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Wilmington Historical Society

Minutes of Meeting
7:00 PM, Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Wilmington Firehouse


Steve Connor, Doug Wolfe, Bob Cressey, Nancy Cressey, Karen Peters, Randy Preston, Wendy Preston, Barbara Mulvey, Guy Stephenson, Bob Peters, George Warren, Don Warren, Jon Goldthwaite, Anna Court

President Karen Peters called the meeting to order. Introductions were made and Karen requested information and photos relevant to Wilmington Fire Department history from Randy Preston.

Guy Stephenson gave a very interesting presentation on Bee Hunting and Bear Trapping. He brought bee hunting paraphernalia used by three generations of his family, a bear trap, photos and some antlers which he displayed. The presentation was well received and will help to generate interest and support for the WHS.

Karen Peters then read a Resolution to Proclaim Helen and Earl Warren as Wilmington Historical Society members in Memoriam. The framed Resolution, signed by all the trustees of the WHS, was then given to George and Don Warren. A copy of the resolution is attached.

Karen then thanked everyone for attending the program and then told the guests that they were welcome to stay for our regular business meeting or leave as they wished. Remaining for the meeting were Karen Peters, Guy Stephenson, Steve Connor, Doug Wolfe, Bob Cressey, Nancy Cressey and Barbara Mulvey.

Steve Connor made a motion to table the reading of the minutes from the last meeting. Bob Cressey seconded the motion and all voted in favor. The minutes and agenda will appear on our website.

Bob Cressey gave the treasurer’s report. Our bank balance is $2,237.61. Expenses for the last month were $74 for stamps and $30 for web hosting. We had receipts of $65 from memberships. One bill for copying is outstanding.

Karen reported on communications received by the WHS. There was a note from Susie Doolittle regarding a newspaper article on June 15, 1959, written by Clara Haselton. The article was about a series of Viceroy ads done by illustrator Slayton Underhill, which appeared in various national magazines such as Life and Saturday Evening Post. He used Wilmington men as models for the ads. We need to try to obtain copies of these ads from family members. Some old magazines are now available on CD. This is another possible source.

We received notification about the American Association of State and Local History (AASLH) membership checkup and also about the annual meeting to be held in St Louis from Sep 29 to Oct 2, 2004. Our membership in AASLH enabled us to receive a 20% discount on the Past Perfect software we recently purchased.

The NYS Archives 2005-2006 grant cycle is beginning. We need to take the initiative to prepare the grant application for the town to get funding to preserve the old records. We should provide Jerry Bruce a copy of the CD containing photos of the old town records.

We also received communications from the Civil War Roundtable and the Upstate History Alliance (UHA). UHA is offering grants and various workshops.

The Jay Fire Department invited WHS to join in their Independence Day celebration. This was received too late to act upon, but we should keep it in mind for future years.

Merri Peck was unable to attend this evening, but she reported to Karen prior to the meeting for the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee. The Wilmington Camp Meeting, begun in 1905, is having its 100th anniversary celebration beginning July 24th. It is an interdenominational meeting and everyone is encouraged to attend. Merri will donate a copy of the anniversary booklet to the WHS.

Merri has been working closely with Professor Harold Hinds on his Wilmington History project and she encourages everyone to attend the ASRC lecture on July 27th being given by Dr. Hinds. Dr. Hinds latest area of focus for his project is wills and deeds.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee that she placed announcements of this evening’s program and meeting in the Plattsburgh Press Republican and the Lake Placid Planner.

Doug Wolfe asked that we consider whether the WHS should support Dr. Hinds’ research trip by covering the cost of his car rental up to $350. Doug said that he has personally purchased copies of Dr. Hinds’ books on Wilmington, and that WHS could sell the books as a fundraiser in the future. The book publisher will give a 40% discount to historical societies. WHS should retain a copy of everything Dr. Hinds publishes relevant to the history of Wilmington.

Guy made a motion to recommend to the Board of Trustees that WHS cover the cost of Dr. Hinds car rental up to $350. It was decided to table action on the book purchase until after Dr. Hinds’ lecture.

Karen reported that she has been in contact with Julia Robinson regarding a January fundraiser program for the appraisal of antiques and collectibles. She suggested an informal lecture and appraisal night followed by an appraisal day with a panel of experts. A secondary purpose of the event could be to encourage people to donate antiques and collectibles relevant to Wilmington history. Appraisals would have to be done by licensed appraisers. Karen mentioned that Lake Placid is hosting a similar event for Olympic collectibles. After some discussion it was generally agreed that we should start with just the informal lecture to see how much interest there would be in having an appraisal day. Karen will get back to Julia Robinson to set up a date and a snow date for a lecture evening sometime in January.

Karen reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that we are still receiving new memberships. Memberships are valid through February 2005. Any new membership received in September or later will be valid through February 2006.

Karen advised that she has asked the WHS to be added permanently to the Whiteface Visitor’s Bureau agenda. Whiteface Visitor’s Bureau has asked if we want to participate in the WMVB Festival of Leaves. Karen suggested that we might call on Robert Schneider, member of WHS and a professional role player. He has volunteered to do role playing for WHS events. It was also suggested that the Festival of Leaves would be a good opportunity for WHS to take orders for Dr. Hinds’ books. Karen suggested that we might set up a booth with a display of old and new dam photos.

Karen reported on behalf of the Board of Trustees that she has sent a letter to the E. M. Cooper Wilmington Library Board of Trustees to set up a joint meeting. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss common goals and interests and possible joint activities. She also reported that our Past Perfect software has been received.

Doug Wolfe reported on progress with the Trailer. The trailer will occupy an area 100’ X 150’ behind the community center. Doug said that there is power available on a utility pole that was previously used for the ASRC building. That building needs to be removed and Doug posed the question as to whether WHS wants to take on the charges for the power. It is $14 per month with no load. Doug also touched on several other issues concerning the trailer. The town has agreed to clear the land, but there may be a time frame issue. We need to have the land cleared and the trailer in place before the building that is now housing the cannon is torn down. Haselton Lumber has agreed to donate materials needed to upgrade the trailer, but they did not commit to providing materials for a deck at this time. Doug will prepare a list of materials required to upgrade the trailer. Steve Connor mentioned that the possibility of having kids involved in painting a mural on the trailer was discussed earlier. He also said there was some talk about putting both the cannon and the gattling gun in the trailer. At some point the American Legion was involved with the gattling gun and wanted to display it by the dam, but evidently no action was taken.

Karen said that training for the Past Perfect software should be available in our area sometime in the fall. Nancy Cressey advised that she and Bob are planning to donate a computer, scanner and external CD writer to the WHS. The computer runs windows 98 and is capable of running the Past Perfect software. Bob and Nancy hope to make the computer available by early August.

Our website at www.wilmingtonhistoricalsociety.org is coming along well. Patrick McIntyre is currently trying to reduce the size of our photo files so they won’t use so much space and we can have more photos on the website. It was also suggested that we could put an order form for Dr. Hinds’ books on the website. We have received permission to use the write up about Wilmington History from the “Meet the Town” booklet, so that will be added too.

Karen has submitted the Upstate History Alliance grant application but has not received a response yet.

Doug advised that we need to assemble the dam history materials so we will be ready when the plaque is put in place. Bob agreed to scan some photos of the old dam that Doug brought to the meeting.

Karen reported that the Hockerts and Crispells are working on the “Films on the Ausable” fundraiser. They are targeting campgrounds and motels and planning for the third weekend in August. WHS members need to get involved with baking and making items to sell, and also to be available at the event to sell and take tickets.

Karen reported that she completed the mailing of the annual report last week. Doug got a letter from Bill Carr with photos of Roosevelt on Whiteface Highway. Bill said he would like to see the video presentation of Governor Roosevelt’s Dedication of the Whiteface Memorial Highway Project. Doug also mentioned that we are receiving deed of gift forms.

Steve Connor reported that we received an estimate from Kim Carter for refurbishing the cannon. For complete refurbishment with documentation it would take 8-12 months and cost $14,500. To refurbish the cannon without documentation and less than fully functional wheels the cost would be $12,300. Steve advised that Mr. Carter does exceptionally fine work and he suggested that we should respond to his letter. Karen will draft a reply advising Mr. Carter that we are keeping the information on file, but our finances do not permit us to proceed with the work at this time.

Guy moved to adjourn and Doug seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Cressey


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