Our next reunion in 2022 will be in New England. Somewhere in the Salem area. Date and exact location TBD soon. While doing their homework, the Reunion Committee noticed that the Henry Luther Sheldon Museum in Middlebury, Vermont, is undergoing renovations and is soliciting tax-deductible donations.
I have asked, and the Board has agreed to have SFA pledge $1000 to the Museum. SFA will also guarantee any shortfall of SFA member donations up to another $1000. Two Board members, I, being one of them, have pledged $100 each, so $800 to go. The $2000 will help replace ten windows on an entire floor of the museum, and SFA will be recognized for its contributions.
So, what, and where is this place? This museum is the oldest chartered community history museum in the USA, having been founded in 1870. Henry Luther (1821-1907) is the Great X3 grandson of Isaac (S5). He began his collection procuring roman coins with the funds he made when he sold the coins. He then went on to collect art and local artifacts. His home and belongings are still a part of the growing collection of Sheldon memorabilia and local historical artifacts from the Middlebury, Vermont area. You can learn more about it at https://www.henrysheldonmuseum.org/. The museum also retains Sheldon records from the area in its library.
But there is another important reason for the SFA donation. The collaboration and history of SFA are very intertwined with this museum. A brief review shows that SFA has had numerous annual meetings there. I found minutes for one meeting dating back to 17 Aug 1949. Other meetings in 1958, 1984, and a solicitation of the SFA members for the museum when it renovated in 1990. SFA itself was also a regular contributor to it for many years. Today it is a viable and beautiful museum with a small garden in the center of town. It is worth a visit, as I did briefly this past summer. SFA says thank you for your dues – thus making us able to do things like this. It is not only about Ancestry trees but also about preserving history, recognizing the contributions made by Sheldon cousins, and keeping regional history alive.
I should also add that SFA makes other contributions. We donated to the Sheldon Theatre in St. Louis a few years ago to support the arts program, and SFA just donated another $500 to the Sheldon FTDNA project this past July bringing its total donations to $1700. These funds go toward purchasing DNA testing kits to test Sheldons in England to help discover our English roots. I am pleased to say the SFA (not including SFA members) is the most significant contributor to this effort.
So, if you can give a little, please do. Make sure to let the Museum know you are a member of SFA and let us know too. Oh! Donations to the museum are tax-deductible.
Michael B Sheldon
Sheldon Family Association