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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
7:00 PM, Wednesday, September 15, 2004
E.M. Cooper Library

Attendees: Merri C. Peck, Doug Wolfe, Steve Connor, Guy Stephenson, Bob Cressey, Nancy Cressey, Sidney Maxwell

Vice-President Merri Peck called the meeting to order.

Doug Wolfe made a motion to accept the August minutes as written and Guy Stephenson seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Bob Cressey gave the treasurer’s report. Our bank balance is $2,301.72. Doug Wolfe received a check from Willow Bend Books for $3.68 refund on postage. Since the check was made out to Wilmington Historical Society Doug offered it as a donation to the treasury. He also presented the bill from Dr. Harold Hinds for his research trip to Wilmington. The WHS had previously agreed to pay for Dr. Hinds car rental, up to $350, but the ASRC has already paid that portion of the bill, so Doug made the suggestion that we pay for his food expenses which came to $352.64. Nancy Cressey moved that we recommend to the Board of Trustees that we cover the food bill in place of car rental including the extra $2.64. Steve seconded the motion and all voted in favor.

Merri reported on communications. Karen wrote notes to the following people:
1) Mr. Corter, to thank him for his estimate to repair the cannon.

2) Jeanne Ashworth, to thank her for her presentation on her Olympic experiences.

3) Anna Court, to thank her for her support of the WHS and expansion of the Adirondack book collection while she served as librarian.

4) Susan Mitchell of Paul Smiths College, thanking her for her help and instruction on the Past Perfect software.

5) The Wilmington Fire Department, to thank them for allowing us to use the firehouse for our presentations.

We received the latest edition of the Civil War Roundtable Newsletter. In it was a photo that Karen Peters submitted for publication. Oscar Maynard is one of the individuals in the photo.

Merri reported for the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee that the new town librarian has a number of years experience in the Saranac Lake Library. We should work with her to continue to obtain Adirondack historical interest materials for the library.

Doug reported for the Publications and Programs Committee that Julia Robinson has agreed to be our January speaker. The topic will be antiques and collectibles.

Merri gave the report for the Membership and Nominations Committee. We are still occasionally receiving new memberships. We need to start thinking about developing a new brochure for next year’s membership drive. Merri suggested that we include information about what we have been doing over the past year, so that the members will know what we have done with their membership dollars. Nancy suggested that we could include a picture from one of our events, such as the Festival of Colors.

Merri reminded us that our Upstate History Alliance Grant planning meeting is scheduled for November 3rd. The trustees need to review their materials and complete the forms prior to the meeting.

Doug reported on progress with getting the trailer set up. The area behind the town hall is now completely cleaned out. The town has indicated that they will not pay for the power, but Doug recommended that we keep it on to avoid a reconnection fee in the future. Doug is ready to move the trailer to the site at any time. The water shed is scheduled to be torn down in October, so it was agreed that we should go ahead and move the trailer in place. We will most likely need it for temporary storage of the cannon even if another option eventually becomes available. Nancy made a motion to recommend to the Board of Trustees that we take over the power bill starting October 19th to avoid having the electricity shut off. If this recommendation is approved we will need to send a letter to NYSEG to switch the electric bill to the WHS account. We agreed to designate October 2nd as a volunteer workday to finish up on whatever chores need accomplishing to set up the trailer.

Steve Connor stated that he had nothing new to report on the cannon. He spoke to Terry and Mary Avery again about the Gattling Gun and about the possibility of American Legion members coming to WHS meetings. It appears that the American Legion members believe they are in charge of the Gattling Gun, but there is no clear plan of action at present. Doug stated that he believes the gun actually belongs to the town and he suggested that we might contact the History Detectives on PBS. If they would take it on as a project it would be a good way for us to discover more about the history of the gun.

Merri reported that she contacted the company that makes the fundraiser blankets. There is a $300 one time art charge and we would need a minimum order of 100 blankets at $30 each, which comes to a total of $3,300. As an alternative we could order 125 blankets at $29 each with no art charge, for a total of $3,625. Either way, it is too costly for us to proceed at this time.

Nancy suggested that we could have shirts printed with the WHS logo as a way to raise funds. She will look into this and provide cost information by the next meeting.

Merri has been familiarizing herself with the Past Perfect software program. She reports that it is working well and she is favorably impressed with the program. She has a question about using the search feature and plans to call the person at Paul Smiths who has been helping us with this, but she does not feel it will be necessary for us to spend additional money for formal training. The program is easy to use.

The website is working very well now. Guy said he has accessed it and that the photos do not take too long to display for a dial-up modem.

The Cresseys have gathered photos on the Wilmington dam and are preparing a poster board display of old and new photos of the dam construction. The display will be at our table for the Festival of Colors. It was suggested that we should send the town a letter to ask them what they are doing with the plaques for the old and new dams. They are at this point still sitting over at the town hall. Doug volunteered to contact the Ausable River Association to obtain watershed data. He said they have a great deal of data relating to the dam which would be of interest to us.

The Films on the Ausable fundraiser has been organized and everything appears to be ready to go. Guy, Bob and Nancy have volunteered to take tickets and Merri will be selling popcorn.

Bob and Nancy will set up the WHS booth at the Festival of Colors. Steve and Guy volunteered to bring and set up a canopy to cover the table and Steve and Merri will help to cover the booth during the day. Bob and Nancy will bring the dam photo display, membership applications and cards, the 1876 town maps, some sample photos from the old town record book and a copy of the “Bonnieview Follies”. Merri will bring a photo album and our inventory of Dr. Hinds books which we plan to sell. She will also check with Essex County about selling the source guide books. Merri showed us a sample order form which we can use to take book orders once we have sold those on hand. Bob will find out whether we are required to charge sales tax on the books.

Merri passed around a copy of a certificate of appreciation that Karen sent to Jeanne Ashworth for her presentation. Everyone liked the certificate and we agreed that we should continue to give the certificates to guest speakers and others who support the WHS.

At our last meeting we were asked by the town to suggest a name for nomination for the Lake Placid Hall of Fame. We selected Jeri Wright based on her community service and her photography of the Adirondacks. As a result her name was forwarded as the nomination from Wilmington.

The Old Photo Meet is scheduled for Saturday, October 16. Susan Conway, who is an expert on preservation of old photos, will have a table at the meet.

Merri asked for ideas on future presentation possibilities. Doug suggested we try to get the new director for the Lois McClure Schooner as a speaker. Guy and Doug both volunteered to repeat their presentations.

Doug mentioned that he is picking up two glass display cases on Saturday. He also said that Myrtle Owen identified “Rupert” of the newspaper column as Rupert Hayes.

Steve made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Guy seconded the motion and all voted in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Cressey


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