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Wilmington Historical Society
Minutes of Meeting
Wednesday November 6, 2013
Wilmington Community Center
7 p.m.


Karen Peters
Doug Wolfe
Donna Griffin
Merri Peck
Linda Joss-Dyke
Guy Stephenson
Barbara Rothman
Nancy Cressey
Bob Cressey

Karen Peters called the meeting to order. We began our open discussion “The 10th Mountain Division in the Whiteface Region.” Karen showed some photos and talked about the annual ceremony on Little Whiteface. Karen passed around a brochure from the 2009 ceremony. Guy Stephenson informed us that the ceremony was cancelled this year for the first time due to budget cutbacks. Doug Wolfe spoke about the history of the 10th Mountain Division. It began 70 years ago and played a significant role in World War II. A number of men local to this area were part of the effort. Doug also talked about how mules were used for transport in the beginning. He showed us photos of early snow machines and talked about how the Army sent the first helicopter to the top of Whiteface in 1945. Ski development in the U.S. came about largely as a result of the 10th Mountain Division. Karen presented several newspaper articles about the history and the connection between Whiteface and the 10th Mountain Division.

The business meeting began immediately following the discussion. Karen then called for the secretary’s report. Donna Griffin made a motion to accept the October meeting minutes as read. The motion was seconded by Linda Joss-Dyke and it carried unanimously. Donna Griffin then gave the treasurer’s report. She passed out copies of her report and told us that the current balance in the treasury is $5,431.80. Karen noted that the invoice received from Centerplate was not on the report. It will appear on the next treasurer’s report. Merri Peck made a motion to accept the treasurer’s report. Bob Cressey seconded the motion and it carried unanimously. Previously Donna had suggested that we obtain a debit card for Karen to use from our NBT checking account for making purchases for the WHS. It would be easier to track expenses than having two checkbooks. Merri offered a motion that we get Karen an NBT Bank debit card to use for WHS business. Doug seconded the motion and it carried unanimously. Bob then mentioned that he had forwarded emails about the NY State sales tax to Donna. He will get the email on the WHS sales tax account changed to Donna’s email. Donna is still working on finding a professional auditor for the WHS. Donna will be preparing the proposed budget for 2014 soon. Bob is available to help her with that if she has any questions.

Discussion turned to communications. Karen sent a thank you to Allison Smith for allowing the WHS to sponsor the Native Mohawk history and culture program for the 4th graders at Lake Placid Elementary School. She also sent photos that she took during the 2-day program. Another thank you letter was sent to Margaret Horn who presented the program to the children. We received an email from Jay O’Hern thanking Karen for help in deciphering a name on one of the audio history recordings he purchased from SUNY Plattsburgh. Suzanne Switzer emailed saying that she had been in touch with one of our members who purchased a print of the Noah John Rondeau painting. As an aside Karen suggested that we might see if Suzanne would be willing to allow us to sell prints of the painting as a fundraiser. Karen sent a thank you email to Dennis Keegan for meeting with us to discuss our building project and the creation of a memorial for his parents. She also sent a message to several Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) employees who assisted with our program “Legacy: Austria’s Influence on American Skiing—Hannes Schneider and His Disciples” held on Friday, October 25th.

In response to a request from Randy Preston, Wilmington Supervisor, Karen sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo to support the town’s request for repairs and improvements to the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway. The letter was published in the Jay Community News to encourage citizens to write a letter of support also. Randy acknowledged the support and mentioned that he will be meeting with the governor about the highway in two weeks along with Randy Douglas and Dan Stec.

We received several research queries including the request from Jay O’Hern for clarification of a name on an audio recording, a query about the Marble family and a request for an image from New York State Path through History. Karen sent them a copy of the image which appears on our new book cover.

We acquired a new photo for our collection from Carolyn Kiernan. The picture was taken at the North Pole when it first opened. The cannon formerly stored in the trailer behind the community center has been de-acquisitioned by the Town of Wilmington. After careful research we determined that the cannon which had been in the town’s possession actually belongs to Black Brook and it was returned to them.

Merri reported for the Library, Museum and Historical Sites Committee that she and Karen spent some time at the last research night organizing the cabinets to make them more presentable. Karen asked Merri if she thought it feasible to set November 2014 as a goal for completion of Past Perfect entries. Merri will also be making covers for the CDs and bookplate stickers. Our next research night will be Tuesday, November 19th.

Karen reported for the Publications and Programs Committee that there was an article in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise stating that our new book, “Wilmington and the Whiteface Region” includes seven photographs from the Adirondack Research Room’s collection at the Saranac Lake Free Library. The WHS had a booth at the Oktoberfest on October 5th and 6th. Since only 10 books and 18 stickers were sold it was decided that this venue is not practical for future fundraising efforts. The Lake Placid Elementary School Program presented by Margaret Horn was a success and we received a thank you from the school. The Ski film program at Whiteface was also a success. It was well attended and one of the attendees related that she had met Hannes Schneider in 1939 when she traveled by train to Lake Placid to participate in a Kate Smith women’s ski race.

Nancy Cressey reported for the Membership and Nominations Committee that we received three new senior memberships during the last month. Our total membership for 2013 now stands at 178. It was decided that we will prepare the 2014 membership flyer in January.

The Visitor’s Bureau has set the date for the 2014 Festival of Colors on Saturday, September 13th.

The meeting of the Bridge Committee with state representatives was disappointing because they announced that they would not be able to do several of the things they had previously agreed to do to keep the historical aspect of the bridge. The issue is not settled and the town will continue to pursue this. Karen will call Steve Engelhart of Adirondack Architectural Heritage to see if he can give any advice or assistance in this matter. Karen gave the New York State representatives at the Bridge Committee meeting a complimentary copy of our new book to help them understand the historical importance of the bridge and this community.

Guy Stephenson reported for the Cemetery Committee that Abe Lincoln used the $1000 of town money for cemetery repairs to repair several stones in each cemetery. Guy said more work remains to be done, but this is a start.

The Wilmington Recreation Committee will meet Monday, November 11th. If anyone has any suggestions for additions to their website they should let Karen know before the meeting.

A building committee has been appointed to begin planning for a new home for the WHS. Bob Peters and Gil Dyke are co-chairs and the other members are Guy Stephenson, Bob Hockert and Bill Waldy.

Karen reported that she gave two complimentary copies of our book to Santa’s Workshop. She also gave one copy to ORDA. Merri suggested that after the initial push of book sales we should let people buy the book from Amazon rather that order more and have inventory on hand. Karen said that while she agrees we should not order large quantities of the book, we should keep a small number of copies on hand. Karen has composed a flyer, letter and order form to send to our members to promote the book as an excellent Christmas gift. She passed out copies and asked for our input. It was suggested that instead of creating a separate order form for the new book we could put “Wilmington and the Whiteface Region” on the top line of the existing form, and indicate somewhere on the form that we have additional publications available, referring members to our website for a list of these. Also, the tax amount will need to be changed to 8%. Karen will make the suggested changes to the form and get the copies to Donna. Nancy will print the mailing labels and Donna will get stamps and envelopes and do the mailing.

Linda reported on fundraising. There are only 21 stickers left. Karen will order 200 more stickers. Linda got information from two companies about production of ornaments. One company wanted $295 to produce the first ornament and would charge us $8 each after that. The second company charges $5.95 each and we may not have to pay an initial fee since we have permission to use an ornament design that was already produced for Kiwanis. Linda is also going to look into an etched glass ornament. Merri suggested she contact Karl VonEntress about the glass ornament since he is a local artist.

Karen sent a request for a bio from Professor Hinds for us to include on our website.

Since January 1st falls on Wednesday, we set our January meeting date for 10 AM Thursday, January 2nd. We discussed making a contribution to the Jay Community News since it is a valuable resource for us. Linda made a motion to donate $50 to the Jay Community News and it was seconded by Bob. All voted in favor. Doug made a motion to donate $50 to the Francis Betters Memorial Statue Project. Nancy seconded the motion and it carried unanimously. Doug mentioned that he has the Rock and Mineral Club items including log books, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, rocks and jewelry. He would like to turn the books and papers over to the WHS and give the rocks to Riley’s in Saranac Lake, perhaps offering the jewelry items for purchase. Merri suggested that perhaps a sample of anorthosite (local Adirondack rock) and any other rocks pertinent to area natural history should be included with the historical collection.

Linda made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Merri and it carried unanimously.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nancy Cressey
Wilmington Historical Society


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