The Collett-McKay Picnic
Collett-McKay Picnic grounds
Saturday 14th August 2021
at 12:00 noon (Dayton, OH
Moses McKay (a great-grandson of Robert Mackay Sr.) & wife Abigail Shinn, moved with their family except for one son, Robert S. McKay, from what is now Warren County, Virginia to Chester Township, Clinton County, Ohio along with some other Quaker families. His last two children were born in Ohio. Many of his descendants still live in the area. Moses also owned some land in Warren Co. Ohio where he built his house. This house was used during the Underground Railroad to hide runaway slaves. A photo of it is on a different page in this website.
|Click here to go to the meeting.|
In 1866 some of his descendants gathered together for the first Collett-McKay picnic partly to see who returned from the Civil War. The reason it is called the Collett-McKay picnic is because four of Moses's children -- Sarah, Francis, Virginia & Maria -- intermarried with four members of the family of Daniel Collett & Mary Haines (Their family record will be added later.)
The Collett-McKay picnic is held annually every 2nd Saturday in August starting at 12 noon on a portion of the original Moses McKay tract of land in Clinton Co. Ohio which was set aside many years ago and is held in trust by some of the descendants as a permanent site for the gathering.
Quote from the book 'New Burlington: The Life and Death of an American Village' page 203
Tradition says that it does not rain for the Collett-McKay picnic. Rain has
fallen on the second Saturday in August several times since 1866 but there has always been
dinner. For over a hundred years the two families have met in the picnic woods of Buck Run.
There are no programs, no election of officers, no invitations. The men meet on the
afternoon before the picnic and set up the 50-foot tables made of boards bought in 1879.
For many years water was brought in a large hogshead, and coffee is still brewed in a huge
iron kettle over a wood fire. The record of attendance is kept in large registers. The
number attending has varied from the 111 people at the first picnic to 542 in 1888. The
four-acre grounds, in an oak and sugar maple grove, is owned by the families who say it will
always be a picnic ground for them.
The Collett-McKay Picnic
(Corporation For Non-Profit)
The Collett-McKay Picnic, formerly known as the Collett-McKay Picnic Association was incorporated as a Corporation For Non-Profit on 5 August 2019. It is made up of the trustees who maintain and care for the Collett-McKay Picnic grounds.
A treasury is maintained for the purpose of caring for the grounds. If you would like to send a tax deductible donation to help with the upkeep of the Picnic grounds you may do so by making cheques payable to The Collett-McKay Picnic
and mail them to this address:
|The Collett-McKay Picnic|
c/o Mary Dudley
3778 Quante Ave,
Cincinnati, OH, 45211
You may also make a memorial gift or a will bequest to the picnic fund if you wish. The
interest collected from such a fund will be used to cover annual expenses.
Map, satellite & current weather conditions at the Collett-McKay Picnic grounds
The picnic grounds are located at the corner of Inwood and Gurneyville Roads in Chester Township, Clinton County, Ohio.
picnic grounds are bounded on top by Inwood Road and on the right by Gurneyville Road. Use your 'back' button to return.
Click here to see the weather forecast for the area
The Collett-McKay picnic grounds now have a street address to help
visitors find the location.
You can find the picnic grounds at:
5353 Gurneyville Road
Wilmington, OH 45177
The plaques on the picnic grounds gate
Below are two plaques which can be seen at the picnic grounds gate.
Plaque on left side of gate
The inscription reads:
THESE FAMILIES WERE UNITED
1823��� � �1830
THE FIRST PICNIC WAS HELD
right side of gate
The inscription reads:
IN MEMORY OF
OUR IMMIGRANT AND PIONEER
DANIEL AND MARY HAINES COLLETT
JEFFERSON CO. VA.
TO CLINTON CO. OHIO
MOSES AND ABIGAIL SHINN McKAY
FREDERICK CO. VA.
TO WARREN CO. OHIO
(Webmaster's note: Please note that it hasn't been proven that
Robert Mackay Sr. came from Scotland. The information on this plaque is based on 'family
tale'. Also, we do know from the marriage records of some of Robert's children and Robert's
will that Margaret was Robert's 3rd wife. It's likely they were married while Robert was in
Cecil County, MD although we do not have details on when or where Robert married any of his
three wives. Moses & Abigail emigrated from the section of Frederick County, VA that later
became Warren County, VA as mentioned above. MLM)
The utility building on the picnic grounds
This building is used as a combination restroom and storage building for the
long tables. It was constructed in 1974. Previously, the boards used to make the long
tables were kept at one of the nearby cousins' house. Note the water supply wagon next to
the building due to the fact that there is no running water on the picnic grounds, nor
electricity. The wagon is removed sometime after the picnic is
Memorial Trees on the Picnic Grounds
The Collett-McKay Picnic Newsletter
At their 137th gathering on 10th August 2002, the beginnings of a family newsletter,
Collett-McKay Stories, was started by Cousin Howard Doster.
The on-line version of this newsletter is available below. Please be aware that if you want
to have a copy of this document you will need to either save the page to a disk or print it
as this page will likely be updated periodically as time passes.
Published by D. Howard Doster
Issue No. 1, 10 August 2002
Some Collett Family History
An account of the origins of the Collett Family which intermarried with some of Moses McKay's children.
Newspaper articles about the picnic
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