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2017 Annual Meeting

June 8th to June 11th


 Registration Deadline is Monday, May 8th, 2017


             As many of you know, our 2017 annual meeting will be in Bethlehem, PA and Easton, PA at Lafayette College from June 8th to 11th.  This will be an exciting gathering as we have put together an itinerary chock full of Lafayette-related sites, exclusive tours, informative speakers, great food and a twist!!!

  Per usual, we have scheduled a touring day on Friday, visiting three very interesting Lafayette-related sites...

      On July 23, 1825, braving a heat wave which sent the temperature soaring to 104 degrees, Lafayette visited the newly expanded Philadelphia water system. Known as the Fairmount Water Works, the system was an engineering marvel and the wonder of our young country.  We will be given a private, historical tour that highlights what Lafayette saw when he visited these waterworks.

  1. Lafayette also visited Eastern State Penitentiary during this time.  Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world.  Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world's first true penitentiary.  We will be given a private, historical tour that highlights what Lafayette saw when he visited the penitentiary.
  2. Our final stop on Friday is Girard College, a unique educational institution created by the bequest of Stephen Girard (1750-1831), a French immigrant and quite possibly the richest man in America at the time of his death. (Girard was a member of Lafayette's Philadelphia welcoming committee in 1824.) We will tour Founder's Hall, built 1833-1847, one of the largest and finest examples of Greek revival architecture in America. In addition to the building, we will see the Stephen Girard Collection of furniture, silver, paintings, ceramics, and textiles, as well as the Girardiana Collection of materials documenting the history of Girard College, 1848 to the present.

             On Saturday, we will breakfast at Allan P. Kirby's Chateau Chavaniac, just north of the Lafayette campus.  This 1930s-era structure was built to resemble Lafayette's birthplace.  We will then conduct our business meeting at the lovely Skillman Library at Lafayette College.  We will lunch at the library and then...

             Our "twist" this year is to provide a more social, interactive and scholarly afternoon on Saturday.  We have three speakers lined up who will provide new insights about Lafayette.  The talks will be informal with time for audience interaction.  We will also have a chance to peruse the Special Collections, chock full of Lafayette artifacts. Dinner that evening will be in the Wilson Room of the Alumni Center of Lafayette College, which has a striking rendering of General Lafayette in stained glass.  Spending the whole day at the college will allow members to socialize, study and relax without interruption.

            Our official hotel for this weekend is the Historic Hotel Bethlehem (437 Main St, Bethlehem, PA 18018).  This will be our first annual meeting where the hotel is part of the meeting experience.  This lovely hotel situated on "Main Street USA" has hosted the likes of Winston Churchill, Amelia Earhart, Muhammad Ali, Bob Hope and the Dalai Lama.  Many presidents have stayed at the Historic Hotel Bethlehem, including Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, John  Kennedy and Bill Clinton.

             The Hotel is located in a designated National Register Historic District in Pennsylvania. This district encompasses a Top 10 USA Today Main Street adjacent to the residential historic homes from the 18th and 19th century as well as Historic Moravian Bethlehem.  In 2016 Historic Moravian Bethlehem was nominated to the US tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Site Designation.  All this iconic history is right outside the hotel's front door.

             Also on Main Street in Bethlehem you will find a plethora of wonderful shopping opportunities to include the Moravian Book Store operating since 1745.  There are also dozens of eating establishments on Main Street for dinner Thursday night.  I'll send more details in May.  

             The Historic Hotel Bethlehem will be where we hold our welcome reception Thursday evening, our breakfast Friday morning and out banquet Friday evening.  This will also be where our motor coaches load and unload.  We've negotiated a discounted rate for our members at this elegant hotel of $159 per night (Thursday & Friday) and $179 per night (Saturday). 

             In case you are looking for more economical accommodations we've also negotiated a rate at the Hyatt Place Bethlehem of $119 per night (all three).  The Hyatt Place Bethlehem is located at 45 W North St, Bethlehem, PA 18018 (five blocks away from the Historic Hotel Bethlehem).  

             Our hope is that members will stay all three nights (Thursday, Friday & Saturday) as we have many activities planned (well into Sunday afternoon - see details below).  


To reserve your rooms you must mention the American Friends of Lafayette at either ...

·         Historic Hotel Bethlehem 610-625-5000

·         Hyatt Place Bethlehem at 610-625-0500 or https://bethlehem.place.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html?corp_id=G-AFLA

Hotels are holding rooms until May 9th.

 As of right now, our itinerary looks like this...

  • Thursday, June 8th
    • 4:00 pm - Walking tour of Old Moravian Bethlehem (meet in Lobby of the Hotel Bethlehem).  For early arrivals on Thursday (repeated 8:00 am Saturday Morning).  Sites include Sun Inn, God’s Acre, Church Street buildings, Old Chapel & Central Moravian Church.
    • 7:00 pm - Welcome Reception in the Mural Ballroom of the Historic Hotel Bethlehem.  We will have a few speakers...
      • Paul Peucker, Archivist of the Northern Province of the Moravian Church will give a talk about what Bethlehem was like when Lafayette was here in 1777.
      • Jeffrey Finegan (author) and Preston Hindmarch (illustrator) will give a talk about their new book on Washington told from the perspective of Lafayette (copies for sale and signing).
      • Refreshments will be served.  Camaraderie will abound.
  • Friday, June 9th
    • 6:30 am to 7:55 am - Continental breakfast with (famous !!!) Moravian sugar cake at the Historic Hotel Bethlehem's special restaurant 1741 on the Terrace.
    • 8:00 am - Board motor coaches to Philadelphia.
    • 9:30 am - Historic tour of  the Fairmount Water Works visited by Lafayette in 1825.
    • 11:00 am - Lunch at the Cosmic Cafe looking over the Schuylkill River along Boathouse Row.
    • 11:45 am - Historic Tour of Eastern State Penitentiary visited by Lafayette in 1825.
    • 2:00 pm - Tour of Girard College.
    • 4:30 pm - Return to the Historic Hotel Bethlehem via motor coach.
    • 6:00 pm - Cocktail Reception in lobby of the Historic Hotel Bethlehem.
    • 7:00 pm - Annual banquet in the Mural Ballroom of the Historic Hotel Bethlehem.
    • 8:00 pm - Our entertainment for the evening will be presented by The Ladies of History, performing a one act play starring Adrienne Lafayette and her "lady in waiting."
  • Saturday, June 10th
    • 8:00 am - Walking tour of Old Moravian Bethlehem (meet in Lobby of the Historic Hotel Bethlehem).  Sites include Sun Inn, God’s Acre, Church Street buildings, Old Chapel & Central Moravian Church, (same as the Thursday afternoon tour).
    • 9:30 am - Leave the Historic Hotel Bethlehem via bus and car to the Kirby Chateau Chavaniac for breakfast.
    • 11:00 am - Buses and cars leave the Kirby Chateau Chavaniac for Lafayette College.
    • 11:15 am - Business Meeting Skillman Library, Lafayette College.
    • 1:00 pm - Lunch at Skillman Library, Lafayette College.
    • 2:00 pm – Three speaking sessions with opportunities between each for visits to Special Collections in Skillman Library...
      • Jean-Pierre Cap, Lafayette: questions new and old
      • Rachel Engel, Friendship and camaraderie in the Continental Army with special focus on Lafayette.
      • Julien Icher, Lafayette's travels in New England 1824-1825
    • 5:15 pm - Group photograph with the Daniel Chester French sculpture of  Lafayette.
    • 5:30 pm - Reception with an exhibition of Lafayette portraits and history paintings featuring Lafayette in Williams Center Gallery at Lafayette College.
    • 6:30 pm - Buffet dinner in the Wilson Room at Lafayette College.
      • Talk by Jeff Finegan on the death of Washington.
    • 8:30 pm - Buses and cars back to the Historic Hotel Bethlehem.
  • Sunday (Optional) June 11th
    • 9:30 am Brunch with Barb (and Phil).
      • Barb and Phil Schroeder home will open their home to us for our farewell event  (30 minutes from the Hotel Bethlehem, by way of Routes 22 East and 33 North).
      • There will be an opportunity to visit the neighboring Jacobsburg Historic Site, which includes the Pennsylvania Longrifle Museum, and the 1832 John Joseph Henry home. John Joseph Henry was a member of the third of five generations of the Henry family of gun makers, who produced Pennsylvania long rifles from the 1750s through the late 1800s, first in Lancaster Pennsylvania and later in Philadelphia and Nazareth PA. The Henry home, in the style of a Philadelphia townhouse, was occupied by five generations of the Henry family from 1832 through the 1980s and contains original furnishings.
      • See www.jacobsburghistory.com/society-collections/john-joseph-henry-house/ and www.jacobsburghistory.com/society-collections/pennsylvania-longrifle-museum/ for more information.
      • The Schroeders’ home is located at 394 Henry Road, Nazareth, PA, on the corner of Henry Road and Schoeneck Ave. Their driveway is on Schoeneck Ave (set your GPS for 675 Schoeneck Ave, Nazareth PA 18064); additional parking will be available across Schoeneck Ave., behind the white barn with the red roof. The Schroeders’ telephone number is 610-759-0551.
      • This event will have a separate registration fee of $10...includes brunch and entry fee to historic sites.  There will be no bus transportation for this event.
      • Historical tours will take place between 10:30am to 12:00pm

            The registration fee for the weekend will be $200 per person.  This includes six meals, motor coach transportation Friday and bus shuttles Saturday.  The registration fee also covers entry fees for all three stops Friday and our entire day at Lafayette College on Saturday. Click here to open registration form.

Questions? email us: americanfriendsoflafayette@gmail.com

Copyright The American Friends of Lafayette 2016.

"The American Friends of Lafayette" is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Farinon Center-  PO Box 9463 Lafayette College  Easton, PA 18042- 1798

email: americanfriendsoflafayette@gmail.com

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