Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes –Wednesday, May 16, 2007
E.M. Cooper Memorial Library
1. Open discussion & information sharing: “Wilmington Post Office History”
Did you know that…?
- In 1816, the Post Office charged 25 cents to deliver a letter over 400 miles and if there were, say, 3 pages, you paid triple the price?
- Ben Franklin was the First Postmaster General of the USA?
- Reuben Sanford was the first Postmaster of Wilmington in 1823?
- In the mid-19th century the mail was delivered on Sundays?
- Some of the locations of Wilmington’s Village Post offices included:
- --- the right-side room (facing the building) of the current McGrath house
- --- the former American Legion building next to the Methodist Church
- --- in a building to the right (facing) of the Nazarene Church
- --- in the “Courtney house” (to the left facing the current Oakvale Garage)
--- in a small building located where the Little Super now stands?
- In Haselton (previously called Markhamville), the post office was located in what became the Haselton School, then was moved into the house across the street (now the Halsey Haselton house)?
- The post office at the North Pole was begun in 1953?
- The Whiteface Ski Center began its own post office in 1962 with its own zip code?
Correction in April 18 minutes--- add Steve Connor in attendance. Change first date in “Did you know” from
July 10, 1934 to July 21, 1922. Guy made a motion to accept the minutes as corrected, seconded by
Doug. All in favor.
Major purchase of 4 display/storage cabinets totaled #$2,594.52. Current balance $3, 484.61. Peter Yuro made a motion to accept the treasurer’s report (by Karen Peters, in the absence of Bob Cressey). Guy seconded the motion. All in favor.
- An email from Dave Palmquist, Head of NYS Museum Chartering, regarding the delay in receiving the NYS 2004-2006 Annual Report forms. The last one we are responsible for to date is the 2003 Report. The 2004, 2005, 2006 Annual Report Forms will be mailed to us soon (by the end of April, or shortly thereafter)
- An email from Gail Wolfe Lee providing information about the Wilmington Post Office which was run by her grandmother, Frances Hall Courtney from 1929 until 1961.
- An email from Nancy George McNabb thanking the WHS for research assistance with her family’s genealogy
Catalogs and news articles rec’d from: “Bessboro Ramblings”, NYS Region 4 E-newsletter, AASLH – Newsletter
Standing Committee Reports
- From Jeanne Ashworth, former speed skating Olympian and current Wilmington Town Supervisor--- 2 (first place) New York State Outdoor Speed Skating Championships medals, dated Feb. 5-6, 1955 by the Wilmington Amateur Speed Skating Association.
- Library, Museum, Historic Sites Committee --- Merri and Karen will be creating forms for archives use, internet policy, ethics policy, and disaster policy.
- Publications and Programs Committee
- --- Beginning in June, our new meeting date will be the 1st Wed. of month at the Community Center - except for July 9 due to the 4th of July Holiday.
- --- The May 5th Stephenson Range Historic Iron Mines Tour had 6 people in attendance on a sunny warm spring day. Guy described the adventure and all hikers had a good time and learned about both area history and area nature. An honorarium for Guy as licensed guide for the Iron Mine Tour was discussed. A motion was made by Karen and seconded by Merri to give Guy $50.00 as an honorarium. All voted in favor.
- --- An article was written for the April Wilmington Town newsletter, press release sent out for
- --- Next Open Discussion (Wed., June 6 meeting) is "Area Hiking Trails & Conservation History"
- --- Next program is Friday, June 15 --- “A History of North Country Railroads” talk by Chris Brescia, railroad historian , 7 pm, Wilmington Community Center. There will be flyers and press releases in local newspapers as well as information on our website at www.wilmingtonhistoricalsociety.org
- Membership and Nominations Committee
- ---We have 116 paying members in 2007 so far. We will ask Nancy and Bob Cressey to email or mail member reminders for 2007 dues.
- --- Nominations for the offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, and one Trustee (3 year term—Steve Connor’s current position) are still open. So far the nominations include: President --- Karen Peters, Vice-president--- Merri Peck, Secretary--- Nancy Cressey, Trustee --- Peter Yuro. Nominations will remain open right up until the vote at the ANNUAL MEETING on JUNE 6. All WHS members are encouraged to attend and VOTE.
Special Committee Reports
Report from the Board of Trustees
- Whiteface Visitor’s Bureau--- two-fly competition, uphill bike race and uphill foot race coming up.
- AuSable Sustainable Communities waterfront project --- no more meetings for now. The information-gathering part of the project is completed and has been sent to NYS for approval and input.
- Wilmington Community Enhancement Council (Karen) --- with a vision of a new community center to enable all community stakeholders an opportunity for better and adequate space (such as the Wilmington Historical Society, the Youth Center, the Town Court, a senior center, etc.) is seeking representatives from a wide spectrum of the community. The next meeting will be June 7 at 7 pm at the Town Beach. All those who would like to participate are encouraged to attend.
- Guy will contact Marcel Bruce of the Town Dept. of Public Works, regarding mowing the grounds near our storage trailer and maintenance of the right-of-way along the power line from the transformer to the meter pole (tree branches, etc).
- New storage/display cabinets are in the Community Center. Karen and Merri will be placing WHS holdings in them. Soon researchers will be able to use our archives and small research library! We are planning to have regular hours this summer and by appointment.
- Wilmington cannon: Doug talked to Watervliet Arsenal and found that they could NOT have fabricated our cannon, since they were founded in 1887 and ours is much older. Next step is to make other contacts with other foundries.
- Website: Patrick McIntyre has all he needs to make the changes to update our website. He stated that “someone must like us” since we have been linked to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, through an article on “Whiteface Mountain”!
- Wilmington Research Project: We received a phone call from Prof. Harold Hinds, Distinguished Research Professor of History at the University of Minnesota and historical researcher for the “Wilmington Books Serial Records Series”. He and his wife would like to discuss the possibility of donating his entire research collection, accumulated from years of personal genealogical study(of Wilmington and the surrounding area) and general historical research of the Northern New York, to the Wilmington Historical Society upon his retirement (in probably 4 years) or upon his death. It is a collection which includes over 300 books, pamphlets, and journals and 135 rolls of microfilm, as well as Xeroxed materials. The stipulation is that the WHS has a “home” for the materials that is secure, accessible to the public for research, with temperature and humidity controls, and have an available microfilm reader.(Of course, the WHS has been working exactly toward those goals!) The Wilmington Historical Society is excited about this new possibility. It would make our Society an important genealogical and historical research center in Northern New York! We will continue to hear from Prof. Hinds as the process of legalizing the acquisition takes form.
- Wilmington Fire Dept. History: Our Open Discussion session on the “History of the Wilmington Fire Dept.” was sent via CD to Andy Bates of the Lake Placid News for a possible news article. (Our discussions are recorded for future researchers.) Doug suggested that next time we review the material on the “Open Discussion” first to insure correct information, and also to suggest to the reporter that some parts of our open discussions are anecdotal and that he/she check the facts with additional verification.
- By-Laws Changes VOTE: Guy made a motion to accept the proposed changes (below)as put forth by the WHS Board of Trustees at the April meeting. Peter seconded the proposal. All voted in favor.
1) ARTICLE II
Schedule and Quorum for Meetings
Section 1. Regular meetings of the society and board of trustees shall be held on the
first Wednesday of each month.
- 2)ARTICLE III
Duties of the Officers and Trustees
Section 4. The treasurer shall be responsible for the safekeeping of society funds, for
Maintaining adequate financial records, and for depositing all monies with a reliable banking
company in the name of the society. Monies shall be paid out by numbered checks signed by
any one of the four officers. The treasurer will collect dues, and shall render an annual report
based on the calendar year.
- Days & Times for summer archives hours: At the next meeting, we will further discuss the days and times the WHS Archives and research library will be open for regular hours during the summer.
- Seminar Attended: Karen attended a seminar by Adirondack Community Trust on May 8th entitled “Ready, Set, Ask! Donor Cultivation and Solicitation”. There were many points in the presentation we can utilize in our future fundraising.
- Workshops Available: NNYLN “Arrangement of Historical Records—June 11 in Watertown or June 15 in Saranac Lake, NNYLN “Budgeting for Non_Profits”—May 18 in Potsdam.
Guy made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Peter seconded it. All voted in favor.
Karen Peters, President [TOP of PAGE]
(in the absence of secretary, Nancy Cressey)
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