Karen Peters called the meeting to order at 6:30pm. Our Open Discussion topic was, “Wilmington Church History.” Karen started off the discussion by showing a slide of the 1876 map of Wilmington which shows the locations of all the important structures in the town. The map shows the Congregational Church (now the Nazarene Church), the Wesleyan Methodist Church (no longer in existence), and the Methodist Church. Karen mentioned that we have very little information on the Wesleyan Methodist Church and we would welcome any information that anyone can contribute about it. St. Margaret’s Catholic Church and the Baptist Church were added later.
We saw several photos of the Congregational/Nazarene Church at various points in time, including one of a plane which crashed into it during a sightseeing flight, The Methodist Church was started in 1834. Reuben Sanford was instrumental in getting it built. The Methodist Church has very good records. George Adirondack Smith was instrumental in establishing the Catholic Church. The chapel was completed for summer services in 1926 only to be blown off its foundation by severe winds in 1927. The Catholic Church was also a target of the Ku Klux Klan during the period that organization was active in Wilmington. The Calvary Baptist Church was a break away from the Methodist Church in the late 1960s, led by David Strong.
The business meeting commenced immediately following the open discussion. Karen passed out copies of the September and October minutes for us to review. Guy Stephenson pointed out that there was an error in the paragraph about possible historical marker sites in the September minutes. “Umber house” should to changed to read “Unger house.” Merri Peck moved to accept the minutes as corrected and Guy seconded her motion. All voted in favor. Linda Joss-Dyke moved to accept the October minutes as read and Guy seconded her motion. It carried unanimously.
Linda said she had sold $288 worth of shirts and glasses left from the Whiskey Run and she gave a check for that amount to be turned over to the treasurer, Karen then passed out copies of the treasurer’s reports for September and October. Our bank balances as of this day are as follows:
Guy moved to approve the September Treasurer’s report and Merri seconded. All voted in favor. Guy then moved to approve the October Treasurer’s report and Linda seconded the motion. Again, all voted in favor.
Karen then reviewed our communications. There were a number of phone messages, many regarding various research questions. Jay O’Hearn has indicated that he is looking for logging and farming images and he would like to use some photos from our book.
Merri advised that she needs more storage for photos on the laptop. The storage is filled to capacity and it is having an adverse effect on her ability to use the computer. It was agreed that we should get an external hard drive for more storage. They are relatively inexpensive.
Our next research day is Tuesday, November 27, from 10 AM to 1 PM.
Karen sent a photo to Andy Flynn. The photo is of children at the Upper Forge School on Fox Farm Road around 1908. Apropos of the season, the children are dressed as Indians and Pilgrims.
Karen advised us that she, Merri and Donna Griffin are working on the annual appeal letter. This year we will concentrate on the building construction fund. As additional incentive to donors, the letter will inform recipients that their donations will be matched by our benefactor, COL Dennis Keegan.
Nancy Cressey reported that our membership for 2018 now stands at 177. Karen mentioned that our dues have not changed since our organization formed. Perhaps we need to consider increasing dues, but in order to do so we would have to change our bylaws. Since we will have no more meetings this year we will do this via email.
The Building Committee will soon be meeting with Sam Haselton. One idea to be discussed is whether we should have a basement or increase the size of the building to accommodate a storage room.
Linda reported that there will be a fundraising meeting December 6th. Karen said that Dave Ruch has agreed to provide music for the next Heritage Celebration and Karen will be working on getting a New York State grant to pay for it.
Volunteers will meet at the Community Center at 9 AM on November 15 to work on the Annual Appeal mailing.
Guy reported that Doug Nemec is working hard to organize cemetery records. Our website is updated. There is a donate button, however we still need to create a link for each item that we want to sell on the website.
The next WHS meeting will be January 2, 2019. The Audit Committee will meet sometime in January or just prior to the February meeting.
Gil Dyke moved to adjourn and Bob Cressey seconded his motion. All voted in favor.
Wilmington Historical Society