Reunion 2008

by / Saturday, 14 June 2008 / Published in BFA Reunion Articles

Early-arriving Bidwells from North Carolina, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Ohio, Kentucky, Washington, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Florida began to gather late Thursday afternoon, June 12, visiting with old friends and newcomers, and roaming the hotel lobby. By the next afternoon others representing Minnesota, New York, Ontario, Iowa, and Oklahoma had arrived.

Some highlights of the Board meeting, which non-Board members could attend, included:

  1. Present were sixteen of our current twenty-five members, from North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, New York, Oklahoma, Washington, Connecticut, and Canada. (Knowing that a number of our Board members cannot attend every reunion, we try to maintain a geographical representation on the Board.)
  2. Jane Grider, professional compiler of Bidwell Book, Vol. 2, reported by e-mail that “the main part of the Book is compiled and ready for photos and indexing. I still hear from folks every now and then, and work in their corrections and additions.”
  3. Former Board member, Frank Bidwell of California, reported by e-mail that research on the Richard and John Bidwell Origins Projectcenters on new passenger lists as they are located and made public. “We are certain that the Bidwell and Wilcox families (John Bidwell Sr. married Sarah Wilcox in the first generation in New England) knew each other before emigrating. I am attempting to identify areas of residence for the Wilcox family in England in the 1600’s. Matching areas common to both surnames may yield more clues.”
  4. Next year’s reunion will be held in Branson, southwest Missouri, June 25-29.

Our general membership meeting, the annual memorial service for deceased members, and the Sunday night dinner and annual auction provided our “in-house” activities. Auction items included a colorful BFA logo tee shirt, packages of Wisconsin wild rice, potholders, french wine, bird house, agate belt buckle, a book on World War II, toiletry set, crocheted vest, assorted jewelry, and more. Proceeds go toward defraying some costs of the reunion.

Our “away” activities included a luncheon boat cruise on Lake Superior between Superior, WI, and Duluth, MN, a sightseeing train ride, and visits to Fort Folle Avoine Historical Park (a reconstructed and interpretive Northwest French fur-trading post on the actual site), and Crex Meadows Wildlife Education Center with thousands of acres of restored wetlands, providing habitat for many species of aquatic wildlife. These places were south of our reunion site.

The BFA’s thanks go to host Lyman Lang of Grantsburg, Wisconsin, and his helpers for a relaxing and fun weekend.

Next year Kevin White of Muskogee, Oklahoma, will host our Branson, Missouri weekend. Mark the dates June 25-29, 2009, on your calendar!