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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Wilmington Community Center


Karen Peters
Merri C. Peck
Doug Wolfe
Jack Wolfe
Nancy Cressey
Bob Cressey
Guy Stephenson
Lora Bushy
Gilbert Dyke
Linda Joss-Dyke

Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 7:06 PM. We began with our open discussion of “Wilmington Supervisors.” Guy Stephenson started the discussion with a story about supervisor Don DeMacy being called to a farm to help with a ewe that was giving birth. Another story was about the time books were moved out of the library using a line of people that stretched from the library to the town hall. Guy also told us that one of his relatives, Stanley Pelkey, served as supervisor in the 1940s. Doug had an article about the town bridge being condemned after a flood in 1897 during the term of supervisor Michael Gorman. The town board voted to replace the bridge with a new iron bridge from the Berlin Bridge Company. Doug and Jack Wolfe’s grandfather, James C. Wolfe was the longest serving supervisor, putting in 20 terms. James Wolfe was instrumental in helping with the Memorial Highway. Merri Peck had a list of the early Wilmington Supervisors and she said she would like to update it and bring it up to the present time. Guy volunteered the information that there was another list in Oliver Winch’s book, which is in the WHS collection. With that list and the knowledge of those present we were able to more or less complete the list of all Wilmington supervisors, though some research will be required to check the accuracy of the dates. It was agreed that we should interview all the former supervisors who are still living to find out what accomplishments they would like to be remembered for.

At the conclusion of the open discussion the business meeting commenced. Karen called for the Secretary’s report. Doug had one correction to the last sentence of the eighth paragraph. The words “Marble Mountain facility” should be replaced with “toll house.” Merri offered a motion to accept the minutes as corrected and it was seconded by Doug. All voted in favor.

Bob gave the Treasurer’s report. The current balance as of today is $4,603.71. During the period we had income of $42 including $40 from memberships and $2 from sales. Our expenses were $199.85, including $149.85 for office supplies and $50 for an honorarium. Merri made a motion to accept the report and it was seconded by Guy. The motion carried unanimously.

Karen reported on communications. Thank you notes were sent to Caperton Tissot for her presentation, and to Arlie Adams, owner of At the River’s Edge Emporium for providing refreshments for the presentation.

There were no acquisitions during the past month. Karen provided Pastor Marty Bausmann with a copy of the 911 story he wrote for the WHS in response to his request since his notes had been lost. At our last research night Tom Boothby, an engineering professor from Penn State came to do research on the old bridge. After learning of the situation with the current bridge he volunteered his support for our efforts to make sure that the historic aspect of the bridge is not overlooked when the new bridge is built. Doug will provide Tom Boothby with the bridge information that he shared at the discussion this evening.

Karen said that the Recreation Committee had asked for photos of the log slips. She showed us a photo of one that Doug provided.

The date of our October research night had to be changed from October 19th to October 25th due to unavailability of the Community Center.

Merri reported for the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee that they are working on making an index of all the books from the Harold Hinds Collection on an Excel spreadsheet. Karen said she had received a question from Niel McKenna as to whether the books in our collection are listed on the internet. Once the list of books we currently have is complete we will put the entire list on our website and update it periodically.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee that the Jay Community News has changed its submission guidelines. The new guidelines are posted on their website. The WHS contributed to the recently distributed edition of the Wilmington Newsletter. Karen put out a request for trivia questions to put in future editions of the newsletter. Ginny Crispell did a flyer to promote the WHS presence at the Festival of Colors. Sid Ward will again be selling his cutting boards with the entire proceeds going to benefit the WHS. Two other participants in the Festival of Colors have asked to be located near our booth in response to our “Made in Wilmington” theme. On October 22nd Bob and Karen Peters will do the “Wilmington History in Postcards” presentation to celebrate archives month.

Nancy Cressey reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that we received two memberships during the month of August. Total membership now stands at 164. Karen and Doug have been working with the Recreation Committee to ensure that the history portion of the Paddling Nature Trail Guide is correct.

Doug reported that he is still working on the display he is creating for the Post Office.

With regard to the Christmas ornament fundraiser, Linda suggested that we could do a series of ornaments showing the Wilmington Historical Society name and the year.

Guy Stephenson reported that he left a message with Lincoln Memorials to ask about the status of the Partridge Stone repair. He said that the stone has been moved but the work had not been completed. However, it is likely that Lincoln Memorial is focused on trying to recover from flood damage right now, so we should give them some time to recover.

Gil said he had met with Randy Preston again on the Wilmington Stone Bridge. There was nothing new to report; the bridge is not yet on the state five year plan. It was pointed out that there will be public hearings on the bridge project. Engineer Tom Boothby has volunteered his expertise and Steve Engelhart of Adirondack Architectural Heritage has agreed to give a talk. We need to find the records of the planning for the existing bridge. We also need to get estimates on the cost of reconstructing the bridge and how much extra cost would be associated with reusing the stones. It was suggested that a letter writing campaign would be beneficial.

Our next research night is Tuesday September 20th, 6 PM to 9 PM.

Karen advised us that the new portable microfilm reader is now available for use and she will bring it to each research night.

Karen told us about an article in the Valley News announcing that Underground Railroad historical tours will be offered every Saturday in September. The tours will visit a number of sites in Keeseville and Peru and will be led by Underground Railroad Association President Don Papson. Tours begin at the North Star Underground Railroad Museum at 9:30 AM each Saturday and last two hours. Participants must register in advance by calling 834-5180 and tickets are $10.

The Northern New York Library Network is holding its fall conference at SUNY Potsdam on October 6th and 7th.

Guy mentioned that we should inform everyone that our open discussions are recorded and available to researchers. Karen will mention this in the next newsletter.

Guy moved to adjourn the meeting. Merri seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nancy Cressey
Wilmington Historical Society


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