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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
7:00 PM, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008
Wilmington Community Center


Karen Peters
Peter Yuro
Guy Stephenson
Doug Wolfe
Jane Hardy Peck
Dana Peck
Lora Bushy

Karen Peters called the meeting to order and we held our open discussion “Growing Up in Wilmington”. Upon the conclusion of the open discussion Karen asked for the secretary’s report. Peter Yuro made a motion to accept the August minutes as read and it was seconded by Guy Stephenson. The motion carried unanimously.

Karen Peters gave the treasurer’s report as sent to her via email by Treasurer Bob Cressey who was unable to attend this meeting. Our bank balance is $4,853.35. We had income for the month of $596 including $185 from memberships and $411 in donations (including $300 from John Goff who donated his honorarium from his summer NOAA speaking engagement at the ASRC to the Wilmington Historical Society, $110 from Virtual Reality Tickets, and $1 from our “donation jar”). Our expenses for the month totaled $80, including $40 for an honorarium for our August speaker Joe Hackett and a $40 donation to the Essex County Historical society in lieu of an honorarium for our July speaker Margaret Gibbs, Director of the Essex County Historical Society. Guy moved to accept the Treasurer’s report and Peter seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Karen reported on communications. We received the usual newsletters which Karen made available for our review. Karen sent thank you notes and a certificate of appreciation to Joe Hackett for his presentation on ”Fish Tales and Famous Guides” , and to Billie Loughran for providing refreshments for the program. Other thank-you notes for participating as volunteers for our “Archivist/Librarian” program on Saturdays during the summer were sent to Ellie McAvoy, Barbara Mulvey, Ginny Crispell and Barbara Reed. We received an invitation to the Underground Railroad Conference to be held on Feb. 27-28, 2009 at College Park, Union College, Schenectady. We also received a request from two of our members, the Fogelbergs, to have all our members fly their American flags on Sept. 11 to honor those who lost their lives in the 9/11 tragedy and to show solidarity as Americans. We received a phone call and 2 accompanying emails from former Wilmington resident, Dennis Keegan, regarding his parents’ entrepreneurship and that of others during the Santa’s Workshop heyday of Wilmington in the 1950’s and ‘60’s, expressing an interest in preserving that particular era of Wilmington’s history and providing information from his and his parents experiences during that time period.

On the subject of Research and Inquiries, we received two phone inquiries, one from High Peaks Resort requesting a photo of FDR (President Franklin D. Roosevelt) at the dedication of Whiteface Highway. Doug Wolfe responded and sent her information regarding an appropriate source for a photo. The other request was from a local construction contractor who was submitting a bid to remodel a 19th century log home in Wilmington, requesting information to complete his application for the portion to be submitted to the State of NY regarding the historical significance of the home. Merri Peck met with him and gave him the necessary information excerpted from the 1980 Survey of the Historical Homes of Wilmington. Karen also responded to a Kane family genealogy research request.

As for acquisitions, we received an architectural drawing of a proposed monument at the top of Whiteface Mountain (which was never built) from Barbara Mulvey. Doug Wolfe will look into the conservation of this document, as it has some issues with torn edges and part of it is torn and separated from the rest of the document. Karen reports also that Bob Peters has digitally copied photographs from the Whiteface Mountain Regional Visitors Bureau and from photographer Jeri Wright. Doug Wolfe suggested that we request a poster for our collection from ORDA for the 50th Anniversary of Skiing at Whiteface which took place this past winter. Karen will email Bridget Hinman of ORDA (Olympic Regional Development Authority) regarding the poster and other possible copies of photos, brochures, etc. currently possessed by ORDA which may be relevant to the history of Wilmington, and which may be well–served by having a secondary repository.

Merri was not present, but reported that she continues making progress with Past Perfect. This fall, 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 reported that a digital projector has been purchased and received and works well with our laptop computer. It will allow us more flexibility with our programming and offers a sense of security that slide and other presentations will work smoothly. It is now up to the Board of Trustees to develop a policy for its use. Karen also reported that with all of the appropriate approvals, the pull-down screen is now set up permanently in the Community Center Room for the WHS and others to use in slide presentations.

While Bob and Nancy Cressey were not present for the meeting, Nancy sent a report via email that we now have 176 members.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee that the Joe Hackett program “Fish Tales and Famous Guides” was held on August 22. With much publicity through press releases and flyers, as well as through the Lake Placid News with columnist Lora Bushy, the program was successful. The Summer 2008 Wilmington Town Newsletter was also published in August to which the Wilmington Historical Society contributed two pages. Andy Flynn, “Adirondack Attic” columnist, has agreed to change the scheduled for a program for next year to June 19th, 2009. Tonight’s regular meeting was also in the community calendars of the local newspapers. Merri and Karen have a scheduled meeting to plan more in detail for the upcoming program for Archives Month, “How Deep Are Your Wilmington Roots?” to be held on Saturday, Oct. 4th from 10 am – 2 pm. at the Wilmington Community Center.

Karen reported that the Visitor’s Bureau meeting for the month of September will take place on Thursday. She is planning to attend.

Karen reported that the Wilmington Community Enhancement Council core membership reviewed the Request for Proposals for the Economic Impact Feasibility Study for Community Facilities as written by the Essex County Planner. This study is the result of a $50,000 Smart Growth grant received in the Spring by the Town of Wilmington. It has now gone out to bid to search for a consultant. Of interest to the WHS is that one of the main stakeholders in this project is the Wilmington Historical Society since we are seeking a larger space for our archives, library, displays and storage. The project components (which will be the responsibility of the chosen consultant) include an initial meeting with stakeholders, a facilities needs assessment, assessment of existing municipal building inventory, determining space allocations (including sketches), alternative energy research, cost estimating, economic impact analysis, draft report and final report and presentation to the public.

Under the heading of old business Karen reported that under the Wilmington Research Project, the next Wilmington Book in the Transcribed Serial Records series is the Blacksmith Ledger of Timothy Haselton. We still have heard nothing new about our permanent charter application. Karen said that she and the pastor of the Wilmington United Methodist Church, Pastor Joyce Bryson, met with the membership of the Methodist church on August 17th, to discuss plans for the upcoming 175th anniversary celebration in 2009. A number of activities have been discussed, including two dates in 2009 ---- July 12th, 2009 for the main celebration of 175 years of the church’s existence and Sept. 20th, 2009 for a “homecoming” celebration specifically to celebrate the merger of the Jay Methodist Church with the Wilmington Methodist Church, marking the importance of the contributions of the Jay Methodist Church and rededicating the memorials of both churches.

The Wilmington Festival of Colors on September 13th, in which we are participating with a display themed “Outdoor Activities on Whiteface”, was discussed. Doug agreed to bring a shelter for our booth, as well as provide tables and some displays of maps, science and education activities on the mountain, geology and lumbering. Guy will bring some artifacts of bear trapping, bee hunting, and maple sugaring to display. Karen will create a photo display of the history of activities on Whiteface. Merri has volunteered to make a poster of the upcoming WHS program “How Deep are Your Wilmington Roots?” to put up in our booth. Peter and Doug will meet on Friday at the t-ball field to set up our “tent”. We will all meet to set up the rest at 8 am. The Festival begins at 10 am and continues throughout the day until 4 pm.

Doug Wolfe moved to adjourn and Peter seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Karen Peters, President
(In the absence of Secretary Nancy Cressey)


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