1998 Reunion


June 27, 1998
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania
By Sandra Vermilyea Todd

The second Family Reunion held in Pennsylvania took place June 27th at Wellsboro. Forty-seven family members from eleven states started arriving Thursday June 25th at the Penn Wells Hotel and Lodge. John and Sandra Todd followed by Dayl and Jennie Stout and John and Sherry Todd were the first to arrive. By Friday dinner time 14 family members enjoyed dining together at the Penn Wells Hotel dinning room. Others continued to arrive through the evening.
Saturday morning at 9:00am family members started arriving at the Wellsboro Fire Department Social Center to setup tables with display items to be viewed during the day. The reunion started at 10:00am. This year the “Family Reunion Tree” provided leaf nametags to identify the attendees. The Wellsboro Tourist Bureau provided “goody bags” containing information about the area and souvenir books from the recent Laurel Festival held there. Souvenir programs were available for everyone. Bright red caps and visors with Vermilye Family Reunion (Vermilya, Vermilye, Vermilyea, Vermilyer) as well as the date and location of the reunion were distributed. The first copies of “The Vermilye Family (Vermilya, Vermilye, Vermilyea, Vermilyer), DESCENDANTS OF JOHANNAS VERMELJE, NEW YORK, 1662 -1998” were available for purchase. Time was spent getting reacquainted with those attending last year as well as meeting new families.
A letter from Joe Vermilye, was read since he was unable to join us this year. He as well as other family members unable to attend were missed. Those not attending last year were introduced, and it was announced that plans were under way for another reunion possibly in Oregon next year. Many indicated they would like to attend.
The lovely hand-crafted display complete with dolls depicting our immigrants Johannes and Aeltje (Waldron) Vermelje was presented to Sandra by Dayl and Jennie Stout. Jennie made the display, a real treasure that will be enjoyed at future reunions. The dolls are dressed in costumes that would have been appropriate in 1662, the year Johannes and Aeltje immigrated to America. Also included in the display were miniature trunks, tools, household items, a little photo album complete with dates and pictures, and a blanket.
Lunch, which included soup, cold cuts and cheese, rolls, beverage and cookies was served at noon. A number of us enjoyed visiting the rest of the afternoon while others shopped, took a ride on the Tioga Central Railroad, or visited the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. David Kiessling brought his computers and demonstrated genealogy programs. Before dinner was served at 6:00 p. m. we gathered for the family group picture. The delicious evening meal included a lovely decorated cake.
Following dinner we were entertained by Steve, Judy, Celeste and Dennis Vermilya. They sang several selections with Steve at the keyboard and Celeste playing the flute. We all tried to join them for a couple numbers, however their outstanding talent prevailed and the evening ended on a very sweet note that left us all very proud to have such talented folks part of our family.
Olivia Endress assisted with the door prize drawing. The lovely hand decorated sweatshirt made by Jennie Stout was won by Ann Griswold. The gift packages of Colorado souvenirs brought by Joe and Madonna Vermilyea Stanovsky were won by Sherry Todd and Crystle Alford. The lovely hand painted candle holder with candle and a certificate for a one year membership in the Vermilyea Family Association was also awarded. Ed Vermilya won the Vermilyea Family Reunion tray made by John Todd Sr., with the filet crochet piece made by Sandra Vermilyea Todd proclaiming the VERMILYEA FAMILY REUNION JUNE 27, 1998, Wellsboro, PA.
As family members were leaving the Social Center they were surprised and a little startled to see a large black bear wander across the parking lot directly in front of the building. It was thought he (she?) weighed about 400 pounds. A group standing out side the building talking had a perfect view as he loped by, circled a gas station and came back by for another viewing. Since we were located right in the middle of town this seemed to be quite unbelievable. Several people took pictures, however as I write this it is unclear if they will develop clear or as a shaky blurrrrrrr!
Sunday morning, sixteen of our group enjoyed a wonderful brunch at the Penn Wells Hotel. We met in a private dinning room where we enjoyed a last visit and meal before departing. 1998 —– another Family Reunion filled with pleasant memories to be remembered with joy.
Special thanks to Ed and Mary Vermilya who made the arrangements in Wellsboro. Steve, Judy, Celeste and Dennis Vermilya for entertainment, and all of you providing door prizes and the little extras that made it so much fun for all of us.

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