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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
7:00 PM, Wednesday, July 19, 2006
E. M. Cooper Library


Karen Peters
Steve Connor
Doug Wolfe
Guy Stephenson
Nancy Cressey
Bob Cressey
Merri Peck
Bob Peters
Art Palmer
Elaine Palmer
Karen Maynard
Kent Maynard
Maurice Fletcher

Karen Peters called the meeting to order and called for the secretary’s report. Guy Stephenson made a motion to accept the minutes as read and it was seconded by Steve Connor. The motion carried unanimously.

Bob Cressey gave the treasurer’s report. Our bank balance is $4,897.19. In the past month we received $150.00 from membership dues, $40.54 from donations, $49.46 from book sales and $352 from the Santa’s Workshop presentation. Our expenses were $39.00 for postage. Steve introduced a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report and it was seconded by Guy. All voted in favor.

Karen then discussed communications for the past month. We received some information about the Arto Monaco Historical Society. She also talked about a letter received from Claire Maynard which contained photos and historical information relating to the Bilhuber farm. We received the American Association of State and Local History newsletter which addressed the need for monetary aid to historical societies and museums which suffered losses due to the recent flooding. A thank you note was sent to Robert Reiss for his donation of 70 dinners and presentation on the history of Santa’s Workshop, and one was also sent to Robert Winch for preparing the meals.

Merri Peck reported for the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee that Dr. Harold Hinds will give a lecture August 5 from 7 to 9 PM at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center building. His topic will be “Capturing and Bringing to Life Your US Farm Ancestor.” Dr. Hinds’ assistant Tina Didreckson will also give a talk on a related topic. Merri said that she will prepare flyers for this event. She said that Dr. Hinds plans to copy all the old Wilmington probate records during this visit. Merri also mentioned that Dr. Hinds wants to meet with Bob and Nancy Cressey to talk to them about progress on transcription of the chattel mortgages. Dr. Hinds is also looking for other records (such as Bible records) to be included in a volume of miscellaneous records. Merri said that she had brought copies of all the books in case anyone wanted to purchase any of them.

Doug Wolfe reported that he had checked out our space in the town hall for records storage and he recommended that we obtain one standard 78” tall locking metal cabinet. He volunteered to obtain a used cabinet in good condition at no cost.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee that press releases and posters went out for the Santa’s Workshop Dinner and Presentation. Lee Manchester wrote a very nice newspaper article about the event and provided an electronic copy to the WHS for inclusion in our website. There was also a press release for tonight’s meeting. Our next program will be Lee Manchester’s “Editing Mary MacKenzie” on August 4 at the Wilmington firehouse.

Karen advised that she was contacted by Kara Page regarding the Wilmington history walking tour. She has grant monies through the Ausable Sustainable Waterfront Project and wants to work with the WHS on this. Doug Wolfe agreed to coordinate with her on this project.

None of the special committees had new information to report.

Steve said he had spoken to someone at the New York State Military Museum about our cannon. They do not give appraisals and cannot give any information regarding the value of the cannon or Gattling gun. The museum employee did say that he felt the repair estimate we received for the cannon was excessive and suggested that we may be able to get it restored at Peebles Island. Steve will continue to investigate this issue.

Doug reported that he had no new information from his investigation into the proposal for a Wilmington Historic District.

Steve contacted Charlie Haselton regarding the Malbone Cemetery sign project but he has not yet heard back from him.

Karen reported that Bob Reiss will contact the WHS when he needs additional help in organizing his collection. He has provided us with a deed of gift for all the digital photos of his materials.

Karen advised that the town received the Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund grant in the amount of $1245 for conservation of the book of old town records.

We received a form from the Whiteface Regional Visitor’s Bureau to complete regarding our participation in the Festival of Colors this coming September. Karen said that Sid Ward has already agreed to again sell his cutting boards at the festival as a benefit to the WHS. Robert Schneider will not be able to portray the Irish immigrant character C. Michael Sheridan because he was unable to get permission from Mystic Seaport which owns the character. We need to think about how we can update our display for this year’s festival.

At this time Karen opened the discussion for tonight’s topic, “Military History in Wilmington”. The session was recorded on our digital voice recorder.

At the conclusion of the discussion Kent Maynard thanked the WHS for the work we have been doing.

Doug made a motion to adjourn the meeting and it was seconded by Guy. All voted in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Cressey


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