Merri C. Peck
Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 7:00PM and we began our discussion of the “Whiteface Mountain House.” Karen showed slides including numerous views of the hotel and newspaper articles about it from various times throughout its history. The Whiteface Mountain House served as a base location for the guides who led tourists on hikes to the summit of Whiteface. The Whiteface Mountain House remained as the center of Wilmington until it was demolished in the 1950s when cabins and motor lodges became more popular with tourists. Donna Griffin said that she has one of the woodstoves that was taken from one of the rooms when the hotel converted to central heat. Doug Wolfe passed around some postcards, articles and a copy of the guestbook. Karen passed around a copy of the records of Whiteface Mountain House.
At the close of the open discussion Karen asked everyone to remain for voting of officers. She reminded us that the incumbents had been nominated for the following positions up for election: President, Vice-president, Secretary and one Trustee (Gilbert Dyke’s position). No further nominations were offered and Donna Griffin moved to close the nominations. Guy seconded the motion and the vote was held by secret ballot. All candidates were elected unanimously and results are as follows:
Karen then passed out copies of the Annual Report for review. Guy Stephenson made a motion to accept the report as written and it was seconded by Gil. All voted in favor. Karen will have the reports printed and Nancy Cressey will prepare mailing labels for all members. Donna will handle the mailing.
Karen then called for the secretary’s report. First we reviewed the minutes from the meeting of April 2nd. Guy moved to accept the minutes as read and Doug seconded. All voted in favor. Then the May 7th meeting minutes were reviewed. Bob Cressey moved to accept the minutes as read and Gil seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
We then reviewed the treasurer’s reports for April and May. At the end of April our bank balance was $5,210.92. Guy moved to approve the report and Doug seconded. The motion carried unanimously. At the end of May the Treasurer’s report showed our bank balance at $4,933.26. Guy moved to approve and Doug seconded. All voted in favor.
Karen reported on communications. We received notice of the Oktoberfest for 2014. Based on few book sales at our Oktoberfest booth in 2013 we decided not to participate this year. Karen talked to High Falls Gorge and Whiteface Mountain about selling our book. They seemed positive but have not committed yet. Karen will again touch base with them.
Acquisitions for this month included some saddlebags that Guy received from Richard Lawrence. The saddlebags belonged to prominent Wilmington resident Ralza Lawrence who used them when he traveled to California during the Gold Rush. Guy and Karen worked to transcribe two letters sent from Ralza Lawrence during the time he was in California. At some point we will need to get the saddlebags conserved because they are in a deteriorated condition. Guy said he has made contact with someone who has school records to donate.
Karen mentioned that there are free updates available for our Past Perfect software program. Karen and Guy labeled photos at our last research night. Our next research night is Friday, June 13th from 10 am-12 noon.
Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee. She passed out copies of the schedule for the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center Falconer Natural History Series lecture schedule for this summer. Karen sent out a letter to Lake Placid schools advising them that the WHS is looking for a project to support local history education in grades K through 12. She has added all WHS events to the Jay Community News calendar. Doug announced that the new Plattsburgh Air Force Base museum will open Saturday June 7th. They, along with all the other museums on the old air force base will offer free admission that day. Our next program, “North Country Ghost Stories” will be held Friday, June 27 at 7PM in the Wilmington Community Center. We now have 103 Facebook page likes with a total outreach of 255, 45 of those being actively engaged.
Nancy reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that we received three membership renewals during the past month. Our total membership for 2014 now stands at 120. Reminders to those who haven’t renewed will be sent out in a month or two.
Guy reported for the Cemetery Committee. He has received the go ahead from Randy Preston to select headstones in need of repair. He said that a boy scout has inquired about doing some volunteer work in the cemeteries. Town records are in need of updating. Karen added that the WHS will fund the repair of one or two headstones.
The Building Committee will meet Wednesday, June 11th. Linda Joss-Dyke reported on fundraisers. She said that only 8 tickets have been sold for the Great Escape fundraiser. This may have been due to bad weather this spring. Car sticker sales have also been slow. Linda will go around and check on sales again. We discussed what kind of raffle we might have at the Festival of Colors. Linda wanted to know if we would be having advance sales of tickets. Last year almost all of the raffle tickets were sold at the Festival of Colors. We need to be working on ideas for a raffle or silent auction.
Karen informed us that our website is up to date. She will have Patrick add the titles of the two new Wilmington series books for sale when we receive them from the publisher.
Karen asked that we all take photos of the bridge prior to the beginning of and during construction. We also need photos of the Whiteface Highway construction. Doug will look into getting permission for someone to take pictures of the highway project.
Guy moved to adjourn and Linda seconded. All voted in favor.
Wilmington Historical Society