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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
7:00 PM, Wednesday, July 20, 2005
E. M. Cooper Library

Attendees

Karen Peters
Doug Wolfe
Merri Peck
Bob Cressey
Nancy Cressey

Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 7:07 PM and called for the secretary’s report. Merri Peck made a motion to accept the minutes as read. Doug Wolfe seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

Bob Cressey gave the treasurer’s report. Our bank balance is $2,562.30. During the month we had expenses of $783.46 for postage, supplies and the new computer. Income was $573.88 and included donations to the computer fund, memberships, book sales, postcard profits, and fees for the Iron Mine Tour. Merri introduced a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report and it was seconded by Doug. All voted in favor.

Since the last meeting we mailed the Annual Report to all members.

Karen reported on communications. We received a thank you note from Jeanne Ashworth for our participation in the Dam Rededication ceremony. We received a very complimentary email from Kathy Bushey about our website. She said she enjoyed reading about Wilmington ’s history. Susan Conway emailed requesting information about the Peter Shumway photo in our membership flyer. Karen will email the picture to her. We received an inquiry on Adirondack plane crashes from Dave Dynan. Karen responded with some information and gave him leads to various sources. Karen also responded to a request from Judith Droste for genealogical information on the Cooper, Haselton and Richardson families. Thank you notes were sent to the Town Board and John and Julie Yarinsky for donations to the computer fund, to Fran Betters for his presentation on July 14th , and to Anna Court , Teresa Ott and Ginny Crispell for providing refreshments for the same program.

The Northern New York Library Network sent a notice informing us that Archives Week will be held October 9-15. They have asked what activities we are planning in observance of Archives Week. We discussed various options including slide shows, an old photo meet, photo and artifact displays and possibly scheduling a speaker. We decided to combine an old photo meet with slide shows and displays on Saturday October 15th . We can borrow a digital projector from the library for this event. Doug Wolfe commented that we need more past and present photos in various categories such as the dam and building construction. Merri suggested several more categories including tourism, mining and mills. Doug suggested that we should develop canned programs on all of these subjects that could be made readily available for presentation. This would be a great help if we are requested to make a presentation by another historical society.

Steve Connor went to a booksigning in Keeseville on Saturday, July 16th . He obtained a signed copy of the book, “Bound for Canaan : The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America” by Fergus M. Bordewich. Steve, who could not be present for the meeting, asked Bob to bring the book and make it available to any member who wishes to read it.

Karen mentioned that we received another communication from the Civil War Roundtable. Doug said he had spoken to a retired ranger in Upper Jay who has an old postcard that identifies Alpheus Perry to the 7th Cavalry of Vermont. This explains why we have been unable to find him listed with New York Civil War veterans. Merri suggested that we should send for his military records.

We received the North Country Lantern newsletter which is from the North Country Underground Railroad Association. It has an article about how they are looking for a building to house their organization. This is of interest to the WHS because we also need to begin thinking about finding a permanent location.

Other communications we received included the American Association for State and Local History Dispatch, the Upstate History Alliance News, a notice about a History’s Mysteries meeting in Pittsburgh on September 24th, and grant information from the Northeast Document Conservation Center .

Merri reported for the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee that we have received Volume 7, “Emma Hinds” Scrapbook” of Dr. Hinds’ series of books. This volume sells for $23.50, with the usual 10% discount available to members of the WHS.

Karen reported that we have purchased our new computer. Merri will try to get it set up and running this weekend. We bought the computer on sale at Staples for $659.98 and we have a $60 rebate coming which will bring the total cost to $599.98.

Karen told us that Steve Connor was able to play the Santa’s Workshop record we acquired and put it on audiotape. Bob Peters then transferred the recording to CD.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee. The Lake Placid news published a picture of the Oscar Maynard rifle taken at the Town Board meeting when Merri and Karen gave the WHS presentation. They also published an article about the Dam Rededication Ceremony and Joe Hackett did a column on Fran Betters’ fly fishing presentation. Karen said that she distributes flyers for our programs to over 30 businesses now. Notices of events are also posted on the Whiteface Visitor’s Bureau Website at “whitefaceregion.com”. Karen said Fran Betters mentioned to her that he received some business from people who had attended the program.

Karen showed us a historic photo of a group of students and their teacher that she received from Guy Stevenson. Doug Wolfe identified the teacher as Frank Shumway.

Doug will call the archaeological specialist he knows to try to set up a program for the fall. She is currently working at a site in Lake Placid on Mill Pond Road . We decided that the program should be held on a separate night from our regular meeting and we will serve refreshments as we did at the last program. This format seemed to work very well.

Bob reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that we received two new memberships since last month.

Karen said that she had talked to the Visitor’s Bureau about the possibility of a birding event to take advantage of the great interest in the Bicknell’s Thrush on Whiteface Mountain . Doug suggested that it could be done separately as an ORDA sponsored tour. Doug will discuss with them how to set up the program.

Bob and Nancy Cressey reported that they are making progress on mapping Haselton Cemetery with Steve Connor. They have been laying out a grid and identifying each headstone to a grid location. The work is over half complete. Doug reported that Charlie Haselton hopes to do the sign by mid-August. Karen mentioned that she had written a letter to Charlie Haselton and sent him a copy of the resolution by the Town Board to approve the sign.

Doug suggested that we should record time spent on this and other projects because it can be used to count toward matching grant funds.

Karen said she has again contacted our volunteers for landscaping work. They will begin taking care of the plantings around the trailer this week.

Karen said that updating our website will be slower until the fall because our webmaster, Patrick McIntyre does not regularly go to his workplace in the summer.

We discussed the Dam Rededication Ceremony. It was very well attended despite questionable weather conditions. Karen, Steve, Doug and Guy all gave presentations at the ceremony. Karen asked that these be written up to be preserved as part of the dam history. Doug suggested that we look into the possibility of getting an additional plaque for the latest dam modification. There is room on the stone for another small plaque.

On Wednesday, August 17th at 10 AM Jerry Bruce, Ed Hood, Merri and Karen (if she is available) will meet with Dave Lowry at the Town Hall to get advice concerning the old town records and how best to preserve them.

The historic postcard of the Wilmington dam is now available for sale at the Cornerstone for 50 cents each. They have already paid us $21.88 for our share of the profits on 100 postcards. Since it was a small amount they decided to pay us in advance.

Merri suggested using the historic postcards or something similar for our thank you notes. She told us about a service the post office has called Net Post where you can use a photo to create cards for mailing through the postal service. Net Post can be found on the web at www.usps.gov .

Karen said she had checked with Tom Hinman about any artifacts they may find at his construction site where the old hotel was located. He will call if they find anything.

Robert Schneider will again role play the Irish Immigrant at the Festival of Colors on September 17. The Virtual Reality ride will have a five seat platform with bobsled, luge and skeleton rides available. A $5 donation per ride will be suggested with all proceeds being donated to the WHS. Julie Robinson will be at the WHS tent from 10 AM to 1 PM to do appraisals for $2 per item with funds going to WHS. We need to update our displays for this event.

Sid Ward will have a separate tent for sale of hand made cutting boards. He has also volunteered to donate the proceeds to the WHS.

Karen and Doug will meet sometime soon to talk about the walking tour and grant possibilities for preparing and printing a map.

Doug mentioned that today, July 20th was the 70th anniversary of the opening of the Whiteface Memorial Highway . The first vehicle up the road was supposed to have been a wagon pulled by a team of horses owned by Maurice Fletcher’s father, but one of the horses picked up a stone and everyone had to transfer to cars. Unfortunately, ORDA did not do anything to commemorate this anniversary. We should keep this in mind for the 75th anniversary so we can be sure some kind of commemoration is held.

Karen reported that she received an email from Sue Hockert asking if we would like to have a movie in the park this year. We selected August 19, 20 or 27 as possible dates. Karen will reply to Sue and contact Ginny Crispell to organize the volunteers.

Merri made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Bob seconded the motion and all voted in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Cressey
Secretary

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