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In June of 1947, a Bliley family reunion was held to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the marriage of Charles A. and Mary Jane Mead Bliley in Erie, Pennsylvania. The event was held at the home of their grandson, Frank Dawson Bliley, at 965 Arlington Road, Erie, Pennsylvania. (1941 Photo of house: small/72k; large 216k)
Most of the contents of this reunion page were derived directly from the souvenir pamphlet produced by by the family and distributed to each of those who attended. Who produced the pamphlet is unknown. It may be simple in its construction and presentation, but is it shines as family history artifact. My thanks to whoever labored on this project.
During the reunion, my father, Frank Dawson Bliley, took still photographs and home movies of the reunion and the picnic at the beach on Presquile Start Park peninsula on the shore of Lake Erie. The park was favorite place to swim, fish, hike and picnic. It is possible that some of his still photos were used in the pamphlet. I hope to someday soon add the home movies of that event to this page.
"On June S. 1947, the first Bliley Family Reunion since 1897 was held at the home of F. Dawson Bliley in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dawson's father, Frank, had died in 1946, leaving many family records which he had collected over the years of his long life.
With these records and a strong feeling of family loyalty as inspiration, Dawson conceived the idea of gathering the Bliley Family together once again. He and his wife, Isabelle, Cassius and Eveleen Bliley, Sam Wagner, Gertrude McConnell, and Josephine and Malcolm Oldham helped with the project.
It had been 100 years in June, 1947 since the marriage of Charles and Mary Jane Mead Bliley . It seemed fitting to hold the reunion in memory of that event so important to the 70 descendants who owed their existence to that union.
The day of the reunion was hazy and hot, later clearing in time for picture-taking. Refreshments were served out-of-doors, with all helping themselves at a long table, then going to smaller ones to eat and talk.
Next the children played or napped while the older folks heard a brief program. Greetings were brought by Sam, Gertrude McConnell, Dawson, and Josephine Oldham. Then two recordings were heard. Wilbur Lambing., who was unable to be present, sent greetings from California (copy included). The voice of Frank Bliley told of family history.
After the programs souvenir booklets were distributed and the task of autographing them brought everyone together. There were Bliley descendants from Ohio, Pennsylvania., New Yorks and Colorado. All told.. there were 40 people who had come by automobile and train to spend that day together.
Included it the booklet are pictures taken and developed and identified by Sam Wagner, a Bliley Family Tree brought up to dates a transcript of Wilbur Lambing's greetings, and the autographs written at the reunion.
It is hoped that this record will be of value to you and will be passed along to your children and theirs.
In the years that lie ahead, may each succeeding generation treasure the heritage of Mary Jane Mead and of Charles Bliley. May it always prove "a lamp unto their feet and a light unto their pathways" to guide and keep them in the time-honored traditions of our Bliley Family."
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The following is a list of the entries in the reunion registry as included in each souvenir pamphlet.
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In addition to numerous candid photos and home movies, a group shot was taken. From the absence of Sam C. Wagner, it is believed he was the photographer. After all, he had began taking thousand of photos of the Bliley and Wagner families beginning back in the late 1800s, when he was a teenager. Why stop taking family photos now?
Not all of the people who signed the registry, are in the photo and not all in the photo are in the registry. The differences are very few. To view a list of those in the photo and engagement of the photo, click here.
The reunion was memorialized by a 13-page souvenir pamphlet which included a photo of Charles and Mary Jane Bliley family in 1862. To view a table of the pages and their contents, click here.