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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
7:00 PM, Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Wilmington Community Center


Karen Peters
Doug Wolfe
Merri C. Peck
Guy Stephenson
Maurice Fletcher
Barbara Mulvey
Barbara Rothman
Nancy Cressey

Karen Peters called the meeting to order. The discussion topic was “History of Wilmington Campgrounds.” At the close of the discussion we held our annual election for president, vice-president, secretary and one trustee position currently occupied by Doug Wolfe. All the incumbents had been nominated at the last meeting and there were no additional nominations. Merri Peck made a motion to close the nominations and it was seconded by Nancy Cressey. The motion carried unanimously and ballots were passed out to all present. Guy Stephenson counted the ballots and announced that all the incumbents had been unanimously reelected. Karen then passed out copies of the draft annual report. Several minor changes were made and it was decided that our Saturday summer research hours will run from June 20th to August 29th. No research hours will be held on July 4th. Merri offered a motion to accept the Annual Report as amended and it was seconded by Guy Stephenson. All voted in favor. Nancy agreed to run off copies of the annual report and work with the senior lunch group to get the mailing of the report done sometime during the month of June. Karen then called for the secretary’s report. Guy moved to accept the May minutes as read and Doug seconded the motion. It carried unanimously.

Nancy gave the treasurer’s report in the absence of Bob Cressey. We had income of $65 from memberships and no expenses during the last month. Our bank balance is $5,441.40. Nancy mentioned that this did not include an additional $40 in memberships received today because they had not yet been deposited. Guy made a motion to accept the treasurer’s report and it was seconded by Doug. All voted in favor.

Karen reported on Communications. We received an email from Kara Page suggesting that farming history would be a good topic for one of our open discussions. Kara said she would like to help map out the farms of Wilmington. We received a communication from the Museum Association of New York (MANY) saying that they support new deaccessioning legislation introduced in the New York State Assembly and Senate. The new legislation would establish a single standard for all museums for the deaccessioning of items or collections. On Tuesday June 9, the Adirondack Genealogical Historical Society is giving a program at the Saranac Lake Free Library. We received an email from Al Armstrong with photos he took on May 21, when he and his wife Alicia and Mary Pelkey and Theresa Matteson placed 144 American flags on the graves of Wilmington veterans. Al said that Mary and Theresa have been doing this for years and he and Alicia were glad to participate this year. Karen sent an email to Margaret Gibbs and asked for a copy of the materials from the May 9th Roundtable on oral interviews because no one from the WHS was able to attend. Margaret agreed to send us copies. Professional training on best practices for non-profits is being offered at Fort Ticonderoga on June 13. Anyone interested in attending should contact Karen.

Doug reported that Lewis Gordon sent some photos of himself and his wife skiing on Quaker Mountain. Karen reported that the Boothbay Region Historical Society in Maine sent us an old postcard of the Wilmington Flume. Karen passed the postcard around for everyone to see. Merri reported that Cindy Hinds, who is moving away from Wilmington donated some old maps to the WHS. Dave Baker has offered to provide us with information about the history of the Newcomer’s Dinner.

We had a request from an Adirondack author who is writing a book about the history and economic impact of ice. She asked if we had any photos of ice skating. Karen told her that we did have some photos that may be of interest to her. Guy said he received a request from Rob Daly for old photos of log drives. Guy will have Mr. Daly contact Karen and she will provide the requested photos. Guy also spoke briefly about the Story Corps which is being promoted by North Country Public Radio. They will provide a kit with helpful information on doing an oral interview and interviews will be put on a website so they can be easily accessed. Merri said she had some information about this that she will bring to the next meeting.

Merri reported for the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee that she has completed entry of all the Warren collection items into Past Perfect. This is a very big accomplishment since these items represent a major portion of our entire collection. Merri also reported that she finished updating the desktop computer with the Office 2007 software.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee that the Town Newsletter was published since our last meeting. There was a large article on the WHS in the newsletter. The World War II veteran registration program which was held May 9 was quite successful. Ten veterans were registered during the program and materials were sent to a number of Wilmington veterans or their families who are now living out of the area to encourage them to register. Karen has sent all the information about our events and open discussions to Denton Publications for publication in the calendars. Ginny Crispell has agreed to do a flyer for our June 19 Program with guest speaker Andy Flynn, “Turning Points in Adirondack History.” The Lake Placid Middle School visit by author Kate Messner for the Champlain Celebration will probably take place sometime in February. This will satisfy one of the requirements toward obtaining our permanent charter by sponsoring an educational program for school age children. Doug reported that this year is the 100th anniversary of the first fire observation stations on Whiteface and in Tupper Lake. He is planning to display some posters in observance of the anniversary.

Nancy gave the Membership and Nominations Committee report. Since our last meeting we have received 10 memberships for a total of $105. Reminders to those who have not yet renewed for 2009 just went out in the past several days.

The next meeting of the Whiteface Visitor’s Bureau (WVB) will be June 11th. Karen said that we do not receive the WVB minutes for two months because they do not distribute them until after they are approved at the following meeting. She has asked Sue Hockert to send the minutes immediately following the meeting and volunteered for the WHS to be a secondary repository for the WVB minutes. The WVB reported that the Two Fly Banquet was held and they are working on planning for the Festival of Colors. Karen reported from the Wilmington Community Enhancement Council (WCEC) that she and Bob Peters met on May 27th with Bob Hockert and a representative from the MRB Group who is doing a needs assessment for the new community center building. They presented the needs of the WHS which seems to be the driving organization up to this point as far as determining building requirements. Karen is working on arranging for Joe Swinyer to come and talk about history center needs to the board and possibly to the MRB Group as well. Karen also reported that we received some pertinent information from MANY about possible funding sources from stimulus money and she has forwarded this information to the WCEC.

Karen reported that Nancy George McNabb now has the chattel mortgages for the 1880’s and will begin transcription. We have copies of the chattel mortgages from the 1860s and 1870s that Ted Ginette completed.

Karen has been working on the 175th anniversary celebration for the Methodist Church. They are working on a new book which will not duplicate any of the material in the 150th anniversary book. Karen said she has heard nothing new on the 150th anniversary commemoration of John Brown’s Harpers Ferry raid. WHS is committed to providing support but will not actively participate in this event.

Guy mentioned that the headstone for Stephen Partridge is lying on the ground. This should be repaired because it is one of the most important historical markers in Wilmington. Partridge was killed in the Battle of Plattsburgh. It should be brought to the attention of the town cemetery committee. Barbara Rothman said she has a list prepared some time ago of all the headstones that are in need of repair. She will give a copy of the list to Guy.

Doug has photographed the historical markers around town. Guy mentioned that there is a plaque on the Lewis bridge. Doug said he would find out who the contractor is and make sure they save the plaque when work is started.

Karen said she and Bob Peters were invited by Alan Oppenheim to take photos of the old White Stag Inn prior to its demolition. They took many photos.

Karen has filled out the paperwork for the Documentary Heritage Program administered by the Northern New York Library Network.

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

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Cressey


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