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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
7 pm, Wilmington Community Center

Karen Peters
Guy Stephenson
Barbara Rothman
Mary Miller
Gene Loughran
Gil Dyke
Doug Wolfe
Merri C. Peck
Linda Joss-Dyke

Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM and our discussion on the History of the Wilmington Fire Department began. Gene Loughran talked about MET/EMT history in Wilmington. The names of Allen Lawrence and Nick Stephenson were discussed. There were different patches for members. Gene talked about patches, testing regulations, and the change from Department of Public Safety to Department of Health jurisdiction. Karen Peters introduced documents concerning the first charter for the volunteer fire department, archive records of members, records of Fire Board Members and many newspaper articles referring to related events. Karen shared the Earl Warren Commissioner Badge (Shield) from the WHS collection. Doug Wolfe read an article about funding and equipment of the first Fire Department. Conversation included information on annual competition events (which are still occurring in the state); equipment, hydrants, separation of the fire and rescue squads; contract services with the ski center; paid positions; fires in town; fatalities; and types of fires and causes. Guy, Karen, Doug, and Gene contributed history and facts. The recording of the discussion is on file and visitors are welcome to explore the archives during WHS Tuesday night research sessions, which are usually the third Tuesday of each month. Karen thanked all Fire and Rescue volunteers for their time and commitment. Karen called the discussion to an end at 8:15p.m.

Karen began the business meeting by calling for the secretary’s minutes of April 4, 2012. Guy Stephenson moved to accept the minutes. Gil Dyke seconded. Motion passed.

Karen gave the treasurers’ report submitted by Bob Cressey, who was absent. Karen presented the revision for April’s report. The balance should have been $4070.45. Guy Stephenson moved to accept the correction. Doug Wolfe seconded. The motion passed. The May Report starting balance: $4070.45. Expenses were: $20.03, postage, and $814.00, insurance. Income was $70.00, memberships. Ending balance $3306.42. Karen explained the increased cost of insurance on the collection and the increased coverage she negotiated. Gil Dyke moved to accept the report. Doug Wolfe seconded. The motion passed.

Communications report included an update on the Acadia book application and that Caitrin Cunningham was assigned as editor for the WHS project, if the project is accepted and goes to contract. In other communications, on August 1, Pulitzer Prize winning author William Kennedy will be the guest speaker in Saratoga Springs. On September 5th, Allen Taylor will speak at SUNY Plattsburgh on the topic: The War of 1812, and on October 4, there will be a dinner at the Gideon Putnam with speaker Jennifer Hull Dorsey of Sienna College on the War of 1812. Other items reported were the Wild Center Project, Scenic Byways, stops along the Veterans Memorial Highway, the display of the Whiteface Mountain Scale Model, and local political action regarding the passage of state highway funding.

Acquisitions & Research: Karen reported that ORDA provided five pictures for the WHS archives. It was also reported that research requests were received for the following: genealogy request on the Owens and Hinds Family, a request from Adirondack Life concerning lumbering on the AuSable River along with a photo request, a request for information concerning Dr. Ernest Orsi, a Whiteface tunnel construction photo request, and a genealogy research request on the Pelkey family. A research request from Prof. Harold Hinds lead to Merri Peck reading a humorous historical article about a Wilmington resident’s missing wife.

WHS received three more boxes of research materials from the Hinds collection.

A correction concerning Mr. Storrs in the Historical Walking tour of Wilmington will be made by Karen per relative’s request.

Open discussion topics and WHS programs for 2012 have been posted and are on our WHS website. Archival work sessions have also been posted. Programs for 2012, all to be held at the Wilmington Community Center are:

Friday, June 15, 7 PM—9 PM The History of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere and its Effects on Climate Change
Rich Brandt, ASRC
Friday, July 6, 7 PM—9 PM The Underground Railroad
Don Papson, North Country Underground Railroad Association
Friday, July 27, 7 PM—9 PM The Wilderness Life of Noah John Rondeau, Adirondack Hermit
Jay O’Hern, author
Friday, August 24, 7 PM—9 PM Links, Chains and the Mallory Grant
Joseph Provoncha, Essex County Clerk
Friday, October 26, 7 PM—9 PM Adirondack Tales of Folk and Fancy
Karen Glass, storyteller

Wilmington Historical Society now has a Facebook page. All who have Facebook accounts are requested to check it out and “like” us on Facebook at: facebook.com/WilmingtonHistoricalSociety.

Nancy Cressey submitted her membership report in print. There were four new memberships since April. As for Nominations:
The following nominations were made during the meeting:

Karen Peters- President
Merri Peck-Vice President
Nancy Cressey – Secretary
Doug Wolfe-Trustee
Voting will be at the June meeting. Additional nominations may be made from the floor before the vote.

Karen reported on events and news from the Whiteface Visitor’s Bureau, including updating our information on the Visitor’s Bureau website. Michelle Burns sent copies of minutes from January, February, and March 2012 Whiteface Region Business and Tourism meetings.

Linda Joss-Dyke reported that sales of Great Escape tickets have begun. They may be purchased at the Village Hardware Store, Visitors’ Center, and T&T Tanning or by contacting the WHS at 518-420-8370. The fund raiser is the best way to purchase tickets for Great Escape. Tickets are deeply discounted at $22.50, with the ability to upgrade to a special “come back” (one additional day ticket) or to a season pass. Check for information on posters located throughout the town of Wilmington, on our website at www.wilmingtonhistoricalsociety.org or on our Facebook page at facebook.com/WilmingtonHistoricalSociety. The Wilmington Historical Society receives a portion of the sales as a fundraiser offered to non-profit organizations by the Great Escape.

Karen reported that she has sent in the application to Arcadia Press for publishing a photo book entitled Wilmington and the Whiteface Region. We have many photos in our collection, but we will be looking for more to include in this project, if the project is accepted by the publisher.

Guy Stephenson reported that repairs on the Partridge Stone at the Pleasant View Cemetery should be completed soon. Stephen Partridge was a War of 1812 hero who was one of the first to be killed at a skirmish that took place between the British and Americans just prior to the Sept. 11-14, 1814 Battle of Plattsburgh.

Gil Dyke had no update to report on the town bridge.

Doug Wolfe had no report on the ORDA project.

May 29, 2012 will be the next archive research night, 6-9 pm. (Date changed due to scheduling conflicts.)

Gil Dyke moved to adjourn the meeting. Doug Wolfe seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 9:14p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Linda Joss-Dyke,
acting secretary in the absence of Nancy Cressey


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