The 2020 EAIA Annual Meeting is on the Horizon!
This week you will receive the annual meeting brochure and invitation to our exciting meeting in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Mid May in Virginia is a beautiful time of year, not yet summer but not spring, just a glorious green, warm and inviting time. Average temperatures vary between 65 and 75 in the day time and 55 to 65 overnight so spring and summer clothes along with a light jacket will assure your comfort.
The meeting dates are May 20-23, 2020, and our hotel venue is the historic Stonewall Jackson Hotel in downtown Staunton, Virginia. The hotel meeting rate is $139.00 per night plus state and local tax. This rate is good 2 days before and after the meeting. It is advisable to make reservation early as we expect our room block to fill up fast (the reservation line is 866-880-0024.) It is great hotel that was recently refurbished and updated to fit the needs of its guests. Located in the center of the city, the hotel is surrounded by great restaurants, pubs, shopping, museums and historic sites. We have tried to include some free time and meals on your own so that you can explore the city.
The theme of the meeting is From Forest to Farm, Tools that Tamed the Frontier. We will be learning a good deal about that theme as we explore Jefferson’s mountain top Monticello and the Virginia Museum of Frontier Culture. We look forward to member displays that illustrate the theme. Those displays will be on exhibit on Saturday, so please be sure to reserve a table for your presentation (you will see that box to checkoff on the registration brochure.)
Staunton’s name is pronounced without the “u” so when you hear its name said it sounds like “Stanton.” The reason for this pronunciation is lost to history, but suffice it to say citizens of Staunton always pronounce it “Stanton,” so that’s what we’ll do too!
Our meeting registration begins on Wednesday, May 20th at noon in the hotel lobby. This year’s tailgate sale is to be held from Noon to 5 PM on the top floor of the parking garage adjacent to the hotel. It is open and offers good views of the city; in case of rain we will use the floor below which is covered. The garage does have a height restriction so no high cube vans will be accommodated (maximum height 7’2″); we hope that this will not impact too many participants, there is a small elevator available.
Wednesday afternoon and evening is “on your own,” and we hope you will use the time to begin your exploration of the area and the vibrant downtown. Just a short walk from the hotel are many attractions of interest including : Jumbo Fire Museum, home of the oldest motorized fire engine in Virginia and the only remaining 1911 Robinson fire engine; Sunspots Glass Blowing Studio with daily demonstrations until 4 pm; Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum; the American Shakespeare Center & Blackfriars theatre; the Camera Heritage Museum; Trinity Episcopal Church and its famous Tiffany windows; African American Heritage Center at the Staunton Visitors Center. These are just some of the attractions in town. Venturing out from Staunton there are numerous places of interest including: in Lexington, the Virginia Military Institute hosts the historic Stonewall Jackson House and the VMI Museum which houses the Henry Stewart Firearms Collection; Natural Bridge State Park; The Virginia Museum of the Civil War at the New Market Battlefield park, and that is just a taste of available places to visit. For a listing of all of the attractions in the area please consult the Virginia Tourism Guide.
On Thursday, May 21st, after enjoying a buffet breakfast in the hotel we will travel on our own by car (carpooling advised-it is a 40 minute trip) to President Thomas Jefferson’s mountain top home near Charlottesville. Here we will split into two groups, one will visit the home, gardens, wings and Mulberry Row while the other will remain at the Visitor Center where they will have presentations on the restoration, furnishings, and other topics by the Monticello Joiners. At noon we will enjoy a box lunch and then switch groups for the afternoon tours and presentations. Dinner on your own followed by the Ice Cream Social and Whatsits session in the lobby and ballroom of the hotel.
On Friday May 22nd, after a buffet breakfast in the hotel, we will again travel on our own (just a few minutes away) by car to the Museum of Frontier Culture. From 9 AM to 2 PM we will have tours of the museum, artisan demonstrations by museum staff and members of the Contemporary Long Rifle Association. We’ll enjoy a box lunch in the pavilion and free time after 2 to further explore the museum or other area attractions. Dinner on your own, but for those who are interested the Brown Antique Tool Auction will have a live auction beginning at 6 PM in the hotel ballroom.
On Saturday May 23rd, we will again travel to the Museum of Frontier Culture, where the day will begin with set up for the tool sale and member displays (theme From Forest to Farm, Tools that Tamed the Frontier) in the museum pavilion. The pavilion will be open to the public as the museum celebrates “Historic Trades and Tools Day.” From 10-3 there will be presentations in the museum lecture hall. Denise Richer will tell all about Shaker Seeds at 10 am; Jeffrey Evans will make a presentation on Shenandoah Valley furniture at 11:30 am; Dr. Carole Nash will talk about “Native American life in the Shenandoah Valley at 1:15 pm; and Jeff Headley & Steve Hamilton will talk about using hand tools in the crafting of reproduction furniture at 2:15 pm. Artisan members of the Contemporary Long Rifle Association will demonstrate historic trades and artisan crafts throughout the day. EAIA members will demonstrate the use of tools to museum visitors in the courtyard (let us know if you would like to participate!) Food vendors will be on the grounds to provide a selection of foods. From 2-3:30 pm the Taylor & Boody Organ Company will provide tours of their factory back in Staunton. From 5:30 to 7 pm we will be back in the hotel lobby to enjoy a cash bar and exciting silent auction. Our annual banquet and business meeting begins at 7 pm, our dinner speaker is Don Williams, Senior Furniture Conservator at the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Materials Research and Education.
Come and join us for this wonderful 2020 EAIA Annual Meeting! Register today and join us on Wednesday May 20th thru Saturday May 23rd, 2020 for a wonderful EAIA experience!