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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Nazarene Church

Karen Peters
Merri Peck
Linda Joss-Dyke
Gil Dyke
Jess Ano
Guy Stephenson
Nancy Cressey

Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 6:30pm. Our meeting time has been changed from 7:00 to 6:30 on a permanent basis. Tonight’s meeting was rescheduled from our regular meeting day of Wednesday, March 7th due to weather. Nancy Cressey will send a thank you note to the Nazarene Church for allowing us to hold our meeting there since the Community Center was not available. Merri Peck told us a few interesting facts about the history of the church building and Karen suggested that we might want to do a church tour at some point.

Karen then requested that the audit committee present their report. The committee was chaired by Merri Peck and the other members were Linda Joss-Dyke, Gil Dyke and Jess Ano. The committee did random checks of the treasurer’s records and found all records to be correct and well-organized. Guy Stephenson moved to accept the audit committee report and Gil Dyke seconded his motion. All voted in favor.

Donna Griffin made a motion to accept the January minutes as read. (February meeting was cancelled due to a winter storm.) Gil seconded Donna’s motion and it carried unanimously.

We then reviewed the treasurer’s report. Our bank balances as of March 13, 2018 are as follows: Operating Account - $2,089.90, Keegan Memorial Building Fund Account at Adirondack Foundation - $50,155.58, Keegan Building Fund Money Market Account - $7,316.37, Zachay Fund - $2,000.00, Building Transfer Fund - $100.00. Karen raised the concern that we may not have enough funds in the Operating Account to cover upcoming expenses for the Whiskey Run. Donna advised that memberships are now coming in, but if necessary we can transfer funds from the money market account and repay it later.

Our membership to the American Association of State and Local History was renewed online for $118.00.

Guy offered a motion to approve the treasurer’s report and it was seconded by Gil. All voted in favor.

Donna presented the proposed budget for 2018. Changes requested at the last meeting were incorporated. Guy moved to approve the 2018 budget as proposed and Gil seconded his motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Karen mentioned that we will soon be receiving new insurance policies for our inland marine and liability insurance. We expect the premium for the liability insurance to increase by about $100 to cover our newly purchased property. Our IRS Form 990 is coming due shortly. Donna has an appointment with H&R Block on March 20th to get the form completed.

Karen then reported on communications. Katherine Reiss acknowledged the sympathy card WHS sent for the loss of her father Bob Reiss. Karen sent a thank you note to Mary Keegan for her generous donation to the WHS Ruth and Thomas Keegan Memorial History Center fund at the Adirondack Foundation. She also sent thank you letters to Col. Dennis Keegan for donations for the purchase of land and for future construction of the WHS Ruth and Thomas Keegan Memorial History Center. Another thank you went to Dennis for his donation of a Boylan Fitz-Gerald painting of the Wilmington Notch. Dennis sent us a summary of his experiences Public Relations Director for the US Olympic Committee from 1978-1984. He also sent a note indicating that he has some photos relevant to the new Whiteface exhibit at the Olympic Museum.

We received a thank you letter from Gettysburg National Park for Karen and Bob Peters donation of the Oscar Maynard diary of his experiences in the Civil War. Fredericksburg National Military Park also sent thanks for donation of information about Oscar Maynard.

Peter Spring sent a note of congratulations to the WHS for our work on the new Olympic Museum exhibit. Karen sent letters to Randy Preston in his capacity as Town Supervisor and as Chairperson of the Essex County Board of Supervisors to request assistance and permission to use roads for the Wilmington Whiteface Whiskey Run.

Karen sent a thank you to Betsy Richert for a donation for research and photos and map copies. Another thank you was sent to Thomas and Frederica Quilla of the Country Bear for providing refreshments for all the 2017 programs and meetings. Finally, Karen sent a thank you and deed of gift to Ardyce Blohm for photos she donated to WHS.

Our acquisitions for the period since our last meeting include the Boylan Fitz-Gerald painting from Col. Dennis Keegan, some photos from Ardyce Blohm, a Malbone genealogy from William A. White, a ski goggle lens wipe printed with a trail map of Whiteface given as a souvenir of the Olympic Museum Whiteface Exhibit opening from Karen Peters, and a copy of Flame Magazine with cover “Silver Skates of Jeanne Ashworth.” There was a research question about some land on Perkins Road in Wilmington. Guy Stephenson was able to provide some information about that property.

Our next research day will be Tuesday, March 20 from 10am to 1pm. The start time for our regular meetings is now changed to 6:30 pm.

The Press Republican newspaper is doing a tabloid listing all area races. They will include our Whiskey Run and we will be preparing an ad to run in the tabloid. Fleet Feet is listing the Whiskey Run on their website. In January the Lake Placid News ran an article about the new Whiteface exhibit at the Olympic Museum. They also did an article about the presentation on ski history given by the WHS at the Olympic Museum. The ski history program was very well attended and Guy and Karen received a lot of positive feedback. The program will be repeated in August. Our Program schedule for 2018 has been finalized as follows:

Saturday, May 12 – Stephenson Range Iron Mine Tour with Guy Stephenson (details to be announced)

Saturday, June 16 – Wilmington Whiskey Weekend featuring the Wilmington Whiteface Whiskey Run at the Festival Field 9:30 am --- www.adkwhiskeyrun.com, Battle of Plattsburgh re-enactors, food and whiskey tastings, a Speakeasy and more… (watch for details)

Friday, June 29 – In the Shadow of a Giant (the history of Paleface) with author Dave Fitz-Gerald - 7pm at the Wilmington Community Center.

Wednesday, July 18 – Marking the Land: A Brief History of Surveying in the Adirondacks with surveyor Ralph Schissler -7pm at the Wilmington Community Center

Wednesday, August 15 – “Whiteface Mountain Ski History” with Karen Peters and Guy Stephenson – 7pm at the Wilmington Community Center

Saturday, September 8 – Festival of Colors—theme “Hiking the Adirondacks—Looking for the View” – 10am-5pm, Festival Field in Wilmington

Our open discussion topics for 2018 are as follows:

Wednesday, April 4 – “Historic Area Ice: ie, ice houses, ice fishing, ice storms, ice jams…”

Wednesday, May 2 – “Wilmington/Jay in the War of 1812—Battle of Plattsburgh”

Wednesday, June 6 – “Wilmington Area General Stores and Markets”

Wednesday, July 11 – “Wilmington Area Women’s Suffrage”

Wednesday, August 1 – “Where & How Families Record Their History” (ie, Bibles, diaries, samplers, recipe books, death cards, photos, obituaries, keepsakes, etc.)

Wednesday, September 5 – “Wilmington Area Wildlife Tales”

Wednesday, October 3 – “Area Adirondack Guides History”

Wednesday, November 7 – “Wilmington Church History”

Karen reported that the ADK 46ers have moved the venue of their 2018 celebration to Saranac Lake so the WHS will not be participating. Our program in conjunction with the Lake Placid Elementary School is set for June 6, 7, 8, 11, 12 and 13.

Karen said Monica McGaughey has the voter registration rolls for 1920, showing women voters in the area.

The membership brochures for 2018 went out and membership renewals are now coming in. As of March 13th membership total for 2018 is at 62. Karen reported that she had spoken to Michelle Preston about the idea of offering free memberships to newcomers at the annual dinner. Michelle suggested that we provide her information about WHS membership and make up a certificate good for a free membership to be provided to each newcomer at the dinner. Merri volunteered to design the certificate.

We now own property that is the future site of the WHS Ruth and Thomas Keegan Memorial History Center building. We want to make known that purchase of this property was aided by Janet Bliss who provided pro bono legal services and surveyor Ralph Schissler who discounted the cost of the survey. Fundraising for our building will continue.

Karen and Merri attended a meeting at the Keene Valley Library on November 13th. Keene Valley is interested in starting a historical society and Karen and Merri gave a presentation on how to get started with the process.

The new Olympic Museum Whiteface Mountain exhibit will be on display for one year.

Linda reported on the Whiskey Run progress. Members of the committee went to the Regional Destination Marketing Review hosted by the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism on January 25th at Pourman’s Taphouse. The focus of the meeting was on publicity. Activities for the weekend will include crafters from the Adirondacks for the 1812 time period and period music. Don Perkins has agreed to play for a couple hours. Many of last year’s sponsors have already committed again. We need to get the Whiskey Run information put on our website.

Merri reported that the donation envelopes for memorial donations are ready.

Guy reported that he spoke to Randy Preston about getting the Gattling gun moved in the spring. Randy agreed that the town would help move it up to the fenced in area by the reservoir. It will need to be tarped since it will be outside. We need to contact a salvage yard to get the trailer moved.

Karen said she had spoken to the town about storage of our important papers such as the deed, title insurance, survey map, etc. The town has given us permission to keep them in the town vault.

We discussed and finalized our 2018 and Long Term Plans which are shown on a separate document.

Karen reminded all that she needs our volunteer hours for 2017.

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

Respectfully Submitted,
Nancy Cressey
Wilmington Historical Society


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