Upcoming 2023 Annual Meeting

Staunton, Virginia


Display Table

Shenandoah Valley ! May 17 -20th 2023

Photo courtesy of Radford Wine/Pixabay

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 17-20, 2023, and our hotel venue is the historic Hotel 24 South (formally the Stonewall Jackson) in downtown Staunton, Virginia. The hotel meeting rate is $139.00 per night plus state and local taxes. This rate is good 1 day before and after the meeting. It is advisable to make reservations early as we expect our room block to fill up fast-the reservation line is 866-880-0024 or you can go directly to reservations online. 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 included free time and meals on your own so that you can explore the city, its historic sites, restaurants and all that it offers.

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 home 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!

Hotel 24

Wednesday - Day 1

Our meeting registration begins on Wednesday, May 17th 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; we hope that this will not impact too many participants; there is a small elevator available to bring things up and we may be able to supply a table.

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 MuseumTrinity 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 CollectionNatural Bridge State ParkThe 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 Shenandoah Valley Tourism Guide. We will have more updates soon, so stay tuned!

Monticello in the Spring

Thursday - Day 2

On Thursday, after enjoying a buffet breakfast in the hotel we will travel on our own by car (carpooling advised-it is a 50-60 minute trip) to President Thomas Jefferson’s mountain top home near Charlottesville. We must arrive by 9:15 as the tours are carefully timed. 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 staff. At noon we will enjoy a box lunch and then switch groups for the afternoon tours and presentations. Dinner is on your own followed by the Ice Cream Social and Whatsits session in the lobby and ballroom of the hotel.

Museum of Frontier Culture

Friday - Day 3

On Friday, 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 would like to catch up and talk tools, trades and crafts, there will be an opportunity to meet in the ball room just off the hotel lobby. There will be no live auction this year.

Museum of Frontier Culture

saturday - Day 4

On Saturday May 20th , 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 well.  From 10-3 there will be presentations in the museum lecture hall. Former EAIA President Denise Richer will tell all about Shaker Seeds; Jeffrey S. Evans will make a presentation on Shenandoah Valley furniture; Dr. Carole Nash will talk about “Native American life in the Shenandoah Valley;” Byron Smith will talk about “Virginia Freight Wagons of the Newtown School; A research update,” and Dan Miller   “The Carpentered Canoe: The Rise and Decline of the Wooden Canoe Factory in North America”

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 open the doors of their factory back in Staunton for informal tours. 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, Retired Senior Furniture Conservator at the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Materials Research and Education.

Come and join us for this wonderful 2023 EAIA Annual Meeting! Register today and join us on Wednesday May 17th thru Saturday May 20th, for a wonderful EAIA experience!