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Minutes of the Wilmington Historical Society Meeting

7:00 PM, Wednesday, March 17, 2004


Merri Peck
Steve Connor
Doug Wolfe
Bob Cressey
Nancy Cressey

Vice-President Merri Peck called the meeting to order.

Doug Wolfe made a motion to accept the minutes of the last meeting and Bob Cressey seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

We received information about some upcoming workshops sponsored by the Upstate History Alliance. Workshops on the care and preservation of documents will be given March 29th in Albany and May 17th in Ithaca. Workshops on the conservation and preservation of photographs and albums will take place April 27th in Loudonville and May 27th in Syracuse.

The Bicentennial Committee of the town of Ticonderoga has invited us to share in the celebration of their bicentennial on March 31st.

The newsletter from the Association of Public Historians advertised a three day conference beginning Sunday April 18th. Workshops and seminars on a large variety of topics are being offered.

We received an email announcing the March presentation of the Underground Railroad Heritage Trail Foundation to be given Saturday, March 27th at 1 PM in Plattsburgh.

Sue and Bob Hockert sent us an email about a fundraising idea. Mr. Hockert has a collection of old 16mm films which he could show in a film festival to be held at Everest Park or in the event of rain at the Town Hall.

Maurice Fletcher sent a complimentary note to WHS along with a copy of an old article about Henry Markham, a Wilmington native who eventually became governor of California.

We received our membership to AASLH. Our membership number is 369632, valid until 31 Jan 2005. This will enable us to receive a 20% discount on the purchase of the Past Perfect software program. AASLH website is www.aaslh.org.

Bob Cressey submitted the treasurer’s report. The treasury balance is $3061.15 of which $300 is earmarked for preservation of documents and photos and $1000 is earmarked for purchase of Past Perfect software. We now have 78 memberships. Doug raised the concern that we need to establish a standard. How many cards will be issued per membership and how are business memberships to be handled? The number of cards issued per family is an issue because of the free admission to the toll road offered by ORDA. Doug suggested that business membership cards should reflect both the name of the business and the proprietor’s name. Steve moved to accept the treasurer’s report and Doug seconded it. All voted in favor.

The Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee report was given. Merri reported that she and Karen have begun sorting records (books, documents, photos, newspapers, etc.) in preparation for entry into the Past Perfect program.

Bob and Nancy have begun photographing the old town records, but they are not satisfied with the quality of the pictures. They will either acquire a new 6.3 megapixel camera, or try taking pictures of smaller segments of the pages. They will try to get the project completed as quickly as possible, since Professor Harold Hinds is anxious to get the records in time for a publication deadline. Professor Hinds is planning to come to Wilmington sometime prior to July 4th. We should get him to commit to giving a presentation for the historical society.

We need to get preservation of the town records started as soon as possible. Gerry Bruce has been in touch concerning this effort. He had information about one company in Essex, Vermont that does this type of work—Brown’s River Records Preservation Services. Their website is www.brownsriver.com.

The Publications and Programs committee reported receiving a letter from a company that prints brochures. They claim that they can do a four color brochure for the same price that many firms charge for one or two colors. We should investigate this prior to developing next year’s membership brochure.

Steve shared some brochures he had picked up from other historical societies while he was traveling. There were some good ideas that we may want to adopt, such as a history timeline and information handouts on various topics of historical interest.

Merri suggested that we need to set goals for the things we want to achieve, such as presentations on particular topics of interest at each meeting. This would help to generate more public interest.

The Membership and Nominations committee held some discussion about the positions coming up for reelection. The consensus was that we recommend the individuals currently holding those offices be nominated. No further action was taken at this time.

Doug reported that there will be a small storage trailer coming available for storage of the guns. He has spoken to Jeanne Ashworth about the possibility of locating it out by the landfill near the building. She did not see any problem with this. One issue that needs to be resolved is who owns the cannon. It is not the original cannon because that was destroyed and the one remaining piece is in the library. We need to determine ownership of the cannon before spending money to restore it. Perhaps it could be a shared effort if there are other interested parties. We need to talk to the supervisors about this issue and be prepared with whatever documentation is required. Steve will do some more research on the history. Merri mentioned that we might want to order the military record of Alpheus Perry from the National Archives, since it is known that he had some involvement with the Wilmington cannon.

Merri plans to order one of the fundraiser blankets as a sample. We can offer the blankets to members of WHS at a discount.

We received an email from Gary Francois about the display cabinets he has offered to us. Right now the issue of concern is where we can store them. Steve volunteered to pick them up, and possibly they can be stored in the office portion of the trailer.

Patrick McIntyre emailed us about our website. He suggested that we could possibly link off the library account through Northnet, which is a free account until 2006. We need to pursue this with the library and with Patrick.

Merri presented a Mission Statement for WHS, which we discussed. A minor change was recommended and it was agreed to present the Mission Statement to the Board of Trustees for adoption. It was again brought up that it would be beneficial to condense our business discussion and have a topic for discussion at each meeting. We could set aside 30 minutes for a presentation and advertise it to attract more interest. Doug volunteered to do a presentation at the next meeting about Roosevelt’s visit to Wilmington and the construction of the Whiteface highway.

Steve moved to adjourn and Bob seconded. All voted in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Cressey


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