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"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 Wilmington, New York and the Whiteface Mountain Region."

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"NOTICE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wilmington Historical Society Board has decided to postpone the Annual Wilmington Whiteface Whiskey Run & Festival to Saturday, June 19th, 2021. We plan to make it bigger and better than ever, a real celebration! We invite you to join us next year, so please put the event on your calendar and please stay safe. Click here for more information about the 2021 Whiskey Run & Festival.

Other programs and events will be postponed or rescheduled as dates for particular presentations and needs dictate. We will update these regularly. Our regular archives/archives hours and monthly Open Discussions are suspended until further notice. In the meantime, the Wilmington Historical Society continues its work responding to emails, doing historical and genealogical research, writing grants, preserving photos and artifacts, and continuing to do outreach through the media. We thank you for your continued support through your membership, volunteerism, and support of our building fundraising efforts. Please stay in touch with us, take care and remain healthy."

4th Annual Wilmington Whiteface Whiskey Run
Saturday, June 19th

Presented by High Peaks Builders, Mountain Valley Federal Credit Union, and the Owaissa Club

whiskey run 2021 logo

Run the Roads of Prohibition! The 4th Annual Whiskey Run is going VIRTUAL this year---and we've added a 5k to the traditional 10K! It will take place in Wilmington or ANYWHERE on Saturday, June 19th. Runners receive a t-shirt, local swag, and a cool whiskey flask medal! Digital bibs, a special runners' raffle, and an opportunity for photos at a special Whiskey Run photo frame at Festival Field in Wilmington. Runners encouraged to share photos on the race website or FB page. Price increases May 15th.
All proceeds benefit the Wilmington Historical Society.

For more information or to register: 

runners starting the race       4 runners finishing the race with hands up


Proposed WHS Building

In these historic and challenging times, the Wilmington Historical Society is counting on your support more than ever. As you well know, this year the society was unable to hold its annual Whiskey Run & Heritage Festival which is our main fundraiser. While we are not as visible, still our work continues behind the scenes in research, education, and adding to our collections. We have participated in Wilmington’s Independence Day parade, pop-up drive-in theatres, and we are planning to transition to a new website that will better enable us to provide online virtual exhibits and promote archival research.

Since 2003, the Wilmington Historical Society has been chartered by the State of New York, garnered about 180 members, received visitors to our research library and archives, provided programming to the public, and grown our collections to warrant a space of our own. At this point, we would like to announce that we have recently moved into a new temporary space in the lower level of the Community Center until we are able to move into our new building. Thank you, Town of Wilmington!

To date, we have purchased property on Route 86 in the heart of Wilmington, opened an account at the Adirondack Foundation currently at about $50,000 for future operations and maintenance of a building, and opened a Money Market account which has grown in the past year from approximately $70,000 to almost $91,000! We would like to thank Sam Haselton for his guidance in obtaining concept drawings for our new history center which will include a library, archives room, and lecture/display space. We are in the process of developing engineering plans and definitive cost estimates. To see more concept drawings, click here.

Our financial plans include seeking grants, additional benefactors and donations, as well as fundraisers such as our annual Whiskey Run/Heritage Festival and our Annual Appeal. The History Center will be named in memory of the parents of our benefactor Dennis Keegan, Wilmington tourism trailblazers and prominent members of the community. Dennis has pledged to match all donations received for the Ruth and Thomas Keegan Memorial History Center.

In order to double the impact of your donation, please contribute to the Wilmington Historical Society Building Construction Fund by sending a check to Wilmington Historical Society (memo Building Construction Fund), PO Box 174, Wilmington, NY 12997 or click on the “Please Donate” tab at the top of this page, then “donate.” Be sure to write “Building Construction Fund” in the special instructions section. Your gift may be tax deductible. Keep in mind that this kind of donation is also a great way to memorialize or honor a loved one. Planned giving through your will, trust or estate plan is also an option. And Remember the Wilmington Historical Society on Giving Tuesday!

With much gratitude,
Karen Marshall Peters,

Our 2020 membership drive is underway. We look forward to your continued membership. If you know of others who might like to join, we would appreciate your telling them about the Wilmington Historical Society and encouraging them to do so. Brochures may be picked up at several locations, including the Whiteface Visitors Bureau, or they can contact us at or 518-420-8370 , or click here for a membership form.

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 and Barnes and Noble. Order your copy here

Adirondack 102 Club Cover

ADIRONDACK 102 CLUB: YOUR PASSPORT & GUIDE TO THE NORTH COUNTRY is by Martin Podskoch with Wilmington resident Jeri Wright providing the cover photo. ACTUAL OR ARMCHAIR TRAVELER, YOU CAN VISIT ALL 102 TOWNS AND VILLAGES IN THE ADIRONDACKS---written by residents of each town or village so that you are getting an insider's information about the history, the uniqueness of the place, recreation opportunities and points of interest. By getting the book signed or stamped in each town, the traveler accumulates “towns & villages visited”. Adults and children of all ages can be members. Once a member has reached their goal of visiting all 102 towns & villages, they will then receive the “Vagabond” award, so named after the self-described “Vagabonds” Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone & John Burroughs who took automobile camping trips throughout the Adirondacks.

Price: $20.00, including tax.

10% discount for Wilmington Historical Society members. Order your copy here

Upcoming Programs by Wilmington Historical Society

2021 Programs in Adobe Reader

To join us, see and print out 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 2019.

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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Created 04.04.2004, Website rev. 11.24.2020