Site Visit – Colonial Williamsburg

It’s always a treat to be able to explore the grounds of Colonial Williamsburg – there’s so much to see!

A somewhat new annual tradition (relatively speaking) is the annual plowing match.  Ed Schultz had a great crew on hand to help those folks who wanted to participate:

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The highlight of the day for me was being able to get up on the roof of the Governor’s Mansion – it had a fantastic view!!

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And the day ended with the annual event also known as “the auction”, one of the major fundraisers for the organization each year.




More sessions on tap tomorrow!

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Pre conference workshops, seeing the alhfamily again

A great day of learning and seeing new things and old friends.

For me (Derrick), one of the great things about the annual get together is the site visits and  workshops on the day before the “official” conference starts.  For me, I went along on the Civil War tour with two outstanding guides in Willie and Carson – both passionate advocates for the subject matter!

After a day of visiting places like Ft. Monroe and the Maritime Museum, we had a guided tour through Colonial Williamsburg, but with an eye towards what happened during the Civil War.

It brought some interesting food for thought to the table… what do you do when you have several hundred years of history to interpret?  How do you handle the timeline at your own sites?  Speaking for myself, it’s definitely changed the way I’ll look at Colonial Williamsburg into the future and I’m really pleased I was able to learn some great information today!

Tonight’s opening reception @ Salted, Smoked and Pickled saw us eat some great local BBQ as well as sample treats from across the alhfamily and as always, was a chance to catch up with friends who you haven’t seen in awhile and meet new ones!IMG_2048 IMG_2050 IMG_2051 IMG_2052 IMG_2053 IMG_2054 IMG_2059 IMG_2063

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And…… We’re off! 2015 Annual gathering begins.

It has been a few years since the ALHFAM annual meeting has been held at Colonial Williamsburg but the 2015 edition formally starts today with site visits and pre conference workshops.  We’ll be updating as time allows!

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ALHFAM 2015 Annual Meeting & Conference Preliminary Program and Registration

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I am very happy to let everyone know that the preliminary program and registration
for the 2015 ALHFAM Annual Meeting in Williamsburg is now available via the ALHFAM

Please note the following:

1. The program is subject to change in terms of when specific sessions take place. We are still making adjustments to the schedule. We will not have more detailed descriptions of
the sessions for several weeks as we need to contact presenters to make sure that their descriptions are still current.

2. Daily registration is available at $150/day. There are some restrictions connected with daily registration, so be sure to read the information carefully.

3. We will have the full-day workshop with the Virginia Association of Museums that is described in the program, but registration will be made separate from conference registration. This is due to technical issues, and once that function is set up, I will let everyone know.

4. Once you have finished registering and have completed the process, you cannot go back into the website and make changes. You must call William and Mary Conference Services to make any changes or adjustments.

5. If you have any questions or concerns, please send them to the conference e-mail address, which I check daily. It is

6. You must be an ALHFAM member to register at the member rate. If you are not a member, go to and become a member now!

We look forward to seeing you in June!

Martha Katz-Hyman
Program Chair
2015 ALHFAM Annual Meeting and Conference
ALHFAM – 2015 Colonial Willamsburg

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Apply Now for the ALHFAM Fellowship for the Annual Meeting!

If you need financial help in attending this year’s ALHFAM Annual Meeting and Conference in Williamsburg, why not apply for the ALHFAM Fellowship!

Eligible candidates must meet ALL of the following qualifications:

  • you or your institution are a member of ALHFAM
  • you have not received a fellowship to an ALHFAM conference in the last five years

Fellowships for the 2015 ALHFAM National Conference being held June 19-23 at Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA will cover conference registration (early-bird member rate) and provide funds to cover lodging at the conference site.  The deadline for application is March 1, 2015.

Application Guidelines Flyer

Questions? Contact ALHFAM Fellowship Committee chair Lauren McCormack.

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2015 Annual Meeting Preview!

In response to many requests, here are preliminary details of the annual meeting so that you can plan now to be in Williamsburg, Virginia, this coming June!

We are working to get registration information up on the conference website by mid-February. There will be no registration booklet this year but each registrant will get the final program booklet, location details, etc., when they check in. Don’t worry: there will be many announcements when the website is live, and there will be a link on the ALHFAM home page to the registration page. There will be a postcard sent to each member with information on how to register.

Housing will be at The College of William & Mary. If registrants don’t want to stay there, there are many, many hotels and motels in the area at all price points, but there will not be a block of rooms reserved for meeting attendees.

Full conference registration is $425, which includes all conference meals and site visits. Rooms at William and Mary will be $48/night single and $37/night double. There will be an additional $15 one-time linen fee. All rooms have WiFi. Housing details will be on the conference website, including what will be in each room and what you might want to bring to make your stay more comfortable.

We welcome those who offer products to the museum and living history communities, and we’re planning special ways to encourage attendees to visit you. If you are interested in being a vendor, please contact Jonathan Hallman at for details.

The pre-conference/professional workshops and field trips will be Friday, June 19th, with the exception of the Farmers Boot Camp, which will be Thursday and Friday, June 18-19.

Four pre-conference field trips or tours are planned. All of them will have minimums and maximums, and all will have fees in addition to the conference registration. This information will be on the conference website. Here are short descriptions of each of them:
1. Peninsula Civil War Tour that includes visits to Fort Monroe, the Mariners Museum (see the Monitor turret!) and the Battle of Williamsburg.

2. Gloucester County Architecture Archaeology Tour that includes Rosewell, Fairfield and Werowocomoco, the residence of the paramount chief Powhatan, father of Pocohontas, and center of the Powhatan chiefdom during the early 1600s. The site is owned privately and will be available to us by special arrangement.

3. Southside Virginia Rural Life Tour in Surry County that includes visits to Bacon’s Castle (the only surviving High Jacobean structure and the oldest brick dwelling in the United States), Smith’s Fort Plantation (both owned by Preservation Virginia) and Chippokes Plantation State Park, which has a great collection of agricultural equipment and agricultural machinery. The trip will include a ferry ride across the James River.

4. Behind the Scenes Tour of the Wallace Collections and Conservation Building, part of  the Bruton Heights Educational Center at Colonial Williamsburg. This will be a special tour for ALHFAM only and not one of the regular tours of the Bruton Heights complex offered for CW visitors.

The Program Committee is still working on the selection of the workshops. We anticipate making those decisions by the end of this month. However, I can tell you that we are working on a full-day workshop for administrators focusing how to make the transition from an all-volunteer organization to one that has paid staff smother, and to helping board members transition from being an operational board (that is, one that does all of the work) to a being governing board (one that sets policy, etc.). We are doing this in cooperation with the Virginia Association of Museums, who will be facilitating the workshop.

The opening reception will be at Colonial Williamsburg’s Coach and Livestock facility–you won’t want to miss it!

Brief schedule:

Saturday, June 20th: Sessions at William & Mary; annual business meeting; Town Hall meeting; evening program (TBD)

Sunday, June 21st: Colonial Williamsburg site visit day. There will be special programs, demonstrations, etc., that will be advertised only to meeting attendees but will be available to regular visitors (as we had last year in Calgary), and some that will be only for ALHFAM. The plowing match is planned for this day. Sunday evening: Auction!! Plan now to bring great stuff and to buy, buy, buy! All proceeds go to ALHFAM’s Fellowship Fund.

Monday, June 22nd: Sessions at William & Mary; Presidential Banquet & Fashion Show

Tuesday, June 23rd: Yorktown & Jamestown site visit day. We’ll spend the morning in Yorktown, with visits to the NPS Yorktown Battlefield and to the Yorktown Victory Center (soon to be the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown). We’ll travel down the Colonial Parkway to Jamestown, with box lunches at Historic Jamestowne, and special tours of the excavations, collections, etc. Mid-afternoon we’ll go to the nearby Jamestown Settlement, with visits to the museum and outdoor interpretive areas as well as Town Ball. That evening, we’ll party on the pier overlooking the James River as the sun sets!!

If you have questions, please send them to me at; I’ll be happy to answer them.

We look forward to seeing you in Williamsburg in June!

Martha Katz-Hyman
Program Chair
2015 ALHFAM Annual Meeting

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Call for Papers, 2015 ALHFAM Annual Meeting

The deadline for proposals for the 2015 ALHFAM Annual Meeting is fast approaching!

Proposals may address any facet of living history or museum work, but those with a special emphasis within the general conference theme of “Doing & Telling: A Living History Toolbox” will be given preference.

The call for papers is available on the ALHFAM website.,117,384

The proposal form this year is a PDF that you can fill in, save, and then e-mail to us at

Proposals are due December 1, 2014.

We look forward to seeing you June 19-23, 2015, in Williamsburg!

Martha Katz-Hyman
Program Committee Chair
2015 ALHFAM Annual Meeting & Conference
Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums
An organization of people who bring history to life

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