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Wilmington Historical Society
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Wilmington Community Center


Merri C. Peck
Doug Wolfe
Nancy Cressey
Bob Cressey
Linda Joss-Dyke
Gilbert Dyke
Kathleen LeClair
Maurice Fletcher
Barbara Rothman
Rodney Thomas
Beverly Thomas

In the absence of President Karen Peters, Merri Peck called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM. We began with our open discussion of “Early Wilmington Settlers.” Merri talked about many of the early families. The Wilmington book series is an excellent source of information on early settlers, particularly the volume containing the 1855 census information which indicates how long the residents had lived in Wilmington and what their occupations were. Other references Merri displayed included the Wilmington Town Records and the Register of Deaths in the Town of Wilmington. Doug Wolfe gave a brief description of the evolution of private property in America and talked about some of the land grants and tracts that are described in many property deeds for Wilmington. He also talked about early industry in the area.

At the conclusion of the open discussion the business meeting commenced. Merri called for the Secretary’s report. Linda Joss-Dyke offered a motion to accept the minutes as read and it was seconded by Doug Wolfe. All voted in favor.

Bob gave the Treasurer’s report. First he gave an amended report for June 1 to include information he had not received at the time of the last meeting. The amended balance as of June 1 was $5,276.21. The current balance as of July 6 is $5,029.28. During the period we had income of $870.54 including $430.00 from memberships, $369.89 from Great Escape tickets sold, $20.65 from donations and $50 from rebates. Our expenses totaled $1117.47 including $34.16 for program refreshments, $33.86 for equipment, $300.00 for honorariums, $374.75 for Great Escape tickets bought and $374.70 for postage. Doug made a motion to accept the report and it was seconded by Gil. The motion carried unanimously. Linda talked about the Great Escape fundraiser and all agreed that it was a success. We should try to start the process earlier next year.

Merri reported on communications. Karen sent an invitation to each of the town Board members to attend the lecture and book signing by Professor Harold Hinds sponsored by the Adirondack History Center on July 10. Thank you notes were sent to program speakers Lionel Arlan for “Evolution of the Adirondacks”and Amy Godine for “Imaging the Adirondacks: How the Adirondacks Got its Face.” Notes were also sent to Ellie McAvoy, Barbara Mulvey and Andrea Lawrence for providing refreshments at the programs. Linda also sent notes to Roy Holzer, Robert Lawrence, Gene Loughran, Tina Preston and Michele Burns for selling the Great Escape tickets for the WHS. Karen sent a letter to Professor Harold Hinds thanking him for his donation of approximately 250 books to the WHS collection. We had one other acquisition for the month. We received a hardbound copy of Professor Hinds’ new book for our collection. Karen researched and provided history related information to Carol Treadwell to be used for the paddling nature trail on Lake Everest. Karen also answered a query about the Crowley family and she met with someone who was researching the Lawrence family. Doug provided information to answer a phone inquiry about hydro power on the Wilmington dam.

Merri reported for the Library, Museum and Historical Sites Committee that we received ten boxes of books from the Harold H. Hinds, Jr. Adirondack Collection.

Doug reported for the Publications and Programs Committee that our first two programs were well attended and well received. Our next program will be “Adirondack Tools and Tales” on July 15 by Don Williams. Karen has sent out press releases to all the local newspapers and the Jay Community News. Ginny Crispell has been doing a great job on our flyers, giving them a professional look. On July 10th The Adirondack History Center is sponsoring the lecture and book signing for Harold Hinds’ new book, “Crafting a Personal Family History: A Guide Plus a Case Study, Three Generations of the Hinds Family in New York’s Adirondack Mountains.” WHS members are encouraged to attend the lecture, “Lessons Learned from Researching and Writing a Personal Family History.”

Nancy Cressey reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that reminders went out in June and we received 17 memberships since our last meeting. We have 154 paid members to date.

Under the topic of old business Linda reported that the mailing of the Annual Report went out. The number of reports printed was changed from 100 to 125 this year. Merri is investigating obtaining the pension records for all of Wilmington’s military veterans. Our absolute charter is still in process. Our next research night is Tuesday, July 19th, 6 PM to 9 PM.

Under new business Gil reported that he and Guy Stephenson met with Steve Engelhart on the Wilmington Bridge. The bridge is a National Historical Landmark and Steve said that the state is obligated to follow a different standard when repairing or working on historical structures. Gil also reported that he met with Randy Preston who said the state claims they have no money for the bridge repair or replacement. Doug and Merri also indicated that they had spoken to Randy and Merri expressed a concern that if the bridge is eventually closed the people will get so frustrated that the historical aspect will get overlooked. It was agreed that we need to obtain more information, have more discussion and keep exerting pressure to insure that the historical landmark is preserved.

Doug reported that he is still talking to the Olympic Regional Development Authority about use of the facility on the mountain as location for the WHS. They have concern about our requirement for archival storage conditions. The matter is still under consideration. Bob moved to adjourn the meeting. Gil seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nancy Cressey
Wilmington Historical Society


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