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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of meeting
7:30 PM, Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Wilmington Community Center


Karen Peters
Doug Wolfe
Guy Stephenson
Merri Peck
Bob Cressey
Nancy Cressey
Lora Bushy
Zuzka Schaffer

Karen Peters called the meeting to order and we held our open discussion on Aviation History in Wilmington. At the conclusion of the open discussion Karen called for the secretary’s report. Guy Stephenson made a motion to accept the February minutes as read and it was seconded by Merri Peck. The motion carried unanimously.

Bob Cressey gave the treasurer’s report. He reported that our bank balance is $2,614.37. We had income for the month of $310 including $300 from memberships and $10 in donations. Our expenses of $683.41 included $18.80 for postage, $65.80 for office supplies and $598.81 for archival supplies. Bob reported that he has been unable to contact Tech Soup regarding the status of our software purchase. They have not responded to our letter or email and he was not able to reach anyone by phone. Bob also reported that he completed the 990EZ form and he asked Karen to review it prior to mailing to the IRS. Doug Wolfe offered a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report and it was seconded by Nancy Cressey. The motion passed unanimously.

Karen reported on communications. We received a letter from Lake Placid Middle and High School regarding “Read Aloud Day” on Friday April 25th. Karen will represent the WHS at this event and do an eight minute presentation to the students. She plans to read an old newspaper article about Reuben Sanford, founder of Wilmington, which was written by his daughter. This is an opportunity to give the students some exposure to the history of Wilmington which they might otherwise not receive.

Karen said that Randy Preston had passed along a letter from the U. S. Senate about grants for small and mid-sized institutions available from the National Endowment for Humanities. The deadline is too soon (May 15) for us to pursue a grant this year, but we need to keep it in mind for next year. The requirements for these grants are on line at preservation@neh.gov.

We received a thank you from the Museum Association of New York for our membership. The National Trust for Historic Preservation sent us some information about the benefits of membership in their forum. The cost is $225. Consensus was that we already receive the benefits they describe from other organizations that we already belong to. Member Ann Hewitt Worthington sent a letter expressing appreciation for the work that the WHS is doing. We had a note from Lora Bushy thanking us for the list of open discussion topics and she will publish reminders in her column. Karen sent a thank you to the Olympic Regional Development Authority for again offering a free trip up the Whiteface Highway as an incentive for the WHS membership drive. The NY State Department of Education sent a letter acknowledging receipt and thanking us for our absolute charter petition.

Karen sent a letter to Randy Preston and the town board advising them that in compliance with the requirements for our absolute charter petition we created a disaster plan using an online template that was available to us as a historical society. The plan is a 173 page document and could be used for the entire Community Center with some adaptation if the town wishes to do that.

Karen sent thank you notes to Ellie McAvoy and Billie Loughran for providing refreshments at Doug Wolfe’s program “Ascending the Mountain Historic Adventures: Whiteface” on March 14. Karen sent a letter to a Lake Placid High School teacher Mr. Clark offering the resources of the WHS for student research projects.

The Visitor’s Bureau is still interested in having the WHS videotape Fran Betters at the Two Fly Banquet. Karen mentioned that she plans to contact public television to request that they donate to us copies of any videotapes pertaining to Wilmington.

Recent acquisitions include a 1980 Olympics participants manual and an old wooden sign from Doug Wolfe. Merri Peck made copies of the Whiteface Mountain house records from 1859 to 1869 and some Jay town records pertaining to Wilmington people which were in the possession of Mrs. Cutler.

We received no research inquiries this month.

Merri reported for the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee that she and Karen inventoried all our cabinets, labeled the boxes and created a list. This will be a great help in easily locating items from the collection. The list will be refined and detail added as an ongoing process as we continue with the process of cataloguing the entire collection. Bob Peters was able to fix our computer problem with no cost. The problem was evidently caused by the fact that the operating system had not been updated since we do not normally use it on line, and when the updated version of Past Perfect was installed it created a conflict. Bob ran about 100 updates and installed some free firewall and virus software, Zone Alarm and AVG.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee. All our program dates are on the town calendar. Tonight’s meeting was on the community calendar and Karen emailed Lora Bushy with a request for her to publish a reminder about our annual membership drive in her column. Flyers for our open discussions have been posted and the date for the Santa’s Workshop Program has been set for July 11. We do not yet know if there will be a dinner with the program this year. We are still waiting for a program date from Joe Hackett for “Fish Stories & Famous Guides on the Ausable”. Karen wrote an article which will appear in the town’s spring newsletter. Karen said that Guy Hayward, owner of one of the motels in Wilmington, would like to create a package deal with Guy Stephenson’s Iron Mine Tour. Guy Stephenson will check into this further to determine if it is feasible.

Nancy reported for the Membership and Nominations committee that we received six memberships for a total of $300 in the past month. One of these was at the $250 level. Next month Nancy will send out reminders to those who have not yet renewed. The reminders were quite successful last year.

Karen said that she did not attend the last Visitor’s Bureau meeting. She did attend the newcomer’s dinner as representative for the WHS.

Karen reported for the Wilmington Community Enhancement Committee that the town received a $50,000 planning grant toward a new community center. The purpose of the grant is to examine the uses of all community buildings and how they fit with the current and future needs of Wilmington and the WHS requirements were one of the main drivers behind the grant. Now is the time to insure that we identify all our needs with regard to space, etc. Guy mentioned that we should make sure the planning covers space for display of the cannon and Gattling gun, though these belong to the town and would not be part of the WHS display space requirements. Karen said that Bob Hockert told her that the proposed speaker from Geothermal Associates has been postponed because so many residents are away this time of year.

Karen has forwarded website update requests to Patrick McIntyre.

We need to prepare a response to Professor Hinds’ Letter of Intent to donate his library to the WHS.

We received an email from one of the planners for the Essex County Fair. The Theme will be “Old Fashioned Harvest” and they are requesting photos. They are planning a booth for the various historical societies and they have invited us to have a small display.

Merri has been looking into grants from the Honeybee fund. After some discussion the consensus was that we should try to obtain grant money for a digital projector since this would be a useful item for our programs and we don’t have the budget to purchase one at this time.

Karen reported that we now have a mailbox at the Community Center.

Guy moved to adjourn the meeting, Merri seconded the motion and all voted in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Cressey


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