Wow! What a year! As the community joined together to celebrate our 200 years of Wilmington history, history was created. Connections were made between our past and our future to give us roots, teach us, connect us, and create memories. We discovered that the history we share extends far beyond our local community. You are part of the story. We invite you to continue your partnership in preserving the stories that make Wilmington unique.
In preparing for the Bicentennial, Supervisor Roy Holzer suggested a pamphlet and weekly trivia, Judy Lawrence suggested a timeline, and Beth Rowland suggested a small book with photos. All those ideas together resulted in the historical society writing the book, “Wilmington’s Story: The First 200 Years,” to provide a personal, accessible affordable copy of Wilmington’s history to everyone. The problem? We had no recorded recent history—the last 40 years were blank in our files and photo collections. We sent out a call for help, and you all answered. How did you answer? Single copies of photos were taken down from living room and office walls and digitized. New photos were taken, and others were emailed from collections. Documents and books were shared. And best of all, YOU told your stories! That’s what we do at the Wilmington Historical Society…we collect stories to preserve Wilmington history.
Our new building will provide a central location in which to save your stories. What’s your story? Our history is your history. Our new handicapped-accessible history center will house a research and genealogical library, research computer with internet access, an archives-safe room, displays of story-telling artifacts, and meeting space. The building will be available for community use as well.
To date, contributors like you have given over $200,000 toward the building effort. The preliminary engineering and architectural plans have been completed this year and we are setting a financial foundation for upcoming construction expenses. We are also pleased that we have received pro-bono work on our property such as tree removal and other land work, water and electrical taps, and roadwork donated by Jeff Gelfand, owner of the Brook Side Acres. Thank you, Jeff!
As a partner in our work, you can increase your impact by making a monetary donation to our building fund. Please contribute to the Wilmington Historical Society Building Construction Fund by using the enclosed envelope to send a check or go to www.WilmingtonHistoricalSociety.org . Your donation will be doubled as our benefactor, Dennis Keegan, has pledged to match all donations received for the Ruth and Thomas Keegan Memorial History Center. Your gift may be tax deductible. Keep in mind that this kind of donation is also a great way to memorialize or honor a loved one. Planned giving through your will, trust or estate plan is also an option. And please remember the Wilmington Historical Society on Giving Tuesday!
We thank you for your generosity and support. It takes an entire community to preserve all our remarkable Wilmington and Whiteface Region stories!
With much gratitude,
Karen Marshall Peters, President