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Wilmington Historical Society
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Wilmington Community Center


Karen Peters
Doug Wolfe
Merri C. Peck
Guy Stephenson
Nancy Cressey
Bob Cressey
Barbara Rothman

Karen Peters called the meeting to order and we began the open discussion of “Wilmington Bridges, Roads and Local Highways.” Karen showed slides of maps of the town from 1876 and 1928 which revealed that there have been many changes to road names. Many roads are named after citizens of the town. She also showed photos of various town roads, wagons, early automobiles, the wooden, iron and stone bridges over the Ausable River, a walking bridge in Haselton and Guy H. Stephenson fording the river with a horse drawn wagon. Doug Wolfe displayed a copy of Steve Engelhart’s book which has a section about the Wilmington bridge. Doug spoke about the 2010 DOT inspection report on the existing bridge and showed a copy of the 1935 blueprint for the bridge. Merri Peck showed us a panoramic photo of the town which she recently acquired. She will try to have a copy made for the WHS.

The business meeting commenced at about 8:10. The next book committee meeting will be Thursday, October 11th at 1 PM at the community center. Karen called for the Secretary’s report. Guy Stephenson moved to accept the minutes as read and Merri seconded the motion. All voted in favor. Bob then presented the treasurer’s report. The bank balance is $5,293.67. We had income of $1219 consisting of $165 in memberships and $1,054 in donations resulting from Sid Ward’s sale of cutting boards at the Festival of Colors. Our expenses were $30 for copying of photographs from the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. Guy made a motion to accept the report as given and Merri seconded the motion. It carried unanimously.

Discussion then turned to communications. Karen mentioned that Roberta White had responded to an article in the Lake Placid News which had asked readers to identify an old photograph. Karen thanked her for the information and also for providing the WHS with photographs and valuable information in the past. Karen sent a thank you letter to Sid Ward for his generous donation and another to Greg Rickes for donating a CD containing photos of the 1964 Uphill Sports Car Climb.

Our acquisitions for the month included an Asher Winch scrapbook from Carol Latone, two ski books by Otto Schnieb, “American Skiing” and “Modern Ski Technique” donated by Camilla Palumbo, and genealogies for the George, Hatch and Winch families donated by Joanne Foley. We also received from Charles Haselton the Register of Attendance at Haselton School for 1936 and 1937 and also a “Survey of Mountain View Cemetery” by Adeline Jaquish and Erma Haselton which includes historically interesting and significant comments.

Research inquiries for the past month included a request for school consolidation information which Merri worked on, and requests for genealogical information which were handled by Karen. Karen received a lead from Ginny Crispell on the name of someone who has 8mm film on the construction of buildings on the toll road. Doug will follow up. Bill Waldy requested photos of the construction of the Alpine Inn and Suites and Doug handled a request for genealogy information on the Wolfe family.

Merri reported for the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee that she acquired page protectors needed for the Myrtle Gowan collection and she is working on bringing the Past Perfect software program up to date. There is much work to be done. Doug reported that he has been working with a researcher who is gathering information on the Atlas Missile sites around Plattsburgh. He is looking for feedback from anyone who has knowledge of or worked with that program. Doug will be the point of contact.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee that the Festival of Colors was very successful in spite of having to shut down early due to weather. We had good comments from visitors to our booth. We are soliciting ideas for any improvements to the Festival of Colors. Our final program for the year will be on Friday, October 26th, 7 PM at the Community Center. Karen Glass will present “Adirondack Tales of Folk and Fancy.” Bob Cressey mentioned that Wendy Hall had suggested the possibility of a future program about Wilmington wildlife.

Nancy Cressey gave the Membership and Nominations Committee report. Since our last meeting we received ten memberships accounting for thirteen people. Our total membership now stands at 151. This is still down from last year. Karen said she had received feedback from one person saying that she is more likely to pay attention to regular mail as opposed to email. Perhaps in the future we should send all the reminders by mail.

Guy reported for the cemetery committee that before doing any repairs to headstones, the town is required to notify families and if no response is received they have to advertise in a local publication for two weeks. The committee will also have to get cost estimates for repairs. Karen gave Guy a copy of an email she received about headstone cleaning in New York.

The Wilmington Recreation Committee met to talk about how the town might benefit from a grant offered by Essex County Public Health for “Creating Healthy Places.”

Karen has been working on keeping our Facebook page up to date. Considerable progress has been made on our Arcadia Book project.

Roy Holzer is again sponsoring “Halloween at the Hall” from 4-7 PM October 31st. Guy offered a motion that the WHS should sponsor a booth and spend up to $50 for candy to hand out. Merri seconded his motion and there were six votes in favor and one abstention. Merri agreed to decorate the booth with assistance from Nancy. Bob and Nancy will work the booth and pass out candy.

Training sessions are being offered by Northern New York Library Network (NNYLN). The Fall Conference on Copyright and Licensing Basics will be given October 31st from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM in Potsdam. Registration fee is $10. The class “Care and Handling of Archival Materials” will be given Friday, October 12th at the Holiday Inn in Plattsburgh; “Arrangement &Description of Historical Records” will be Friday, November 9th at the Saranac Lake Free Library. There is no cost for either of these classes.

Karen reported that she made requested updates for the WHS to the NNYLN Directory. Guy moved to adjourn the meeting and Merri seconded. All voted in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nancy Cressey
Wilmington Historical Society


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