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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
7:00 PM, Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Wilmington Community Center


Karen Peters
Doug Wolfe
Merri C. Peck
Guy Stephenson
Megan Ano
John MacVean
Maurice Fletcher
Barbara Mulvey
Kathleen LeClair
Bob Cressey
Nancy Cressey

Karen Peters called the meeting to order. The discussion topic was “Contributions of Women in Wilmington.” At the close of the discussion Karen called for the secretary’s report. Doug Wolfe made a correction to a name; Judy Rosenbloom should be changed to Trudy Rosenblum. Guy Stephenson moved to accept the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Doug Wolfe and all voted in favor.

Bob then gave the treasurer’s report. Our bank balance is currently $5,376.40. We had income for the month of $105 including $90 in memberships and $15 from a donation. Our expenses for the month were $550.00 for our insurance premium paid to Peerless Insurance. Guy made a motion to accept the treasurer’s report and it was seconded by Merri. The motion carried unanimously. Bob also reported that our 990 form was completed and sent in to the Internal Revenue Service.

Karen reported on Communications. We received the Capital District Civil War Roundtable newsletter. There will be a commemoration of the 175th anniversary of John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry. The Civil War encampment at John Brown’s farm in North Elba this August will be a part of the commemoration. The New York Archives Conference (NYAC) will hold their annual conference at LeMoyne College in Syracuse on June 3-5, 2009. The conference is open to everyone; information and registration are available on the NYAC website at www.nyarchivists.org. The Battle of Plattsburgh Association issued a press release announcing that they will host Don Papson, President of the North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association, to speak on “African Americans and the Battle of Plattsburgh” on Wednesday May 13 at 7PM in the Press Republican Theater. We received the Bessboro Ramblings newletter form the Westport Historical Society. They will host a program on “Building the Lake Champlain Bridge” at their next meeting on Thursday May 14 at 7PM in the Margaret Stockton Room of the Westport Public Library.

There were no new acquisitions during the past month.

We had several inquiries. Mark Urban inquired about Cooper Kiln property. Doug Wolfe sent him a 1909 tax location map along with some JJ Rogers tax records and an air photo of the area. Dennis Perpetua inquired about past industries on Bilhuber Road where he owns some property. Doug confirmed that there had been chicken coops, a sawmill and a factory for pressed sawdust logs. He did not know anything about the cardboard factory that was mentioned in Mr. Perpetua’s inquiry. Sharon Voeller inquired about birth and death records for William G. Cooper. We were unable to help her because the dates were earlier than existing records.

Karen reported for the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee that she and Bob Peters updated the WHS laptop computer so it will be ready for the upcoming World War II Registration Program. Merri reported that she had not entered any new Past Perfect Records but she did update the software on the desktop computer. Past Perfect has offered us an update to our software along with a training CD for $100, but Merri said she did not believe we needed the update at this time.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee. She passed out copies of the 2009 Programs and said color flyers will be posted this week. Karen also has forwarded the information to the newspapers and to our webmaster, Patrick McIntyre. Lora Bushy has been doing a good job of publicizing the WHS in her columns in the Lake Placid News. Karen also wrote an article about the WHS activities for the town newsletter which will be out shortly. Flyers for this Saturday’s World War II Registration program were posted around town last weekend. Doug mentioned that he obtained information on how to submit an article to the NY State Archives. This is something we should consider doing at some point.

Nancy Cressey reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that we received five memberships for a total of $90 since the last meeting. Sometime during the coming month she will send out reminders to those who have not yet renewed their memberships. Four officer positions are up for election in June. These are president, vice-president, secretary and the trustee position currently held by Doug Wolfe. Guy made a motion to open nominations and it was seconded by Merri. All voted in favor. All the incumbents were nominated for their current positions. Nominations will remain open until voting is held next month.

No one was able to attend the last Visitor’s Bureau meeting but we received their list of upcoming events for 2009. These are the 10th Annual Ausable River Two Fly Challenge on Saturday, May 16; the 32nd Annual Uphill Footrace on Saturday, June 7; the 8th Annual Uphill Bike Race on Saturday, June 20 and the 6th Annual Festival of Colors on Saturday, September 12. The Wilmington Community Enhancement Council held their kick off meeting with the MRB Group on Wednesday, April 29. They discussed the overall scope of the project, reviewed possible locations and roughed out a prioritized approach to the project.

Doug said that he had spoken to people at the Highway Department about the World War I vintage artillery barrel that is currently located at that facility. He would like to get it moved to the WHS trailer. The highway department personnel are agreeable with this and Doug will talk to them further about enlisting their help to move it since it is extremely heavy. The gattling gun was also brought up. It is at Terry Avery’s house. Merri suggested we ask Randy Preston to help by offering town employees to help move it.

Karen reported that Nancy George McNabb now has the chattel mortgages for the 1880’s and will begin transcription. Discussion of the interactive webpage was tabled.

Doug reported that Trudy Rosenblum put the air crash photo on her Jay website. Doug has ordered a book and is collecting information. He was told that Jan Ward’s mother may have photos of or parts from the crash. Doug will continue following up to see if they can jointly research the crash.

Guy said that he had spoken to Steve Roberts and he does not believe that we can expect to use the glass negatives as a possible project. The photos may or may not have anything to do with Wilmington and he was not able to get a commitment to pursue it from Steve.

Our inquiry into getting a credit card did not have a positive result. It seems the bank requires an individual to be personally responsible for the card in the event that the WHS is dissolved. Karen checked with other nonprofit organizations to find out how they handle this issue and it seems the majority of them make purchases by using an individual’s credit card and reimbursing that person with a check, keeping a good paper trail. One organization said they had a policy to cover this procedure and sent us a copy. It was agreed that we could adapt this policy to suit the WHS. Bob and Karen will meet in the near future to prepare a draft policy.

The Documentary Heritage Program is holding their spring roundtable May 9th. The topic is “Interviewing and Oral History” which is of great interest to us. Unfortunately, no one is able to attend. Karen will try to get a copy of the materials from the program.

Doug mentioned that Roy Holzer now has the Northern Lights School building gutted and restored to its original state. We should consider it as a possible location for future programs.

Guy mentioned he may be able to obtain a DVD of dog sled races held in Wilmington in 1952.

Merri made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Guy seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Cressey


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