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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Wilmington Community Center


Donna Griffin
Doug Wolfe
Gilbert Dyke
Linda Joss-Dyke
Guy Stephenson
Bob Cressey
Karen Peters
Morris Fletcher
Marcia McCellan
Judy Wilkins
Barbara Rothman
Lyz Miskovsky
Judy Gould
George Warren
Debbie Warren

Open Discussion: Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 7:00PM and began our open discussion: “The Wilmington Stone Bridge” Karen showed photos depicting an 1876 map of Wilmington, and discussed the history of bridges at the site since the early 1800’s. The succession of bridges began with the wooden bridge(s) in the early 1800s, the iron bridge c.1880-82 and the current stone/concrete bridge, 1934. The iron bridge was a lenticular truss bridge built by the Berlin Bridge Co. The current bridge was built as a WPA project in 1934 and was listed in the National Historic Register 11/12/1999. There was discussion of several traffic accidents on the bridges over the years. Bob Cressey showed recent photos showing deterioration of the bridge’s concrete arches. Doug Wolfe showed pictures of the iron bridge and the 1936 dam failure report. The discussion ended at 8 PM.

Karen began the regular business at 8:05 PM. The secretary’s report of September 3, 2014, was distributed. Guy Stephenson moved to accept the minutes Bob Cressey seconded. Motion passed.

Donna Griffin distributed copies of the treasurer’s report. The report included profit/loss statement, Fund Balance of $6599.71 in the checking account, Adirondack Foundation Acorn fund balance: $5000.00, Petty cash: $100. Guy Stephenson made a motion to accept the treasurer’s report. Bob Cressey seconded. Motion carried.

Karen reported a note from Jeremy Davis, indicating that his book, Lost Ski Areas in The Northern Adirondacks in published and he is sending us a copy. Karen has asked him to do a program for us.

Michele Preston (Burns) forwarded a request for information from Kelly Kennedy. She is blogging about ghost stories.

A thank you note received from Wes and Bethany Krawiec, (they won the Wine/Cheese Basket at the festival of Colors.)

Letter from Kara Page, she would like to see more about the history of agriculture and farm locations in Wilmington.

Karen and Bob joined the Weathersfield VT Historical Society, after their visit there to research the Lawrence family. There is a historic connection to Weathersfield for all the Lawrence families of Wilmington and the surrounding areas.

Acquisitions and research:

We received a copy of Marty Podskoch’s new book, Adirondack 102 Club. We assisted his research. The book is designed for tourists to record their visit and experiences in the towns of the Adirondacks. Mr. Podskoch will be a guest speaker in our 2015 WHS Summer Speaker Series.

We received a copy of the Kim Smith Deedam article from the Press-Republican about the heroes of the Battle of Plattsburgh, including a photo of Reuben Sanford that we provided.

We received from Sally Ann Smith, Mansfield, PA, a photo of the North Pole, and a matchbook cover from Santa’s Motel. Karen will send a thank you.

Dennis Keegan sent a list of names of persons to interview regarding his family.

Mindy Gordon, office manager at Santa’s Workshop, passed on a request from a gentleman who has a photo of his daughter and “Adirondack Hermit” Noah Rondeau as Santa at the North Pole, NY. He wanted to know the approximate dates that Noah worked at the North Pole. Author Jay O’Hern, who has written a series of books about Noah Rondeau, and with whom the WHS has contact, provided the response to the request for us. The photo was taken between August 11, 1950 and October 31, 1950, the time when Noah Rondeau worked at Santa’s Workshop as Santa.

Author Charles J. Shields is writing a book about Julian Reiss and has permission from Bob Reiss to obtain copies of Santa’s Workshop material. Karen was able to meet with him to provide him with digital copies of Santa’s Workshop photos and other information. At the same time, one of our members, Barbara Mulvey, met with the author to tell of her experiences with Julien Reiss when she worked at Santa’s Workshop. In addition, Karen put the author in contact with several other Wilmington and Jay area residents who had knowledge or experiences of the 1950s Santa’s Workshop and Julian Reiss.

Library, Museum, Historic Sites Committee
Next Research night is October 21, 2014, 6-9PM

Publications and Programs:
Gift baskets raffled at The Festival of Colors were well received but did not make as much money as expected because of the bad weather and the early take down. There will be a book signing event by Marty Podskoch for his new book Adirondack 102 Club in the spring/early summer. Karen attended a Civil War event by speaker Paul Supplee and will contact him for a future WHS event. Embark magazine had an article about the Julian Riess plane crash. Next program: Bob and Karen Peters will present “How to Research Your Family Tree” on October 22, 1-3PM. Doug Wolfe reported on plans for bike ride commemorating Reuben Stanford’s ride from Wilmington to Clintonville during the War of 1812.

Membership and Nominations:
We now have 192 members.

Special Committees:
Whiteface Visitors Bureau: At the VB meeting September 30. “Skyrunning Marathon” is planned for the end of June 2015. It will combine up hill road and trail race. Other plans include the possibility of inviting the Lake George Americade Motorcycle Rally bikes to a blessing of the bikes atop Whiteface Mountain. It may attempt to set a Guinness record for the number of bikes participating.
Wilmington Cemetery: Guy Stephenson reported that there was no meeting; they are trying to carry over funds until next year. They are reluctant for fix additional stones until several trees are trimmed or removed.
Wilmington Recreation Committee: Meets in October. There are plans for more trails and signage.
Building Committee: Last meeting was in August. We are submitting plans to local builders for estimates and are awaiting those results. Also estimates of heating, foundation, etc. will be investigated.

Old Business:
Arcadia Books: We gave the Arcadia Publishing names of additional vendors for selling our book Wilmington and the Whiteface Region. We have received an additional royalty of $313.00

Linda Joss-Dyke reported that thank you notes were sent to town vendors who contributed to the gift basket and silent auction. We made $409.00 from the project at the festival of colors.
We discussed wording for our first Annual Appeal envelope and will revise wording and the logo. We have a sample and quote for fundraising envelopes. (For two side printing, black ink, $75.00/ 250, $99/500, $145.00/1000) We will revise the letter and it will be signed by the officers and trustees. Linda will check on bulk mailing.

We are waiting for redesign of the drop-down tabs, as well as the completion of Pay Pal ability for membership and book purchase payments.

Highway Reconstruction:
Guy will go again tomorrow to take pictures of the work. Doug Wolfe received an inquiry from the project management regarding the source of the mountain silhouette sign blanks.

Festival of Colors 2015:
Our booth topic will be Farming in Wilmington.

Adk 46ers:
We responded to Joe Ryan that we will assist and open our facility for the August, 2018 event.

New Business:
The Whiteface Community United Methodist Church in Wilmington is investigating a major renovation or replacing their building. We will suggest that they contact AARCH director Steve Engelhart for assistance in examining the possibilities for renovating and funding the existing historic 1834 church building.

Grant Station: The officers and trustees authorized the purchase of a $99.00 subscription to check for available grants.

Halloween Booth: We will participate again this year. Cost $75.00 to provide candy to distribute. Donna Griffin and Merri Peck will decorate the booth and Nancy and Bob Cressey will distribute candy from our booth.

Festival Tents: A motion was made by Guy Stevenson, seconded by Gil Dyke to spend $400-500.00 for two E- Z-Up tents with canopy and sides for occasions like the Festival of Colors. The motion passed.

Linda Joss-Dyke moved to adjourn the meeting. Doug Wolfe seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 9:38PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Gilbert Dyke,
acting secretary in the absence of Nancy Cressey


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