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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
7:00 PM, Wednesday, Sep 20, 2006
E. M. Cooper Library

Attendees:

Merri Peck
Doug Wolfe
Nancy Cressey
Bob Cressey
Karen Peters
Maurice Fletcher
Steve Lester

Merri Peck called the meeting to order and called for the secretary’s report. Bob Cressey made a motion to accept the July minutes as read. It was seconded by Doug Wolfe and it carried unanimously. Doug requested a correction to the August minutes. In the sixth paragraph the minutes state that Doug was contacted by the Visitor’s Bureau to provide a “Find the Historical Monument” tour. This should be changed to state that Doug suggested the tour to the Visitor’s Bureau—he was not contacted by them. Bob offered a motion to accept the August minutes as corrected and it was seconded by Doug. All voted in favor.

Bob gave the treasurer’s report. Our bank balance is $5,884.93. In the past month our receipts included $127.70 from book sales, $5.00 from memberships and $833 from the Festival of Colors ($810 was from sale of cutting boards and $23 from antique appraisals.). We spent $27.96 for office supplies. Doug introduced a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report and it was seconded by Merri. All voted in favor.

Merri discussed communications for the past month. We received a note from Bill Carr suggesting that we add Regent Dawson to our mailing list. Karen Peters wrote thank you notes to Peter Yuro, Sid Ward and Julia Robinson for their efforts in connection with the Festival of Colors. Karen also did a write up about the WHS which will appear in the Town Newsletter. We received the usual monthly newsletters and Margaret Gibbs sent us copies of various documents and photos. Upcoming programs of interest include a presentation in Potsdam on September 25th about preservation of scrapbooks. On Sep 27th there will be a seminar on management of electronic records. There is a fee of $20 for this seminar and Dave Lowry is the contact for anyone interested in attending. On October 4th there is a presentation entitled “Publicity for Non-Profits” in Watertown.

Merri deferred her report of the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee business until the discussion of old business. Doug reported for the Publications and Programs Committee. He suggested that we should try to get someone to talk about surveying for one of our speaker programs. He also suggested we arrange a field trip to the Essex County Clerk’s Office. The Essex County Office has been very supportive of Dr. Hinds’ Wilmington research. Other possible topics for which we might be able to get speakers include area railroads, ski areas and the Battle of Plattsburgh. Merri asked Maurice Fletcher if he would show his World War II films. Maurice said the films are in New Jersey and some may not be in the best condition, but he will consider showing them next year. Merri mentioned that the Festival of Colors was very successful. We had 90 signatures in our guest book with over half of them from outside Wilmington.

Doug advised that he was contacted by Kara Page regarding the displays the WHS has provided for Waterfront Day. She would like us to keep a record of our time spent on such projects so they can use it as a charge back for grants.

Karen reported that Bob Peters has copied all the Methodist Church records and placed them on a CD. Merri provided a copy of the Congregational Church records and they are also now on CD.

Karen reported on the recent Town Board meeting that addressed the WHS request for land. Town Attorney Favor Smith said that the town cannot simply deed over land to the WHS. They must receive proper consideration in exchange for the land, but it does not necessarily have to be monetary. Consideration might include such things as preserving the town’s history and providing a community room as part of our building. We need to do further research on what types of consideration have been successful for similar organizations in the past. One town board member also suggested the possibility of a long term lease. We need to research this as well to see if we would be able to obtain a grant based on a lease.

Doug reported that he has obtained some more information about the cannon from a local individual. He identified the gun barrel at the water shed as a three inch Navy cannon post World War II. We need now to determine how the town acquired it. It may have been part of a federal program. This information should be in the town records, though Doug indicated that there seems to be a 30 year gap in the records which may present a problem.

Karen offered a couple of suggestions for our website. One was to add some photos of sample pages of Dr. Hinds’ books. This would allow prospective book buyers to see what type of information can be found in the books. She also suggested we add photos of the Santa’s Workshop Program to the website. We need to keep the website up to date.

Merri advised that we need to order another set of the book of doctor’s records. When Dr. Hinds and Tina Didreckson were in Wilmington last month they gave a presentation on “Capturing your US Farm Ancestor”.

The book of old Wilmington town records is now in the hands of Browns River Conservatory and is being restored. It will be done no later than June 7 of next year.

Karen suggested that we get a musician for next year’s Festival of Colors. Doug reported that most of the attendees at Waterfront Day were local people. The event did get some TV exposure.

The WHS cabinet is now in the town hall and Merri has placed the WHS records in it. She prepared a list of the contents of the cabinet. One copy of the list is in the cabinet, she retained one herself and provided one to Karen and one to Nancy. We need to hold a meeting to set up archival rules and formulate an agreement with the town for making copies. Access to the files will be by appointment and we will need to keep a log book to record usage of files and addition of new files.

Steve Lester indicated that he has some forties era ski boots that he would consider donating to the WHS when we have a heated building to house our acquisitions.

Archive Week will be October 8th through the 14th. After some discussion it was decided that we will do some displays and a slide show from 10 AM to 1 PM on Saturday October 14th. Doug will bring a digital projector, laptop and screen. Merri will provide a CD of photos and bring the digital voice recorder.

Karen has sent in the paperwork for WHS to participate as a Peer Review Pilot Site. Our participation in this project will help us in our quest to obtain a permanent charter.

The open discussion topic for tonight is on Churches and Religion in Wilmington.

Merri made a motion to adjourn the meeting and it was seconded by Nancy. All voted in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Cressey
Secretary

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