2012 Bidwell Family Reunion

by / Wednesday, 18 July 2012 / Published in BFA Reunion Articles
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2012 Bidwell Family Reunion

Alexandria Bay, New York was the setting for the 2012 BFA Reunion.  Forty-eight Bidwells representing 11 states and Canada attended the reunion from June 7 –11, 2012.

The Riveredge Resort was our host hotel for the reunion.  The hotel located on the waterfront of the St. Lawrence River and a beautiful view of Boldt’s Castle provided a wonderful venue for the weekend activities.

The annual BFA Board meeting was held on Friday morning in our hospitality room.  Getting business out of the way allowed our group to prepare for our afternoon luncheon cruise on the St. Lawrence River with a stop and self-guided tour of the famous “Boldt Castle”.  Construction on the castle began in 1900 by George C. Boldt as a tribute to his beloved wife, Louise.  The castle was designed to be the summer home in the heart of the Thousand Islands.  However, Mrs. Boldt passed away suddenly just months before the completion of the castle.  Mr. Boldt was inconsolable and immediately stopped all construction.  The property was vacant for over seventy years.  The Thousand Island Bridge authority is in the process of finishing and restoring the castle.  Our group enjoyed their time on “Heart Island” and posed for the BFA Group Photo in the Italian Gardens of the castle.

Saturday morning some of the group left for the Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg, NY.  We were treated to a wonderful guided tour and as an added surprise, David Walker found a piece that was related to our Bidwell History!

After an afternoon for free time to explore the quaint town of Alexandria Bay, we gathered in the Jacques Cartier Banquet room for our annual banquet and auction.  The room was ceiling to floor windows giving us a breathtaking view of Boldt Castle at sunset and at night.

Tina Bidwell lead a tribute and presented Faith Health with a gift from the Bidwell Family Association for her 26+ years of service as the BFA Secretary and Newsletter Editor.  Moving tributes were offered by Don Bidwell, Larry Bidwell, Kevin White, and incoming BFA Secretary, Beth Kranick.  Thank you Faith for many years of devotion and service to our organization.

The oldest female attendee was Frances Werling and the oldest male attendee was John-Jack Bidwell.  Both were recognize and given a small token from the reunion co-hosts.

The auction was lively and successful. John-Jack Bidwell with the assistance of his son, John Bidwel Jr., led the auction.  Everyone had a good time.

Sunday morning we boarded our motor coach for a day of exploration.  Our first stop was at the Tibbet’s Lighthouse in Cape Vincent, NJ.  The 69-foot lighthouse equipped with a 4th order Fresnel lens sits at the junction of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawerence River.

Home baked cookies in the shape of the United States and Family trees with water served as a treat between tours.

Our tour continued with a visit to Sackett’s Harbor, Madison Barracks, and the Battlefield tour.  We learned about Jacob Bidwell, who fought on the battlefield in the War of 1812.

A group dinner at “The Thousand Island Inn” was the final destination for our reunion.  The Thousand Island Inn lays claim to be the place were “Thousand Island Dressing” was invented.  Many Bidwell cousins took a bottle or two home with them.  The dinner was enjoyed and we departed for the hotel.

The 2012 Reunion co-hosts were Tina & John Bidwell and Beth Kranick.

Thank you fo everyone who attended the 2012 Reunion.

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