Annual Appeal


In these historic and challenging times, the Wilmington Historical Society is counting on your support more than ever. As you well know, last year the society was unable to hold its annual Whiskey Run & Heritage Festival which is our main fundraiser. While we were not as visible, still our work continued behind the scenes in research, education, and adding to our collections. We have participated in Wilmington’s Independence Day parade, pop-up drive-in theatres, and we are planning to transition to a new website that will better enable us to provide online virtual exhibits and promote archival research.

Since 2003, the Wilmington Historical Society has been chartered by the State of New York, garnered about 180 members, received visitors to our research library and archives, provided programming to the public, and grown our collections to warrant a space of our own. At this point, we would like to announce that we have recently moved into a new temporary space in the lower level of the Community Center until we are able to move into our new building. Thank you, Town of Wilmington!

To date, we have purchased property on Route 86 in the heart of Wilmington, opened an account at the Adirondack Foundation currently at about $50,000 for future operations and maintenance of a building, and opened a Money Market account which has grown in the past year from approximately $85,000 to almost $129,000! We would like to thank Sam Haselton for his guidance in obtaining concept drawings for our new history center which will include a library, archives room, and lecture/display space.  We are expecting completed engineering plans soon and will be able to obtain definitive cost estimates. See concept drawings.

Our financial plans include seeking grants, additional benefactors and donations, as well as fundraisers such as our annual Whiskey Run/Heritage Festival and our Annual Appeal. The History Center will be named in memory of the parents of our benefactor Dennis Keegan, Wilmington tourism trailblazers and prominent members of the community. Dennis has pledged to match all donations received for the Ruth and Thomas Keegan Memorial History Center.

In order to double the impact of your donation, please contribute to the Wilmington Historical Society Building Construction Fund by sending a check to Wilmington Historical Society (memo Building Construction Fund), PO Box 174, Wilmington, NY 12997 or click on the Donate button below. Your gift may be tax deductible. Keep in mind that this kind of donation is also a great way to memorialize or honor a loved one. Planned giving through your will, trust or estate plan is also an option.

With much gratitude,
Karen Marshall Peters, President

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