Hello fellow members of JHWA! I am still reminiscing about the memorable conference we experienced in the Texas hill country at Fredericksburg. While I always enjoy returning to more notable restoration sites, occasionally it is fun to visit these remote locations where I may never have an opportunity to visit again. I have fond memories of a comparable conference in 2008, when our annual conference was held in Old Voree (Burlington), Wisconsin. There is nothing comparable to being on location where the historic events we had previously only read about took place.

One of the memories that will remain with me from our conference in Fredericksburg was the Sunrise Memorial at the Zodiac Cemetery. I enjoyed reflecting on Lyman Wight and his followers who had traveled so far to that remote location to build up their community, only to be flooded out and forced to start all over again. I could sense the Wightite’s persistent determination to make their community a success. It seemed like a fitting memorial as the brilliant Texas sun emerged on the horizon just as the names were read aloud of those who were buried in that location. 

As the new year is upon us, I want to wish you all the best in your restoration research. There are always new and exciting discoveries to be made! We hope that you will consider sharing your discoveries at the JWHA conference this next year. The program committee, spearheaded by Mark Staker and Rachel Killebrew, are already hard at work preparing for an exciting conference to be held in St. George, Utah. The conference theme for next year is Southern Utah’s Desert Outpost: Making Peace with the Past, Pursuing Peace in the Present. The Call for Papers can be found here. We look forward to receiving your proposals by the deadline of April 6, 2023.

Kyle Walker