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Fairbanks Family Mystery, Dedham, Massachusetts

1902 FAIRBANKS family reunion at the old homestead in Dedham, Massachusetts. For full PDF of this article, please contact me.

The annual Fairbanks reunions started in 1902 to celebrate the repurchase of the house. From Life magazine (1902): "The Fairbanks family in America has thought of a new thing to do. It is about to have itself incorporated as a society for the collection and preservation of all matters pertaining to the history of the family. The society's headquarters will be the old Fairbanks house in Dedham, Massachusetts, which will be bought for it, and there the records of the Fairbankses will be kept. This scheme has grown out of a Fairbanks reunion, which was held last August in Dedham. There are more than four thousand families now existing in America that trace descent from the original Fairbanks, and a fair proportion of them are solvent, so that the purchase and endowment of the family headquarters presents no difficulties. Having fun with one's forbears is one of the cheapest and most innocent forms of diversion the times afford. It is more interesting than postage-stamp collecting, and even when it runs to excess, as it sometimes does, it is not nearly so deleterious as the liquor habit. The Fairbanks family will get good returns from their investment, and we shall probably see other families following their example."

More at Fairbanks house museum:

I have added this to my must-read list, but if you have read A Massachusetts Mystery: The 1801 tragedy of Jason Fairbanks and Elizabeth Fales, please let me know your thoughts!

"On May 18, 1801 eighteen-year-old Elizabeth Fales died in a pasture in Dedham, Massachusetts. That August her twenty-year-old boyfriend Jason Fairbanks went on trial for her murder. The Fairbanks/Fales case was the celebrity trial of its day, captivating the American public with its gory tale of love and betrayal. The 'Report of the trial of Jason Fairbanks' and 'The solemn declaration of the late unfortunate Jason Fairbanks' were published within months of Jason's execution. They present the cases for the prosecution and the defense, telling a true crime story as mysterious today as on the day Elizabeth Fales died." From Amazon.

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