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Wilmington Historical Society
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Wilmington Community Center


Karen Peters
Doug Wolfe
Guy Stephenson
Barbara Rothman
Merri C. Peck
Gilbert Dyke
Linda Joss-Dyke
Margaret Johnson
Donald Dislevy
Kathleen LeClair
Nancy Cressey
Bob Cressey

Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 7:08 PM. We began with our open discussion of “Rocks and Mineral Heritage.” Karen read from a description of Wilmington topography written in 1885. Doug Wolfe brought a geological map for New York State with satellite views of the state showing the Adirondack region. He also brought a geological map of the Whiteface Region which was developed for the 1980 Olympics. He mentioned that in 1935 during construction of the Whiteface Highway a rare rock called selenite was found. Anorthosite, a type of rock which is common in the region, is rare on most of the earth but very similar to rock found on the moon. The Northland Rock and Mineral Club was an important organization in the area. They published field trip guides for the area. Doug has been working on organizing the minutes, news clippings, other records and collections from the club. Guy Stephenson told us that there are a number of iron ore mines dating back to the 1850-1860 era in this area. They are open pit mines which are mostly filled with water now. Guy has led hikes to some of these mines. He said that there is also a lead mine up behind Santa’s Workshop. There was also mention of a gold mine somewhere on Hardy Road. The open discussion concluded at 7:52 and the business meeting commenced.

First order of business was our election of officers and one trustee to replace Guy Stephenson. The following individuals have been nominated:

President - Karen Peters
Vice-President - Merri Peck
Secretary - Nancy Cressey
Trustee - Gilbert Dyke
No additional nominations were offered and Bob Cressey made a motion to close the nominations. It was seconded by Linda Joss-Dyke and all voted in favor. Elections were then held by paper ballot and all the nominees were unanimously elected. At that point Karen announced that we would have a small celebration to recognize Guy Stephenson’s service as a charter trustee. Karen presented Guy with a plaque commemorating his service and a lifetime membership to the Wilmington Historical Society. We then had cake and ice cream in honor of the occasion.

Karen then requested a vote on the Annual Report which the board members had previously received via email. Copies were also passed out to those who had not seen it previously. Guy moved to accept the report as written and Linda seconded the motion. It carried unanimously. Next Karen called for the secretary’s report. Guy moved to accept the minutes as read and Bob seconded. All voted in favor.

Bob gave the Treasurer’s report. Our current bank balance is $5,580.83. During the past month we had income of $1014.63, including $175 from memberships, $839.58 from sale of Great Escape Tickets and 5 cents donation. Our expenses were $1290.91, including $55 dues to the Museum Association of New York, $113.62 for office supplies, $674.79 for a new laptop computer, $123 for software, and $325 for renewal of general liability insurance. Guy made a motion to accept the report and it was seconded by Linda. The motion carried unanimously.

Karen reported on communications. We received a thank you from the Museum Association of New York for our dues payment of $55 and a note from Lake Placid Elementary thanking us for our support of their 4th grade anthology project. Karen sent an email and a note to Denis Meadows thanking him for the recent site visit.

We had one acquisition for the month. Karen donated a copy of the book, “Inside the Club.” There was a query from Alicia Armstrong who helped to place flags on the graves of all the veterans. She wanted to know if there was a way to identify veterans in the Wilmington cemeteries. Karen sent her the link to the Wilmington cemeteries from our website. That allows you to click on a name of anyone in the cemetery and view a photo of the headstone. Karen also said that she will be meeting with someone on June 30th or July 1st who wants to research the Lawrence family.

The Library, Museum and Historical Sites Committee reported that we purchased a new laptop computer with Windows 7 operating system. We received donations of about $2000 worth of software from Microsoft and others through Tech Soup for a processing fee of $123. Among the programs we got are Microsoft Office, a map program, an Adobe photo program and Quick Books. Karen also reported that more reorganizing was done on the research night.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee that our first program of the year will be Friday June 10th at 7PM at the community center. Lionel Arlan will talk on “The Evolution of the Adirondacks” – a geologic exploration. Flyers for the program have gone out. Karen announced that Ginny Crispell has volunteered to do all the flyers for our programs and events. She also said that the information has been provided to the Jay Community News and press releases went out to the various newspapers.

Nancy Cressey reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that we received four memberships since our last meeting. We have approximately 130 paid members to date. Nancy will send out reminders to those who have not yet renewed sometime during this month.

Karen advised us that as a member of the Whiteface Visitor’s Bureau the WHS is also a member of the North Country Chamber of Commerce which allows free advertising by its members of discounts and benefits they provide. Merri suggested that we could advertise the fact that by becoming a member of WHS you get a free trip up Whiteface Memorial Highway.

Karen reported for the Wilmington Recreation Committee that they have received a proposal for design of an overlay map which will allow users of the internet to print out maps specific to their interests.

Guy again talked to Plattsburgh Memorials about repair of the Stephen Partridge headstone. They have not provided an estimate as yet. Guy also spoke to Abe Lincoln at Lincoln Memorials. He gave a preliminary estimate without looking at the stone of about $65 for the repair. He also agreed to go look at the stone and provide an actual estimate of repair cost. Guy will continue to pursue this.

The Battle of Plattsburgh Bicentennial will be coming up in three years. We need to start thinking about what the WHS can do to commemorate this event. Stephen Partridge was in the Culver Hill skirmish which led up to the Battle of Plattsburgh. We could check the rosters to see who from the Battle of Plattsburgh is buried in Wilmington and possibly do some kind of a memorial plaque. The Civil War Sesquicentennial will also be going on soon. Merri said she has the town clerk’s records of all Civil War soldiers and she would like to send to the National Archives for the pension records for all of them. It was suggested that we should have a roster somewhere in town of all the Wilmington war veterans. Merri agreed to start a file of war veterans to accumulate the military biographical information.

Linda reported on the Great Escape fundraiser. To date we have sold 42 tickets worth $839.58. This represents a net profit for WHS of $210 to date. The last day for sale of tickets is June 16th. Linda has also agreed to handle the Christmas ornament fundraiser project. Karen reported that Denis Meadows, Advisor for New York State Archives Region IV, completed the site visit in preparation for our permanent charter on May 23rd. The WHS has met all the requirements some of which are security, handicapped accessibility, proper archive safe handling and storage of collections, and informational displays. Mr. Meadows will now write a report with a recommendation and it will be submitted to the New York State Board of Regents for a vote.

Our website is now up to date. Karen said that Jan Betters has agreed to donate Fran Betters’ North Country Newspapers to the WHS. Our next research night will be June 21st from 6PM to 9PM. Doug has created a photo display on Wilmington Notch which is at the Post Office. He also mentioned that he received a letter from Harold Hinds requesting his attendance at the book signing to be held on July 10th. Some other board members said they had received similar letters.

Gil raised the topic of the stone bridge in town. This bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been found to be in a seriously deteriorating condition and is now limited to vehicles of 20 tons or less. The bridge will have to be replaced at some point and the concern is how we can get the state to maintain the historic stone façade. Linda suggested we approach Steve Engelhart at Adirondack Architectural Heritage for assistance with this issue. Doug moved to adjourn the meeting. Guy seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nancy Cressey
Wilmington Historical Society


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