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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Annual Meeting
7:00 PM, Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Wilmington Community Center


Karen Peters
Doug Wolfe
Merri C. Peck
Bob Cressey
Nancy Cressey
Barbara Mulvey
Lora Bushy
Elena Bushy
Kathleen LeClair

Karen Peters called the meeting to order and we held our open discussion “More Wilmington Hunting Stories”. Upon the conclusion of the open discussion Karen asked for the secretary’s report. Merri Peck made a motion to accept the October minutes as read and it was seconded by Doug Wolfe. The motion carried unanimously.

Bob Cressey gave the treasurer’s report. He reported that our bank balance is $5,368.81. We had income for the month of $709.49 including a $600 donation from the ASRC, $44.36 in other donations, $60.13 from book sales and $5 from a membership. Our expenses for the month totaled $152.50, including $42.00 for stamps and $110.50 for purchase of books. Doug made a motion to accept the treasurer’s report and Merri seconded it. The motion carried unanimously. Bob passed out worksheets to begin the 2009 budget process. Karen appointed Merri, Doug and Guy Stephenson to the audit committee. Merri will serve as chair of the committee and they will meet to review our financial records with the treasurer at 6:30 January 7th prior to the next regular meeting.

Karen reported on communications. She passed around some of the regular newsletters and advised us that the Northern New York Library Network (NNYLN) is updating their directory of Archival and Historical Document Collections which will be mailed out in early 2009. The WHS is listed in the directory which is available online. Karen emailed some additions for the WHS entry in the directory.

. We had a letter from Susan Arena, program director for Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH). She thanked us for help with preparing the WHS slide presentation on Santa’s Workshop for a special showing to AARCH. AARCH made a contribution of $30 to the WHS.

Karen sent a thank you to Neil and Pat McKenna for their donation of the book From Bellmont to Brooklyn and Beyond to our collection.

The Upstate History Alliance (UHA) is offering a series of online mini courses on collections care and preservation.

Karen reported that Dennis Keegan is considering purchasing or helping us with the purchase of a camcorder for use in collecting oral histories. He is very interested in gathering oral histories from the older citizens. In particular he mentioned that we should interview Gladys Monaco who was proprietor of the Strawberry Roan Gift Shop which used to be where the Candyman is now located.

Karen had a communication from Lojack—they want us to re-download the Lojack software. She will take care of that within a day or so.

New York State Archives has announced that the Office of Cultural Education along with a number of partnering organizations will be conducting a survey of 4,500 cultural institutions, including local governments and historical societies to learn the risks to their collections. The data will be used as a blueprint for future preservation efforts as well as essential evidence to drive action, legislation, and advocacy for preservation in New York.

We received two emails from members in response to the statement in the minutes of last month’s meeting that Bob would be looking into the cost of purchasing the Publisher 2007 program. Lora Bushy said she has the program on her computer and volunteered to let us use it or prepare the flyer for us. John Buck suggested that we look into a free online publisher program called Scribus that is reported by some to be better than Microsoft Publisher. We appreciate the suggestions and offers of help from our members. Since Bob found that we can purchase Microsoft Publisher 2007 from Tech Soup for only $7, and since we are familiar with the program from using the earlier version, we decided that we will go ahead and buy it.

The Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce has produced a new booklet describing the area and the WHS is included among the organizations listed.

We had no new acquisitions for the month. Doug mentioned that the Northland Rock and Mineral Club charter and notebook are being kept at the toll house and they should come to the WHS. These were originally from the Warren house. Karen will look into obtaining a deed of gift.

Merri reported that she did some research for the John Wilkins family during the past month. She also mentioned that she did some research for Mrs. Maxwell who was one of the attendees at the “How Deep Are Your Wilmington Roots?” program. Karen said she received an inquiry from archaeologist Andy Black who is doing research on the property where the old White Stag Inn was located. He found that their application for a liquor license had been submitted in 1963 and he wanted to know if that was the year that the place was actually built. Karen talked to someone who had been involved with the project and verified that 1963 was indeed around the time it was constructed. Karen also had an inquiry from a woman who is researching how historical societies are founded for her PHD dissertation and she wants to get some information on how the WHS originated.

Bob, Nancy and Merri recently attended a class on Internet Access to Historical Records in Plattsburgh. As a result of the class Merri found out about a special library card available to town historians that allows online access to many historical records at the state library in Albany that are not available to the general public. She applied for the card and has already made use of it to do some research.

Merri reported that she held a training session October 8th on Past Perfect which was attended by Karen and Lora Bushy.

Karen reported that the Adirondack Holiday Lodge is no longer participating in the VRS ticket program for the present because they are heavily involved in remodeling. She said that they have volunteered to donate use of their banquet room should we need it.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee that she distributed flyers and put out publicity for the recent program, “How Deep Are Your Wilmington Roots?” About eleven people attended which was a good number for the type of activities involved. The program was very successful and it was agreed that we should do similar programs in the future. Karen said that she and Doug will be meeting to establish a program schedule for the coming year.

Nancy Cressey reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that we had one senior membership for a total of $5 in the past month. Our membership total now stands at 182.

Karen attended the last Visitor’s Bureau meeting. Among other things they discussed the planned Christmas party. Karen reported that the Wilmington Community Enhancement Committee sent out a Request for Proposal for the feasibility study which is to be funded by the grant money. They have received a number of proposals and will meet to review them sometime after the deadline for submission which is next week. The Essex County planner is heavily involved with this project.

Karen still needs to check on the amount of server space we have available for our website.

Harold Hinds called Karen regarding the Wilmington research Project and he also sent a follow up email with several issues we need to address. One issue was the status of the Chattel Mortgage transcription project. Dr. Hinds acknowledged that he received the 1890s portion done by the Cresseys and the 1860s which were done by Ted Ginett, but he has not heard what the status is for the 1850s, 1870s and 1880s. Merri reported that Ted Ginett is working on the 1870s now and will try to complete them by next month, but he will not be able to complete any more segments after that. Karen will put out an email describing the project and asking for additional volunteers. Dr. Hinds also asked if Merri could provide a list of Wilmington and Haselton postmasters. Merri has a list of Wilmington postmasters which she will provide but she does not know if the information is available for the Haselton Post Office. Doug pointed out that Jane Peck had previously said that one postmaster was omitted from the Wilmington list. Merri said she would check with Jane to get that corrected. Also Dr. Hinds has asked if the WHS would be able to provide volunteers to transcribe the index volumes for Essex County’s deed and mortgages. This would involve working at the county clerk’s office for many hours. While the WHS recognizes the value of this project, we just do not have the resources available to undertake such a large project. Another issue Dr. Hinds raised is the donation of copies of some of the Wilmington Book series. Dr. Hinds wishes to donate a complete set of the volumes to each of two genealogical libraries: The Mid-Continent Library's Midwest Genealogical Center, in Independence, MO, and the National Genealogical Book Loan Collection at the St. Louis County Library. Donation of a copy of each published volume to these libraries will greatly increase the accessibility of these works. Dr. Hinds has asked if the WHS would be willing to donate two copies each of volumes 2, 3 and 4 and one copy each of volumes 7 and 8. He and Tina Didreckson will donate the remaining volumes. Bob offered a motion to donate the requested volumes and it was seconded by Nancy. All voted in favor.

Karen reported that we have made a total of $280 for 2008 on the sales of VRS tickets.

The Microsoft Publisher 2007 program is $7 for each license from Tech Soup. Bob will order one license.

Merri reported that the Nazarene Church held their denominational history celebration October 5th. They showed videos and held a supper afterward.

Karen attended the Fall Regional Roundtable in Elizabethtown on October 18th. The topic was Digitization—Best Practices for Cultural Heritage Institutions. Karen said the session was extremely useful. The topic for the Spring Roundtable to be held Saturday May 9th is Oral History.

Karen reported that Gary Yeaney inquired about the possibility of the WHS providing programs for senior citizens. He also suggested we might want to ask the seniors to do some volunteer work for the WHS.

Karen reported that she had spoken to Margaret Gibbs of the Essex County Historical Society. She may be able to provide contacts who can offer assistance when we are ready to open a Wilmington History/Heritage Center.

Karen mentioned that now may be a good time to request another Documentary Heritage Program survey and have another on site review done. Everyone present agreed that this would be appropriate.

Merri moved to adjourn and Doug seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Cressey


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