Bluemont Heritage December 01, 2022
Meeting held on second floor of E.E. Lake Store
In Attendance: (09) Peter Weeks, John Sullivan, Dave Ewald, Kevin Hart, Bill Bogard, Tom & Marilyn Rust, Rachel Wetherill, Lisa Seeberger
Meeting called to order: 7:03 PM, Peter Weeks – presiding
Open for more..
President’s Remarks: Candidate nominations and election of officers, all positions passed unanimously.
President – Peter Weeks
Vice President – John Sullivan
Secretary – Lisa Seeberger
Treasurer – Dave Ewald
Discussion ensued on reviewing Bluemont Heritage (BH) by-laws for 2023.
Treasurer’s Report: Financial info has been moved from Quicken desktop to QuickBooks online. The company TechSoup provides a discount to nonprofits, allowing us to pay $75/year for QuickBooks rather than $660. TechSoup is a great place to go for computer related items, however they only offer a discount to 501(c)3s – BCA as a 501(c)4 pays full price. The BCA was previously paying for some BH items and that has now been rectified. The only BH thing BCA still pays for is the monthly $8.94 water bill. Repairs and expenses for the Snickersville Academy will be broken out in more detail for the next report. A year ago, our checking balance was $16,547 and today it is $27,583. We will keep close tabs on the E.E. Lake electric bill as the Montessori school is renting the building for the school year.
• Snickersville Academy – Holes need to be patched and other areas inspected. Bill Bogard will take a look. Maria Nicklin continues to beautify the area and work on the academy nature path dedicated to Tom Clark. She has removed invasives and was provided ~$200 by BH to purchase native plants. Many plants were also received for free from Anna Billman. Rachel Wetherill offered to donate a $100 gift card to Maria’s efforts.
• E.E. Lake Store – We have had some recent repairs, mostly little things. Areas outside around the windows and doors have been patched. The need for an exterminator was discovered and Peter Weeks met with Paramount Pest Control. A tour of the building found mice in the basement and bats in the attic. The county will cover expenses to have these areas taken care of.
• Plaster Museum – This year’s exhibit required some interior changes and the framed Washington Post article on the Plaster family was taken down. Rather than re-install the lengthy article, BH would like to purchase a permanent photo plaque honoring Henry Plaster. It was suggested to also include photo plaques for Henry’s father and grandfather. John Sullivan will speak with the Plaster family on securing photos. The inscription for each plaque is TBD. Another memorial is being created for the home of Beatrice Scipio, former teacher at the Bluemont “Colored” School. This will be either a plaque on the cabin itself or a raised maker in the ground allowing for more verbiage.
• BCC Caboose – The question was posed to Tom Rust as to whether we should keep the interior of the caboose as is or invest in some restoration. Tom believes there is no reason to do anything but periodic cleaning. He would like to maintain the caboose’s authentic and historical appearance.
• Website/Archives – The domain name for Bluemontva.org renews in February 2023 and we hope to acquire it then, but the important historical information on the site has been taken down. It is assumed that when Richard Faulkner passed away the credit card used for the site was unable to auto renew. Dave Ewald contacted the host, GoDaddy, and was told there is a process when someone passes away for securing information from the site. Dave sent an email to Richard’s executor, Michael, to see if he can help. If all else fails, there is technology we can try to use to pull info from the site.
• Membership Drive – There are currently 39 paying members, plus spouses. Emails are sent to one person in each family, with memberships typically being family memberships. There are also 174 people who have signed up to simply receive info on what is happening with BH. All paying members receive invitations to BH meetings. We are in the middle of our membership drive/renewal and the upcoming edition of the Bluemont Bugle includes a membership form.
• Tree City USA – We will be purchasing more trees this year for our Arbor Day celebration. An anonymous donor has offered to pay for trees to line areas along Snickersville Tnpk., as well as place brick pavers in front of and across the street from the Bluemont General Store. The county approved two pink dogwoods to be planted behind the Lake Store and Peter Weeks is approaching Epling re planting three sugar maples along the field by the post office. Not everyone was in favor of creating tree lined streets or adding pavers.
Discussion ensued on the 2023 museum exhibition… the theme is quilting and questions were raised as to why this topic was chosen and how it was chosen. Currently, the exhibition committee determines the theme. Many excellent ideas exist, yet the reality is you must have sufficient tangible objects to create an exhibit – and this is not the case for each idea. The committee has received an overwhelming response from organizations in the community to produce the quilting exhibit, including a substantial offer of artifacts to display. Beginning next year, we will ask BH members to submit ideas at the end of the exhibition season for the following year. The final decision will still be made by the exhibition committee and whoever’s idea is selected will be required to join the committee in planning the chosen theme.
2023 Projected Events:
• Museum Exhibition opening/Farmers Market Opening – TBA
• Arbor Day Celebration – April 28
• BCC 100th Birthday – May 3 (New event being planned with Sheri Conrad and will be hosted at the BCC. Looking for additional volunteers to join the planning committee.)
• Spring Fling – May 21 (Will now be held at the BCC. Parks and Rec. no longer providing tables, chairs, or tents for non-profit groups, but will support if on county property.)
• Bluemont Fair – September 16 & 17
• Snickersville Academy Picnic – TBA (Sometime in October)
Adjournment: 8:59 PM
Next Meeting: TBD
Notes by: Lisa Seeberger