Meeting Minutes July 2023

SHS Board Meeting

Tuesday JULY 18, 2023

6:30 p.m. at the Museum




  1. Treasurer’s Report ( Celeste )
  2. Secretary’s Report ( Crane)
  3. BAC ( Crane )
  4. Calcutta (Garrow )
  5. Slate of Officers

President – Brent Garrow

Vice President –

Treasurer – Celeste Kane – Stebbins

Secretary – Andy Crane

  1. Thoughts from Celeste

–  Website updates

–   Posting where and when Board meets

–   Board approved minutes

–   BRIEF synopsis of what’s on display

  1. Other

Strategic Planning (Garrow)


President Brent Garrow convened the meeting at 6:35, with  Mr McFeeters, Ms Crane, Mr Crane (Secretary), Ms Kane-Stebbins (treasurer), Mr Smith, Ms MacDonald attending.  Ms Derry, Mr Norris, Mr Derry absent.  Mr Garrow noted the Rail Trail celebratory event planned for Saturday, July 15th was canceled due to widespread damage caused by recent extraordinary weather. No date has been set to reschedule.

Ms Kane-Stebbins circulated copies of the treasurer’s report (attached), and asked for board feedback concerning the manner and style of the report. Mr McFeeters noted that the “donations” subhead was unclear. The treasurer will realign the subheadings to insure clarity. On a motion by Mr Crane/Mr McFeeters 2nd, the report was accepted.

Mr Crane: The minutes of the previous (June 20) meeting were circulated earlier electronically, and were on-screen for review. Mr McFeeters/Ms Crane 2nd moved to accept the minutes as presented: the motion was approved unanimously.

Mr Crane reported on building progress, noting that the clapboard siding of the east wall of the addition is complete. Work on the south wall has begun. Painting continues.

Mr Garrow reported for the  (Sept 29)  Calcutta committee, noting that sponsorships are being solicited. He asks board members to help in this canvass, by coordinating with him or Ms Mercure. Details of the program were outlined, highlighting changes from the previous Calcutta. The Calcutta committee’s next meeting is August 8th, and people interested in the planning process are urged to attend.

Mr Garrow called for the election of officers, pursuant to the By-laws of the Society. Officers serve for terms of a single year. Mr Crane/Ms Kane-Stebbins 2nd  moved a slate including Mr Garrow (president) Ms Crane (vice) Ms Kane-Stebbins (treasurer) and Mr Crane  (secretary). No other nominations were heard and the slate was approved without dissent.

Ms Kane-Stebbins was heard on a matter concerning the web site. Out-of-date information requires attention, and other valuable information, such as a synopsis of what’s on display, meeting times,  and approved minutes, appears to be missing. Mr Smith, as the web master,  spoke to the issue. Information may be shared through several social-media vectors: some of which, like FaceBook or Front Porch Forum, may be better suited to posting information which changes often. The website, Mr Smith revealed, is a labor-intensive medium  best suited for stories or large-format projects  with a longer life span.  Mr Smith described new web content concepts, and his process.

Speaking for the collections committee, Mr McFeeters introduced several new items added to the collection, including a tea service formerly of Mary Gorton; an hymnal owned by Margaret Fairbanks; histories of the Sheldon library and of Grace Church; a 1902 catalog of the Sheldon library; and school photos of the East Sheldon school and Sheldon Central school.  Mr McFeeters also spoke of the need to designate an exhibit chairperson, replacing Ms Mercure who has retired from that role. The collection committee will need ample time to assemble all the materials to support the Exhibit committee’s efforts to produce a new headliner for 2024. That work begins now.

Mr McFeeters also spoke of the temporary workspace established for the collection, upstairs in the addition. The collection committee continues to hunt for suitable furnishings to advance the conservation, display, and preservation work of the collection committee. The need for active volunteers is emphasized.

Mr Crane asked about preserving the Society’s monetary interest in artifacts in our possession. Mr Smith noted that photos on the web site are easily captured by viewers. It appears a policy is needed to govern how images may be purchased or licensed.

Mr McFeeters reiterated concerns  around sound, strategic planning. Mr Garrow again asked board members to list several priorities which he will collate and circulate before the next meeting, to facilitate a meaningful discussion. Mr McFeeters stated forcefully that the important goals of the society need to be identified, and then assigned to responsible chairpersons with the authority to act.

On a motion by Mr Crane/Ms MacDonald 2nd,  the meeting adjourned at 8:15


Following the adjournment of the meeting, an oversight on a matter of urgency was noted by Mr Crane, who asked by the following email communication,  sent to all board members present at the meeting, if the board would agree to consider the time-sensitive matter as an addendum to the meeting lately concluded.  Having received five affirmative responses, and no dissenting responses, the documents,  incorporated by reference, are considered reviewed and approved.

Respectfully submitted,                      Andrew Crane, Secretary


On Wed, Jul 19, 2023 at 8:32 AM Andrew Crane <> wrote:

At last evening’s meeting, I regret an important item was overlooked. If you who were at the meeting consider it proper, perhaps we can address it now via email:
The Preservation Trust sent us an urgent email 10 days ago, concerning documentation for the Bruhn grant. It asked us immediately to sign and return the “subgrant agreement” and the “MOU” (memorandum of understanding) between the town and the historical society concerning management of the building.

These documents were needed to fulfill the grant process for the department of the interior. They were urgent because the Preservation Trust had missed a reporting deadline.

Brent and the Selectboard signed, and I returned, those documents, without board approval. It was our intention to review and approve the documents, after the fact, at last night’s meeting.

The subgrant agreement is 8 pages of boilerplate concerning the Bruhn grant terms and requirements. It reiterates the timing, payment, and procurement protocols. Copies are on hand at the building.

The MOU is an updated version of the original “interim agreement” which we drafted three years ago but which we never, I believe, submitted to the selectboard for acceptance. Well, they signed it last week.

If you are willing to accept this email as an addendum to last evening’s meeting, and agreeable to this extraordinary ex post facto presentation, please indicate by an affirming reply. I’ll then document your approval (or rejection) as an addendum to our minutes.

Thanks for your consideration,

A Crane