Please plan to join us for this year’s annual meeting the weekend of October 19-21, 2018. Our weekend will be based at the Fort Magruder Hotel and Conference Center, 6945 Pocahontas Trail, in Williamsburg VA 23185. The hotel has offered the Society a special group rate of $109.00 per night. With the 12 percent state tax and a $2.00 occupancy tax, the total will be $122.08 per night. The hotel rate is applicable for two nights prior to our weekend and two nights after, for those who may want to spend more time in the area. A complimentary continental breakfast will be included because the hotel is under renovations; if renovations are complete by the time of our visit, there will be a charge for breakfast. For your convenience a list of local places for breakfast will be included in your welcome packets when you arrive for the weekend.
All rooms include complimentary parking, Wi-Fi, mini-refrigerator, coffee-maker with teas and coffees, hair dryer, and iron with ironing board. The hotel also has an ATM, business center, dry cleaning service, 24-hour access fitness center, heated indoor pool, and guest laundry facility.
Please make your hotel reservation directly with the hotel by September 19, 2018, at 757-220-2250, Info@fortmagruderhotel.com, or via the hotel’s webpage. Please remember to ask for the Fontaine Maury Society group rate!
Our first event will be our business meeting on Friday night, October 19, at 7:00 pm in the Petersburg conference room in our hotel, after dinner on your own. That day will be a busy one in Yorktown as it will be the annual Yorktown Day celebration, commemorating the British surrender at Yorktown. You may want to come early for our weekend to enjoy those festivities that include a number of activities that morning. A separate posting follows with the list of activities that day, October 19.
We have a special treat for Friday afternoon for those of you who arrive early! The Swem Library, the Special Collections at the College of William & Mary, will host an Open House for us from 2-4 pm where they will have a number of original Fontaine and Maury family documents on display as well as original letters from Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, John Marshall, John Tyler, and George Washington, and Marquis de Lafayette.
The Special Collections Library is on the first floor of the Swem Library located at 400 Landrum Drive in Williamsburg, 23185. When you arrive at the library, press the buzzer to gain entrance and tell them that you are there for the Special Collections Open House. The library is about 2.5 miles from our hotel; parking is limited to a small number of metered parking spaces behind the library and in front of the nearby Muscarelle Museum of Art whose address is 603 Jamestown Road. There are a few handicapped parking spaces behind the library with entrance at Loading Dock #1. There are downloadable maps at the bottom of the William & Mary webpage. Uber, Lift and taxi services are available.
We will have an all-day tour on Saturday, October 20, from 9 am to 4:30 pm. We will first go to the Yorktown Visitors Center for a 15 minute film, a visit to the museum, and part of the battlefield grounds. From there we will go to Grace Church where the Reverend Francis Fontaine was rector from 1722 until his death in 1749. He is believed to be buried in the graveyard there. A docent will give us a short talk followed by a tour, then we will have a boxed lunch there.
After lunch we will tour part of the Yorktown battlefield – Moore House where the 1781 surrender terms were discussed, the surrender field itself, and the French artillery battery. We will also witness a special reenactment of a British unit firing artillery. From there we will go to the Custom House in downtown Yorktown. Built around l720, it was the clearing house for processing immigrants arriving in Yorktown. James Fontaine, his wife, and daughter landed in Yorktown in October 1717. The house is owned and operated by the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. They will provide us a talk on the immigrant experience in those early days which would be applicable to all five Fontaine siblings and their families who arrived at various ports in the area. We will be divided into groups in order to tour the house.
We will return to the hotel by 4:30 pm and reconvene at 6:30 pm in the Petersburg conference room in the hotel for our annual dinner. Our keynote speaker will be the director of the Special Collections at the College of William & Mary who will discuss the university’s extraordinary Fontaine and Maury holdings in their Special Collections. His talk will include a presentation showing images from the collection and the university’s on-going digitation program.
A registration form is included; please print and send your completed form, with a check or money order made payable to “The Fontaine Maury Society” to the address listed by September 19, 2018. Please come for what will be a very interesting weekend!