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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Wilmington Community Center


Karen Peters
Doug Wolfe
Guy Stephenson
Barbara Rothman
Nancy Cressey
Bob Cressey
Merri Peck

Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM. Barbara Rothman again brought cookies donated by Chris Santa. We began with our open discussion of “Wilmington Wood Products.” All of the early sawmills were along the river. There were many mills over the years located in various places throughout the town. One event of historical significance was the fire that burned the Haselton mill in 1923. There were also a number of kilns in Wilmington. Charcoal making was an important industry. Some other wood products of the area are rustic decorative furniture, picture frames and chain saw carvings.

The business meeting commenced with Karen’s call for the secretary’s report. Guy Stephenson made a motion to accept the minutes as read. Merri Peck seconded the motion and all voted in favor. Bob presented the treasurer’s report. We had income of $425 including $125 from memberships and a $300 donation from Doug Wolfe who donated the honorarium he received as a speaker at the 2011 Falconer Spring Lecture Series. Our expenses totaled $383.75 and included $54.30 for postage, $20 for training, $245 for inland marine insurance and $64.45 for archival supplies. Our current bank balance is $5,857.11. Guy Stephenson moved to accept the treasurer’s report and Doug Wolfe seconded the motion. It carried unanimously. Bob also reported that Form 990 was mailed to the Internal Revenue Service.

Karen then reported on communications. We received a note from Lake Placid Elementary 4th grade teacher Alison Smith thanking us for our support of their 4th grade anthology project. Sharon Boysen, Supervisor of the Town of Essex sent a query concerning where town archives can be stored. Karen replied, informing her that certain town records must be held by the town, while others may be disposed of or given to a historical society. Karen referred her to the Region IV contact person Denis Meadows for further clarification. As a result of this exchange, Karen decided to contact Denis Meadows about the chattel mortgages which the WHS received from the town. According to Mr. Meadows, chattel mortgages are not on the list of records which the town is required to retain, but because they are dated prior to 1910 the town may be required to retain them anyway. In order for the WHS to store them we need to have a signed deposit agreement between the town and the WHS. Given that we have records of all the chattel mortgages in one form or another, and we are running very low on storage space, it was suggested that perhaps we should return the chattel mortgages to the town with a letter detailing the requirements for their disposition. The Poll records could also possibly be returned to the town for storage.

Karen sent thank you notes to Doug Wolfe and Chris Santa, and a letter to Bridget Hinman of the Olympic Regional Development Authority for again providing a free trip up the toll road as a membership incentive. Shirley Lawrence gave Karen a plaque commemorating Adeline Jaques’ service to the library. She said someone from the library had taken it down some time ago and said they did not want it. The consensus among those present was that the plaque rightfully belongs in the library since without the efforts of Ms. Jaques we probably would not have a library. Barbara Rothman will talk to the library board about having the plaque returned to its place in the library, but if they will not accept it the WHS will retain it.

Karen received an email from Jan Betters. She will donate Fran Betters’ North Country Newspapers to the WHS. A research request was received from Peter Ingraham. He has a measuring stick which is one inch square and a yard long. On one side it reads, “I love Wilmington, NY” and on the other it says, “Whiteface Mountain-Four Season Resort.” He wanted to know if we had any information about where it came from. No one remembered this item specifically, but they agreed it probably came from the Chamber of Commerce.

The person who contacted us about the Christmas ornament sent a message saying she would be interested in helping the designer of the new ornament with the details of what the original one was like. Karen will keep her in the loop. Karen sent a response to Peter Tomlinson’s inquiry about the Wilmington Inn.

Merri reported for the Library, Museum and Historical Sites Committee that they did more reorganizing of the cabinets. She and Gil Dyke updated the inventory list.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee that our program schedule for 2011 is now complete. Programs are:

Friday, June 10 Lionel Arlan “The Evolution of the Adirondacks” – a geologic exploration
7 PM, Wilmington Community Center

Friday, July 1 Amy Godine “Imaging the Adirondacks: How the Adirondacks got its Face”
7 PM Wilmington Community Center

Sunday, July 10 Harold Hinds Book signing and lecture by author of Crafting a Personal Family History Time to be announced, Adirondack History Center Elizabethtown

Friday, July 15 Don Williams “Adirondack Tools and Tales”
7 PM Wilmington Community Center

Friday, Aug 12 Caperton Tissot “Adirondack Ice: A Cultural and Natural History”
7 PM Wilmington Community Center

Saturday, Sep 10 Festival of Colors Theme is “Made in Wilmington”
9 AM to 4 PM Heritage Park and/or baseball field on Springfield Road

Saturday, Oct 22 Bob & Karen Peters “Wilmington History in Postcards”
10 AM to 2 PM Wilmington Community Center

Nancy Cressey reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that we received 5 memberships since our last meeting. Response to the membership drive is slowing down and Nancy will send out reminders to those who haven’t renewed sometime in June. Nominations for election of president, vice-president, secretary and one trustee position currently occupied by Guy Stephenson remain open. The incumbents have been nominated for president, vice-president and secretary. Guy Stephenson declined to accept the nomination for the trustee position. Gilbert Dyke was nominated for the trustee position. Elections will be held next month.

Doug Wolfe reported on the meeting he attended April 26th on the Scenic Byways Grant for informational signage. The focus of the discussion was, “What do we want visitors to come away with?” Doug provided input for signage in the gondola, summit and memorial highway areas. The WHS will be listed in resources for information.

Karen attended the Wilmington Recreation Plan Meeting. There were three areas of focus: 1) creating maps using an interactive website for mapping town walks, hikes, fishing and paddling areas, 2) signage to be uniform throughout town, and 3) Making streets safe for walking, biking, etc.

Linda has been working on the Great Escape fundraiser.

Guy spoke to Plattsburgh Memorials about repair of the Stephen Partridge headstone. They will come up to look at the stone and give us an estimate. Guy will also check with Lincoln Memorials to obtain a second estimate.

Karen will send Patrick McIntyre information on our programs and the Great Escape fundraiser to be posted on our website.

We received a letter from New York State regarding our application for a permanent charter. The letter explained that there is a huge backlog of applications which have accumulated and they are now going to try to expedite the process. The upshot of this is that we will be having a site visit sometime soon. Karen is working on coordinating this.

Karen and Bob Peters and Linda Joss-Dyke attended the Northern New York Library Network Workshops. The training proved to be very worthwhile and they gained some valuable information.

Guy moved to adjourn the meeting. Bob seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nancy Cressey
Wilmington Historical Society


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