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WILMINGTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO PRESENT “Logging in the Adirondacks” -Friday, June 24th

The Wilmington Historical Society will present “Logging in the Adirondacks” to be held on Friday, June 24th at 7 pm at the Wilmington Community Center. The speaker is researcher Sharp Swan, a trustee of the Adirondack History Museum. Sharp has spent more than 20 years in the woods of the remote Cold River region searching for evidence of the logging operations of the Santa Clara Lumber Company (1889-1926). Santa Clara was an incredibly innovative company, inventing state-of-the art techniques and equipment that allowed them to log some of the roughest, rockiest and highest slopes in the Adirondack Mountains. Swan will give a slide talk about this little known chapter of Adirondack history, highlighting some of the more fascinating stories, images, artifacts and physical remnants that his research has uncovered. In addition, Sharp will add a few logging photos of the Wilmington/Whiteface area, including the J&J Rogers Company and Haselton Lumber Company photos.
The program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided by the Country Bear Bakery in Wilmington. For further information, contact the Wilmington Historical Society at 518-420-8370.


Join us on a rare behind-the-scenes tour, starting with a slide presentation by Bob Reiss, son of Santa’s Workshop founder Julian Reiss.

It was December 1946, the first Christmas after World War II, while driving past festive Adirondack villages that Julian Reiss was struck with a vision to create a place for children to visit Santa Claus. To design what would be billed as the first amusement park in the country, Reiss enlisted the talents of Au Sable Forks native Arto Monaco. Born in 1913, Monaco began drawing at an early age. He attended Pratt Institute in New York City, and later worked for MGM studios. During World War II, he designed and constructed “Annadorf,” a faux German village in the hills north of Los Angeles where prior to going to war American soldiers experienced the cultural ambience and dangers of a German town. He created Santa’s Workshop on the slopes of Whiteface Mountain not far from his studio in Upper Jay. Santa’s Workshop opened in 1949 and has been dazzling imaginations since.

The tour begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. Lunch is included. The event is co-sponsored by the Wilmington Historical Society and AARCH (Adirondack Architectural Heritage). The tour is free, but space is limited. Pre-registration is required.

A limited number of Wilmington Historical Society members can pre-register for this program on a first come, first served basis by emailing Virginia at Adirondack Architectural Heritage at info@aarch.org or by calling 518-834-9328.

WILMINGTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO PRESENT “Digging Into Pictures: Dating Photos by Fashion” - Friday, July 8th

WILMINGTON – The Wilmington Historical Society will present “Digging Into Pictures: Dating Photos by Fashion” with speaker Margaret Bartley to be held on Friday, July 8th at 7 pm at the Wilmington Community Center. This program is designed to how to date old photos by the style of dress and fashion. It will cover a period of 80 years between the dates of 1840 – 1920 and will show old photos to show how styles changed during that period. Dating old photos is a great help to anyone interested in history, genealogy or simply has old unidentified or undated family photos.

Margaret Bartley is a Trustee with the Essex County Historical Society. She is a historian, author and teacher, and wrote a biography of the famous Russian American cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, titled GRISHA, which won the 2005 Adirondack Literary Award. She is a former Elizabethtown Supervisor and is currently working with Historian Sharp Swan to create a comprehensive history of the Civil War’s 118th New York Infantry, known as the “Adirondack Regiment”. Bartley spent 26 years teaching History and Government, and has a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University. Her popular slide shows, which cover many aspects of Essex County History, are offered every summer at the Adirondack History Museum in Elizabethtown.

The program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided by the Country Bear Bakery in Wilmington. For further information, contact the Wilmington Historical Society at 518-420-8370.

Come One! Come All!

Owaissa Dance PARTIES.

A benefit Fundraiser for the Wilmington HIstorical Society, there will be three Dance Parties this summer - June 26th, July 10th, and August 14th, all Sundays.

You can support the Wilmington Historical Society while you shop!

Simply go to www.smile.amazon.com , designate the Wilmington Historical Society as your charity of choice, then shop!
• Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the Wilmington Historical Society
• AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.
• Support the Wilmington Historical Society by starting your shopping at www.smile.amazon.com.

A New Book-“Wilmington & the Whiteface Region” is here!

Book Cover

Now one of the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing, Wilmington and the Whiteface Region is authored by the Wilmington Historical Society.

About the book:

While the year-round population of Wilmington has never been more than 1200, it swells to about 3.000 residents on average during the summer months, with 400,000 tourists visiting annually. As a small town in the Adirondack Mountains, Wilmington’s history spans 2 centuries, transforming from its agricultural and industrial roots to a popular four-season tourist resort. We are proud to have been able to put the history of our town into context with our book Wilmington and the Whiteface Region, with photographs and information of interest for residents and tourists alike. The 11 contributing authors of Wilmington and the Whiteface Region, each with a unique area of expertise, are Laurie Bepler, Nancy Cressey, Robert J. Cressey, Gilbert Dyke, Linda Joss-Dyke, Merri C. Peck, Karen Marshall Peters, Robert Peters, Julie Robards, Guy Stephenson Jr., and Douglas A. Wolfe. It is an ideal “memory book” for local past and present residents. We know that residents and others with ties to Wilmington will take pride in re-forming their identity through the history of their town. It makes a unique “souvenir” book for tourists whether they visit one or more of our attractions of Whiteface Mountain, Whiteface Mountain Highway, Whiteface Ski Center/summer gondola ride, High Falls Gorge, and Santa’s Workshop, or whether they come here to ski, fish, hike or bike or just relax and refresh their personal spirit and appreciation of life. We wish to encourage visitors to not just come once, but to return again and again to enjoy all that our town has to offer it can be purchased from the Wilmington Historical Society, at local gift shops and stores, and in book outlets such as Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. Order your copy here

Upcoming Programs by Wilmington Historical Society

2016 Programs in Adobe Reader


The mission of the Wilmington Historical Society is to collect, preserve, display and interpret the documents, photographs and artifacts that tell the unique story of how the people of this remote, mountainous small town with big ideas have adapted and survived in the harsh yet beautiful environment of the Adirondacks . Adopted 5/18/05
To join us, see the applicaton form here.

Take a two mile walking tour of Wilmington, New York to understand the history of Wilmington. Wilmington began as an industrial/agricultural town in 1822. By the turn of the 20th century, Wilmington evolved into a tourism based economy. Find out how that happened...
Wilmington Historical Walking Tour

Please note our "Open Discussion" dates for 2016.

You're Invited!

To see some documents on this site, you will need: Get Adobe Reader

Look for details on future flyers, and in local newspapers. Also now on FACEBOOK!

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