On Saturday, July 15, 2017 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, the Germanna Foundation will be holding its annual Historical Conference at the Germanna Community College Daniel Technology Center located at 18121 Technology Drive in Culpeper, VA.
There will be many vendors at the conference focused on area history, books, historical memorabilia, clubs/organizations, parks, and much more. If you would like to be a vendor, or would like to be a sponsor of a speaker, please contact us. Over 200 people from all over the country who are members of the Germanna Foundation or have an interest in Germanna, history and genealogy will be in attendance
Everyone is invited to attend (not just Germanna members), especially those from the community and anyone who has an interest in history, archaeology and genealogy. The cost to attend is $55 per person which includes a boxed lunch. Registration deadline is July 8.
If you have children of the ages of 6 to 14 years old, there will be a Kids Colonial Camp for them to enjoy while you attend the conference. And stay for a special banquet/auction the Germanna Foundation is hosting at the Daniel Technology Center beginning at 6 pm. These two events have additional costs and more information is below.
8:30 am: Start the day with coffee & donuts, socialize and shop in the Vendor Hall.
Presenting Germanna Record #21: The First Four Generations of the Willheit Family
Speaker: Cathi Clore Frost
Unveiling the newest Germanna Foundation publication. Copies will be available for purchase.
Speaker: John Blankenbaker
Information lecture covering the basics of Germanna Colony history. Why did these groups of Germans settle in Virginia? Where did they live during their indenture period? Why didn’t the two colonies settle permanently in the same area? This presentation will answer these questions and more.
Germanna Archaeology – An Update on the Search for Fort Germanna
Speaker: Eric Larsen, PhD, Germanna Foundation Archaeologist
The Germanna Foundation took over stewardship of the Enchanted Castle Site at the end of 2013. Since that time, the Foundation has worked to stabilize and protect the remnants of Alexander Spotswood’s piedmont mansion. At the same time, they have begun building a new archaeology program to reopen archaeological research at the site. Over the 2016 summer, Germanna Archaeology undertook the first season of excavations at the site in more than twenty years. The initial goal was to find more of a linear feature first identified in 1993. The feature, known as the palisade trench, is believed to have been part of the wooden palisade wall for the 1714 Fort Germanna. We have begun efforts to better define this feature on the greater landscape. If successful, archaeology can then begin to better target the Fort’s central blockhouse and the individual dwellings of the First Germanna Colonists. In the course of pushing archaeology beyond the foundations of Spotswood’s “Enchanted Castle,” we begin to expand the archaeological connections with the greater story of Germanna.
Documents Used to Identify the Second Colonists
Speaker: Cathi Clore Frost
How do we know who were members of the Second Germanna Colony? Are your ancestors among this group? Explore records from Germany and Virginia used to document the seventy-odd or eighty Germans who sailed on the Scott with Captain Tarbett for “Pennsylvania.”
Germanna Murder Mystery: The German Assassin Who Died Defending Robert E. Lee
Speaker: Ann Marie Ackermann
From the depths of German and American archives comes a story one soldier never wanted told. The first volunteer killed defending Robert E. Lee’s position in battle was really a German assassin. Lee wrote a letter home praising that soldier, not knowing his background. That man’s identity has been a mystery to American historians, only to have been recently unraveled.
That same soldier assassinated the mayor of Bönnigheim, Germany in 1835. It became 19th-century Germany’s coldest case ever solved — and the only case ever solved in the United States. Thirty-seven years after the case went cold, a Bönnigheim immigrant to America found evidence in Washington, D.C. and forwarded it to Germany. The German prosecutor corroborated the story and closed the case files in 1872, naming Lee’s defender as the murderer.
The assassin, who hailed from Stetten am Heuchelberg, fled to Philadelphia shortly after the murder, where he joined an all-German company of volunteers in the Mexican-American War. At the Siege of Veracruz, Robert E. Lee and the assassin had their fateful encounter.
The roles the volunteer and Robert E. Lee, a descendant of Alexander Spotswood, played at the Siege of Veracruz are part of American history, and the record-breaking, 19th-century cold case is part of German history. This presentation will combine the two stories in a historical true crime tale the Germanna Foundation can claim as part of its heritage.
Second Germanna Colonist Conrad Amberger emigrated from Bönnigheim and the Hold/Holt family from Stetten am Heuchelberg.
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While you attend the conference:
Kids Colonial Camp (ages 6-14)
8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Brawdus Martin Fort Germanna Visitor Center
2062 Germanna Hwy (Route 3), Locust Grove, VA
Drop your children or grandchildren ages 6-14 off at the Fort Germanna Visitor Center for a fun day of activities provided by the staff of Camp Flintlock. Kids will spend the day participating in Colonial games and other period activities. A short German lesson with performance scheduled during the Banquet this evening is also on the agenda. Camp Flintlock will provide a Colonial Store where you and your children may shop for souvenirs at the end of the session. Please dress your children appropriately for the weather in clothes and closed toe shoes that may get dirty. A waiver form must be signed upon drop off in the morning if not completed before. Prompt pick-up at the end of the session is expected.
Cost: $55 per child
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Stay for the Germanna Foundation Banquet and Auction:
Germanna Foundation Banquet & Fundraising Auction
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Germanna Community College Daniel Technology Center
18121 Technology Drive, Culpeper, VA
Return to the Daniel Center where we have plenty of room for the main social event of the reunion weekend. Start off the evening mingling and bidding on silent auction items during the cocktail hour. Purchase a bottle of “White Elephant Wine” to share with your table and a souvenir bottle of special label wine from Prince Michel to take home. Enjoy a tempting semi-formal dinner prepared by our favorite caterers, Shawn’s BBQ and Kitchen Gourmet. There will be plenty of time to sneak over and make sure no one has outbid you in the silent auction. Following dessert, we will have a short entertainment by the children who attended Colonial Camp earlier in the day and the opportunity to bid on a variety of items during the live auction.
Cost: $55 per adult; $40 per child
Auction and Wine Donations Needed: Please help make our annual event a success by donating items. We are in need of bottles of wine for a “White Elephant Wine” sale, consider donating a bottle of local wine from your region. Gift certificates as well as themed baskets have been popular auction items in the past. Do you own a vacation home, time share or live somewhere fun? Donation of stays in interesting places also make great auction items. Please submit all donations by July 10 for inclusion in the auction booklet. If items cannot be mailed or dropped off at the Germanna Foundation office in advance, contact us by the above date would be appreciated and ensure inclusion.
Banquet Sponsorship: Businesses, consider becoming a banquet sponsor! Various sponsorship levels start with Explorer ($500), Ranger ($1,717 – in honor of the 300th anniversary of the arrival of the Second Colony to Fort Germanna in 1717), Scout ($5,00) and Pioneer ($10,000). Contact the Germanna Foundation for more information.
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To register for one or more of these events, call the Germanna Foundation office at 540-423-1700 or fill out this online registration/payment form. The other activities/events on this registration form is for the multi-day Germanna Reunion. You are more than welcome to sign up to attend those also! Click here for more information.
Mail-in Registration Form: Mail in this form with your check: Germanna 2017 Reunion/Conference Registration Form (pdf)
Online Registration/Payment Form
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