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Wilmington Historical Society
Annual Meeting
7:00 PM, Wednesday, June 15, 2005
E. M. Cooper Library


Karen Peters
Guy Stephenson, Jr.
Steve Connor
Doug Wolfe
Bob Cressey
Nancy Cressey
Maurice Fletcher

Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM and called for the secretary’s report. Guy Stephenson made a motion to accept the minutes as read. Steve Connor seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

Bob Cressey gave the treasurer’s report. As of today we have a balance of $2,661.88 in the bank. Guy introduced a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report and it was seconded by Steve. All voted in favor.

Karen reported on communications. She sent a thank you letter to Holly Chabbott for donating the letter written by Noah John Rondeau. We received numerous communications from various organizations, including North Country Underground Railroad Association, the National Trust for Historical Preservation, American Association for State and Local History, the Westport Historical Society, the Western New York Association of Historical Societies, Willow Bend Books, the Civil War Roundtable and Heritage Books.

At this time the annual elections were held for the positions of President, Vice-President, Secretary and one Trustee position currently occupied by Guy Stephenson. All the incumbents were re-elected.

Karen presented the Annual Report that she had prepared to distribute to our membership. Doug Wolfe introduced a motion to accept the report as written. Bob seconded the motion and all voted in favor.

Karen reported for the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee. We have not yet received the credit card that we have applied for. We cannot make the online purchase of our computer until we have the credit card. Karen announced that we have a new acquisition from George Warren. He donated detailed weather records of Wilmington that cover the years 1976 through 2001. We have the deed of gift for this acquisition.

Doug mentioned that there is digging underway at the site of the old hotel and someone should get with Dick Sibalski to see if any artifacts are found.

Karen reported that she and Merri Peck attended the Town Board Meeting on June 8th. They gave a presentation in support of our request for office space in the Town Hall. Jeanne Ashworth has agreed to meet with Karen to discuss this. Karen also advised the Town Board that the WHS computer crashed and we are seeking donations to help defray the cost of a new computer. The Town Board then voted to contribute $500.00 to the WHS toward purchase of our new computer.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee. Notice of tonight’s meeting was given in press releases to several newspapers. Karen will put flyers describing our upcoming programs in various locations throughout the town. Following are the programs currently scheduled:

July 14, 7 PM at the Wilmington Fire House, “The History of Fly Fishing in the Adirondacks” Talk by Fran Betters

August 6, 9 AM at the Wilmington Reservoir, “Whiteface Historic Iron Mine Tour” Hike led by Guy Stephenson

August 23, 8 PM at the ASRC “Electronics, Whiteface Mountain and the 1980 Winter Olympic Games—Getting the

Program out to the World” Talk by Doug Wolfe The WHS will again be present at the Festival of Colors on September 17. Julie Robinson has volunteered to participate from 10 AM to 1 PM to do appraisals of items brought by attendees. Appraisals will be $2 per item with funds going to WHS.

Doug reported that he has contacted someone who is willing to give a talk on the subject of archaeological sites. It will be set up for some time in September. Karen and Steve both reported that they had attended the Essex County 50 Year celebration. Through the combined efforts of several members two more posters of Wilmington “Then and Now” photos were created. Doug transported the posters to and from the Essex County celebration. Currently the posters are at the Town Hall. Doug may borrow them to be used for display on Whiteface Mountain.

We scheduled a work meeting for 3 PM Friday, June 24th at the Cressey’s house to do the mailing of the Annual Report. Nancy Cressey will prepare mailing labels and Karen will run off copies of the report and get stamps. Karen will canvas those members who have volunteered to provide refreshments and ask them to do so for Fran Betters’ presentation on July 14th.

Nancy and Bob Cressey reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that we currently have 105 members paid up for the year 2005. In June 2004 we had 122 paid members and by the end of the year we had 154.

Karen reported that the Whiteface Visitor’s Bureau (WVB) held a Town Planning Modeling Workshop on June 7th. The purpose is to create a computer program to provide quality assessments of all the motels and hotels in the area.

The Dam Rededication Ceremony will be Friday, July 6th from 1 to 6 PM. Afterwards, Films on the Ausable will be held as a fundraiser for several organizations in town, to include WHS.

Karen reported that the WVB has decided to postpone Reuben’s Ride until 2006 because they are currently working on another project.

Steve reported for the Haselton Cemetery Project that he had met with Charlie Haselton. Charlie Haselton will do the billboard structure for the sign and map of the cemetery. Steve has started walking off the grid of 30 foot squares and he suggested that we place numbers along the front fence and letters along the side boundary on posts to help identify grid locations. Karen will write a letter to Mr. Haselton to advise him that both the WHS and the Town Board approve of his proposal so he can proceed at his convenience.

Karen reported that the town has agreed to mow around our storage trailer, but it has not been done as yet and the grass is getting quite high. Apparently, there is some concern about some stumps that may interfere with the mower. Doug and Guy volunteered to look at the stumps to see what can be done. Planting of the flowers has been done by Karen and Nancy. A barrel and some of the flowers were purchased with the donation we received from the Ausable Valley Garden Club. The remainder of the flowers were given to us by Jean Nichols, President of the Ausable Valley Garden Club. Liz Miskovsky and Claire Keiffer have volunteered to weed and water for the rest of the summer.

Steve has not yet been able to contact Chris Fox for an appraisal of the cannon. Doug mentioned a 1960 article that said the carriage was replaced in 1943. Steve will check the town minutes for 1943 to see if he can find more information about this.

Purchase of the computer is on hold until we receive our credit card.

Karen received a report of a broken link on our website for the minutes. She reported this to Patrick McIntyre. Merri has sent some of the current photos of Wilmington to Patrick to be placed on the website.

Doug has researched some of the names on the plaque to be unveiled at the ceremony for the dam. Thurlow Bell was a storekeeper and Halsey H. Haselton worked at the sawmill. Charles E. Farrell was town clerk and a contractor. William C. Frame and Earl P. McLeod are also names appearing on the plaque. Doug has also researched the WPA dam project in 1936 and he suggests we make a project of doing a cost comparison between the old dam and new dam. He found some old literature that described the adverse economic impact on Wilmington when the old wooden dam washed out. Doug will compile some of this material and provide copies at a future meeting. Karen advised that Russ Mulvey is trying to get Stewarts to donate ice cream for an “Ice Cream Social” at the ceremony. There will be music and invited dignitaries include Bill Carr, relatives of the individuals on the plaque, Teresa Sayward, Betty Little and the Town Board. Doug suggested that the engineers be invited as well. Ginny Crispell is doing the program for the event and also the logo for the letter that will be sent out. Marty Gilbert will do the invocation and the WHS has been requested to do a tag team history, giving brief anecdotes about dam history. Karen, Steve and Doug will do this. They are also asking for stories about the dam to print in the program. Karen will email the membership about the dam dedication ceremony and she will buy some more foam core board to have on hand for making more display boards.

Regarding the grant possibilities for preservation of the old town records, there has been a lot of email traffic between Dave Lowry, Ed Hood and Jerry Bruce. Dave Lowry has agreed to come during the 3rd week in August to assess the old records. Karen also mentioned that Margaret Gibbs suggested a Documentary Heritage Program grant. Joanne Zaumetzer suggested looking at the Local Government Management Improvement Fund.

Karen brought up new business. She has been asked to attend a meeting of the Ausable River Association to talk about dam history. Preservation of history is one of the organization’s functions. Doug suggested that we give them a list of the facts we know and ask for volunteers to continue research on this subject.

Steve mentioned that the Cooper estate is being sold.

Maurice Fletcher talked about the Markham family. Markham was the postmaster in 1840s. His son later became the governor of California.

Our next meeting will be July 20th.

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

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Cressey


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