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Wilmington Historical Society Purchases Site for Keegan Memorial History Center

Future Building Site

Karen Marshall Peters, President of the Wilmington Historical Society, has announced the purchase of a 1.91 acre parcel of land on Route 86 in Wilmington as part of a plan to construct a new home for the Society. Established in 2003, the Society is dedicated to preserving the town's history. Its mission statement proclaims, "The mission of the Wilmington Historical Society is to collect, preserve, display and interpret the documents, photographs and artifacts that tell the unique story of how the people of this remote, mountainous small town with big ideas have adapted and survived in the harsh but beautiful environment of the Adirondacks."

The land purchase was made possible through a donation by Colonel Dennis Keegan, a retired U.S. Air Force officer and former U.S. Olympic Committee executive. Keegan's parents, Ruth and Thomas Keegan were tourism pioneers in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. They were the builders, owners and operators of the largest motel in Wilmington, Keegan's White Brook, and the Swissaire Motelodge in Upper Jay. The White Brook also had a restaurant and bar. "Last year the officers and trustees of the Society voted to name the proposed building the Ruth and Thomas Keegan Memorial History Center due to the substantial impact the Keegans had in promoting tourism in the town and contributing to the area's economic development, "said Peters. “The Wilmington Historical Society would also like to thank Attorney Janet Bliss for handling our legal affairs in the acquisition of the property and Ralph Schissler of Adirondack Surveying, PLLC for providing surveying services,” she added.

"We still have a long way to go to reach our goal for the construction of a new building and provide funding for future maintenance and operations,” Peters said. “The Society plans to launch a fundraising plan to achieve these goals.” According to Peters, all contributions are tax deductible and may be made directly to the Wilmington Historical Society, a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit institution chartered by the State of New York. Donations should be marked either for the Keegan Building Fund to fund building construction or for the Wilmington Historical Society Fund at the Adirondack Foundation to fund sustainability, operations and maintenance for the future building. The Wilmington Historical Society has in its possession more than 200 artifacts, 350 reference and library books, 300 microfilms, and considerable archival material. The society assists genealogists, supports historical research, conserves collections, creates displays and offers programs to the public.



Our 2018 membership drive is still underway. We look forward to your continued membership. If you know of others who might like to join, we would appreciate your telling them about the Wilmington Historical Society and encouraging them to do so. Brochures may be picked up at several locations, including the Whiteface Visitors Bureau, or they can contact us at whs12997@hotmail.com or 518-420-8370 , or click here for a membership form,.



A New Book-“Wilmington & the Whiteface Region” is here!

Book Cover

Now one of the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing, Wilmington and the Whiteface Region is authored by the Wilmington Historical Society.

About the book:

While the year-round population of Wilmington has never been more than 1200, it swells to about 3.000 residents on average during the summer months, with 400,000 tourists visiting annually. As a small town in the Adirondack Mountains, Wilmington’s history spans 2 centuries, transforming from its agricultural and industrial roots to a popular four-season tourist resort. We are proud to have been able to put the history of our town into context with our book Wilmington and the Whiteface Region, with photographs and information of interest for residents and tourists alike. The 11 contributing authors of Wilmington and the Whiteface Region, each with a unique area of expertise, are Laurie Bepler, Nancy Cressey, Robert J. Cressey, Gilbert Dyke, Linda Joss-Dyke, Merri C. Peck, Karen Marshall Peters, Robert Peters, Julie Robards, Guy Stephenson Jr., and Douglas A. Wolfe. It is an ideal “memory book” for local past and present residents. We know that residents and others with ties to Wilmington will take pride in re-forming their identity through the history of their town. It makes a unique “souvenir” book for tourists whether they visit one or more of our attractions of Whiteface Mountain, Whiteface Mountain Highway, Whiteface Ski Center/summer gondola ride, High Falls Gorge, and Santa’s Workshop, or whether they come here to ski, fish, hike or bike or just relax and refresh their personal spirit and appreciation of life. We wish to encourage visitors to not just come once, but to return again and again to enjoy all that our town has to offer it can be purchased from the Wilmington Historical Society, at local gift shops and stores, and in book outlets such as Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. Order your copy here


Adirondack 102 Club Cover

ADIRONDACK 102 CLUB: YOUR PASSPORT & GUIDE TO THE NORTH COUNTRY is by Martin Podskoch with Wilmington resident Jeri Wright providing the cover photo. ACTUAL OR ARMCHAIR TRAVELER, YOU CAN VISIT ALL 102 TOWNS AND VILLAGES IN THE ADIRONDACKS---written by residents of each town or village so that you are getting an insider's information about the history, the uniqueness of the place, recreation opportunities and points of interest. By getting the book signed or stamped in each town, the traveler accumulates “towns & villages visited”. Adults and children of all ages can be members. Once a member has reached their goal of visiting all 102 towns & villages, they will then receive the “Vagabond” award, so named after the self-described “Vagabonds” Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone & John Burroughs who took automobile camping trips throughout the Adirondacks.

Price: $20.00, including tax.

10% discount for Wilmington Historical Society members. Order your copy here


Wilmington Historical Society Purchases Site for Keegan Memorial History Center


Upcoming Programs by Wilmington Historical Society

2018 Programs in Adobe Reader


MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Wilmington Historical Society is to collect, preserve, display and interpret the documents, photographs and artifacts that tell the unique story of how the people of this remote, mountainous small town with big ideas have adapted and survived in the harsh yet beautiful environment of the Adirondacks. Adopted 5/18/05
To join us, see and print out the applicaton form here.


Take a two mile walking tour of Wilmington, New York to understand the history of Wilmington. Wilmington began as an industrial/agricultural town in 1822. By the turn of the 20th century, Wilmington evolved into a tourism based economy. Find out how that happened...
Wilmington Historical Walking Tour


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Created 04.04.2004, Website rev. 10.02.2018