Hope Historical Society

Meeting of September 20th 2011

Draft Minutes

President Donovan Bowley called the monthly meeting to order at 9:09 AM at the Hope Historical Home. Also present were: Bob Appleby, Joe Berry, Gwen Brodis, Jan Campbell, Cecil Dennison (Lincolnville), Arnold Esancy (Union), Bill & Ann Gould, Herb Hart, Bill Jones, Will Keene, Ann Leadbetter, David Lowell (Tenant's Harbor), Bill & Jane Macomber (presenters, Blanchard), Dorothy Prescott (Rockland), Phyllis Prescott (Rockland), Arthur Small (Danvers MA/Lincolnville), Carolyn Vacca (Cumming GA), Robert Weisert (Cushing), Veronica Westbo (Stockton Springs) & Suzanne Winchenbach (Rockland).

Secretary Bill Jones summarized the August meeting minutes, previously distributed by e-mail. They were approved. The Secretary asked for help with minutes of meetings he was not able to attend (May 2011/Ron Howard on Chatfield Farm & June 2011/new Keene movie).

Ann Leadbetter presented the treasurer's report on behalf of her sister, Treasurer Faith Hart, who is convalescing. On August 1st, the bank account balance was $10,422.91. Income over the period was $129.96; expenditures were $2,656.99 for a balance at the end of the period of $7,895.88.


The President reminded of the 1816 eruption of Mount Tambora in what is now Indonesia which caused Hope's "year of no summer" and Hope's first exodus. Mount Tambora is now restless and starting to erupt.

For the Building Committee, Herb Hart reported that the Memory Garden lilac is ill, that he plans to plant a rugosa rose on the front lawn come spring, and that there are no mice.

For the Website Committee, Vice President and Webmaster Bob Appleby reported on his, President Bowley's & Secretary Jones's meeting with Helen & Jack Ellercamp, Dunton descendants from Peterborough NH who have lent us Abner Dunton's 1855-58 diary with permission to digitize, transcribe and publish this unique and precious document. Efforts to scan it have so far failed because the document has faded. Appleby called for two volunteers, one to read and the other to enter the information from the diary. In the mean time, President Bowley will try to find an effective way of scanning the document.

For the Program Committee, Chair Anne Leadbetter reported that the speaker for our October annual meeting would be Blaikey Hines on the Civil War. Hines, a 19th-Century fine art conservator & Civil War historian, has the definitive book on the 1st battle of Bull Run in press and forthcoming. He will focus on Hope and the Civil War. The meeting is scheduled for the evening of Wednesday October 18th. The venue is a problem. We had reserved the Hope Corner Firehouse using the Administrator's prescribed procedure but have been pre-empted by a firemen's training session. The Town Library is not available. The committee is looking for alternatives in our churches and elsewhere.
[Problem subsequently solved. Meeting moved to Wednesday October 19th at Hope Corner Firehouse. Potluck dinner at 6 PM. Short Business meeting. Presentation at 7 PM.]

For the Map Committee, Gwen Brodis reported that the new-printed 1859 maps are here and on sale for $5 each.

The President reported on our $900 archival grant from Maine State Archives to buy archival shelving, acid-free folders, document boxes, etc. This comes under the Historical Records Collection Grant Program. He and Archivist Gwen Brodis have met to decide how to spend the money. Faith Hart is co-Archivist.

The President reported that part 1 of a two-part multi-historical-society workshop he is organizing will take place November 9th at the new Appleton Library starting at 4:30 PM and continuing into the evening. Presenter Chris Glass will talk on the architectural history of Maine. Presenter Christi Mitchell will talk on what an historic-structures' survey is, on how to conduct one, and on why to conduct one. Hope Historical Society will be one of the sponsors.

The President reminded of the invitation to members to attend the "Come Autumn" round table of local historical societies to be held this year at Gibbs Library in Washington village from 9:30 to noon on Saturday 15 October. Please let him know if you plan to attend.

Old & New Business: none

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Ann Leadbetter introduced old cemetery experts Jane and Bill Macomber from Blanchard. They are, respectively, President and Director of the Maine Old Cemeteries Association. Jane talked on MOCA, its publications, work and website. Bill talked and gave a slide show on cemetery rehabilitation, particularly on the work of finding, cleaning and re-erecting cemetery stones. For more information on MOCA, contact the Macombers at janem@wildblue.net.

Jan Campbell, Hope Cemetery Sexton and member of the Cemetery Committee, summarized the work of the committee. Bill Jones asked on behalf of member Sonia Theobalds how to deal with a gravestone, probably for an infant, found on her farm.

Following the presentation and discussion, members and visitors enjoyed snacks provided by Ann Leadbetter and Gwen Brodis. Thereafter, at a little after 12:30, some visitors braved drizzle to visit Hope Grove Cemetery. The Macombers, Sexton Jan Campbell, President Bowley and other members and guests visited Morey Hill Cemetery to discuss the on-going work of restoring it.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Jones, Secretary