (1863): Greek Revival

As discussed in our previous newsletter, the Hatfield Historical Museum and adjacent Hatfield Farm Museum contain several objects that are directly related to the Dickinson Family.  They also have several personal items of Sophia Smith.  We look forward to your attendance.  More information to follow in our Spring Newsletter.   

Ken Dickinson,  President


Caleb Cooley Dickinson lineage is as follows: (1) Nathaniel, (2) Nathaniel, (3) Nathaniel, (4) Daniel, (5) Aaron.  His mother was Experience Phelps, daughter of Charles and Dorothy (Root) Phelps and widow of Caleb Cooley.  His father, Aaron, established a busy tavern in North Hatfield (191 Pantry Rd.) and his grandfather, Nathaniel, was the first born in Hatfield, and owner of the same homestead farm as the Sophia Smith Birthplace.


The card enclosed with this mailing serves several purposes.  Primarily it is to give us a rough idea of how many to expect at the reunion in June.  We know that plans may change between January and June, but if you are hoping at this point to attend, please send the card back to let us know prior to April 1st.

The survey also gives you a chance to volunteer to help the DFA in a meaningful way.  Although we typically meet in person, for the past two years we have been conducting meetings remotely via Zoom.  If you attend a Zoom meeting, you can get a “behind-the-scenes” look at how the DFA operates, have an opportunity to participate in our discussions, and maybe even find a niche for yourself on the board.  Please consider that possibility, and let us know if you’re interested.

Whether or not you can volunteer to work on the DFA board, all can help financially.  As you know, we do not have dues, but we depend on members who are able, to make a contribution for operating expenses and/or for the scholarship fund.  Any amount you can contribute is gratefully welcomed and will help the association.


Applicants must be descendants of Nathaniel Dickinson and must be accepted to a four-year college or university.  The deadline for submission is April 30, 2023.  Full information on requirements and an application form may be found on our website.  For additional information you may contact our scholarship chair, Lisa Butler, 12 Cove St, Noank, CT  06340, email:  dickinsonfamilyassociation@gmail.com.

As always, we rely on contributions from DFA members to sustain and increase the scholarship fund.  If you are able, we would appreciate your help.  Indicate “scholarship fund” on the 2023 Survey form if you wish to make a donation.


     We know e-mail addresses change frequently and it’s easy to forget to update them.  So if your e-mail address and/or your postal address changes, we would greatly appreciate you sending the new one to our membership clerk, Beth Landolina, email at:   membership@dickinsonfamilyassociation.org

 In Memoriam

We are sad to announce that Virginia Allis passed away on June 6, 2022.  Virginia was a long-time member of the DFA and for many years served as treasurer of the association.  Virginia was well known to those who attended our reunions where she worked at the registration table.  We are thankful for her years as DFA member and treasurer and will miss her greatly.

Here is a reminder to please return the January Survey forms.

Web site:  www.dickinsonfamilyassociation.org

Newsletter editor:  Dale Williams

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