The Boggess Family Association reunion for 2007 was held July 12th through July 14th in Bridgeport, West Virginia.
On Thursday the 12th, most of the Boggess descendents that were attending the reunion checked into the Holiday Inn in Bridgeport. The hospitality room was open and chock full of books of Boggess History. Bitsy Barr has kept scrapbooks from most or all of the reunions which were fun to peruse. Bitsy also brought books of pictures of members from the four of the five branches of the Boggess family. Other members brought maps, pictures, and their scrapbooks. Betty West brought the t-shirts and the pins for sale to the members. The gold and blue t-shirts can be seen in the above photo.
Friday was planned to be a free day where members could spend time in the hospitality room, make research trips to the courthouse in Clarksburg or to spend the day visiting the many historical and picturesque sites in the area. We were delighted to have the opportunity to meet many descendents of Oscar Boggess, the son of a slave and her master who was granted his freedom. Oscar earned the Butler Medal of Honor for bravery in the Civil War. He was a stonemason in Youngstown Ohio who quarried sandstone located on his property. His homestead and his quarry are both now marked by Ohio state markers; quite an honor. Oscar’s granddaughter Virginia Cheatham and many of her nieces and nephews were in attendance. On Saturday morning we boarded a huge bus and headed off through the countryside. Robert Wilson had been raised in the area and was willing to narrate our ride to the many different cemeteries in the area where Boggess ancestors were laid to rest. One cemetery was just a little spot near the road; you could tell it was very old and many of the ancient stones were lying on their side. There was one stone which had stood the time quite well; it was from 1824 and marked the resting place for Samuel and Elizabeth Dorsey Boggess. We drove by the home place of one of our Boggess riders on the bus where they currently live and farm. The roads winded and curved and we also saw several small towns. We also made a stop at the Harrison County Historical Society Museum. We met in the banquet room at the Holiday Inn soon after returning from our tour through Boggess country. It was an opportunity to meet more distant cousins that had come just for the banquet. The dinner was especially good; kudos to the chef. The dessert was a big slice of a beautifully decorated 20th anniversary cake. After the dinner we held a brief meeting to discuss the fact that Bitsy Barr would replace Melissa West as editor of the newsletter. At the 2006 reunion people had talked about planning a reunion in conjunction with a performance by Suzy Bogguss. The idea was put forth and members were in agreement; we would attempt to plan a reunion centering on a concert by Suzy Bogguss. Knowing this might not be possible, the members voted on North Carolina as the site for the 2008 reunion should the other plan fall through. The reunion was officially over and many members had to leave to drive to airports for early flights home on Sunday. Some of us meet in the restaurant in the motel for breakfast before we said our final goodbyes with the hope of meeting again the next summer.
Thanks to Bitsy for her hard work to put together our gathering. The folks at the Holiday Inn went beyond the expected to make our stay in Bridgeport the very best!