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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
7:00 PM, Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Wilmington Community Center

Attendees

Karen Peters
Doug Wolfe
Merri C. Peck
Guy Stephenson
Gerald Bruce
Lora Bushy
Sally Martin
Randy Martin

Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 7:02 pm. The open discussion topic was “Agriculture in Wilmington.” Photos from individuals were passed around and pictures from the WHS collection were shown on Powerpoint. Most worthy to note is the remarkable amount of treeless open space which could be seen in most of the photos, which, of course now is all wooded. Many stories were told about farm life in Wilmington and the kinds of farm products common in the area.

The business meeting commenced after the open discussion, at 8:10 pm. The secretary’s report was corrected--- changing “the University at Plattsburgh” to “the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, VA,” A motion was made by Guy Stephenson to accept the minutes as corrected. Merri Peck seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Karen gave the treasurer’s report in the absence of treasurer Bob Cressey who sent his report in via email. We had an income of $7.00 including $5.00 from memberships and $2 in donation jar donations. Expenses totaled $301.52 including $12.53 for food for the DHP meeting, $94.11 for photo paper and other supplies, $150.00 for speaker Marty Podskoch’s honorarium, and $44.88 for postage. Our bank balance is $5,534.13. Guy made a motion to accept the treasurer’s report and it was seconded by Doug. All voted in favor.

Karen reported on Communications. A letter of resignation from the Wilmington Historical Society Board of Trustees dated August 11, 2009, was received from Peter Yuro, citing his inability to spend the time necessary to be an effective board member. The Board of Trustees regretfully accepted his resignation and has been seeking a replacement to fill out the remainder of Peter’s term as set forth in the Wilmington Historical Society constitution. A letter of appreciation for his 2 years of service as Trustee will be sent to Peter. A notification was received regarding the Northern New York Library Network 2009 Conference “Choices & Challenges” to be held October 5th & 6th at the Cheel Center at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY. A thank-you letter was sent to Marty Podskoch for his program “Adirondack Stories II: 101 More Historical Sketches & the 100th Anniversary of Fire Towers in New York State” presented on August 14th. A thank-you letter was received from Matt Farina and Matt George of the Capital District Civil War Round Table for the support they received from the Wilmington Historical Society for the Civil War Days at the John Brown Farm. Information was received about a history fair at the Mabee Farm Historic Site in Rotterdam Junction, NY on Saturday, September 12th.

There was nothing to report from either the Library, Museum, Historic Sites Committee or the Membership Committee. The Publication and Programs Committee reports several articles regarding WHS programs and “open discussions” in the Lake Placid News “Town of Wilmington” section by Lora Bushy and an article of considerable size in the same newspaper entitled, “Whiteface Community Methodist Church Celebrating its 175th Year” by Heather Sackett. Other community calendar announcements regarding the WHS programs and meetings appeared in various local newspapers and online sites. Flyers regarding the August program by Marty Podskoch were distributed about town.

Research requests --- 8 requests this month, two for genealogy searches, another for cemetery research, one for the Lake Placid news newspaper on the Whiteface Church, continuing research on a book and continuing research on a project for the DEC, another for research on the Whiteface Castle, and another on research for Gray Gables. One acquisition— a digital photo of the “Notch House” sign was taken by Karen with accompanying ‘Deed of Gift”.

Karen reported that the Wilmington Community Enhancement Council, which has a grant to plan for community center needs, has now learned that New York State has released more of the grant funds to allow the committee to move forward with more planning.

Professor Harold Hinds, who spearheads the “Wilmington Books” series, responded to Karen’s email that they did, indeed, receive the transcribed chattel mortgages we sent them. We also still need to send Prof. Hinds copies of the “Wilmington books” we agreed to send him. He will, in turn, re-distribute them to various strategically located genealogical libraries. Merri will mail the books to Prof. Hinds as requested.

The Wilmington Historical Society received a grant from the Documentary Heritage Program (DHP) sponsored by the New York State Archives and administered by the Northern New York Library Network. The purpose of the grant is to assist the WHS in planning for future facilities for a “History Center” in Wilmington. Joe Swinyer of the DHP met with WHS board members on Aug.6th from 10 am until 3 pm. He then prepared a report which the Society may use in future planning. We have just received the report, which Karen distributed to WHS Board members. We will discuss the report at the next meeting after each board member has an opportunity to read it.

Karen reported on the Festival of the Colors to take place on Sept. 12th. The WHS display booth’s theme is “Wilmington’s Versatile Forests --- Over 400 Years of Settlement in the Lake Champlain Region”. Sid Ward will once again run a fundraising booth for the Wilmington Historical Society selling his unique cutting boards, all proceeds to come to the WHS. Karen and Doug will meet to plan the display boards. Doug will bring some maple syrup taps and other displays. Guy will bring some antique sap buckets, saws and logging tools. Doug will supply the tent for the display and 2 tables. Karen will bring the WHS copies of the “Wilmington Books”, the guest book, the WHS donation jar, and membership brochures.

Wilmington Historical Society summer research hours are now completed. The library/archives were open for a total of 40 hours during the summer, 10 Saturdays at 4 hours each Saturday, and staffed by volunteers. It was noted that most of our researchers and visitors over the past 3 years are from “by appointment” hours. Discussion centered around the possibility of changing our “open hours” to encourage more researchers to come during “regular” hours, perhaps an evening once a month in the non-summer part of the year. Karen will check the community center calendar to see about availability of the community center, and we will discuss the days and times at the next meeting.

Karen was approached by Bridget Hinman of ORDA (Olympic Region Development Authority) regarding the preservation of historical photos they have and the possibility of utilizing the WHS as a secondary repository. Karen met with both Bridget Hinman and Bruce McCulley of ORDA who decided that they will put someone in charge at ORDA to organize and archive their historical photos. When that is completed, ORDA will contact us to digitize their photos, so that there is a file of ORDA’s historical photos in the WHS.

Karen received a phone call and had a meeting with Andy Flynn, “Adirondack Attic” columnist who is seeking a Decentralized Community Arts Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, Council of the Northern Adirondacks. This year’s priority is history. Andy would like to do a series of “Artifacts Nights” in Northern Adirondack Communities, including Wilmington, which would take place in the spring of 2010. The program would include a short description of how he, as an author, does his research followed by a reading of some of his own stories, leading up to community members doing a “show and tell” of the artifacts they brought for the program. To participate as a sponsor, the WHS would pay $100 (of the $300 each program would actually cost) to be a sponsor of the program. In order to receive the grant, Andy also needs a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization to act as a “conduit”. The conduit organization actually receives the not-for-profit grant money and pays it out as required. He is asking the Wilmington Historical Society to serve as the conduit organization. As the conduit organization, the WHS would also get first choice on a date for the program. The WHS consensus was positive to act as the conduit organization, so Karen will contact Andy for the paperwork we need to fill out. The grant deadline is Oct. 7th. The preferred date for the Wilmington “Artifacts Night” was chosen to be June 18, 2010.

Doug, who had made a poster for the Post Office on the history of the Whiteface Mountain fire tower, offered to replace that poster with another one with a focus on the “Notch House”. It was agreed that it was a good idea, so Doug will create a new poster for the Post Office.

Lora Bushy stated that the town court has a new printer and will donate the old HP printer/copier/fax machine to any organization that would like it. Since the WHS already has a printer and has no room right now for another, we declined the generous offer. Merri said that as the town historian, she could use the printer, so Lora donated it to Merri Peck as town historian.

Guy made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:15 p.m. Doug seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,
Karen Peters, President
(In the absence of the Secretary Nancy Cressey)

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