|Minnie (Hawks) Barber pictured center with her eight adult children.|
It was this family history that gave rise to the annual Lumpkins Barber family reunion at Webster State Park. Over the years, the reunion was routinely featured in Plainville's society pages.
However, as the years passed and Minnie's own children began to pass away, the number of attendees started to dwindle. In recent years, the reunion nearly ceased. A few family members would meet at a local steakhouse and reminisce. But the days of hundreds of cousins reconnecting seemed a thing of the past.
This year, I was eager to see if I could rekindle the reunion experience that seemed lost.
In January, I reserved a site at Webster State Park. I next turned to social media, creating a Facebook event invitation that invited all of the family who were members of our online Lumpkins Barber Facebook group to a Memorial Day weekend potluck lunch.
I sent regular reminders to make sure the reunion stayed on everyone's radar. I even brought Grandma Barber into the mix, hoping she would be a compelling saleswoman for the reunion.
Would they show?
Happily, the ancestors looked very favorably on our revived reunion. It was a huge success. The weather forecast calling for a 60% chance of rain gave way to warm sunshine. Attendance was remarkably robust with 100 people from across the US showing up to reconnect and remember. There was a fantastic energy and a strong interest in ensuring that the reunions continued.
|2016 Lumpkins Barber Family Reunion|