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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Wilmington Community Center

Karen Peters
Guy Stephenson
Marc DuBois
Pat DuBois
Judy Lawrence
Nancy Cressey
Bob Cressey
Jess Ano
Merri Peck
Donna Griffin (by phone)

Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 6:30pm. Guy Stephenson began our discussion of “Wilmington by the Decades, 1860-69.” He spoke of several of his ancestors that served in the Civil War. This decade in Wilmington was notable for the extraction of iron ore. There were numerous forges and charcoal kilns. Karen talked about the Wilmington serial records volumes and noted that they are an excellent resource for information on those who served in the military. Marc DuBois also told of an ancestor that served in the Civil War. Important industries of the time were sawmills, blacksmithing, horse shoeing, starch factories, and production of flour, provender, beef pork, mutton and cornmeal. All industry was run by water power.

At the conclusion of the discussion the business meeting commenced. We reviewed the minutes from the meeting of September 4th. Guy moved to accept them as read and Judy Lawrence seconded his motion. All voted in favor. We then reviewed the treasurer’s report. Bank balances as of now are as follows:

Operating Account $15,487.86
Transfer Account 128.00
Zachay Fund 2,010.00
Building Fund 60,695.00
Adirondack Foundation 48,322.95

Guy moved to transfer $10,000 (earnings from Whiskey Run and Heritage Festival) from the Operating Account to the Building Fund. Bob Cressey seconded his motion and it carried unanimously. Donna Griffin will make this transfer. We will also donate an amount to Jay Community News in accordance with our 2019 budget.

Communications for the last month were discussed. A thank you letter was sent to Jim Griebsch for donating five digital transfer copies of the film, “FDR Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway Inauguration 1929” to our historical archives collection. Additional thank you letters were sent to James Shaw for a $500 donation to the building fund for the WHS Ruth and Thomas Keegan Memorial History Center, and to Margaret Bartley for her presentation of the program, “Votes for Women!” held on Friday, September 6th. We received a message from Jan Ward thanking us for all the gift cards that Sid Ward won in our raffle at the Festival of Colors.

Karen reported that she responded to a request for information on the Perkins family but she has had no reply to date. We received word that we may receive some donations of items that belonged to Jean Ashworth which would be valuable additions to our collections. Research has been progressing on the Pelkey, Preston and Winch families. We received a donation of postcards from Santa’s Workshop from the Gardner Museum. Guy acquired some postcards from the Sportsmans’ Inn and a clock from the Wilderness Inn dating back to when it was the Viking.

Our next research day will be Tuesday, October 15th. The town newsletter went out recently with a large column from the WHS. Nancy Cressey reported that our membership for 2019 now stands at 144. She recently sent out reminder letters to members who had not renewed this year and responses are starting to come in. The first meeting of the Whiskey Run fundraising committee will be held Tuesday, October 15 at 6pm. This will be a dinner meeting at Linda Joss-Dyke’s house. We have received a number of grants to date. A $3,200 grant from humanities NY and $360 from the Essex County Arts Council was used for our summer programs. We received an Ironman Foundation Community Grant for $500 toward our building fund and Ironman Volunteerism Grants for $850. Steve Peters of Elevate 518 wrote the Ironman Community Grant and he is now working on a grant that may provide us with professional assistance for the Whiskey Run and Festival.

Karen reported that she attended the Adirondack Foundation Summer Party.

There will be an Essex County Arts Council luncheon on Monday, October 7 from 12 to 2pm. Merri Peck will attend to represent the WHS. Guy will attend if Merri is unable to go. We need to be represented because we received a grant from the Arts Council.

The 2019 report is almost ready to go out. Karen will send it to UPS to prepare for mailing and Nancy will create a mailing list.

The first Wednesday in January 2020 is on the first, so we changed our meeting date to January 6th. The meeting location will have to be changed for this date so Merri will check to see if we can meet at the Nazarene Church.

Merri and Karen will meet to compose the appeal letter for this year on October 16th at the town hall. Our mission statement needs to be updated and after some discussion the following statement was proposed: “The mission of the Wilmington Historical Society is to collect, preserve, display and interpret the documents, photographs and artifacts that tell the unique story of the people of Wilmington, New York, the home of Whiteface Mountain.” Guy moved to accept the new mission statement and Jess Ano seconded his motion. All voted in favor.

Karen reported that she attended the “Big Idea” conference yesterday. Steve Peters will be attending the 2019 Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership International Summit on October 7.

Guy mentioned that one large dead pine will be taken down and removed from the cemetery.

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

Respectfully Submitted,
Nancy Cressey


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