First Junkins Family Reunion, York, ME August 25, 1990

From JFA Newsletter no. 3, Winter 1990

The first reunion of the Junkins Family Association started at daybreak with heavy rain, which continued throughout the day.

All the morning and afternoon activities had been scheduled as outdoor events. The group had been scheduled to meet at the Jefferds Tavern at the Old York Historical Society for registration and then a tour of four of the Historical Society buildings: Old Gaol, Emerson Wilcox Museum, Jefferds Tavern and ending with the Elizabeth Perkins House where a box lunch was to have been served on the beautiful lawn, which flows down to the York River. Hasty changes in the arrangements were helped by Best Western Motel, with the offer of a meeting room that could accommodate the group for the morning, giving hope that by afternoon the sun would come out and the group could visit the Junkins Garrison site and the site of the archaeological dig done the week before.

Leaving their daughter, Laurelle, and her son at the motel to greet and register reunion attendees as they arrived, Alan and Betty Junkins went to the parking lot at Jefferds Tavern. In the rain, with umbrellas and raincoats, Alan and Betty greeted each car as it arrived and directed them to the Best Western Motel. By 10:00, when they arrived back at the motel, the meeting room was full of Junkins cousins talking, drinking coffee, comparing notes and generally getting to know their new found friends.

With a TV provided by the motel and the help of Alan's camcorder, the group enjoyed an hour and forty-five minute tape of the three-day archaeological dig at the Alexander Junkins Burial Ground. Shortly after noon, the caterer arrived with box lunches.

Alan made a call to the owners of the McIntire Garrison to see if it was still OK for the group to visit the Garrison. Mr. and Mrs. Davis were more than happy to have the Junkins. When the group was asked if anyone wanted to go out in the rain to see the Garrison and the cemeteries, there as not a single person who could be held back.

With rain still coming down in sheets, 45 hearty Junkins cousins set out for the Junkins Garrison site, the Alexander Junkins Burial Ground, the McIntire Garrison, the Scotland Bridge Inn (an early 19th century Junkins farm house), and the John Junkins Cemetery. By late afternoon, most were seeking shelter from the rain and getting ready for the evening's events.

At 6:00, the family began to gather in the wine cellar at The York Harbor Inn for cocktails. At 7:30, a Yorkshire Buffet dinner was served in a private room upstairs.

After dinner, Alan Junkins thanked the group for their help in bringing a long-time dream come true by attending the first Junkins Family reunion. Introduction of the guests, Kathleen Wheeler, Historical Archaeologist and her friend, Ellen Weir, were made. Donald Junkins spoke, acknowledging the work of Alan Junkins in organizing the event and of the past 10 years and how several had had dreams of restoring the cemeteries and the garrison site. He also read several poems from his books. He presented the "Plastic Red Brush" award to Kathleen Wheeler for the many hours of work done by her at the burial site during the previous week.

Kathleen then spoke to the group about her findings at the garrison site and answered questions from the audience.

Alan Junkins asked for a motion that the Junkins Family Association be formally created. After a unanimous vote of confidence, the proper officers were nominated and voted into office. Officers: President, Alan Junkins; Vice President, Donald Junkins; Recording Secretary, Ruth Hodgin; Treasurer, David Junkins; Archivist, Miriam Proulx. Later in the evening, Alan appointed five directors: Roland Junkins, Clifford E. Junkins, J. Russell Blease, Kenneth Junkins and Karl Junkins.

Donald Junkins donated several of his limited edition, out of print books to the Association to help raise money to cover the costs of the archaeological dig. Alan proceeded to auction off the books and soon raised $515 toward the cost of the dig.

About 11:00, the group begain to break up for the return trip to their homes and motels.

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