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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
7:00 PM, Wednesday, May 18, 2005
E.M. Cooper Library


Karen Peters
Guy Stephenson, Jr.
Steve Connor
Gerald Bruce
Ed Hood
Doug Wolfe
Bob Cressey
Nancy Cressey
Merri Peck

Karen Peters called the meeting to order. The members introduced themselves to Mr. Ed Hood, Assistant Director of Planning for the Adirondack Park Agency. Mr. Hood, who has extensive experience with the grant writing process, has graciously volunteered to assist the WHS and the Town of Wilmington in applying for a grant to conserve the original town records of Wilmington. The WHS will need to provide the substance of the grant proposal since Mr. Hood's expertise and experience is not in the area of historical records. He did suggest a number of contacts that should be able to help in the specific area of records preservation, including Margaret Gibbs of Essex County Historical Society and Dave Lowry who is our Regional Advisory Officer for the New York State Archives Partnership Trust. We discussed different sources for grant funding. Karen Peters mentioned that two different grants offered through the National Endowment for the Humanities may be a possible fit for restoration of the town records. Mr. Hood pointed out that we should also research private foundations that provide funding since these grants are often much easier to apply for than the federally funded ones. He also suggested that we call SUNY Plattsburgh to see if they have an expert who would be willing to come and look at the records to assess them and determine what is needed. An assessment of this kind would serve as valuable backup in our grant proposal submission. We thanked Mr. Hood for his input and he excused himself from the meeting at this time.

Karen called for the Secretary's report. Steve Connor pointed out that the date given for the working meeting held at Merri Peck's house was incorrect. Merri made a motion to accept the minutes of the March meeting as corrected and it was seconded by Guy Stephenson. The motion carried unanimously.

Bob Cressey gave the treasurer's report. The treasury balance is $2,781.84. Activity for the month included expenses for equipment and supplies in the amount of $326.46 and income of $120 including $70 for memberships and $50 donation to the computer fund. Steve introduced a motion to accept the Treasurer's report and it was seconded by Doug Wolfe. All voted in favor.

At this time we skipped to the agenda item of Special Committee Reports and Gerald Bruce reported on Cemetery Rules and Regulations for Haselton, Pleasant View and Malbone Cemeteries. He passed copies of the rules and regulations to all present and brought attention to recent changes, specifically item number 9, which reads as follows:

"The Town of Wilmington restricts the planting of shrubs, trees and vines and will remove any shrub or tree deemed dangerous to the public or future destruction to the property or bordering plots, upon due notice to the lot owner. Written permission from the Grounds Superintendent is required on any planting other than living flowers."

On the subject of mapping Haselton Cemetery, Doug Wolfe mentioned that he had spoken to Ray Curran and that he said a low aerial survey of the area including Haselton Cemetery was supposed to have been done recently. Doug suggested that if we locate the survey markers the cemetery can be blocked off into a grid of 30 foot sections which would be adequate for a locator map. The Haselton Cemetery sign can be erected at any time with the map to be added upon completion. Doug also mentioned that the WHS should send a thank you to Rarilee Conway for providing a survey map of the property adjacent to the Pleasant View Cemetery.

Karen reported on communications. The booklet, "Meet the Town 2005" which just came out, contains information about the Wilmington Historical Society. We had a lengthy article devoted to WHS activities in the last town newsletter.

A workshop for preservation of historical records will be held June 9th. We received communications from the Capital District Civil War Roundtable and the American Association for State and Local History newsletter.

We purchased a signed copy of the book, "A Brief History of E.M. Cooper Memorial Library" for the WHS archives.

Karen received a phone call from one of the churches asking if we would be interested in receiving a donation of a 78 rpm Santa's Workshop record in its original jacket. She showed us the record, but said she had not played it. Nancy and Bob Cressey said they would try to transfer the recording onto a tape cassette.

Merri reported for the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee. We have finished sorting through all the boxes of WHS materials stored at her house. The next step is to start going through each of the files we have created and logging the items into our Past Perfect software program. We will meet again when we have our new computer, which may not be by the time of the regularly scheduled date of June 7th. We have applied for a credit card in the name of the WHS which we are still waiting to receive. At this time we are asking for donations to help defray the cost of the new computer as it is an unexpected expense.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee. Guy will lead the Wilmington Iron Mine Tour on Saturday, August 6th. The tour will be limited to ten people by reservation only. It will be about a 3 mile roundtrip walk over uneven terrain and is expected to last about four hours. Participants will meet at the town reservoir at 9 AM and should be prepared with proper footwear, water bottles, lunch and other items as may be needed for a hike of several hours. Guy is a licensed guide and he will be the contact person for this event (518-946-2318). If there is sufficient interest he will set up a date for an additional tour.

Doug will give a new presentation at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center on Tuesday August 23rd at 8:00 PM. The program will be similar to the one he did in February entitled, "Electronics, Whiteface Mountain and the 1980 Winter Olympic Games-Getting the Program Out to the World." The new program will be jointly sponsored by the Falconer Natural History Lecture Series and the Wilmington Historical Society.

Karen emailed Julia Robinson regarding the possibility of doing an antique appraisal fundraiser at the Festival of Colors, but she has not yet received a response. Karen also reported that Sid Ward has asked if we would be interested in having him sell the breadboards he makes as a fundraiser for the WHS. It was agreed by all that this would be a good idea, so Karen will ask him if he would be able to set up a booth at the Festival of Colors.

Guy said he had mentioned to Fran Betters that we would like him to give a presentation on fly fishing, and that he seemed to be willing to do it. Karen will call him and try to get a date set up for a presentation on some weeknight.

Doug is also trying to contact another speaker to set up a date for a program about excavating and examining sites for historical artifacts.

Karen asked that all the program dates be finalized by our next meeting so that this information can be included in our annual report.

Nancy reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that a few memberships are still coming in. We have not received any new volunteers in the past month. Nominations for four positions are still open. So far the incumbents have been nominated and nominations will remain open until the annual meeting when voting will take place.

Karen sent a proposal to the Whiteface Visitor's Bureau that they sponsor a bicycle event as suggested by Doug, to be based on the historic horseback ride by Reuben Sanford. The event would be called "Reuben's Ride" or something similar. The Whiteface Visitor's Bureau would be responsible for running the event and the WHS would provide the historic background. The Whiteface Visitor's Bureau has indicated that they want to discuss this further at their June meeting.

The film festival is still being planned. Bob and Sue Hockert are planning to do it as a fundraiser for all the not-for-profit organizations in town, WHS being one.

Karen said we are ready to start planting. She has received some plants-daylilies and lilacs-from the president of the Ausable Garden Club, and she plans to use their donation of $30 to buy a barrel and a flat of pansies. The planting is scheduled for Wednesday June 25th at 10 AM and Karen will contact those people who have volunteered to help with landscaping.

Karen has been in touch with Jeanne Ashworth about the insurance issue. We still need an appraisal of the gun. Steve said that Chris Fox has not been available to do this yet. Steve also mentioned that he has talked to Terry about going to look at the barrels of the Gatling gun. He is working toward getting the gun parts all in one place.

Karen advised that Patrick McIntyre has made a number of updates to our website. Since May 14, 2004 we have had 526 hits on the site or an average of 44 per month. Most of the hits have come more recently, so it appears that the site is gaining in popularity.

Karen mentioned that Jeanne Ashworth announced at the town board meeting that she would like to have the unveiling ceremony for the dam plaque. She needs information about all the people on the plaque and wants the WHS to help with the ceremony. Doug is working on collecting the information.

The WHS will have a display of photos of the dam and other town sites at the Essex County 50 year celebration on May 30th. Bob Cressey will take some photos of buildings around town and email them to Merri. Merri will print the photos and give them to Doug who will transport the display to Elizabethtown.

Our next meeting on Wednesday June 15th will be the annual meeting and election of officers will be held.

Guy made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Bob seconded the motion and all voted in favor.

Respectfully submitted
Nancy Cressey


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