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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Wilmington Community Center


Karen Peters
Nancy Cressey
Gilbert Dyke
Bill Guille
Linda Joss-Dyke
Peter Spring
Joan Spring
Bob Cressey
Doug Wolfe
Guy Stephenson
Lora Bushy
Merri C. Peck

Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM and our discussion on the History of Skiing in Wilmington commenced. Karen presented a slideshow of skiing postcards from Wilmington. There were views of the Marble Mountain T-bar, the snow cat used on Marble Mountain, Whiteface Mountain Lodge as it was in 1963, the Paleface Ski Center lodge and many other views of these ski areas. Doug Wolfe gave us a history of the ski area development and the land tracts that were acquired for this purpose. The first Class A downhill racing trail in the east was cut in 1938 on land given by the J & J Rogers Company, where the present Wilderness trail is. A constitutional amendment passed in 1941 specified the mileage of additional trails allowed to be developed on Whiteface but work did not begin until after World War II. Guy Stephenson talked about the Quaker Mountain rope tow which was owned by Donna Fox. He also passed around numerous items, including photos, documents, newspaper articles and souvenir ski pins.

Karen called for the secretary’s report at the conclusion of the open discussion. Guy made a motion to accept the minutes as read and it was seconded by Bob Cressey. All voted in favor.

Bob passed out copies of the treasurer’s report. Our current balance is $4,747.11. During the period our only income was $30. This was a refund of a bank fee that was never actually charged to us. Our expenses were $225.85, including $161.08 for postage, $55 for membership dues for Museum Association of New York and $9.77 for office supplies. Merri Peck made a motion to accept the report and it was seconded by Linda Joss-Dyke. The motion carried unanimously. Karen passed out copies of the budget adopted January 4th. Merri handed out copies of the audit report and Karen reminded us that the IRS Form 990 is due in April.

Karen reported on communications. We received a notice of a workshop, “Museums in Conversation” to be held April 22-24 at the Albany Marriott. We also received notice of the opening of the American Locomotive Company Heritage Museum. There was an ad from a company that does Christmas ornaments. Linda is still researching the Christmas ornament fundraiser that we have been considering.

Our acquisitions for the month included some ski postcards from Laurie Bepler, some old Wilmington postcards from Bill Waldy, a book, “North Pole Town” donated by Bob Peters, and another book, “If I Lived in Colonial Times” donated by Karen Peters.

There was a research inquiry from Don Papson about Underground Railroad history associated with the house on Springfield Road formerly owned by Jonathan Goldthwaite. Karen and Doug looked into this but were not able to find much. Karen helped another person with an inquiry about family tree information and Doug assisted someone from Syracuse University with information for a research report.

Merri reported for the Library, Museum and Historical Sites Committee that she and others have been working very hard on organizing the Harold Hinds, Jr. Collection. Much remains to be done. The chattel mortgages and poll books have been returned to the town and there is another box of miscellaneous files that will be scanned and returned to the town to free up more space. Other ideas for freeing up space include keeping only documents and research materials in the Community Center and moving objects/artifacts to another location. We could also donate any duplicate copies of books to the library or other interested organizations. Karen reported on the chattel mortgages. Nancy McNabb completed the chattel mortgages for1880 through 1886 and Karen finished 1887, 1888 and 1889 and all of the 1850’s on January 31st and emailed them to Tina Didreckson. Our next work night is Tuesday, February 21. Karen will be emailing us about other work nights. Doug offered two trivia questions in response to Karen’s request for the town newsletter.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee. All the research nights and meetings are on the calendar with two changes. The July meeting will be on the 11th, since the first Wednesday falls on the 4th, and the May research night was changed to Tuesday May 29th due to a scheduling conflict. Karen has emailed the Lake Placid school district about a possible project with the students but she has not yet received a response. Publicity for this meeting went out to the usual sources. Karen and Doug met and finalized the list of open discussion topics for 2012. The topics are:

March – Post Offices, Postmasters and Stamps
April – Wilmington Dam and Lake Everest
May – Wilmington Fire Department
June – Rum Running, Bootlegging and the Temperance Movement
July – Medical History, Doctors and Health Centers
August – Communications of Wilmington--from the Telephone to the World Wide Web.
September – Whiteface Highway
October – Bridges, Roads and Local Highways
November – Military History Post World War II

It was suggested and we decided to use “Wilmington History in Postcards” as our theme for the Festival of Colors this year. Karen will do a poster on dating of old postcards. She passed out some information on websites which are helpful for this purpose.

Karen’s lecture on “Wilmington History in Postcards” was held January 25th at Howard Johnson’s in Lake Placid. The program had a good turnout and was well received. She mentioned that the Lake Placid Historical Society gives out cards announcing their next program and we agreed that this would be a good thing for us to do also. Karen and Doug also discussed our programs for 2012 but the list has not yet been finalized. Ideas being considered include land grants, the Underground Railroad, climate change, Noah John Rondeau, and a storyteller for Archival week in October.

Nancy Cressey reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that we received no new memberships in the past month. The flyers for the 2012 membership drive are now completed. Nancy contacted Nicole Forbes at the town offices to ask about a list of out of town property owners but was not able to obtain a list. Doug said that the information is available on the Essex County website. Nancy will print labels as soon as possible and contact the Visitor’s Bureau to get permission to use their bulk mailing permit.

Karen passed out a list of events for next year put out by the Visitor’s Bureau. The events are:

May 18-19 Annual Two-Fly Challenge
June 14-17 Annual Wilmington/Whiteface Bike Fest Whiteface Mountain Uphill Bike Race on June 16 and Wilmington/Whiteface 100K 0n June 17
July 22 Ironman
September 8 Annual Festival of Colors
September 22 Annual Whiteface Mountain Uphill Foot Race

Karen reported that the town is designing a website to make visitors aware of recreational opportunities. Karen will take the information we developed for a Wilmington walking tour and have it linked to the website.

We need to consider forming a committee to work on WHS space needs and talk about what direction we want them to take.

Doug is still working on the Post Office display. Linda reported on what she has done to date for the Great Escape Ticket fundraiser. We will be picking up the tickets in March. Linda asked whether we wanted to consider organizing a Wilmington Day. Karen suggested she contact Tina Preston about this to see if she wants to put it on Facebook. Guy said he had heard nothing new about the status of the Partridge cemetery stone and he will contact Abe Lincoln again in the spring. There was nothing new to report on the Wilmington Stone Bridge or the request to the Olympic Regional Development Authority for extra storage/display space.

WHS member Laurie Bepler has authored two Arcadia books and she volunteered to help us do a book for Wilmington. Karen asked that we review the material from Arcadia and look over their questionnaire for the next meeting. We will request a meeting with Laurie to discuss this project.

Karen passed out copies of the action plan for 2012 and reminded everyone that she needs their volunteer hours for 2011.

Bob moved to adjourn the meeting and Guy seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nancy Cressey
Wilmington Historical Society


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