Hope Historical Society Minutes
November 15, 2022

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM by Society President, Juanita Hunt. There were 14 members present: Margaret Morse, Juanita Hunt, Ron Smith, Gwen Brodis, Catherine Pease, Diane Sprowl, Ann Leadbetter, Bruce Linthicum, Linda Black, Linda Hillgrove, Cindy DellaPenna, Marie Berry, Bill Jones, Judith Jones, and guest speaker Beth Gindel.

The Secretary's amended report for the October meeting had been emailed to members the week before; no additional errors or omissions were noted. It was motioned to accept the minutes, seconded, and approved.

The Treasurer's report was distributed for the period September 30 thru October 31, 2022. Income for the month was $1,368.66 with expenses at $601.31. Gwen pointed out that the check from Coastal Opportunities was disappointedly low, especially since she had dropped off over 40 heavy, appropriately marked, bags of mostly glass bottles. So again, we discussed the apparent inconsistencies of Coastal's counting and accounting system. Bill Jones, our liaison with Coastal, suggested it might be time to pursue another redemption center.

The closure of the Post Office boxes in Hope with their transfer to Rockland was discussed. No one wishes to drive to Rockland to monitor a PO box to which little mail has been deposited; all bills, donations, and dues go to Gwen's address. The box rental of $50/six months, was paid in June, it should not be renewed. Since Donovan Bowley had been the person who had contracted with the Post Office, Gwen will ask him to close the box.

Marie Berry stated that the basket raffle had been won by Mary Berry. We discussed whether to organize another basket raffle for next year, soliciting items from some of the same donors and asking others to contribute. It was asked how much this year's basket had brought in; no one had an immediate answer, but I said I would look it up. If my math and notes are correct, we took in $588 on the basket raffle. The promotion of future raffles and donors was discussed.

All totaled, $1,196.91 was taken in on November 8th, voting day. The Historical Society is grateful for all the volunteers who worked the tables and brought baked goods to be sold. This figure will be reflected in the next Treasurer's report.

I discussed the two grant proposals submitted on October 31st. The Davis Foundation considers grants from tax-exempt organizations four times a year; their deadline was November 1st and they will consider requests at their Trustee meeting in December. The application will be judged on its merits and compared to other requests. The proposal submitted is for funding 3 heat pumps for the HHS home. A second "letter of inquiry" was submitted to The 1772 Foundation, which is in cooperation with Maine Preservation, on October 31st. Mary Ireland had made me aware of this potential grant that only allows an annual submission; its deadline was November 4th. If The 1772 Foundation deems the letter of inquiry worthy, it will request an invitation to apply before February 24, 2023. What I requested in the letter of inquiry was funding for the gutters. This is my first attempt at grant writing - funding organizations want loads of specific information and want to be assured their money is going to worthwhile causes. Let's keep our fingers crossed that my initiation to the grant writing process warrants the foundation's review. Juanita did a whale of a good job in securing bids from contractors and Gwen supplied financials.

New business: Closing up of the home will be done after our Christmas Brunch slated for December 15th. Gwen stated that Ron Howard will turn off the water and put anti-freeze in appropriate drains. Weekly house monitoring will begin in December with Jim DellaPenna checking the house weekly at the end of December and the month of January; Marie Berry will monitor in February, and Bruce Linthicum and Linda Black will monitor the house in March. Judith Jones and Gwen Brodis will put together a list of contacts should any problems arise during the winter months.

There have been questions about locating pictures of veterans in the veteran's cabinet at the Town Office. Margaret has prepared a list of names row by row which is five pages long. There was a brief discussion as to how to present the list to the public. It was proposed that the pages be placed in plastic sleeves and hung next to the cabinet with a metal ring. Margaret will handle the hanging duty.

Marie sent a list around the room asking members to write down what they might bring for the December 15th brunch to help reduce duplication. The brunch will begin at 9 AM. I personally am guilty of not writing down what I might bring as I haven't thought that far ahead - I did see a number of names on the list thank you. It will be an informal get-together.

The meeting was adjoined at 7:10.

Margaret Morse introduced Hope's sexton, Beth Gindel. Beth conducted a question-and-answer discussion of our cemeteries. She held members' attention with the stories of the work involved in locating and identifying unknown burials. Since I am a member of the Cemetery Committee, I am very aware of all the work that has been put in in updating records and the lack of records especially up at Morey Cemetery.

Beth has a fat folder of researched material on burials at Morey. She informed members that at least a portion of Morey will undergo ground penetrating radar, GPR, to determine if there are any indications of interments in a section where several lots had been sold in recent years.

Beth shared other discovery stories and answered questions regarding the depth of burials, alignment, probing potential unmarked burials with a metal probing stick, the potential discovery of internments by dowsing, and the repair of stones. Marble gravestones tend to disintegrate to dust over time if neglected, early slate stones fracture with the freezing and thawing of water, and granite holds up best.

Beth did have a request - if anyone has old photographs of gravestones at either cemetery but especially from Morey, please share as it helps us identify unmarked burials. An example was given with the missing gravestone of Samuel Bartlett, which was present at Morey 20 years ago, but is missing today. She is also interested in learning about the location of old family burial lots that may be hidden in the woods or fields in Hope.

The evening could have gone on longer, but we ended it with a fine assortment of slices of bread, cookies, fruit, and beverages.

Respectfully submitted,
Cynthia DellaPenna, HHS secretary