Meeting Minutes June 2023

SHS Board Meeting

Tuesday JUNE 20, 2023

6:30 p.m. at the Museum



  1. Treasurer’s Report (Kane-Stebbins)
  2. Secretary’s Report (Crane)
  3. Welcome new director (Garrow)
  4. BAC (Crane)
  5. Election of officers
  6. Membership Update (Mercure)
  7. Calcutta update (Mercure)
  8. Rail Trail event update (Crane)
  9. Strategic Planning (Garrow)
  10. Other


President Brent Garrow convened the meeting at 6:35, with (Vice President) Ms Mercure,   Mr McFeeters, Ms Crane, Mr Crane (Secretary), Ms Kane-Stebbins (treasurer), attending.  Ms Derry, Mr Norris, Mr Derry, Mr Smith, Ms MacDonald absent. Mr Bushey attending as a guest.

Ms Kane-Stebbins remarked that there had been no activity to report since the Annual Meeting the previous week. Mr Crane moved/Ms Crane 2nd to forego a repetition of the previous report. Without objection, the motion passed.

The minutes of the previous (May 23) meeting were circulated earlier electronically, and hard copies were available for review. Ms Kane-Stebbins/Ms Crane 2nd moved to accept the minutes as presented. The motion was approved unanimously. Mr Crane also presented draft minutes of the Annual meeting (June 20). Since those minutes are properly subject to review by the membership, the board accepted them pending review, on a motion by Ms Crane/Ms Mercure 2nd.

Mr Crane spoke briefly on the building progress, noting again that clapboard installation is the next target of the volunteer building team.

The election of officers of the board was scheduled for this meeting: however, in the absence of nearly half the board Mr Crane moved/Ms Kane-Stebbins 2nd to postpone the election until the July meeting. The motion passed without objection.

Ms Mercure noted that Ms MacDonald has agreed to undertake the responsibilities of membership chair. Mr Smith and Ms Mercure have recently worked to update the membership data. Ms Mercure indicated Mr Smith  wishes to post this data to the Society’s “cloud”.  The meaning and ramifications of this were not explored, and no action was proposed to authorize sharing or distribution of membership data. Ms Mercure notes that members without e-mail access receive a print copy of monthly updates and minutes. Ms MacDonald will assume that responsibility, although it was not clear by whom the updates will be created. Some discussion of FaceBook updates and usage followed, with no action taken.

Ms Mercure reported on the developing Calcutta plans. The date is set (September 29) at the Abbey. The Abbey will again provide the prime rib dinner, at the same per-plate cost. One ticket has already been sold (#80). Further details will emerge as the committee  meets monthly through the summer.




The Rail Trail will be consecrated on July 15th when Governor Scott and Senator Sanders (among others) take to the trail. The Governor will stop in Sheldon at 8:55; the Society will create a suitable water-stop, similar to the celebratory Oasis we prepared for the May 27th kick-off. Ms Mercure volunteered to decorate the Grist Mill fence with “barn quilts”, and may seek wider help from other activists in the barn quilt circle. Consensus emerged that the hours should be extended on that Saturday: running beyond the 8:30 opening of the water-stop,  to include our 1-4PM Saturday hours. It was felt this would be a practical way to assess traffic, and measure interest in our building by railtrail users.

Concern was shared that the society must periodically review its goals and capabilities, to insure that our efforts and energy remain aligned with our mission; and that our mission aligns with the interests and needs of the community we serve.  In the absence of many board members, the discussion of goals and priorities failed to take shape. Mr Garrow asks that board members identify five priorities within the next month, and email him that list. Mr Garrow will collate the responses as a springboard for discussion at a subsequent meeting.

In other business, Ms Mercure noted that a silver tea service has been donated to the Society by Martha Dubuque (daughter of Society founding member Ruth Lantman).

Mr Crane raised the question of the Society’s role in advocating for matters of historical importance or concern in this town.  Crane noted that Sheldon’s “historic district” is a distinction without a difference. Shall the Society assume an active role in shaping policies  supporting the identification, preservation,  and conservation of historically significant aspects of our community?  Mr Crane further noted a local resident has appealed to us seeking help to maintain  her village property, preserving a unique and defining characteristic of this private dwelling. No action was offered.

On a motion by Ms Mercure/Ms Kane-Stebbins 2nd, the meeting adjourned at 8:20.

Respectfully submitted,

Andrew Crane, secretary