Merri C. Peck
Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 7:06 PM. We began with our open discussion of “Fires in Wilmington.” Doug Wolfe started the discussion by telling about a number of fires that affected Wilmington businesses. In 1963 Clara Haselton’s Hobby House burned down, destroying a historic church building. The Marble Mountain Ski Center burned down in 1951 and was rebuilt using timbers from the 1950 blowdown. In the 30s the Haselton mill burned. Hot air currents from the fire caused the mill whistle to start blowing. Karen related a story from her childhood about the Wonderland Motel being struck by lightning and burning down in the 50s. Doug told us that the 1922 fire which burned M.M. Cooper’s store resulted in the Wilmington Fire Department being formed. During the discussion many house fires and some forest fires were also mentioned.
At the conclusion of the open discussion the business meeting commenced. Karen announced that on September 13, 2011 the Board of Regents voted to grant the Wilmington Historical Society an absolute charter. Since we obtained our provisional charter in 2003, much effort and preparation has gone into reaching our goal of obtaining a permanent charter, so this marks a major milestone in the life of the WHS. Karen told us that she had recently renewed our cell phone plan. It has to be done yearly and we do not receive any notice from Verizon, so we need a way of giving ourselves a reminder. Merri suggested putting a reminder right on the cell phone calendar as the most practical solution.
Karen then called for the secretary’s report. The last minutes are from September since we did not have a quorum for an official meeting in October and no business was conducted then. Doug made a motion to accept the minutes as read and it was seconded by Merri Peck. All voted in favor.
In the absence of treasurer Bob Cressey, Nancy Cressey passed out copies of the treasurer’s reports for the past two months. As of October 5, 2011, the balance in our treasury was $5,538.56. During the preceding month we had income of $1,502.85 including $50 from memberships, $347.85 from sale of Wilmington books, $855 from sale of cutting boards by Sid Ward, and $250 from refunds. Our expenses were $648, including $398 for publications, $30 for bank charges and $220 for issuance of a replacement honorarium check. Merri made a motion to accept the October report and it was seconded by Linda. The motion carried unanimously. Currently, the treasury balance is $5,232.22. In the past month we has expenses of $343.34 including $50 for special events, $99.36 for supplies, $28.50 for publications, $7.48 for refreshments, $108 for annual phone charge and $50 for Visitor’s Bureau dues. Our income for the month was $37, including $30 for memberships and $7 from donations. Doug offered a motion to accept the November report and Linda seconded it. All voted in favor. Karen asked that Bob begin working on a proposed budget for next year to present at our January planning meeting.
Karen reported on communications. Handwritten thank you notes were sent to the following people for volunteering their time, photos and knowledge in the construction of our display for the Festival of Colors: Mark Holzer, Bob Hockert, Sam Haselton and Pamela Gray, Joe McAvoy, Tom Conway, David “Brookie” Brookman, and Joe Dougherty and employees of the Candyman. A thank you letter was send to Sid Ward for raising and donating $855 to the WHS through the sale of his cutting boards at the Festival of Colors. A thank you was sent to Tom and Freddie Quilla of the Country Bear Bakery for providing refreshments at our program, “Wilmington History in Postcards” on October 22nd. A thank you note was sent to Ginny Crispell for creating the flyers for all of our 2011 programs. A thank you letter was sent to Regent James Dawson for his assistance in guiding us through the process that has led to acquisition of our permanent charter for the WHS. We had an email from Megan Clark asking about the proposed Christmas ornament fundraiser. Karen responded to her saying that we have discussed it in our meetings and it is still on our agenda, but that we are not prepared to sell a Christmas ornament for 2011. There was an email from Robert Sturges about the Wilmington Postcard Program, asking if we had given any thought to creating a DVD of the program. He also pointed out an error on our website in the date on one of the photos under Postcard Views of Wilmington. Karen thanked him for his observation and has asked the webmaster to make a correction. She also advised Mr. Sturges that we are considering creating a DVD of the post card slide show. We had an email from the Lake Placid Historical Society asking whether we provide honorariums to our speakers. Karen replied that we provide a $50 honorarium to all our speakers unless they request more (i.e. are professionals in their field or are coming from a long distance, etc.). Senator Betty Little sent us a letter asking for thoughts and suggestions regarding establishment of a statewide Museum Week celebration next year. There was also a letter from the New York Historical Society Museum and Library inviting us to a special program celebrating completion of their three year $65 million renovation project and subsequent re-opening on November 11, 2011.
We had several acquisitions. June Clow contributed several documents about E. M. Cooper, including an obituary and a profile. We need to obtain a deed of gift for these items. John and Joan Dreissigacker contributed copies of some photos including a Santa’s Workshop group photo and a couple of photos of Whiteface Mountain Ski Center on Marble Mountain. Barbara Rothman mentioned that the Dreissigackers have a ski center promotional film that would be of interest. She said she would ask Joan Driessigacker for a copy. We also acquired three post cards, one from Joan Driessigacker, one from Ms. Lott, and one from Gilbert Dyke and Linda Joss-Dyke. Tracy Legat, who had previously asked us for photos, sent us one which is labeled “J&J Rogers log slide to Ausable River.” Doug is researching this photo because he says it does not look familiar.
Recent research activities covered a number of topics. Bob Reiss asked us for information about the history of High Falls Gorge for their re-opening after repair of the storm damage. Karen received a phone call from Sherry Hewston, Jay Town Historian, asking for copies of the Methodist Church records. While we do have these records, we do not have the right to distribute them, so Karen suggested that she contact the Methodist Church directly. There was a request for marriage, birth and death records for the years 1872 and 1877. Karen directed the individual to our cemetery records. Official record keeping by the town was not yet required at that time. Doug responded to a query from the Green Mountain Lodge about the Mallory Grant. For the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee Report, Karen mentioned that she had emailed Nancy George regarding the status of progress on the chattel mortgages. She has not yet had a response.
Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee that she will be giving the Wilmington History in Postcards Program for the Lake Placid Historical Society on January 25th at Howard Johnson’s Restaurant in Lake Placid. She passed around the guest book pages from the Festival of Colors. There were many very good comments, particularly about our theme, “Made in Wilmington”. Quite a few suggestions arose from the favorable response to the postcard program, including making a disk of the show, doing a school showing, an evening program, an on line program, doing showings for other groups and putting the program on Facebook. Merri suggested that it would be beneficial for us to get involved with Facebook for the interactive aspect.
Nancy reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that we had two memberships for a total of $30 since the last meeting. We now have a total of 168 members which exceeds our total for last year. Monday, December 12th was selected as a tentative date for preparing the new membership brochure.
Karen reported that the Visitor’s Bureau had been asking for input about the scheduling of three major events, the Uphill Bike Race, the Uphill Footrace and the Two Fly, which had previously all been scheduled very close together. They have now decided to move the Uphill Footrace to the fall. Funds collected at the Festival of Colors for flood victims were matched by the Visitors Bureau resulting in a $2000 donation to victims. The new paddling brochure for Lake Everest is now complete and Karen passed a copy around for everyone to look at. Ideas are needed for next year’s Festival of Colors. The WHS participated in Wilmington’s Halloween Hall this year by sponsoring a booth. Doug is working on the final selection of photos for the Post Office display. There is no new information concerning the stone bridge. Linda suggested that we arrange a meeting with Randy Preston, Gilbert Dyke, Guy Stephenson, a state representative and Tom Boothby to discuss options.
Several items were discussed under the topic of new business. Karen announced that Julie Robinson is being hired by Santa’s Workshop to create a museum where the candle shop was located. She has joined the WHS and will be going to the Northern New York Library Network conference November 10th in Lake Placid on Basics of Archives. Tech Soup has changed their policies to make it easier for us to obtain software at low cost. The Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) organization is asking for nominations for their AARCH Awards program to recognize examples of historic preservation in the Adirondack Park. Karen suggested that we might consider nomination of the Wilmington Range Hall. The Capital District Civil War Roundtable is holding a conference November 4-5 in Saratoga.
Linda moved to adjourn the meeting and Merri seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
Wilmington Historical Society