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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Annual Meeting
7:00 PM, Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Wilmington Community Center


Karen Peters
Peter Yuro
Guy Stephenson
Doug Wolfe
Merri C. Peck
Bob Cressey
Nancy Cressey
Paul Stephenson
Ceil Stephenson
Hollis Duensing
Maurice Fletcher
Lyz Miskovsky
Judy Shea

Karen Peters called the meeting to order and we held our open discussion “Markhamville”. Upon the conclusion of the open discussion Karen asked for the secretary’s report. Doug Wolfe made a motion to accept the July minutes as read and it was seconded by Peter Yuro. The motion carried unanimously.

Bob Cressey gave the treasurer’s report. He reported that our bank balance is $4,337.35. We had income for the month of $464 including $128 from memberships and donations, $7 from rebates, and $329 from an overpayment refund from Peerless Insurance Company. Our expenses for the month totaled $379.95, including $20.95 for postage, $30 for a booth for Sid Ward at the Festival of Colors, and $329 for repayment to Peerless Insurance Company. We found out that the refund from the insurance company was an error and we had to send another check. Peter moved to accept the Treasurer’s report and Merri Peck seconded the motion. All voted in favor. Bob also reported that he was not able to load the backup data into the Quick Books program on the laptop computer, because he needed a validation code in order to get the program to work. Last Saturday when he tried to do the update he did not have the code. He now has the code and will try to do the backup again this evening.

Karen reported on communications. We received the usual newsletters which Karen made available for our review. Karen sent thank you notes to Margaret Gibbs for her presentation on Samuel de Champlain, and to Linda Joss-Dyke for providing refreshments for the program. Doug mentioned that we had previously discussed giving the Essex County Historical Society a donation. Peter made a motion to donate $40 which was seconded by Merri. All voted in favor. Bob will send out a check right away. Karen mentioned that the Visitor’s Bureau was soliciting sponsorships for entertainment and other activities for the Festival of Colors. We received an invitation to a Museum Institute at Great Camp Sagamore on August 25th and an invitation from the Adirondack Genealogical Society to attend a program on Tuesday August 12th at 7PM. We also received an e-newsletter from Dennis Meadows of Upstate History Alliance Region IV and some information on grants available for conservation of items. The NY State Education Department will be sponsoring Grant Application Workshops. The Association of State and Local History is holding their annual meeting in Rochester, New York on September 10-11. Karen will provide information to anyone interested in attending. We acquired two more boxes of materials from the Myrtle Gowan estate. The boxes contain newspaper clippings, letters, maps, a book and other research materials. Doug suggested that we try to get the maps in digital format at the earliest opportunity so that we can use them for study and research.

On the subject of Research and Inquiries, Karen said that Nancy George McNabb has generously volunteered to provide genealogical information on the Wilkins family line. She has offered to have us put researchers of this family line in contact with her for information.

Karen said that she received an email from a Mr. Nelson who is writing a book in which Reuben Sanford is one of the main characters. Mr. Nelson is interested in obtaining as much information as he can about Reuben Sanford. Karen emailed him some basic information and sources for research. Merri suggested that we could put him in touch with Tina Didreckson and she also mentioned that there are some relevant materials in the Myrtle Gowan collection. Doug pointed out that we should ask Mr. Nelson to share information with us in exchange for our assistance. Merri reported that she has been preparing for the “How Deep Are Your Wilmington Roots?” program. She did a search for persons born in Wilmington, New York in 1800 + 20 years and she got a large amount of material.

Merri has been making progress with Past Perfect. She will set up an evening session to train others so that some of the data entry work can be spread out to volunteers.

Karen mentioned that she had spoken to Randy Preston and Shirley Lawrence about internet access at the Community Center. We will be able to have internet access using the town’s wifi connection. Bob Peters and another volunteer with technical expertise will set this up for us. Karen also asked Randy if we can leave the screen we use for our programs hanging in the Community Center. Randy agreed as long as the judges don’t object. Karen emailed the judges but she has not heard from them as yet.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee that she had an email from Ginny Crispell asking for contributions to the town newsletter. Karen wrote about two pages for the WHS. She also has publicized the “Fish Tales and Famous Guides” program. Doug said that he believes we may need a larger space than the community center for this program because Joe Hackett is a very popular speaker. Andy Flynn has agreed to be scheduled for a program for next year on June 26. Merri pointed out that this may conflict with graduation ceremonies. Karen will try to get another date if possible.

Doug reported that some people have taken issue with the fact that the WHS did not try to preserve the Northern Lights School building instead of pursuing a new building. Doug said that he explained that the new Community Center building is a joint venture and that the cost of restoring the Northern Lights School building would have been prohibitive.

Nancy Cressey reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that we had six memberships for a total of $120 in the past month. This is quite a lot of activity given that our membership drive was back in February. We now have a total membership of 172 which is an all time high.

Karen reported that she attended the Visitor’s Bureau meeting. There will be an Irish Festival at the ski jumps over Labor Day weekend.

The Wilmington Community Enhancement Committee met on July 9th to discuss forming a core group to work with the grant writer who is the Essex County Planner.

Under the heading of old business Karen reported that we had a request for more Virtual Reality tickets from the Whiteface Chalet. We have heard nothing new about our permanent charter application. Karen said that she has met with the pastor of the Methodist church to discuss plans for the upcoming 175th anniversary celebration.

Karen asked Randy about the closet in the Community Center which is now being used to store a voting machine. The WHS would like to use that space for storage. Randy asked Karen to revisit the issue after the election by which time the voting machine will be gone for good. There was a 10th Mountain Division ceremony on July 31st, but we were notified too late to attend. Al Armstrong is working on insuring better notification for veterans’ events.

Doug agreed to bring a shelter for our booth at the Festival of Colors. Karen and Doug will work on the displays.

Doug pointed out that the Wilmington signs sold by the Visitor’s Bureau show a view of Whiteface from the Lake Placid Perspective. He suggests that it would be more appropriate to show a silhouette from the Wilmington perspective with the view of Whiteface and Esther. Perhaps we should get someone to design a new logo when these signs are replaced.

The Northern New York Library Network has sent out a summer supplement to their continuing education schedule. They are holding classes on a variety of topics.

Karen talked about the World War II Memorial Registry on the internet. It is free to list any WW II veteran in the registry. The registry lists basic information about the veteran and a photo can be added for a cost of $10. It was suggested that we should try to get all the Wilmington World War II veterans listed on the registry. Karen will put an article in the next town newsletter to generate support from the families of Wilmington’s veterans.

Maurice Fletcher mentioned that he had talked to the Haseltons about the school house. He said they agreed to consider opening the school house for a history tour at some point in the future.

Bob reported that he had successfully updated Quick Books.

Guy Stephenson moved to adjourn and Merri seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Cressey


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