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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Wilmington Community Center

Karen Peters
Merri Peck
Guy Stephenson
Nancy Cressey
Bob Cressey
Jeri Wright
Donna Griffin (via telephone)

Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 6:30pm. The discussion topic for tonight is “Historic Area Ice: ice houses, ice fishing, ice storms, ice jams…” Jeri Wright started the discussion with photos of ice storm damage and an article from the June 1998 Wilmington Town Newsletter about the Ice Storm Appreciation Celebration. She also had some photos of the celebration at which the town recognized the first responders and volunteers who helped out during the storm. Guy Stephenson talked about how he was working at the bobsled run during the storm. The bob run crew spent at least a week helping to clear area roads. Guy also showed a photo of Haselton Road during the 1950s when they used dynamite to clear an ice jam. He related a story about the danger of breaking up ice jams with dynamite. Merri Peck showed us two short videos of ice harvesting and Guy mentioned that there is still an ice harvest every year in Raquette Lake and he showed us a jig stick and a tip up which were used for ice fishing. Jack Wolfe sent an email describing his memories of an ice house on Bonnieview. Karen showed some photos and read excerpts from the book, Adirondack Ice by Caperton Tissot.

Karen then showed us the website done by Bob Hockert for the Whiskey Run. She also passed around one of the participation medals, which is a two ounce metal flask on a lanyard. She then called for the secretary’s report. Guy moved to accept the March minutes as read and his motion was seconded by Merri. The motion carried unanimously.

We then reviewed the treasurer’s report. Our bank balances as of March 31, 2018 are as follows: Operating Account - $4,691.33, Keegan Memorial Building Fund Account at Adirondack Foundation - $50,155.58, Keegan Building Fund Money Market Account - $5,316.37, Zachay Fund - $2,000.00, Building Transfer Fund - $200.00 and Petty Cash - $100.00. Donna said we transferred $2,000.00 from the money market account to our Operating Account to cover expenses for the Whiskey Run. We will repay it as memberships come in and replenish the Operating Account. Donna reported that we took in $2,300.00 for our annual appeal and our IRS Form 990 is presently being worked on by H&R Block. Merri then made a motion to approve the treasurer’s report and it was seconded by Guy. All voted in favor.

Karen then reported on communications. We received a letter from attorney Janet Bliss outlining the accounting of funds for our property purchase. She also enclosed copies of documents pertaining to the property purchase. Karen advised us that we will keep all the important documents pertaining to our property ownership in the Wilmington town vault. The Gordon Pratt Agency sent an endorsement to our liability insurance policy adding our newly purchased property to the policy. The additional fee will be $1.00. We received a notice from Dave Fitz-Gerald that he is doing a Crowdrise Fundraiser to benefit the WHS. He will be re-enacting the historic 50 mile hike completed by Denny Miller in 1963, only in the reverse direction, from Plattsburgh to Lake Placid. Donations can be made at www.crowdrise.com/. This has been emailed to all members and we will put notices in the Jay News, newspapers and on Facebook. We want to encourage everyone to support this effort. Dave is also a speaker for our program on Friday, June 29th.

Karen sent Dennis Keegan copies of the recent press release about the property purchase and a list of all the newspapers and other places where it appeared. Dennis sent us a biographical article about himself which will appear in the Symphony Guild.

Guy reported that he has been seeking a salvage company to remove the trailer from the town property. The town will cooperate with us to move the Gatling gun up to the property by the reservoir. We will provide a tarp to cover it since it will be stored outdoors.

We had one research request about the O’Brien family. Our next research day will be Tuesday, April 17 from 10am to 1pm. Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee. Our meeting time is permanently changed to 6:30pm. She put Whiskey Run Heritage Celebration information on Facebook both for the runners and for the public in general. We put an ad for the Whiskey Run in the Press Republican Tabloid. News articles about our land purchase went to Lake Placid News, Sun News, Plattsburgh Press Republican and the Jay News.

Nancy Cressey reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that our membership total for 2018 now stands at 82. Nancy said that she has composed a welcome letter for the newcomers who respond to the offer of free membership that was given at the Community Dinner.

Guy reported that the town has appointed Doug Nemec as the new head of the Cemetery Committee. He will be in charge of burials and getting cemetery records and maps in order. Karen reported for the Fundraising Committee that the Whiskey Run planning is coming along well. They have been working on Public Relations, setting up heritage crafters and artisans and food vendors. We will have a WHS tent with information about Wilmington’s whiskey heritage. We will have Battle of Plattsburgh reenactors and music by fiddler Don Perkins. We are trying to get these attractions funded by the Quick Grants Program from Humanities New York.

Patrick McIntyre has started working on updates to the WHS website.

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

Respectfully Submitted,
Nancy Cressey
Wilmington Historical Society


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