Welcome About Us Join Us Research Resources Schedule of Upcoming Events Pictures of Wilmington History of Wilmington Education Programs
Wilmington Dam and Mill

Please Like the Wilmington Historical Society on Facebook Logo & Link

About Us

Join Us


Educational Programs for All




Programs & Events

Research Resources


We encourage all World War II Veterans to register
on the National World War II
Memorial Registry, honoring
you and your loved ones
who served at this time
in history. Please click on this link to find out more...

National WW II Registry

Selected Historical Slides
Selected Historical Slides

Essex County Historical Society

Wilmington-Cooper Memorial Public Library

Our Internet Policy
WILMINGTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO PRESENT “Whiteface Mountain Ski History” Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

The Wilmington Historical Society will present “Whiteface Mountain Ski History” with Wilmington Historical Society President Karen Peters and former Wilmington Historical Society Trustee Guy Stephenson on Thursday, February 8th at 7 pm at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum in the Olympic Center in Lake Placid. A slide presentation will include an overview of Whiteface Mountain ski area history from the 1940’s to the 1980 Olympics.

What began as a small ski center in 1948 with its original site at Marble Mountain adjacent to the Whiteface Mountain Veteran’s Memorial Highway, Whiteface Ski Center became a much larger ski facility by 1958 after moving to the current site on NYS Route 86. Early development planners include legends like Otto Schneibs, Hannes Schneider and Herman Smith-Johannsen. Those who influenced the transition include Governor Averill Harriman and first supervisor of both ski centers, Arthur Draper. Early ski rope tows, ski lodges, and ski shops gave way to more modern facilities. Mountain transportation, specialized vehicles and the innovation of snow-making changed over time as technology was able to transform to meet the demands of the sport. Local skiers, national celebrities and others with influence grew the fledgling ski industry of the late 1940’s into a bona fide economic driver by the latter part of the 1900’s. In 1980, the culmination of all the previous efforts and the vision of so many individuals resulted in a successful Winter Olympics alpine venue. The Whiteface Mountain Ski Center in Wilmington emerged as a world-class host and remains a valuable asset of New York State and the nation, still hosting national and international events.

Presenter Karen (Marshall) Peters is a former teacher whose ancestry traces back to the early days of Wilmington. She has a love of local history and is an amateur genealogist who likes to help others in finding their roots. Guy Stephenson is a “native son” of Wilmington who began skiing at Whiteface Mountain when he was 6 years old. As an employee of the Bob Run in Lake Placid and a heavy equipment operator for 30 years, he has actually worked at all of the Olympic venues, including the cutting and preparation of new ski trails for the Olympics. Both Guy and Karen are founding members of the Wilmington Historical Society and are two (2) of the authors of the photo book Wilmington and the Whiteface Region published by Arcadia Publishing in 2013.

The program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided by the Country Bear Bakery in Wilmington. For further information, contact the Wilmington Historical Society at 518-420-8370, or whs12997@hotmail.com or the Lake Placid Olympic Museum at 518-302-5326 log on to www.whitefacelakeplacid.com about ORDA venues and events.

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

Upcoming Programs by Wilmington Historical Society

2017 Programs in Adobe Reader


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 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

Please note our "Open Discussion" dates for 2017.

You're Invited!

To see some documents on this site, you will need: Get Adobe Reader

Look for details on future flyers, and in local newspapers. Also now on FACEBOOK!

Like us on Logo & Link


Welcome |  About Us |  Join Us |  Programs & Events |  Photographs |  History | 
Educational Programs for All | Agendas |  Minutes |  Research Resources

© 2004-2018 by the Wilmington Historical Society  P.O. Box 174   Wilmington, NY 12997   Mailbox e-mail us.
WebHosting provided by Primelink1.net, 99 Kansas Ave, Plattsburgh, New York 12903
Webmaster, Patrick F.McIntyre, MLS
Created 04.04.2004, Website rev. 04.04.2018