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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Wilmington Community Center

The meeting was attended by Karen Peters, Merri C. Peck, Jessie Ano, Donna Griffin, Guy Stephenson, Doug Wolfe, Anthony Bede, Starr Hough, Ed Griffin, Pam Gray and D. Newman, and Bert Yost.

Karen Peters, President, opened the regular meeting of the Wilmington Historical Society (WHS) at 7pm with an open discussion: “Wilmington Area Connections to the Salem Witch Trials.”

The discussion was recorded and will be kept on file for future researchers. Karen presented the genealogy of Wilmington native Susannah North Martin who was a 71 year old when she (and 14 other women) were convicted of witchcraft and hung to their deaths in Salem Village, Massachusetts. Susannah’s name was cleared 288 years later. North’s biography along with a complete family tree was presented by Karen and further discussed by Pam Gray. The family lines of the Martin, Lawrence, Wilkins and George families as they reached back to the Salem Witch Trials were presented. The Open Discussion was adjourned and the regular business meeting was opened at 8:05pm.

The Secretary’s Report was presented by Karen Peters in the absence of secretary Nancy Cressey. Jessie Ano moved to accept the report, seconded by Merri C. Peck. The report was accepted as presented by unanimous vote.

The Treasurer’s Report was presented by Donna Griffin as follows:

Operating Account: $ 4,191.62 Building Transfer account: $100.00 Zachay Memorial Fund Account: $2,000.00

Wilmington Historical Society Keegan Memorial Building Fund at Adirondack Foundation: $48,009.12 Guy Stephenson moved to accept the report, seconded by Merri C. Peck. The report was accepted as presented by unanimous vote.

Representing the newly formed local group, Friends of Whiteface (Friends), Bert Yost asked for administrative assistance from the WHS with the group’s goal of providing an accurate Olympic history of Whiteface Ski Area. The group plans to provide past and present, accurate names of ski trails, gathering areas, lifts, lodges and all other information pertaining to the development of this ski center as it relates to the Winter Olympics of 1980 with an eye to preserving physical structures as well. Members present enthusiastically showed support. Doug Wolfe suggested that the Friends group begin by meeting with ORDA for that organization’s input and suggestions. Bert Yost thanked WHS for the time to meet with him and for the support shown.

The following correspondence was presented: an email from member Robert Sturges informing the WHS that he will forward pages from his family’s guestbook from the White Birch Tea Room; an email from Karen Peters to John Collins re: WHS’s continuing research of North Pole’s acquisition of property at the four corners of town (in front of the Holiday Lodge); an email from Ali Cotterill re: North Pole, NY documentary progress; an email from Linda Joss-Dyke announcing Festival of Colors raffle prize winners. Linda will provide an official announcement at the next business meeting.

Acquisitions: a photo of the 1959 Lake Placid HS class was received from Starr Hough; an email was received indicating that the person who wrote the email may have 7 boxes of photo plates (10-12 per box) depicting local Wilmington tourist sites circa early 20th century that they may want to sell to the WHS. Donna made a motion to accept the plates as a donation or make an offer to purchase the plates (not to exceed four hundred dollars) after Karen examines the items if the offer is given. The motion was seconded by Guy Stephenson. The motion was accepted by unanimous vote. Karen suggested our organization budgets for acquisitions in 2018.

Standing Committees: Merri will open the meeting room on October 17th for researchers from 10 am – 1 pm. Karen presented a newspaper article from Lake Placid News which discussed the Lake Placid 4th Grade History Fair sponsored by both the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society and the Wilmington Historical Society. The article also featured a picture of WHS member Guy Stephenson who attended the event. Karen noted we are continuing our work with Lake Placid Elementary School history projects; the ADK 102 Club held their annual award dinner on Sunday, October 1st at the Hiland Park Country Club in Queensbury.

Members present discussed the new release of David Fitz-Gerald’s book In the Shadow of a Giant. It was decided to purchase a copy of the book to read and review. The book is historical fiction, but the setting and background information focuses on Boylan Fit-Gerald’s development of Paleface Ski Center and Dude Ranch.

Current membership is 160. WHS may seek out more student memberships and possibly providing a courtesy membership to Wilmington’s new residents at the annual Newcomer’s Dinner.

The Building Committee had no updates; on behalf of the Cemetery Committee, Guy Stephenson reported routine landscaping has been provided by the Town of Wilmington.

Old Business: Karen sent Annual Reports to Patrick McIntyre for posting on the WHS website; the drafted 2018 building appeal letter was reviewed and finalized. The WHS is continuing our work with the Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum on a Whiteface Mountain Ski development display. The proposed Whiteface manager timeline was reviewed. Doug suggested the Olympic Museum contact Mrs. Adams for further review; ADK 46’s Days are scheduled for August 3-5, 2018 at the Wilmington Town Field (location is tentative). Michelle Preston of the Whiteface Visitor’s Bureau has kindly offered assistance to the ADk46r’s group.

New Business: It was announced that there is an Oral and Video History workshop available at the Adirondack History Museum on October 13th. Trustees are encouraged to attend.

Donna made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:50. The motion was seconded by Guy and carried by unanimous vote. Respectfully submitted,

Donna Griffin (in the absence of Secretary Nancy Cressey)


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