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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
7:00 PM, Wednesday,
February 4, 2009
Wilmington Community Center


Karen Peters
Doug Wolfe
Merri C. Peck
Guy Stephenson
Bob Cressey
Nancy Cressey

Karen Peters called the meeting to order. The discussion topic was Restaurants in Wilmington. At the close of the discussion Karen called for the secretary’s report. Guy Stephenson moved to accept the minutes as read and the motion was seconded by Merri Peck. Karen then brought up the subject of our budget which was adopted at the last meeting. Karen found out that the budget income must equal projected expenses since we are a non profit organization, so we had to make a minor adjustment to comply with this requirement. Bob Cressey passed out copies of the proposed revised budget. Merri offered a motion to accept the proposed revision and it was seconded by Doug Wolfe. The motion carried unanimously and the revised budget was adopted.

Bob then gave the treasurer’s report. He passed out copies of the report in Quickbooks format and also in his original format. He explained that the Quickbooks report shows only income and expenses and does not reflect our current bank balance. Our bank balance is currently $5,142.74. We had income for the month of $370 including $120 in memberships and $250 from a donation. Our expenses for the month totaled $382.18, including $55 for membership in the Museum Association of New York, $176.20 for postage, $113 for purchase of books and $37.98 for purchase of office supplies. Merri made a motion to accept the treasurer’s report and Guy seconded it. The motion carried unanimously. Bob reported that we had received a mail solicitation offering the WHS a no fee credit card. We agreed that it would be useful to have a credit card so that we can make online purchases without using someone’s personal card, however we decided that it might be better to find out what our own bank will offer. Bob will investigate to see whether we can get a no fee debit or credit card from NBT Bank where we have our account.

Merri read the audit report. The committee reported that everything was in good order and that all the recommendations from the last report had been adopted and followed. There were no findings. Nancy Cressey made a motion to accept the report and it was seconded by Karen. All voted in favor.

Karen reported on Communications. The American Association for State and Local History sent a letter asking for a donation to their annual fund. Karen suggested that this is something we might think about. Nancy wrote a thank you note to the Methodist Church Senior Nutrition Program participants for helping us with our recent membership mailing. Bob sent a letter to Frank Scsigulinsky for tax purposes acknowledging his contribution of 56 VRS tickets valued at $7 each during 2008. Karen said that she had spoken to Bridget Hinman about the possibility of getting copies of posters and photos from ORDA. She agreed to get back to us on this when the busy season is over. We want to thank ORDA for again allowing us to offer a free trip up the toll road as a membership benefit.

Merri reported that she had sent the post office historical information to Professor Hinds as he requested. She also said that she had received a phone inquiry from Bill Farrell as to the origin of the name Dansville, which was the original name of the town of Wilmington. He wanted to know if it was named after two early settlers in the town. Doug and Karen both said that most references to the name seem to indicate that it was named after a town in Vermont. Mr. Farrell also asked who were the famous people of Wilmington. Consensus was that Henry Markham, Reuben Partridge and Reuben Sanford are three of the most likely candidates for the designation of famous persons of Wilmington.

Merri also reported that Tracy Lawrence donated a watch he received from Karen LeClair to the WHS. The watch originally belonged to Kenneth “Skeet” Lawrence who worked for the town of Wilmington for 52 years. The watch is inscribed on the back with the words “Skeet 52 years”. We will need to obtain a deed of gift for the watch. Karen advised that we received the deed of gift for the 1980 Olympic collection donated by Augie Augenthaler. This is our third largest collection. Doug suggested that we should try to obtain a biography of Mr. Augenthaler to put with the collection. Karen showed us an old newspaper article about Whiteface from the Washington Globe which she obtained from Ebay.

Merri reported for the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee that has nearly finished updating the virus and Microsoft programs on the computer. We received five copies of the Tax Assessment Records book Volume 11 of the Wilmington book series.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee. She and Doug met and established the schedule for our open discussions and it has already been posted around town. They are also working on our program schedule. Karen will have those programs with firm dates posted on our website and we will add programs as the schedule is firmed up. Lora Bushy wrote a very nice article about the WHS in the Lake Placid News.

Nancy Cressey reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that we received seven memberships for a total of $120 since the last meeting. She also reported that the seniors at the Methodist Church helped with our membership mailing by sticking the labels on the brochures. We greatly appreciated their assistance and we hope they will participate in some of our programs and possibly attend some of our meetings in the future.

Karen advised that the Wilmington Community Enhancement Council read through the proposals and selected MRB Group, an engineering and architectural firm to do the study for the proposed new community center.

Karen is working on getting volunteers for the transcription of the chattel mortgages project. There are two possible volunteers but it will require us to photograph the chattel mortgages. Bob Peters is working on this and Karen has emailed Professor Hinds to update him on the status of this project.

Karen completed the New York State Archives Connecting to Collections survey online.

Karen is working with a group in the Methodist Church to create a booklet for their big anniversary celebration on July 12th. She suggested that we should reach out to the other churches in town to insure that their history is preserved as we have with the Methodist and Nazarene churches. This could be a good project for the coming year.

As a result of an inquiry that Karen received from David Roe, Doug did some research to find out about the old rope tow on Mr. Roe’s property on Quaker Mountain .Doug discovered that Benton Ames ran a garage in Lake Placid where he manufactured rope tows. The first one in Lake Placid was put up in 1936 and there were a number of others located at various hotels during the same general time period. Based on the age of the motor and some other details Doug believes that the rope tow on Quaker Mountain may have been one of these. Mr. Roe was very appreciative of Doug’s research efforts and he and Doug both agreed that it would be worthwhile to look into restoring the old motor for display purposes.

Karen mentioned that the Upstate History Alliance (UHA) is offering some four week mini courses online this spring. The UHA also is advertising a Student Research Competition which is sponsored by New York State Archives. More information about this is available on the website www.archives.nysed.gov.

Karen needs everyone to report their volunteer hours for 2008.

Merri reported that she was approached by Dave Brookman about the possibility of starting an interactive webpage for the WHS which would work the way a Face Book or similar page does. More organizations are beginning to use this type of webpage now. Merri will try to find some examples of other organization pages for us to review.

Guy made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Merri seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Cressey


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