Hope Historical Society

Meeting of June 19th 2007


President Lois Hebb called the meeting at the Hope Historical Home to order at 9:30. Present were: Bob Appleby, Donovan Bowley. Gwen Brodis, Jean Connon, Nancy Ford, Julie Hebb Goettler, Courtlynn Goettler, Faith Hart, Bill Jones, Will Keene, Dottie Kimball, Ann Leadbetter, Betty Lowell, Barbara Ludwig, Evelyn Ludwig, Peggy Ludwig, Margaret Morse, Melissa Nelson, Francina Pearse, Gen Perpall and Ron Smith.

Dottie Kimball, Barbara Ludwig, Peggy Ludwig, Margaret Morse, Francina Pearse and Gen Perpall presented the history of the Hope RFD Club, from October 1952 to present. Reading from letters of founder Joye Pearse, they explained that the club got started because young mothers needed a night out. In those days, it had to be after they put the children to bed.

Joye explained that RFD had rapidly come to mean Rural Free Donations. Indeed, the club, which always focused on food, rapidly expanded to take on a number of social roles, including getting out mailings for Hope Volunteer Firemen and sometimes the Town Report and sending birthday cards. The RFD also became a seamlessly efficient catering team, a role from which they have only recently retired. Of their many roles, the one they remember and loved best was their annual Mrs. Santa's Party for Hope's youngsters, an institution that has continued under the auspices of the Hope Volunteer Library when the RFD retired from it in 2005. In recent years, Gen Perpall has been Mrs. Santa.

The RDF documented its history as it went along. Its collection of photos and documents has been turned over to Hope Historical. The most important photos are posted on the website (www.hopehist.com). Melissa Nelson's recording of this meeting is on Hope Historical's audio history library.

A business meeting followed at 10:20 after snacks.

The minutes of the May meeting were read and approved as read.

Treasurer Faith Hart's Treasurer's Report was presented and accepted. Despite the expenditure of $1115 on a new oil tank, our balance rose to $8,625.82 thanks to a timely and unexpected gift of $1,000 from the Camden Home for Senior Citizens through Adele Hopkins. Faith Hart has written to Mrs. Hopkins to thank her and the Home for their generous gift. $13.36 was received from Coastal Workshop for returnable bottles and cans turned in by members.

Committee Reports and Announcements:

The Building Committee had not taken up staining because of the weather but would do so as soon as Obed Hart & Dick Brodis decided conditions were right. Andy Swift will help paint. The cost of replacing the leaky oil tank in the basement was kept down to $1115 because Dick & Obed cut the old tank in two to get it out.

The House Maintenance Committee thanks Gwen Brodis, Faith Hart and Ann Leadbetter for the inside work of spring cleaning and Herb Hart and Ron Smith for cleaning the barn, summer kitchen, ell and windows.

Bill Jones announced that Ron Russell is willing to give the Society some artifacts from Hope's industrial past, specifically things from the poultry plant that once flourished on Camden street where he now has his shop. It is agreed to accept anything that wasn't too big. He also reported that, while he was checking with Barbara Carver to try to straighten out the Dunton family entry for hopehist.com, Barbara reiterated her intention of giving the Society Abner Dunton's top hat, cane and diary.

Old Business:

The dates of opening Hope Historic Home as a museum this summer were reviewed. It was agreed that Sunday July 15th would be the first opening day from 2 to 4 PM and that the subsequent openings from 10 to noon on Thursdays and 2 to 4 on Sundays would happen subject to the availability of enough volunteers. A number of members indicated that we don't know the collection well enough ourselves to act as docents for visitors. It was agreed that all potential volunteers should come early on Sunday July 15th to be briefed on our collection by archivists Faith Hart and Gwen Brodis and/or by anyone else who knows. The secretary will write something about this for the website.

New Business

Gwen Brodis reported that the supply of Hope maps being sold at the Town Office - both the 1859 map and the smaller, more recent map -- was exhausted and that demand for them is strong. Bill Jones reviewed the circumstances of our production of the more recent maps and that we no longer have a cheap way of reproducing them. Various suggestions were made, including consulting a website called winkflash.com. Gwen, Bill and Donovan Bowley were urged to come up with something and to report it to the Executive Committee. If the solution could be executed for $100 or less, the final decision could be taken by the Executive Committee without consulting a monthly meeting.

Heating oil for next winter has to be purchased. It was agreed that Faith should find the best deal and do it.

Next meeting will be a tour of the historic artifacts collected in a barn of the Ralph C. Pearse farm. Members and visitors should meet at the Hope Historical Home at 9:15 on Tuesday July 17th to carpool to the Pearses' for a 9:30 to 10:30 tour. Following the tour, a brief business meeting will be held back at the Hope Historical Home. Ann Leadbetter will be responsible for refreshments.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Jones, Acting Secretary