Annual reunion, 2006

                          Amherst, Massachusetts

                                              FRIDAY, JUNE 23

                   5:00 PM               Board Meeting at Lord Jeffery Inn

                   6:00 PM               Social Hour at Lord Jeffery Inn

                   7:00 PM               Dinner at Lord Jeffery Inn

                                              SATURDAY, JUNE 24

                   9:00 AM               Special Tour at Emily Dickinson Museum

                   9:00 AM               Registration and Social Time begins

                                                at South Congregational Church, Amherst

                   12:00 PM             Welcome and Lunch

                   12:45 PM             Annual Meeting of the Association

                   1:30 PM               Speaker:  Clif Read

If you haven’t yet replied to our April mailing or should you need one, a duplicate response form is provided below for your convenience.


This year we are back in Amherst, a town which presents many great opportunities.  If you arrive early on Friday, you can spend some time in the special collections room at the Jones Library.  It is open from 10-5, and also on Saturday from 1-5.  Some Emily Dickinson manuscripts are housed there as well as abundant genealogical and historical books.

Depending on weather, Friday may also be a good time for a visit to one of Amherst’s cemeteries.  West and Wildwood are relatively central and contain the graves of Emily and Austin, respectively.  North and South Amherst also have cemeteries with Dickinson graves.

We also recommend a visit to the First Congregational Church.  It is open every day for self-guided tours.  Austin Dickinson was a prime force in the design and construction of this building.

On Saturday, the Emily Dickinson Museum will present a special one-hour tour for our members at 9 am.  You will be able to visit both Emily’s home and that of her brother, Austin.  If you are still around on Sunday you may want to take in their special event, a lecture and garden tour.  For more details go to:  www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org

Our reunion speaker, Clif Read, is Supervisor of Interpretive Services at the Quabbin Visitor Center.  He will speak on the history and current status of the reservoir.  We noted in our last Newsletter that Harvey Dickinson, who was also to speak, passed away in March.  Harvey will be with us, however, through a short video interview which he did a few years ago for public TV.

We highly recommend a drive to the Quabbin.  The visitor center is about 15 minutes from Amherst. It is open 9-4:30 every day and provides spectacular views of the lake.  The Quabbin Park Cemetery is nearby with many graves moved from the flooded valley, and there are hiking trails all around the reservoir.

Another possibility is the Swift River Valley Historical Society Museum.  It is open on Sunday from 1-4 pm.  There are exhibits and much information about the towns that were eliminated by the reservoir project and the people who lived there.

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President’s Message
One of the rewards of being webmaster is the occasional e-mails (or letters) I receive from people who have discovered our website and are anxious to find out if they are descendants of Nathaniel Dickinson.  Most of the time I’ve been able to track down a connection through our genealogy book and invariably they are delighted to find this new knowledge of their “roots.”   And the DFA benefits by adding new members!     

An interest in family history is certainly something that all members of the DFA have in common.  Admittedly, this often comes with maturity.  I was in my 50s before I really got hooked.  But recently we have seen a growing number of younger members joining our ranks.   We even have people in their 20s and 30s on our board and/or committees, and we’re very happy to have them.     

The annual reunion is a wonderful way to explore family history and to share your stories and reminiscences with other cousins.  I hope that many of you will take advantage of that opportunity this year at our reunion in Amherst.   Also, if you have something you’d like to display that relates to your family history or to Dickinsons in general, bring it along and we’ll make room for you to show it.      

I look forward to seeing many of you this June in Amherst.                         

Alan C. Dickinson, president  

	5 PM		Board Meeting,  Lord Jeffery Inn, Amherst
	6 PM		Social Hour, Lord Jeffery Inn, Amherst
	7 PM		Dinner, Lord Jeffery Inn, Amherst
	9 AM – Noon	Gathering of Cousins, South Congregational Church, Amherst
	12 Noon	Welcome and Lunch,  lower level, church hall
	1 PM		Annual Meeting and Program,  upper level, sanctuary
	1 PM		Children’s Activities, lower level, youth room
	Jones Library, Amherst:  Emily Dickinson Special Collection Room
		Friday 10-5 PM and Saturday 2-5 PM 
	Emily Dickinson Museum, Main Street, Amherst
		9 – 10 AM Saturday; special tour for DFA members; see article elsewhere in this 				newsletter
		2 – 4:30 PM   Sunday June 25;  Emily Dickinson’s Gardens: Tour & Speaker. (Fee)
	First Congregational Church, Main Street, Amherst  (Designed by Austin Dickinson)
		Open every day for viewing.
	Cemetery tours – on your own.
		West Street Cemetery and Wildwood Cemetery in Amherst.
		Quabbin Park Cemetery in Ware, MA.
	Quabbin Reservoir
		Visitor Center, Belchertown, 9 AM to 4:30 daily.
		Swift River Valley Historical Museum, New Salem, Sunday 1-4 PM
Please return your reservation card as soon as possible.
Directions to all events and activities will appear in the June newsletter.

The Emily Dickinson Museum of Amherst is offering our members a special tour at 9AM on the morning of our reunion, June 24, 2006.  This will be a one hour tour and will include both the original Dickinson Homestead and the Evergreens, home of Emily’s brother Austin.  If you wish to participate in this tour please indicate that on the reservation card when you return it.  The price will be $6 for adults and $4 for children, collected at the time of the tour.  Tour groups are limited to 10 people, so we need to know how many groups to plan for.  If you haven’t visited these houses you should avail yourself of this opportunity.

We received 55 responses from our January mailing.  From these returns 62 persons are interested in attending this year’s reunion and 19 for the Friday dinner.  Approximately 300 letters were sent out, so we are hoping that many who didn’t respond will decide to come and help boost the final tally.

We also received donations totaling over $1700. We thank those of you who responded to our appeal.  The donations were nearly equally divided between the general and the scholarship funds.  We’re very pleased to see the additions to our scholarship fund as we feel this is one of our most important  endeavors.  If you haven’t yet contributed please consider sending a donation along with your reunion registration, or, for that matter, at any time.

The deadline for submitting applications for the 2006 DFA Scholarship is April 30.  If you know of someone who intends to apply this year, please remind them of this impending deadline.  Any questions, contact Alan Dickinson, scholarship committee chair: 413-596-9648 6 Garden Lane, Wilbraham, MA 01095. anbdickinson@charter.net.
Text Box: SAD NEWS

Each year’s reunion is a happy occasion except when it comes time to read the obituaries for the previous year.  Although we usually wait until the annual meeting, we are mentioning here the passing of one of our members.  Harvey A. Dickinson of Belchertown, MA passed away on March 10.   Harvey had been a member of the DFA for only 2 years, but those of us who knew him knew a wonderful gentleman with a wealth of knowledge of the Swift River Valley.  He had agreed to share some of that knowledge with us in our reunion program this year.  His death is a loss not only for his family but also for this association.  Our sincere condolences go out to Harvey’s wife, Doris, and their family.

We continue to work toward the goal of publishing a 3rd edition of our genealogy.  Unfortunately, we have not yet solved a major problem in readying the manuscript for printing.  This book of over 1500 pages is a very complex project.  We have already overcome obstacles along the way and are working to resolve this last one.  Hopefully the book will still be ready this year and we’ll announce it as soon as we can.  Meanwhile, the 2nd edition is still available for purchase.
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