Merri C. Peck
Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM and our discussion on the History of Wilmington Post Offices, Postmasters and Stamps commenced. Merri Peck talked about the history of the Postal Service. She presented lists of Essex County Post offices and postmasters from Wilmington and Upper Jay. Over the years there have been many different post offices in Wilmington, including a trailer at the base of Whiteface during the Olympics. Merri passed around numerous newspaper articles about the Wilmington Post Office and former employees. She also had many photos and historical post office documents for us to view. One document from 1921 outlined postal laws and regulations for the rural carriers. One of the listed regulations stated that if the addressee was dead or insane, delivery could be made to his legal representative. Doug Wolfe also contributed to the discussion with some newspaper articles and photos. Karen passed around stamps from the 1932 Olympics and historically significant cancellations and other items.
At the conclusion of the open discussion Karen called for the secretary’s report. Doug made a motion to accept the minutes as read and it was seconded by Linda Joss-Dyke. All voted in favor.
Bob passed out copies of the treasurer’s report. Our current balance is $4,365.43. During the period our income was $585, including $570 from memberships and a $15 donation. Our expenses were $966.68, including $251.32 for archival supplies, $335.44 for postage and box rental, $7.22 for New York state sales tax, $242.25 for copying and printing and $130.45 for publications. Merri made a motion to accept the report and it was seconded by Gil Dyke. The motion carried unanimously. The IRS Form 990 is complete and Bob will mail it out shortly.
Karen reported that the premium for our inland marine insurance for our collections is increasing from $245 to $500. This is due to the fact that the company, Peerless, has instituted a minimum fee of $500. Our agent has been unable to get them to make an exception. This is still the least expensive policy but we are trying to find out if our coverage can be increased for the higher fee. Karen has been in communication with the insurance agent regarding this question and she is also trying to find out if our liability insurance will increase also.
Karen reported on communications. She received an email from Robert Sturges who suggested “Maple Sap Collecting and Processing” as a future discussion topic. The Museum Association of New York sent information about their strategic priorities for 2012 and we also received the Capital District Civil War Roundtable newsletter.
During the past month Merri received one research question about land transactions from Bridgett Leavitt and Doug had an inquiry about Whiteface Highway parking lot blueprints. Our acquisitions for the month were several Mountain Lake PBS videotapes donated by Karen and Bob Peters, both in the original format and on DVD.
Merri reported for the Library, Museum and Historical Sites Committee that we finished putting all of the Harold Hinds books and materials in our cabinets during the last research/work night. We received five copies of Volume 17 (Church Records) of the Wilmington book series that we ordered from the publisher. Our next research night will be March 20.
Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee. The town newsletter went out this week. Flyers with our list of open discussion topics have been posted around town. Nancy Cressey reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that the brochures for the annual membership drive went out. Nancy spent considerable time updating the list of out-of-town Wilmington property owners from the Essex County property tax website to insure that our mailing list is as complete and current as possible. Membership renewals have been coming in at an encouraging rate.
Karen reported that the 27th annual Wilmington Community Dinner will be held Tuesday, March 20th at the Hungry Trout Restaurant. Dan Gould will be honored as citizen of the year. The Recreation Committee has been doing a lot of work on preparing the website which will make visitors aware of all the recreational opportunities that are available in the area. The website will include photos and maps that can be accessed by computer or smart phone. The Historical Walking Tour which was developed by the WHS will also be a part of the website with links to Google maps and descriptions.
Doug reported that the Post Office display is almost complete.
Gil and Linda went to the luncheon for the Great Escape Ticket fundraiser. The price of tickets will go up to $22.50 per ticket this year. The WHS will still receive $5 for each ticket sold. We received 48 tickets to start plus two free tickets as a thank you. Perhaps we can use the two tickets as an incentive for sales. Linda said the same three places that sold tickets last year have agreed to do it again. The tickets will be good on weekends from May 19 through June 17. Ticket holders must use them at Great Escape in Lake George but if they take advantage of the opportunity to purchase a reduced price seasons pass it is good at any Six Flags park. This year we are allowed to use newspaper ads for publicity as long as they are first approved by Great Escape.
The WHS board members will be meeting with Laurie Bepler on March 19th to discuss the Arcadia book project.
Karen drew our attention to the article by Randy Preston in the town newsletter about the historic stone bridge. Gil will draft a letter outlining our priorities and concerns about the bridge to request that a panel be organized. We will request input from Steve Engelhardt of AARCH and bridge expert Tom Boothby to support our efforts.
Karen gave us an update on the Harold Hinds Wilmington book series. We just received the church records book and there will be another census book and two books of newspaper articles. The chattel mortgages have gone to the printer and the general store records will be published on CD. The probate records will be the last to be published. Merri commented that we should continue the work on these records, perhaps up through 1930.
Karen contacted the Lake Placid School District about possibly presenting the Wilmington Postcard Program to the students. This would satisfy our requirement to have some program involving students.
Doug moved to adjourn the meeting and Bob seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
Wilmington Historical Society