Meeting Minutes May 2023

SHS Board Meeting

Tuesday May 9, 2023

6:30 p.m. at the Museum


  1. Treasurer’s Report (Kane-Stebbins)
  2. Secretary’s Report (Crane)
  3. Town Support (building funding)
  4. Bazaar, Newsletter (Fern)
  5. Updates: Bruhn Grant
    1. Rail Trail Celebration. Table? Banner? Refreshments? Bottled Water?
    2. Summer Camp
    3. Exhibit opening reception (?) Date TBD. Send invites to members & Friends of SHS?

6      Summer Hours of Operation

7      Nominating Committee/annual meeting

8      May 23 Meeting agenda;

Annual Meeting date; Budget planning (finance Committee)

9      Where are we headed?

  1. Other: Bridge reconstruction planning. (Kunin report)


President Brent Garrow convened the meeting at 6:35, with (Vice President) Ms Mercure,   Mr McFeeters, Mr Crane (secretary), Ms Royea, Ms Kane-Stebbins (treasurer), Ms Derry, Ms Crane attending.   Mr Norris, Mr Derry, Mr Smith absent.

Ms Kane-Stebbins presented the treasurer’s report. Mr Crane, moved, Ms Derry 2nd  to accept. Ms Kane-Stebbins expressed concern about mail delays over the winter, and urges improvement to the handling of the Society’s mail. She further expressed concern about the inadequacies of the TD Bank technical and customer service capabilities. The report was accepted without objection.

Mr Crane circulated minutes digitally  from the October 9, 2022 meeting, as well as the extraordinary meetings held in December and January.  With no additions, deletions or corrections, the minutes were accepted.

Ms Mercure addressed the outcome of the November holiday craft show, at which the Society provided refreshments netting approximately $270.  The newsletter was distributed in the last week of the year, and returned several new memberships, renewals, and donations. Ms Mercure announced she will not be able to continue as membership chair. Similarly, the newsletter will need to be prepared much earlier:  new hands will be required. The Brick fundraising effort has garnered 27 paid memorials. Ms Crane volunteered to help complete the inscriptions on certain of the memorial bricks. To date there have been a total of 56 mailbox memorials sold. Ms Mercure will continue in her successful role as fundraising chair.

Mr Garrow emphasized the importance of positive media coverage, and urged regular contact with St Albans messenger staff.

Mr Garrow addressed the matter of programming for the season ahead, suggesting monthly presentations of broad-based interests.  Ms Mercure volunteers to lead a presentation of rug hooking; Mr Smith has presented recently on the Poor Farm; Peter Stebbins, it was suggested, might be tapped for a presentation on one or more areas of interest. Ms Kane-Stebbins suggested a “what’s it” exhibit, teasing people to identify the function or origin of various arcane artifacts.



Mr Crane mentioned that the Hotel and Springs exhibit will be the headliner for the 2023 season, and will be ready for the annual meeting in June.  Matt Stebbins has been researching this in depth.

Mr Crane mentioned the LVRail Trail will be hosting a 30 mile ride/walk/run opening event on May 27, 10AM-2PM (St Albans to Cambridge Junction, with waypoints at E Fairfield and Sheldon Junction).  This free event includes a valuable raffle, and will insure  significant railtrail traffic that day. Mr Crane suggests creating a welcoming table, with refreshments and information introducing railtrail patrons to the Sheldon Historical Society. Ms Derry, Ms Crane, Mr Garrow volunteered to set-up and maintain our SHS presence during this event. Mr Crane will create signage welcoming riders/walkers to “historic Sheldon”.

The summer day camp, scheduled for July 17-21, has not generated appreciable interest. Kurt Valenta, who will head up the program, states that a program with fewer than 7 registrants would not be feasible.  We’ll decide by the end of June if the camp will run.

Mr Crane introduced the Paul Bruhn Grant, from which $50,000 has been awarded to the society’s roof and stairway replacement project. The project cannot begin until the administering agency conducts a NEPA review: it was made clear to recipients that the review process can be several months long, and no grant-funded project or its component parts can begin before the review is completed.  The roof project is described as “urgent” and efforts are being made to expedite the review.  Concern was raised that the roof work, therefore, might be delayed into the winter or beyond. The building advisory committee will monitor roof conditions.

The aforesaid notwithstanding, Mr Crane suggests that the work be contracted to suitable bidders quickly.  The building advisory committee will consider bids in hand, and report on their recommendations by the May 23rd meeting for action by the board at that time.

Mr Crane reported that the selectboard has ARPA funds available, which had been earmarked for the roof project but which now (in light of the Bruhn Grant) could be redirected to other SHS rehabilitation goals. Application for such other uses would need to be made to the selectboard.

The date of the annual meeting was discussed but not settled.

Due to the late hour, other agenda items are passed over, to be considered at the May 23rd meeting: these include nominations for board membership; summer hours of operation;  budget planning; and a consideration of Society goals and expectations.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 on a motion of Ms Crane/Ms Mercure 2nd.    Unopposed.

Respectfully submitted,


Andrew Crane