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Society Minutes

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

Richmond Historical Society June 2, 2021 12:00 p.m. Richmond Pavilion Attendees: Douglass Bartlett, Dixie Gurian, Hank Hallas, Carol Jameson, Sandy Laughner, John Lewis, Jerry Mills, Jerry Merrifield, Wendy O’Brien, Suzie Roney, Susan Opal Wyatt. Douglass Bartlett called the meeting to order at 12:05. Incorporation Papers: John A. Lewis discussed the incorporation papers, which were signed in xx by Alan Harvey, Harold Dickinson, Harry Bennett, Luke Faust, and Edith Atkins. John reviewed the biographies that he had written about the Historical Society founders. Hank Hallas added that Edith Atkins had a wonderful photograph collection that was used to represent Richmond in the Vermont Yankee annual calendar. John was interested in Alan Harvey, as he appears in the tax records from 1968-1980. Jerry Merrifield mentioned that he lived in both Richmond and Winchester. Old Schoolhouse #4 was discussed as it had been taken down for tax purposes. John noted that in 6 years the RHS will be 50 years old, and this anniversary will frame many of the Society’s upcoming activities. He also expressed his ambition to capture in written or spoken form the wisdom of the current Town elders, stating that even 30 years ago is an important part of Richmond’s history. Presentation to Jerry Mills: John reviewed how during an important transition period for the Society, when it was in great turmoil, Jerry Mills sustained the Society. He served as President for 6 years, and his incredible attention to detail from the Veteran’s Park to the front library step has enriched Richmond and its history. Jerry showed the Society the leather black bag that Harold Dickinson used to peddle his book, “Gaskill’s Haven”. Jerry was presented with a framed series of pictures of Schoolhouse #6 in gratitude for his services to the Society. Officers of Organization: There was a review of the current Officers of the Society. Douglass is President, Wendy O’Brien will take over duties of Secretary (with Dixie taking notes after 1:00), John will continue as Treasurer There was a question of the role of Acting Vice President, which Dick Drew agreed to take on during the last meeting. The Vice President position is currently held by Bonnie McCarthy. It was decided that an Officer’s meeting be held to clarify job descriptions. John stated that the Acting Vice President position was added in order to have 5 officers for the 501(c)(3) filing with the state. Minutes: Hank made a motion to approve the minutes of the last meeting. John seconded the motion and it was passed. Treasurer’s Report: Hank made a motion to approve the Treasurer’s report. The motion was seconded. John reported that the Society was still solvent, and had received 4 months of TD Bank statement. He is waiting to transfer the funds to the Savings Bank of Walpole until the 3 accounts associated with the NH Public Deposit Trust are accessible. John noted that he has not yet located the provisions for the Richmond Cemetery and Edith Atkins Funds and how they may be spent. He plans to go through the financial document in his possession. The motion was passed. A motion was made by Hank to change the co-signatories of the TD Bank account from Jerry to Douglass. Carol Jameson seconded the motion. The motion passed. Douglass asked about the Richmond Heritage Commission and its funds. Carol noted that the remaining funds from the Commission were gifted to the Society with the intent of paying for the Telephone Building sign. Carol explained the difference between Town Commissions and the Historical Society, and noted that the Society is independent and can decide how to spend its own funds. Activity: Dixie introduced an activity for the meeting, where the members present could write down one wish for the RHS on a post-it and put it on the board. She was looking for both big and small ideas. The ideas ranged from sustainability, leading to the future, prioritizing current projects, getting buildings on the National Register, education, events to build community, and to have a permanent home for the RHS. At the end of the activity, Dixie stated that she would pull this information together for the next meeting. Information: Douglass brought up the problem of disseminating information to the Society members. It was suggested that the minutes would be a reminder of what the Society is doing, but others felt this method of communication was not flexible enough. Hank suggested that a project is created and that committee is assigned to a project with a chairperson to spearhead it. Projects: Jerry asked that a group be formed to move some rocks from Hank’s land to surround the flag pole at the Veteran’s Memorial Park. It was decided to organize the date and time of the work through email. Membership: Douglass mentioned that one challenge is that the membership is getting older and younger people are needed to help. He noted that younger people are moving to town and as we do more activities, hopefully these newer people will want to participate. Telephone Sign: A motion was made by Hank, seconded by Dixie to accept the quote from Keene Signworks. It was noted that the sign needs to be consistent with the other signs in Town. The motion passed. There was a discussion of having 4 signs when entering Richmond. Unfortunately, people often steal these signs. Meetings: Sandy suggested having a mix of stories at the business meetings. New Business: Website: Douglass is working on a website that will cost $400 for 3 years. He would like to have a wide variety of links to other organizations. John made a motion that the Society accept the creation of a website by Douglass along with the attendant costs. The motion was seconded and passed. Google Group: Douglass has started a Google Group with the email addresses of Society members so that everyone can be apprised of current activities. Maps: Douglass is working on maps of historic houses and first settlers. He has been going to house to house talking about their homes. He also invites them to participate in the Google Group. Meeting date/time: Jerry asked if there was a different day and/or time that would allow for more people to attend RHS meetings. Selectmen: John asked how as a Society things can be brought to the attention of the Selectmen. Dick Drew had volunteered to be the liaison to the Selectmen.

Respectfully submitted, Wendy O’Brien, Secretary

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