Past Reunions of the
Olmste(a)d Family Association

1972, 29 July — Saint John, New Brunswick

1974, 27 July — Fredericton, New Brunswick

1976, 17 July — the reunion was held at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton and attended by (estimated) thirty persons from both Canada and the US. (is there a list of who was there; any report, etc. issued?) The Steesy family attended this gathering on a Saturday. The day was basically a business meeting and discussion. That evening there was a dinner with a dry speaker on travels in colonial New Brunswick. On Sunday the group was invited to the lake cottage of Jim & Helen (Olmstead) Page; joining in were Olmstead families from the area with over sixty adults and youngsters enjoying the family picnic. A report was issued.

1978, July 7-8 — the reunion was held at the University of Hartford, Connecticut. as the first truly international reunion for the family with 240 in attendance from 26 States and 3 Canadian Providences. Walt Steesy served as chair with Ted Olmsted as co-chair assisted by a number of other family in the greater Hartford area. Two days of program included a large display of Olmste(a)d memorabilia and genealogical seminars on campus, a tour of Olmste(a)d sites in Hartford including the Ancient Burying Ground at First Church. Children had their own special tour including a visit to the Hartford Zoo. Evening activities included games, dancing, music, and family oriented activities. Following a slide presentation on Olmstead Hall in Essex, a short business meeting was held. Speakers at the closing banquet were the editors of the FLO Papers, Charles McLaughlin and Charles Beveridge, from Washington, DC. A booklet was issued.

All reunions since have followed a similar pattern. The first evening is a reception welcoming both new and returning members. One day is devoted to tours of the local area, including Olmste(a)d sites when possible. Another day is spent at the reunion site with genealogical seminars, displays of family artifacts, pictures, and historical information, and just relaxing with others in attendance. Evening programs often include special music or family orientated programs. At many reunions the closing dinner features a presentation on either the local area or something Olmste(a)d. When the reunion included a Sunday, a church service was led by Olmste(a)d clergy.

1980, July 3-5 — Albion College, Albion, Michigan. Hosted by Walt & Mary Steesy. In addition to a large gathering room where memorabilia was displayed and evening events were held, the program included a motor coach day trip to Greenfield Village and Fourth-of-July fireworks at the college athletic field.

1982,  July 2-4 — Tufts College, Medford, MA, celebrating the 350th anniversary of Olmsteads in America. Chaired by Audrey Miller with assistance from Charles & Barbara Sullivan, Eleanor Parrott, Michael Olmstead and Walt Steesy. In addition to the usual display room, meals in the dining hall, business meeting, Sunday worship service, and musical programs in the evening, there were two special trips included. The first was to the site of James Olmstead’s house in Cambridge where the foundation had been uncovered as part of an archeological dig relating to an enlargement of the Boston subway system and setting back of one of the gates of Harvard University. The second was a visit to Fairstead, the former office and home of Frederick Law Olmsted and now a National Park historic site. One hundred and twenty in attendance; a booklet was issued.

1984, July 12-15 — Fredericton, New Brunswick. Hosted by Bill Olmstead and the Olmstead families of New Brunswick. An extensive display of Olmstead memorabilia had been assembled prior to the groups arrival. In the late afternoon Mura Toner, in Loyalist dress, highlighted Kings Landing in preparation for the groups visit the next day. In the evening a humorist presentation by Mayor Wilkinsa was followed by an evening of Square dancing and a sing-along. Friday the group toured Kings Landing and then a city tour and reception at city hall hosted by the mayor. Saturday morning was free for shopping of a visit to the New Brunswick Archives; in the afternoon Dawn Bremner talked about the history of the University of New Brunswick where the reunion was being held followed by a presentation by Eldon Olmstead on Loyalists. Roger & Margaret Ruth showed pictures and provided an update on Olmstead Hall in England. At the evening banquet, many members were dressed in period dress of the Loyalist; the evening closed with dancing and music. Sunday, following services, the business meeting was held and Roger Ruth told about the Olmsted Maple. The group then boarded motor coaches for the afternoon outing at Grand Lake with stops at the Scotchtown Cemetery. Following the evening buffet there was a demonstration by the Sugar Bush Cloggers followed by ventriloquist Marsha McWaid prior to round and square dancing. One Hundred Twenty-three in attendance; a booklet was issued.

1986, July 10-13 — University of Hartford, CT, hosted by Richard Olmsted of Norwalk, CT. About 100 in attendance.

1988, June 23-26 — Glendon College, Toronto, Ontario. Hosted by Robert & Marilyn Jackson, Albert & Esther Olmstead, and Robert & Marion Omstead. The reunion opened with the President’s Reception Thursday evening. The reunion program Friday opened with presentations on Western Migration Trails and a talk on Heraldry followed by an afternoon tour by bus and boat of the city and islands while the evening dinner was followed by entertainment. Saturday morning a business meeting , raffle, group photo, a video presentation of the 1986 reunion, and sides of Olmstead Hall in England all were squeezed in before lunch. In the afternoon a bus trip to Cullen Gardens and banquet in the Gardens Restaurant finished the day. Sunday worship service were held before everyone headed for home. One hundred attended; a booklet was issued.

1993, July 29 – Aug 1 — Carberry, Manitoba. Hosted by the Olmstead families of Manitoba. About 200 attended. Activities, workshops, displays, etc. were held at the Carberry School; meals and entertainment was at the United Church Hall two blocks away. Thursday evening music was provided by “Wine & Roses.” Friday a farm tour including a chicken barbecue at Neil & Merle Olmstead’s farm; Joe Barber lead a genealogy workshop on the Jabez line in the afternoon and following evening dinner the group was entertained by the Prairie Oasis Cloggers from nearby Brandon followed by a magic show by Brian Glow. Saturday morning was devoted to a business meeting and election followed by an interesting talk on genealogy by Walt Steesy; a number of activities filled the afternoon including a visit to the local cemetery and an expanded display of memorabilia and photos followed by dinner at the church hall. Church services were held Sunday forenoon followed by the closing luncheon before everyone head home. Booklet issued.

1995, Sept 28 – Oct 1 — Asheville, NC, hosted by Audrey & Ken Miller. One day motor coach tour included a visit to Cradle of Forestry with a staff presentation on FLO’s influence on preserving the forests of Western North Carolina and to the NC Arboretum. On another day the highlight of the reunion was a visit to Biltmore where we dedicated an Olmsted Maple in the afternoon and then joined the “Biltmore Family” (about 1000 employees and their families) for a special evening catered pulled pork Bar-B-Q followed by the 100th anniversary celebration where we were welcomed with reserved seating in the front rows. The evening concert by the Asheville Symphony Orchestra concluding with the 1812 Overture and fireworks. Ridgecrest Conference Center was the site for the reunion meals, presentations, workshops, and evening entertainment.  Ninety-one attended; a booklet was issued.

1997, Sept 25-28 — Chautauqua, NY, hosted by Esther Olmstead. The reunion was held at the famous Chautauqua Institute with the majority of the activities held in Bellinger Hall. Thursday evening the opening dinner was held in the Athenaeum Hotel, over looking the lake at Sunset, followed by the Presidents Reception and get acquainted party.
   Friday morning there was genealogy panel and a workshop on connecting to the James & Richard line. In the afternoon a presentation on Polycystic Kidney, a genetic condition suffered by some Olmstead families. During the officers meeting, videos were shown on the Biltmore Estate and Olmstead Hall. The evening was free for small group gatherings, visiting the memorabilia room, or just strolling the Institute grounds on this late summer day.
   Saturday morning, historian Greg Kinal presented “Ten Ways to Lighten Up Your Family Tree.” Following a light lunch, there was a historical walking tour of the Institute’s grounds including the history of many of the cottages there. After dinner speaker David Miller’s “Presentations in Pastel” was well received.
   Following breakfast the OFA held their general business meeting. A family church service preceded the closing luncheon.

1999, Sept 9-12 — Chautauqua, NY, hosted by Esther Olmstead.

2001, June 21-24 — Chicago, IL, hosted by Bob & Robyn Miller.

2003, Aug 14-17 — Fredericton, NB, hosted by the family of Helen & Jim Page.

2010, — Rochester, NY hosted by Walt & Mary Steesy

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Place by the Elms © Walt Steesy, 2007
Last Updated 11 May 2009

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