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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Online Meeting via Zoom

Attendees
Karen Peters
Susan Albert
Merri Peck
Linda Joss-Dyke
Gil Dyke
Nancy Cressey

Karen Peters called the meeting to order. There was no open discussion since we held the meeting online due to COVID 19 restrictions. We reviewed the minutes from the meeting of April 1st. Merri Peck moved to accept them as read and Gil Dyke seconded her motion. All voted in favor. We then reviewed the treasurer’s report. Bank balances as of now are as follows:

Operating Account $7,626.20
Transfer Account 128.00
Zachay Fund 2,010.00
Building Fund 84,580.85
Adirondack Foundation 40,971.72

Our Adirondack Foundation account is down $9,327.66 due to the downturn of the market. Karen mentioned that the reporting from the Adirondack Foundation runs one month behind. Susan Albert stated that she wants to postpone the meeting on our IRS Form 990 until it can be held in person, if possible. Merri moved to accept the treasurer’s report and her motion was seconded by Linda Joss-Dyke. It carried unanimously.

Karen reported that she sent sympathy cards to Sam Haselton and Charles Haselton for the death of Erma Haselton. She also reported that she received a message from Will Morris, who would like to volunteer for the WHS this spring. Karen and Merri have asked him to create an index to a document that is frequently used in our research.

Several research inquiries were received in the past month. Don Morrison is making a sign for the Ruben Sanford building and he asked for the date when it was built. Karen researched his question and was able to come up with 1835. Another request came from an individual who had visited Santa’s workshop in October 1976. He recalled that two escaped convicts were captured in Wilmington at that time and requested information about that incident. Karen researched this and found that one inmate named Cruikshank escaped from Raybrook around that time. He escaped by taxi and was captured in Wilmington. Another inquiry was received about field trips made to Whiteface by Cornell mammalogy classes from the 1950s to the 1980s. The caller asked if we could identify local roads listed on the reports that he was unable to find on any current map. Karen found a document with earlier road names and she also referred him to Doug Wolf who was able to provide much help.

All the preparation work for the Whiskey Run has been undone. Donors and runners were given the option to receive a refund, carryover to next year or donate the funds to the WHS. We will do something similar for all our cancelled programs. The Lake Placid Elementary School History Fair is cancelled. We do not yet know the status of the Festival of Colors. Planning for the 200th anniversary celebration for Wilmington is also on hold.

Karen reported that she received a suggestion from Guy that we collect diaries, journals and recordings of people telling how the pandemic has affected them. She also suggested that we should research how the 1918 pandemic affected this area.

Nomination of officers was opened for the positions of President, Vice-president, Secretary and one trustee position currently occupied by Gil Dyke. The incumbents were nominated to all of the above positions. Next month the nominations will be closed and the vote will be held. Nancy Cressey reported that our membership for 2020 currently stands at 89.

Linda reported on fundraising. She has notified everyone involved with the Whiskey Run that it is postponed until next year. She advised that we will be doing the gift card raffle again this year, even if the Festival of Colors is not held. The drawing will be on the day that the Festival is scheduled.

Susan and Merri are still working on the historical marker project. It was suggested that a marker could be done for the Ruben Sanford building. We need to document all the information obtained for the historical marker. Karen said that much of the information was documented when we did the Wilmington history walking tour a few years ago.

The Adirondack Foundation awarded the Wilmington Historical Society a Generous Acts Grant in the amount of $2500 to support our Whiskey Heritage Festival which will be rolled over to next year due to Covid-19. We also received an Essex County Arts Council Cultural Assistance Program Grant (CAP) in the amount of $324 for our Summer Speakers Series, but since they cannot be held this year we were given the option to ask that the funds be applied to our general operating fund. Karen also worked on a grant in conjunction with AARCH from Preserve New York. We are asking for $6,000 for a site assessment of Santa’s Workshop in preparation for a future application to the National Register of Historic Places.

Karen needs volunteer hours from all WHS board members and active members because our annual report is due next month.

Merri reported that the computer she uses for Past Perfect is full. She will try to download the program onto her personal computer.

Gil moved to adjourn the meeting and Merri seconded his motion. All voted in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nancy Cressey
Secretary

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