Merri C. Peck
Karen Peters called the meeting to order and we held our open discussion “Wilmington in World War II”. Upon the conclusion of the open discussion Karen asked for the secretary’s report. Peter Yuro made a motion to accept the June minutes as read and it was seconded by Guy Stephenson. The motion carried unanimously.
Bob Cressey gave the treasurer’s report. He reported that our bank balance is $4,253.30. We had income for the month of $2,464.74 including $85 from memberships and donations, $61.74 from sale of Wilmington books, $30 from the sale of VRS tickets and $2,288 from an unexpected donation from the Whiteface Preservation and Resource Association (WPRA). Bob read the letter from WPRA that accompanied the check. They are disbanding and hope that the WHS will create or expand a dedicated Whiteface collection/archive. The WPRA donation will be a topic for discussion at our next board meeting. Our expenses for the month totaled $428.29, including $84 for stamps, $200 for purchase of Wilmington books, $40 for an honorarium and $104.29 for archival supplies. Bob mentioned that he did not receive a receipt for the archival supply purchase. Karen will give him the receipt. Bob said that he is still getting used to the Quick Books software. He received some literature in the mail from Quick Books, and contrary to what we were told by Tech Soup, they say that it is permissible to install the software on a second computer with a single license, as long as it is being used by only one person. They gave the example where one might have the software on both a home and an office computer. Bob brought a copy of the software and after the meeting we will attempt to install it on the laptop as a backup. Bob also informed us that we received a letter from the IRS regarding our Form 990EZ. We are required to submit a schedule A. Bob had not done the Schedule A because he was under the impression that it was not required with the Form 990EZ. He is working on completing the Schedule A now and will forward it to the IRS within the 30-day timeframe they specified in the letter. Peter moved to accept the Treasurer’s report and Guy seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
Karen reported on communications. She made available for our perusal some of the newsletters received during the past month. Ron Miner sent an email in response to the announcement of the new speaker program on Samuel de Champlain, sharing some relevant genealogical history. Karen sent thank you notes to Wendy Preston and Andrea Lawrence for providing refreshments at our last speaker program. She also sent a thank you and a certificate of appreciation to Jay Mele who was our last speaker. She sent a thank you to Lora Bushy for copying, collating and mailing our annual report to the membership.
There was an email request from Garret Dague of Essex County Planning for a support letter from the WHS in aid of obtaining $246,000 transportation enhancement funds to restore the historic lighting and bluestone sidewalks to the town bridge. Karen wrote the letter stressing both the historic significance of the bridge and its importance to the present day community.
We had some more acquisitions during the past month. Augie Augenthaler donated one box of 1980 Olympic artifacts which he shipped from Colorado. Pete offered a motion to reimburse Mr. Augenthaler for the shipping costs. Bob seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Merri Peck received two boxes of items from Myrtle Gowan’s family, including family research notebooks, a series of books on Connecticut genealogy, bible and cemetery records, books on Vermont genealogy and many pictures.
Karen gave the report on research and Inquiries for the past month. Sandy Wilkins Fogelberg had contacted Karen requesting to do some research on the Wilkins family. She did talk to Merri, but did not make contact with Karen or Bob and Nancy to access the WHS collection as she had to return home earlier than planned. Karen will write to her and express our regrets that we did not meet her and suggest that we try again sometime in the future. Merri mentioned that someone stopped by the Post Office and made arrangements to meet with her on the 12th to do research on the Lawrence family.
Karen reported for the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee that we now have enough volunteers for all of our summer research hours. Karen talked about our volunteer archivist training program and she handed out copies of the Volunteer Librarian/Archivist Handbook. The original copy of the handbook will be in the cabinets and will be kept up to date. The external backup for our computers has been received. Merri Peck said that she will update the laptop with Past Perfect data at the close of this meeting.
Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee that the Santa’s Workshop program is cancelled. A new program has been added. Margaret Gibbs will speak on “Celebrating 400 Years: Samuel de Champlain’s Voyage to our Region.” Margaret is Director of the Essex County Historical Society and a member of the New York State Commission for the Quadricentennial of Samuel De Champlain’s Voyage in the Region (1609-2009). She will also talk about the 1959 (350 year) celebration and plans for next year’s area celebrations. Publicity for this program has gone out and Karen also revised our 2008 programs list and replaced all the old ones.
Karen mentioned that Andy Flynn, who writes the “Adirondack Attic” column, is available to do a guest speaker program next year. She also said that Terry Robards could do a program for us about his experience as a junior reporter for the New York Times who covered the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. Pete voiced the opinon which was shared by several that we should keep the focus of our programs more local. He said that we should get some of our older citizens around town to talk about what they remember.
Merri had a request for a photo of our Community Center from Jackie Stokes. Doug says he has several which he will send to Merri.
Nancy Cressey reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee. During the past month we received 6 memberships for a total of $85 (including a $5 donation). As of today we have 160 current members.
We now have in our library three DVD video disks that George Warren made of the Two Fly Banquet (part 1 and part 2) and our open discussion of the “History of Lumbering & Sawmills in Wilmington.” The Visitor’s Bureau reports that the Health Center is now open five days a week and the weekly Farmers Market is set to resume.
The Wilmington Community Enhancement Committee did not meet in June. They will need our input later this year about what we need from the new community center. Karen suggested that we all visit other historical societies and museums and ask question about what they like about their facilities and what they would change. We need suggestions to help us refine our input and insure that we don’t miss anything. One thing we should consider is the possible need for future expansion.
Karen said she has emailed Patrick McIntyre about updating our website to include the new program about Samuel de Champlain and to add a picture of the town bridge. Karen has had some correspondence with Professor Hinds on the Wilmington research project. The Blacksmith ledger is nearly ready for publication. They were able to determine that the ledger belonged to Timothy Haselton. Dan Gould contributed a poem by Timothy Haselton that Professeor Hinds will use in the book.
Karen said she checked on the status of our permanent charter. She had some concern since the provisional charter will expire, but she was told not to worry because only the regents can terminate the charter. Bob mentioned that NY State has cashed our check that accompanied the charter application.
Nancy Cressey informed the group that the town has sent another batch of cemetery records to update our cemetery database. She has started doing that and she and Bob will need to go over to the cemeteries to photograph some more headstones. One question arose because two of the records show individuals as being buried in the Calvary Baptist Cemetery. No one present was aware of any such cemetery. Merri said she would ask a family member of one of the deceased and also someone from the church. We will have quite a few more names to add to the directory for Haselton Cemetery and there is a concern as to whether all the names will fit on the sign. Nancy wondered whether it may be possible to use the other side of the sign for additional space. Guy mentioned that it appears some of the graves in the new section of the cemetery are not in orderly rows. The haphazard placement of the plots throughout the cemetery presented a challenge when we were mapping and creating the locator file. Karen suggested writing a letter expressing our concern but it was decided that it would probably be better to talk to someone about it.
The Upstate History Alliance and the American Association for State and Local History have recently been very active in providing aid to Midwest historical societies and museums that have experienced flooding.
The Whiteface Mountain Memorial Rededication takes place every June. This year we did not hear about it until after the fact. It was generally agreed that in the future we should support and participate in this event.
The Wilmington (Whiteface) Community United Methodist Church will be holding their 175th anniversary celebration in 2009. Karen will be working on this as church historian.
Bob moved to adjourn the meeting, Pete seconded the motion and all voted in favor.