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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
7:00 PM, Wednesday, October 19, 2005
E. M. Cooper Library


Karen Peters
Doug Wolfe
Guy Stephenson
Steve Connor
Bob Cressey
Nancy Cressey
Merri Peck

Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM and called for the secretary’s report. The minutes for September 21 were corrected as follows: Under Treasurer’s report “9/4105” was corrected to read “9/4/05” and under Communications “rates will be increasing fro…” was corrected to read “rates will be increasing for…” Nancy Cressey made a motion to accept the minutes as corrected. Guy Stephenson seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

Bob Cressey gave the treasurer’s report. Our bank balance is $3,430.96. There were deposits for memberships and book sales and a check for $39 to Guy as an honorarium for the Iron Mine Tour. The balance does not reflect the check for $498 which was just written to Willow Bend Books for ten additional copies of each volume. Steve Connor introduced a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report and it was seconded by Guy. All voted in favor. Karen brought up an issue that we need to be aware of. We previously paid a bill received from Internet Corporation Listing Service for $35, believing that this was the bill for our website domain name. Investigation by Patrick McIntyre revealed that the service we paid for has nothing to do with our domain name, but it is for listing our website on search engines. We do not need this service because we are already listed. Our website is hosted by Primelink and the bill for our domain name should come from them. This is a scam and we need to be cautious in the future.

Karen reported on communications. The Northern New York Library Network sent us information about a seminar to be held October 24th in Potsdam on the Documentation and Conservation of Historic Cemeteries. Karen sent thank you notes to Dave Heim for donating two more virtual reality ride coupons, and to Cecilia Stevenson and Carol Gerardin, both for attending the old photo meet and donating photos. We had an email request from Karen Angell for help with her genealogy research. Merri Peck has been communicating with her and giving her leads to follow up on for answers to her questions. We received the New York State Archives Region Four Newsletter which has information about available grants. The North Country Underground Railroad Association and the Red Hummingbird Foundation sent us an invitation to an event they are sponsoring jointly. “Stories from the North Country” will be held at Stafford Middle School in Plattsburgh, 7PM Saturday, October 29th. Karen sent a thank you to the Essex County Historical Society for copies of letters from the Reuben Sanford family, and also one to Shirley Lawrence Riley for sending the Souvenir of Wilmington Village School and several other documents. We received some photos of the old school from Billie Loughran and Jerry Bruce gave us some Wilmington Civil War pension records that he received from Matt Clark in Lake Placid. Mary Preston donated an original photo of the old Storr’s house and a picture of the Haselton School.

The American Association for State and Local History newsletter had an article about the impact of hurricane Katrina on museums and the historical community. The Civil War Roundtable Newsletter also had information about this subject and both organizations are offering assistance to the historical community affected by the disaster. The Civil War Roundtable Newsletter also described one of their current projects. They are looking for photos and biographies of Civil War soldiers to publish in “Lincoln Men and Sons of Dixie.”

We also received a newsletter from the North Country Underground Railroad Association and posters for “Women and Museums” and Archives Week. The New York State Archives State Education Department sent information advising that grants are available for historical presentations in classrooms.

Merri reported for the Library, Museum and Historic Sites Committee. She has been inputting records into Excel and Past Perfect now that the new computer is up and running. We will again begin our work meetings on the first Tuesday of each month starting November 1st.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee WHS had an article in the Wilmington fall newsletter. Press releases were sent to all the local newspapers about the Festival of Colors. Doug Wolfe provided us with some photos he took at the Festival of Colors. The Old Photo Meet and Slide Show was successful in that we got 60-70 photos to add to our collection, though the turnout was not as large as it has been in the past. Karen advised that all our photos are on the Peters’ two computers and also on archival CDs. A description list of all the photos is included. Karen mentioned that she is almost finished adding the new photos to this collection.

Guy mentioned that he will do another Iron Mine Tour in the spring since he has several people interested. Karen is working on setting up two new guest speaker programs. Susan Conway will do a presentation on preserving family photos and Bob Reiss will talk about the history of Santa’s Workshop. Both of these programs are planned for sometime in the winter/spring timeframe. Doug will try to arrange for the archaeological program speaker to be scheduled for November.

Bob Cressey reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that we had one new membership recently.

Karen told us that the Whiteface Visitor’s Bureau (WVB) is hosting a Whiteface College Ski Week January 8-12. She advised that whenever she attends the WVB meetings she always gives them a report on what the WHS is doing.

Steve Connor advised that he has everything ready to go inside the Haselton Cemetery sign, but he has not been able to put it up because the glass doors on the sign are locked and the town hall does not have the key or know where it is located. As soon as Steve can track down the key we will be able to finish this project.

Karen brought up the issue of two new possible fundraisers as matters for the Board of Trustees to consider. Karen had some sample two color coupons printed on stock paper for the proposed Virtual Reality coupon fundraiser. Dave Heim has approved these. We can print them and sell them to lodgings in Wilmington to use as a promotional opportunity. We will ask that they pay the WHS up front for the coupons. The other proposed fundraiser is a wine tasting to be given by Terry Robards and Julie Robinson as a benefit to the WHS.

Karen thanked Guy Stephenson for mowing and cutting out the stumps around our storage trailer so that the town will be able to use their riding mower.

Steve reported that he went to Fort Stanwyck and talked to someone there about the cannon. He got the name of someone at Springfield Armory to contact for information on the cannon.

Karen advised us that there was a problem that prevented Patrick McIntyre, our webmaster, from updating our website. Primelink changed our user name and password and failed to inform us. This problem has since been resolved.

All of the Wilmington books by Dr. Hinds have been sold. We ordered ten more of each volume and some of these have already been sold as well.

Doug suggested that we should assemble an archive of all the plaques in Wilmington. He does not know the history of the plaque dedicated to the veterans of Wilmington, but he has been working on researching this.

Karen discussed the topic of grant possibilities for preservation of the book of old town records. Ed Hood is working on this and good progress has been made. We have obtained three estimates from vendors. The next step is for Karen and Jerry to meet with Ed Hood. The submission deadline is December 1st.

We discussed and agreed on changing the date of the Old Photo Meet to sometime in the summer in order to have a better turnout. We can do something else for Archives Week. Doug mentioned that we should have title search information links available for people who are doing research on the history of their homes.

Karen has been collecting sample pamphlets on walking tours in other towns in preparation for doing the Wilmington History Tour. She and Doug will meet sometime during the winter to discuss this further.

Karen gave a presentation on the Wilmington Dam history to the Ausable River Association on August 18th. They were not aware that the dam had been used for industrial purposes in the past. The Ausable River Association is interested in putting a stream gage at the dam.

Karen passed out materials she obtained from the Essex County Roundtable on fundraising. Joe Swinyer is willing to come back and do the secondary archival survey whenever we feel we are ready. Karen talked about some of the points discussed at the roundtable. Among the ideas emphasized were:

Karen mentioned a seminar on “Organizing and Planning Space” to be held in Plattsburgh on May 6th.

Guy said he had talked to Fran Betters about his publications again. Fran agreed to look for the newspapers and get them together for the WHS this fall.

The WHS provided two 8X10 photos for the Country Bear Restaurant to hang on their walls. We should think about charging for copies of photos and any other items we give away. Karen suggested that we use some of the old photos to make a calendar for next year.

We talked about what to do with the popcorn and candy left over from Films on the Ausable. It was agreed that we will donate it to the Wilmington Youth Center.

Kara Page contacted Karen about the Ausable Sustainable Communities waterfront project award/dam history. Karen and Doug will meet with her to discuss this.

We need to establish a Finance Committee. Bob and Karen volunteered to serve on the committee. Nancy agreed to serve for the initial meeting of the committee to plan nest year’s budget until another member can be recruited.

Guy brought up the issue that we need to have shorter meetings. He suggested that only the most important topics be discussed. Bob questioned whether it is necessary to have a Board of Trustees meeting after every regular meeting.

Steve made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Bob seconded it. All voted in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Cressey


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