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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Wilmington Community Center


Karen Peters
Merri C. Peck
Guy Stephenson
Judy Lawrence
Bob Cressey
Nancy Cressey
Donna Griffin (via telephone)

Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 7 pm and we began our open discussion on “10th Mountain Division History and the Whiteface Region.” Karen related that Doug Wolfe has information in his files to donate, but since he has left Wilmington for the season he doesn’t presently have access to the material. Karen showed a photo of Life Magazine for November 9, 1942. The cover photo was of Walter Prager in mountaineering gear. He taught skiing and mountaineering to the army mountain infantry. He later opened a ski shop in Wilmington at the location currently occupied by the North Pole Campground store and office. David Fitz-Gerald, author of In the Shadow of a Giant, sent in a number of news articles pertaining to the 10th Mountain Division. Guy Stephenson talked about a number of 10th Mountain Division veterans who came from the local area. Many members became involved with the National Ski Patrol and development of ski areas. Karen also showed us some photos of the dedication ceremony on Whiteface Mountain taken by Jeri Wright.

The business meeting began immediately after the close of the open discussion. Donna Griffin made a motion to accept the October minutes as read. Merri Peck seconded her motion and all voted in favor. Karen then passed out copies of the treasurer’s report. As of November 1, 2017 our account balances were as follows: Operating account $4,090.63, Building Transfer account $100, Zachay Fund $2,000.00, Keegan Memorial Building Fund $48,851.70, Petty Cash $100.00. Donna advised us that Dennis Keegan will be donating money to the WHS toward the purchase of real estate. She suggested that we put it in a money market account to earn a higher rate of interest while still having it available for purchase of property. She made a motion to do so and it was seconded by Merri. The motion carried unanimously. Karen told us that we will be receiving $130 from Adirondack Architectural Heritage as our half of the income from the Santa’s Workshop tour. Merri moved to approve the treasurer’s report and Bob Cressey seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Discussion then turned to communications. The Clinton County Historical Association will hold their annual meeting at 5PM November 8th at the Ground Round special occasion room in Plattsburgh. David Fitz-Gerald sent us a copy of his book, In the Shadow of a Giant which is a historical novel about Paleface. There will be a book launch party and signing November 18th from 1:30 to 4 PM at the Crowne Plaza in Lake Placid. All those wishing to attend can RSVP via email to dave@itsoag.com or on the Facebook/Eventbrite sites. Another book signing will be held at 3 PM December 9th at the Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid. Mr. Fitz-Gerald offered to provide us with page by page notes on his book, indicating which parts are fact and which are fiction, if we felt this would be useful. Karen responded that we would find his notes useful as a reference material. Karen then asked if the WHS should sell the book. Donna suggested that we acquire 10-20 copies for local residents. Merri said she does not think we should stock the book beyond the promotional period. Karen will talk to Dave about the possibility of selling the book during the initial period and she will also ask about having him as a speaker in 2018. Tony Beck emailed to thank the WHS for an interesting presentation at the October meeting.

Acquisitions for the past month include the book from David Fitz-Gerald and some recipes from the Whitebrook Tearoom sent in by Robert Sturges in response to the discussion about “Eating off the Land in the Adirondacks” at our September meeting. We responded to research questions on a Hickok grave site and a Malbone family question. A Keene resident offered the WHS a copy of a Winch family book but indicated it was not in archival condition. Karen responded that we already have several copies of the book. Karen and Bob Peters gave copies of the Oscar Maynard memoir and photo to historians at Gettysburg and Fredericksburg National Parks. The chief historian from Fredericksburg sent an email to thank Karen for sharing the memoir. Merri reported that she received an 1811 family bible from someone doing research on Ella Weaver. Merri said she determined that the bible originally belonged to Jerusha Wilcox, who is buried in the Pleasant View Cemetery. Merri is continuing to do more research for the owner of the bible.

Donna suggested that family bibles would make an interesting topic for one of our programs. Proper preservation and care could be included as part of the program.

Our next research day is Tuesday, November 21st.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee that Marty Podskoch thanked the Warren County Historical Society for hosting the 3rd Annual Adirondack 102 Club Dinner. He also asked for opinions about whether to hold a luncheon or supper and where to hold the next gathering. He needs a volunteer to sponsor the next event also. Rarilee Conway has offered to give us 900 DVDs of Fran Betters that the WHS can sell to raise money.

The Membership and Nominations Committee will meet in January to do the 2018 Membership brochure. Donna mentioned that she would like to promote courtesy or discounted memberships for new residents and students. We need to continue to insure that our website is up to date.

We also need to start working on a display for the 46ers’ Days event August 3-5 at Whiteface. Someone mentioned the photo of Asher Winch with a group on Whiteface and it was suggested that we might try to represent the people as in the picture if we can find appropriate old clothing.

The first meeting for the 2018 Whiskey Run will be held 6:30 PM Wednesday, November 15th at Pourman’s.

Merri asked for clarification of what should go on the flaps of donation envelopes. She also reported on the cost for Every Door Direct Mail service pricing for our annual appeal mailing. Minimum quantity is 1000. Cost for 1000 4 ˝ X 11 postcards would be $520. 1000 brochures or flyers would cost $720. This would cover printing, mail preparation and postage. We will check to see what we have spent on the previous mailings to see if this would be more cost effective. We will meet at the town hall on Tuesday, November 14 at 10 AM to stuff envelopes for this year’s appeal mailing.

The Keene Valley Library wants to start a historical society and they have asked the WHS to attend a meeting Monday, November 13th at 7 PM to give a presentation on what steps they need to take.

Donna moved to adjourn the meeting and Bob seconded her motion. All voted in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nancy Cressey
Wilmington Historical Society


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