November 2015 Newsletter


A Message from the DFA Board

Greetings to all members of the Dickinson Family Association.   We hope that your summer has been enjoyable.   This fall newsletter gives us the opportunity to review some of the recent activities of the association and report some upcoming ones.

The 2015 reunion, held in Amherst Massachusetts on June19 & 20 went very well and was attended by 85 DFA members.  The Friday evening dinner at the Lord Jeffery Inn was a great time for about 30 of us to see old friends, meet new ones and spend some enjoyable time in conversation.  It was more time than anticipated, due to the slow service that evening, but only a few of the officers seemed overly concerned.

On Saturday, the Emily Dickinson Museum provided several opportunities for our members to view the two houses, both inside and out.  The current major project, restoration of Emily Dickinson’s bedroom, was nearing completion and it was fascinating to see that.  The major thing missing was the wallpaper which arrived and was installed in August, and in September the project was complete and has been delighting recent visitors.

Our own activities included a power point presentation by cousin Patricia Vitale from Maryland, a delicious buffet lunch catered by Amherst College, and our main speaker, Eric Johnson, representing the group of archaeologists who had recently completed a “field school” at the museum.  It was fascinating to hear what they had done, how they operated, and the information one can derive about the lives of the Dickinson family in the days when Emily lived.   Among other results, their work will help make possible one of the next major projects the museum will undertake, that of rebuilding the conservatory once attached to the south side of the east wing, in the front of the homestead.

The business meeting was conducted by president Andrew Dickinson and included the usual “counting of the cousins” and prizes to three attendees: the oldest, the youngest and the farthest travelled.  Our scholarship recipient was present and took a few minutes to tell us a little about herself and her college plans.  When it came time for election of officers however this year we were confronted with several vacancies due to the very recent resignations of our president, publications treasurer and secretary.   The remaining officers were elected and the board began plans for an October meeting and work on filling the vacancies.  It is anticipated that at that meeting there will be some “acting” officers appointed as well as a “transition team” to lead the association through the coming year.

During the past summer, plans for next year’s reunion have started to be formed.  You can read about them elsewhere in this newsletter.  On our website you can read more details on the 2015 reunion and a listing of the current executive board.   Sales of our publications have been temporarily suspended, but when a new or acting publications treasurer is in place they will resume, hopefully soon.

Thank you all for your patience and have a wonderful autumn!

Alan Dickinson,

for the DFA Board

REUNION 2016 The Old Connecticut Path The Old Connecticut Path was used by Nathaniel Dickinson, family and friends to reach their new home in Wethersfield, CT. The current plans are for the 2016 reunion to be held on Saturday, June 18 at a location in Connecticut at or near the path, perhaps South Windsor, CT. The exact location and details are being developed. Our speaker Jason Newton, a descendant of Connecticut settlers, researched and documented the Old Connecticut Path. There will be a gathering of cousins for dinner on Friday evening, June 17. Come, meet with your cousins, share your stories and learn about  Nathaniel’s travels to his new home. 
DICKINSON EVENTS IN ESSEX, CT           The Essex Historical Society is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a series of events related to the renowned E.E. Dickinson of Witch Hazel fame.  Two of these have already taken place by the time you receive this newsletter, although you should all have received notification by e-mail in late summer.          
SEPTEMBER 13, 2015          A “stroll” through 5 buildings formerly owned by the E.E. Dickinson company.  The famous white-columned home of E.E. himself plus three other buildings some of which have been converted to homes, were open to visitors, as well as the former office building of the company, now occupied by Wells Fargo Advisors.  There were society members in each building to answer questions and beverages and light refreshments were served.  The 4-7pm event was a benefit for the Essex Historical Society.          
OCTOBER 18, 2015     The annual antique auto show including a tour of Dickinson business and family sites.          
JANUARY 24, 2016      A program with speaker on the topic: Creating the E.E. Dickinson National Brand.  This will be held at the former Dickinson Corporate Offices, 31 North Main Street, Essex.          
MAY 15, 2016     Dedication of the refurbished Yellow Label Building with a tour of the Dickinson Witch Hazel Plant.          Read more at the website of the historical society, or call (860) 767-0681. 
CORRECT ENGLISH ORIGINS OF NATHANIEL DICKINSON AVAILABLE * “The Correct English Origins of Nathaniel Dickinson and William Gull, Settlers of Wethersfield and Hadley” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 152, April 1998. Copies of the article can be ordered from the publication: New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116 

                      A MESSAGE FROM OUR GENEALOGIST

Many, many thanks go out to our retiring Dickinson Genealogist Adrienne Weible for a good job, well done!    Please welcome Rebecca Passa as our new Dickinson Genealogist.  You may send your births, marriages and death announcements to Becky at

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 bethL0719@sbcglobal.netIf this newsletter was sent to an e-mail address that will soon be obsolete, please let us know.
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