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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
7:00 PM, Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Wilmington Fire House


Merri Peck
Doug Wolfe
Steve Connor
Guy Stephenson, Jr.
Bob Cressey
Nancy Cressey

The meeting was called to order by Vice President Merri Peck who introduced our guest speaker Julie Robinson, renowned antiques writer, lecturer and appraiser who now resides in Upper Jay, NY. Julie gave a very interesting program, “Antiques and Collectibles—What’s in Your House?” She talked about several different categories of collectibles and showed us many examples that she had brought along, including items made of celluloid plastic, which is her area of specialization. After her talk she went around the room and looked at various items that the audience members had brought in, giving informal appraisals where she could and talking about how to learn more about the items and determine the value. The program was well received and there were seven people present in addition to the members listed above who stayed for the regular business meeting.

The business meeting was called to order at 9:30 by Merri Peck. Guy Stephenson moved to accept the February minutes as read and Doug Wolfe seconded the motion. It carried unanimously.

Bob Cressey gave the treasurer’s report. The bank balance is $2,163.49 and there is $180.00 additional to be deposited, giving a total of $2,443.49. Nancy Cressey reported that to date we have 47 (66 individuals) out of 117 (165 individuals) total memberships that have been renewed or are still current. Seventy memberships (99 individuals) have lapsed. She also noted that there seems to be a trend of renewals at a lower level. Merri suggested that we include a reminder to members to renew in the next newsletter. Steve Connor introduced a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report and it was seconded by Guy. All voted in favor.

Merri reported on communications. She passed around several brochures we received in the mail for upcoming events. In response to an October article about plane crashes in the Adirondacks, Karen Peters wrote a letter to Adirondack Life about the plane crash into the Nazarene Church which was not mentioned in the article. She offered to supply photos and information. In addition, Doug Wolfe has information to provide about another plane crash on Whiteface Mountain that was not mentioned in the article.

Merri also mentioned an email from the Rensselaer County Historical Society about activities planned for National Preservation Month.

We received an email from Margaret Gibbs of the Essex County Historical Society. On May 28th they are celebrating the 50th anniversary celebration for the Adirondack History Center Museum. They would like to know if we are interested in participating in the celebration and providing a float for the parade. Our response is needed by early May. Karen sent a thank you to the owner of the Virtual Reality Bobsled/skeleton, etc. rides to thank him for his willingness to do a fundraiser for us at the fall Festival of Colors. She also thanked the Library Board of Trustees and the librarian for their willingness to work with us for future activities and events, and she sent a thank you to Ginny Crispell for her continuing work on the storage trailer project.

Patrick McIntyre sent email advising that he has made numerous updates to our website, including information on the Antiques and Collectibles program and the booksigning under Schedule of Events, numerous links to other resources on the Welcome page, a new page for Wilmington books, a link to the cemetery information and an updated membership application. He has also requested the Essex County Historical Society to add a link to us on their website.

Merri reported for the Library, Museum, and Historic Sites Committee that the meeting with the Library Board had a positive outcome. We donated a CD to the library of the original Wilmington Town Records, photographed by Bob and Nancy Cressey. The library board agreed that, indeed, we have some overlapping responsibilities concerning archival records. We may be able to duplicate certain appropriate archival records for safekeeping and to provide wider public access. We agreed to provide copies of our meeting minutes to the library and they also agreed to do the same for us. We also agreed to consider other mutually supportive activities, such as forwarding program events activities to members of our respective organizations and the purchase of certain historical and genealogical books by both organizations to support archival research. Other items discussed were the sharing of the PastPerfect Software which the WHS now uses, becoming listed in the Directory of Archival and Historical Document Collections by the Northern New York Library Association, attending training sessions for best archival practices provided by the NNYLN, the possibility of joint purchases of equipment for the library and the possibility for a joint fundraising activity. It was suggested that perhaps a small committee (one from each organization, plus the librarian) meet to discuss details for implementation of mutually agreed-upon ideas.

The historical postcard project has been tabled until April when Karen will meet with Rarilee Conway to discuss it.

Steve had nothing new to report on the cannon. He and Doug are planning to contact Chris Fox about the restoration of the carriage. Doug mentioned that the Gattling gun history is in question. He recently read an account of Custer’s battle that claimed he did not take his Gattling guns with him because they were too cumbersome.

Doug suggested that we add some current photos to our website in addition to the historical ones, to give people something they can relate to now—Wilmington history in the making. Guy said that he has found some more pictures of the dam to add to our collection.

New volumes of the Wilmington research project books will soon be out, to include tax records, school records and the doctor’s journal.

Doug reported on the Haselton Cemetery sign project. He suggested we consider cobblestone masonry style for the sign since there are many chimneys of this style around. Merri mentioned that Charles Haselton had suggested a sign similar to the one he donated to the Nazarene Church. He is paying for the sign and we need to get him involved upon his return to Wilmington.

Steve suggested we think about a $100 plate dinner as a future fundraiser. There was some skepticism as to whether we would be able to get enough interest in such an event. Guy suggested a beach barbecue and movie event.

Discussion turned back to the Memorial Day Parade in Elizabethtown and we decided we would not be able to provide a float. We will volunteer to put up a fixed exhibit.

Guy made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Steve seconded the motion and all voted in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Cressey, Secretary


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