Board of Trustees Meeting

John Cotton Dana Library

5pm Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Trustees present: Heidi Lang-President, Bob Holt-Vice President, Barbara Drufovka-Secretary, Rick Fiske, Isabelle Bradley, Greg Camp, Susan Fuller, Ward Goodenough, Keri Cole, Tom Hartman,  Edith Walsh

Trustees Absent: Bill Dagger, Kim French, Roland Moore, John Endicott

Others Present: Matthew Powers, WHC Director

Call to Order at 5:01pm by Heidi

Consent Agenda Items: approved
Board Meeting minutes, October 18, 2016, approved as amended.(provenance of the chair should be described as “questionable” rather than “in dispute”)

Director’s Report
Committee Reports/Minutes

(Special Events Committee Minutes, amendment: Old Time Fair expenses were $1,900, not $4,258)

Motion to approve by Isabelle , seconded by Greg

Treasurer’s Report: approved

Revenues are up, expenses are down; income was almost 2x the budgeted amount for the month

Motion to approve by Keri, seconded by Bob

President’s Remarks 

Board Dinner: at the Prince and The Pauper on Tuesday, December 6, at 5pm

Meeting in December: there will be no meeting in December, we will reconvene in January

Director’s Remarks

Presentation of the Proposed 2017 Budget: to date has gone through the Development and Marketing and Finance Committees

General: Income is projected to increase in most areas, decrease in some; decrease includes weaning the WHC away from the town appropriation of $7,500; another decrease is reflected in investments due to market downturns; another decrease is reflected in salaries - based on National Museum Salaries surveys our Collections Manager (Becky) salary should slowly be brought up to a comparable national average; our archivist/librarian positions have been redefined and expanded; the Collections fund will increase by $4,000; reductions to general expenses include insurance premiums reflecting adjusted amount for insured assets (reduced from 2.5 million to 1 million)

LISWHIT Grant:  Heidi, Matt, and Tom held a Skype session with the donor; for 2017 the grant has increased to $90,000, having begun at $30,000 in 2007 (minus 2008); it is currently used for WHC salaries which includes the whole of the Education and Programs Coordinator salary, supplement to the Director salary, health plans and retirement plans for both, and bonuses; $2,124 is unrestricted (discretionary); the donor was asked about the possibility of endowing this grant in order to minimize future risk to the WHC

Vote was taken to go into executive session at 5:48: approved

 Motion made by Ward, seconded by Bob                  

 Out of executive session at 6:02pm

Recommendation from Matt to reevaluate employee policies; employee evaluations happen annually now

Vote to accept the Budget and LISWHIT Grant as proposed: approved

 Motion made by Ward, seconded by Edith

Vote to accept the additional LISWHIT restricted funds for 2016 for $2,124: approved

 Motion made by Greg, seconded by Ward   

Meeting adjourned at 6:15pm by Heidi 

Next Board Meeting will be at 5pm Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Note: there will be no December Board Meeting

Minutes recorded and respectfully submitted by Barbara Drufovka, Secretary

Director’s Report

January 17, 2016


  • Entered the 2017 budget into Quickbooks.

  • Worked with the bookkeeper to close out the books for 2016.


  • Pricilla L. Hardiman Article 5 Trust:


  • See Collections Committee minutes.

  • Rachel Kurland has finished repatriating the wedding exhibit items and is organizing items for next year’s exhibits. There will be an exhibition on hats in the Spear Room for the summer.

  • The “Work room” on the second floor is being renovated for a new exhibit. Cabinets will be also be installed in the room for storage.

  • Old interpretation panels will now be stored in the attic.

  • The first draft of the Historic Structures & Dana Family History Report is being created.

  • Macy Lawrence of Woodstock Public Access Television has helped us digitize several short films.

  • There were 37 research requests from July to September.

  • Linn Thompson is organizing our “house history” files in the archives.

  • Carrie Good is inventorying the library.


  • See Education Report by Jennie Shurtleff.

  • 137 people to Friday, Wassail Open House. 632 people Saturday, Wassail Open House. 10 Sunday program

  • The WHC is participating with the WES Library and the NWPL on Vermont Reads. This is a statewide community reading program in which the Vermont Humanities Council invites citizens across the state to read the same book and participate in a wide variety of community activities related to the book’s themes. This year’s book choice is Brown Girl Dreaming. The WHC will be a location to distribute books. There will be possible collaborative programming as well.

  • The WHC is hosting a “Work Together Tuesday” gatherings throughout February and March for local freelancers, telecommuters and independent professionals in our library. We will provide refreshments.

PR & Marketing:

  • The History Center has a new website at . We welcome suggestions and remarks. The WHC has a new subscription to SquareSpace which will be our new webhost. We will keep the old website for 6 months to redirect visitors to the new site.

  • We will review and revise our rack card for the 2017 season.

Building & Grounds:

  • Fixed drainage on Southeast corner of Dana House. Will be adding more stone and vapor barrier in the spring.

  • The main gallery and the education space in the barn will be painted in a couple of weeks.


  • The American Alliance of Museums, Northern Trust, and BoardSource recently opened a survey of museum directors and board chairs. Based on a biennial BoardSource survey of nonprofit leaders, the effort will paint a picture of the demographics, operations, and effectiveness of museum boards and help museum leaders compare their institutions to other museums and nonprofits. The director and the president of the WHC participated in the survey.

  • The WHC submitted data to New England Museum Association for the National Comparative Salary and Benefits Study. Organizations that participate in the survey receive a free copy of the report.

  • Institutional Affiliate Membership to New England Museum Association.

    Board members can become institutional affiliate members of NEMA at no charge. Get museum news from New England. Go to museums for free.


Committee/Staff Reports

January 17, 2017 

Collections Committee:          Chair, Susan Fuller/Staff Liaison, Becky Talcott

            See the minutes from the November 16, 2016 and December 12, 2016 meetings.

Committee on Trustees:         Chair, Heidi Lang/Staff Liaison, Matt Powers

See the minutes from the December 1, 2016 meeting. Committee Chair, Heidi Lang is contacting two additional trustees by mid-January, 2017 to inquire if they are willing to serve on this committee.

Development & Marketing:   Chair, Edith Phyfe/Staff Liaison, Matt Powers

            See the minutes from the January 9, 2017 meeting.

Education & Scholarship:      Chair, Barbara Drufovka/Staff Liaison, Jennie Shurtleff

Meeting on January 12, 2017. Also refer to Education Report by Jennie Shurtleff at the bottom of the page.

Executive Committee:            Chair, Heidi Lang/Staff Liaison, Matt Powers

No report this month. (next meeting scheduled for Jan 24th to discuss ED’s 2016 Performance and to begin update of Employee Handbook)

Finance Committee:               Chair, Tom Hartman/ Staff Liaison, Matt Powers

            No report this month.

Oral History:                           Chair, Ward Goodenough/Staff Liaison, Jennie Shurtleff

See the minutes from the November 16, 2016 meeting.

Research & Publications:       Chair, Keri Cole/Staff Liaison, Matt Powers

No report this month.

Special Events Committee:     Chair, Barbara Drufovka/Staff Liaison, Jennie Shurtleff

See the minutes from the December 1, 2016 meeting.

Education Report:      Jennie Shurtleff

Research requests:

In the last quarter of 2016 (October-December): The History Center received and answered 29 research requests from patrons.

Educational Initiatives for Children:

  • Hands on History with Traditional Foods, Crafts, & Games

The History Center is offering a Friday afternoon history food/craft programs at the Woodstock Elementary School as an alternative to ski and skate runners. In this program students will explore how food was traditionally prepared and preserved by using historic recipes to make (and then eat!) old-time favorites, such as apple cobbler and corn bread. We will also visit the Woodstock History Center to see how people lived, and then try our hand at making candles, stenciling, beading, writing with a quill pen, playing old-fashioned games, and more.

  • Traveling Educational Kits for Educators

The History Center met with teachers and discussed the creation of several new kits for 2017 to augment classroom instruction. Ideas for kits suggested by teachers include:  A Day in the Life of a Child in the 19th Century, Vermont’s Current Government System, Myths and Legends of the Area, and Meaningful Timelines.

  • History Trivia

New for 2107, the History Center has developed a new on-line “Question of the Day” program for 4th graders. Using this digital program, the teachers will pose a new history question each day for children to try to answer/research. The on-line program will provide the answers in an easy-access format. At the conclusion of the program, there will be a Quiz Bowl, where teams of students will review what they’ve learned in an engaging, cooperative game-show type environment.

  • Special Tour Groups

In the month of January the History Center will be providing a custom museum tour highlighting how people lived long ago for a class of students from Hartford High School.

  • History Fair

The History Center is starting to prepare for our annual signature educational children’s event:  the 4th Grade History Fair.

Upcoming History Programs for Adults

Sunday, January 15, 2 pm: Stephen Long will lead a slide lecture on the Hurricane of 1938 (a storm that had flooding equal to that of Tropical Storm Irene plus winds in excess of 100 mph!)

Sunday, February 19, 2 pm: Bruce Coffin will lead a slide lecture on Memories of Woodstock in the 1950s. (His book, Long Light of Those Days, will be available for purchase and signing at this event.)

Minutes of the Collections Committee Meeting, November 16, 2016

Attendees: Isabelle Bradley, Charlet Davenport, Charlie Degener, Susan Fuller, Joan Harvey, Heidi Lang, Gina Moore, Matt Powers, Jane Soule, Becky Talcott, Lin Thompson, Wayne Thompson

Susan welcomed four new members to our Committee: Charlet Davenport, Gina Moore, Jane Soule and Wayne Thompson. She and Matt talked about the work the Committee does. Becky will send a copy of our Collections Policy to the new members.


·         We have signed the Deed of Gift to donate the rocking chair attributed to Joseph Smith to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/Joseph Smith Memorial Birthplace.

Items reviewed (details attached):

·         Oil painting of Georgina Williamson: accession

·         Book: “History of Vermont, Natural, Civil, and Statistical in Three Parts” by Zadock Thompson, 1842: accession

·         Miscellaneous photographs (mostly of Woodstock) and newspaper clippings (a doorstep donation): accession

·         Two watercolor paintings by James Callowhill offered for sale: Stone Arch Bridge in South Woodstock (appraised at $350) and a smaller unidentified landscape (appraised at $125): accession. The Committee was okay with paying the appraised value.

·         Dress worn by Georgina Williamson and a photograph of her wearing the dress, plus a book from the White Cupboard Inn library: accession 

Jane Soule brought in a book and other items to be considered at our December meeting. We have also had offers of an electric Singer sewing machine (1930s?), and a double-barreled shotgun (1920s), both items owned and used in the Woodstock area. If these arrive, they will also be addressed at the next meeting.

The remainder of the meeting was spent in bringing down artwork from the attic; inventorying, measuring, and photographing them; and then placing them in the Art Room at the back of the Archives. About 30 items were processed. Thank you so much to everyone for the cheerful assistance in completing this phase of the art project. And thanks also to Susan for bringing snacks to keep us going.

Our next Collections Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 14, at 5 PM at the History Center. Usually our meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month, but this one was moved up a week earlier because of the holidays.

Minutes for Meeting on November 17, 2016

Members Present:  Ward Goodenough (chair), Ann Debevoise, Becky Talcott, Jack Hunter, Jane McDill Smith, Joan Harvey, Judy Maynes, Ruth Hunter, Susan Fuller, Jennie Shurtleff

The meeting was called to order at 5:06.


The minutes from the meeting held on May 16, 2016, were reviewed. Jane McDill Smith noted that John Doten’s last name should be spelled with an “e,” not an “o.”

That change will be made to the minutes.  Becky made a motion to approve the minutes with the change. The motion was seconded by Jane, and unanimously approved by the Committee.


Jennie reported on the meeting held November 9, 2016, between Andy Kovolos, Becky, Matt, and Jennie. Topics covered included:

  • Technical specs for new equipment

  • Best standards practices for digitization

  • Digitizing in-house and out-of-house (pros and cons)

  • Storage

  • File naming conventions and the use of metadata

  • Maintenance of files (checksums)

  • Possibility of hosting an oral history training session at the History Center

Jennie also noted that after the meeting with Andy, a donor made a generous contribution of $1,000.00 to the History Center for the purchase of new audio recording equipment.


Note: some of the “steps” listed below will happened concurrently.

  1. Purchase new audio equipment (new audio recorder, etc.)

  2. Set up and hold training session with Andy for equipment

  3. Conduct interviews and add to our oral history collection after we get the new equipment. (Please be sure to keep Jennie apprised of all interview scheduling.)

  4. Determine to what standard audio files should be digitized (archival standards or more general standards). Once a “standard” has been agreed upon, we will determine the most efficacious method of tackling the project of getting all the cassette tapes digitized and corrupted files re-digitized.

  5. Identify files that could be integrated into a project (e.g., Woodstock artists)

The following members of the committee expressed an interest in pursuing the collection/recording of oral histories:

  • Jane McDill-Smith

  • Jack Hunter

  • Ruth Hunter

  • Ward Goodenough

  • Susan Fuller

  • Joan Harvey

  • Judy Maynes

  • Ann Debevoise

  • Jennie Shurtleff

The following members expressed an interest in working on the archiving, duplication, storage, and preservation of the current recordings:

  • Becky Talcott

  • Ward Goodenough

  • Judy Maynes

  • Jennie Shurtleff

The following members expressed an interest in working on reviewing current recordings to identify material that could be combined into an exhibit, movie, or other project (perhaps for the upcoming exhibits on “The Green,” “Woodstock Artists,” or the “Woodstock Characters”):

  • Jane McDill Smith

  • Ann Debevoise

  • Joan Harvey

  • Susan Fuller

  • Judy Maynes

  • Jennie Shurtleff


The committee reviewed the current Oral History interview list and added several new names for 2017. (Please see attached.) People will start contacting interview prospects so that we can hopefully start conducting interviews in January.

  1.  OTHER

    Other topics addressed include:

    Transcription:  Transcriptions will be done on an as-needed basis. The belief is that as technology improves, it will be increasingly easier and less expensive to get transcriptions from digital files.


Ann Debevoise made a motion to adjourn the meeting, which was seconded by Jane McDill Smith, and unanimously passed.  The meeting adjourned at 6:20 pm.


    The date for the next meeting will be set up via email.


  • Matt &  Jennie will select new audio recording equipment.

  • Ward will schedule a meeting with Matt to discuss next steps in digitizing extant cassette tapes.

  • Jane, Jack, Ruth, Ward, Joan, Judy, and Jennie will do preliminary work for setting up interviews. (Potential interviewees are listed on sheet.)

  • Ward will schedule the next Oral History Meeting in early 2017 so that we can review where we are and keep all members updated on our progress.

Special Events Committee

Meeting: December 1, 2016

Members Present:  Isabelle Bradley, Barbara Drufovka, Bill Dagger, Matt Powers, Jennie Shurtleff

The meeting was called to order by chair Barbara Drufovka at 4:35.

1.  Review of Action Items from Meeting Held on 9/29/2016: 

The action items from the meeting held on 9/29/2016 were reviewed and all have been accomplished.

2. Wassail Weekend: December 9, 10, and 11, 2016

  1. Jennie reported that 8 trustee/staff members have offered to bring food for the Friday

Open House, and 3 others are donating money to go toward catering.  Claire Mayock will do the catering, and the committee selected the following three hors d’oeuvres:  caprese skewers, brie cups with dried cranberries and pecans, mini chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting.

b. Refinements to Exhibit Interpretation and Signage

The Committee briefly discussed some areas where museum visitors were confused during Wassail 2015. In an attempt to eliminate confusion, we will:

  • Add a sign that indicates upstairs is open (put by downstairs stairwell)

  • Add a sign that museum is open (put at the east end of the Gallery)

c.  Candie Gammil will bring two sleigh decorations. The Garden Club will contribute some greens that can be used for decorating.

2. Schedule of Special Events for 2017

a. Band Concert:  Already scheduled for Friday, July 7, 7 pm.

   (Note: Jennie will double check that this doesn’t conflict with the VSO concert.)

b. Cemetery Tour:

  • Tentatively set for Saturday, July 15 at 5:30.

  • Jennie will check for calendar conflicts.

  • Hold it at a cemetery (weather permitting); perhaps Cushing Cemetery

  • Refer to it as a “Cemetery Tour: Living History Portrayals” or some other descriptive name.

  • Perhaps have a living history tour focused on John Cotton Dana and others at the History Center at some point.

c. Excursion: 

  • Tentatively set for Sunday, August 27, 1-3 pm

  • Jennie will check to see if Leslie Askwith would be available to attend and if there are any potential conflicts with other area events.

  • Event will be set near Vondell Reservoir.

  • Admission will be free. (Goal: Make excursions free, educational, community events.)

  • Will need to obtain permission to put up a tent, signage etc. near Cox District entrance area

  • Need insurance (to cover in the event of an accident)

  • Perhaps have a cider press and serve cider

  • Anticipated audience:  About 40 people

  • Consider having an emergency vehicle and/or shuttle

  • Possible speakers: Geologist, Leslie Askwith (history of the people who lived on Cobb Hill), Jireh Billings/Eric Wegner (Aquaduct), Peter Vollers/Jay Mumford (Biking Recreation), Fiddlers playing music (perhaps musicians from Old Time Fair)

c. Old Time Fair

            September 23, 1-4 pm

Meeting adjourned at 5:50 pm.

Next Special Events Meeting:  March 2 at 4:30 pm.

Cemetery Tour Subcommittee (to determine scripts, etc): Thursday, January 19 at 4:30 pm.


  • Jennie will make additional Wassail signage as noted in minutes.

  • Jennie will check for conflicts for the following events:

    • Band Concert: Friday, July 7 at 7:00 pm

    • Cemetery Tour: Saturday, July 15 at 5:30

    • Excursion: Sunday, August 27, 1-3 pm

  • Jennie will check with Leslie Asquith about her availability on Sunday, August 27.

File:  Special Events Minutes 12.01.2016.docx

COT Dec 1st 2016

Meeting Minutes:

Called to order 6:15 by Heidi Lang

Present: Isabel Bradley, Heidi Lang,

Absent: Kerri Cole; Others Present: Matt Powers

-Consent Agenda: We decided to have committee chairs continue to write brief reports and to ask another committee member to take minutes. One of the reasons we want an actual report is it makes it easier to write up the annual report.

-We decided to get more people on the committee as the committee is too small and insular and then re-address who else we might nominate to serve on the board.

-We need to add more Trustees to this committee: We determined we would start by asking Charlie Degener & Joan Harvey to serve

Action Items:

  • Heidi to call Bethany Powers to ask her to suggest a name(s) for a parent of an elementary school child to approach to serve as a trustees or to suggest another parent we could contact to give us such names

  • Heidi to speak with Cookie and Charlie after the Holiday to ask if they would join this committee

Minutes of the Collections Committee Meeting, December 14, 2016

Attendees: Charlie Degener, Susan Fuller, Carie Good, Joan Harvey, Rachel Kurland, Gina Moore, Matt Powers, Sarah Roberts, Jane Soule, Becky Talcott

Susan welcomed Carie Good as a new member of the Committee. Becky will send her a copy of the Collections Policy.

There were no updates from the last meeting.

Items Reviewed (details attached):

·         Rotary Minstrels program; “A Dictionary of Medicine;” two stereographs; two photographs of Vermont Home Guard; WHS Alumni material (1893, 1923, 1925): accession.
We talked about tabling the discussion on the alumni information, to give us time to see if we already have some of this in our collection. Charlie’s recollection was that this material did not duplicate what we have, and he recommended accessioning it.
We also talked about school information we have, and don’t have – like yearbooks. Until 1958, yearbooks were done on a stencil/mimeograph and there were no photos. There were yearbooks after the move to the new high school. 1957 was the last class that graduated from the old school.

·         Watercolor of Williamson Realty building; letters to George Williamson; photographs of Mary Lee; two invitations to the Lilac Party (cover art by Annette Compton); two photographs of the Country Club; several color photographs of local people: accession
We talked some about who Mary and Nelson Lee were (managers of the White Cupboard Inn).

·         Four videocassette tapes: Woodstock Image; Wassail 1986, 1987, 1989: review and determine if we should accession. We can view the VCR tapes as we convert them to DVD. If we don’t accession, then the tape(s) will be tossed, because this was a doorstep donation.

·         Double barrel shotgun, 16 gauge, c. 1920: accession. We have good provenance on this item, from a local family, and we do not have any firearms of this type or time period. The donation was from the Sawyer triplets, 1958 graduates of Woodstock High School, whose father bought the gun locally from Iver Johnson.

·         Small souvenir vase with a picture of the Ottauquechee Savings Bank: accession

·         Singer electric sewing machine, c. 1938: accession. We do not have an electric sewing machine in the collection, and this one was owned and used locally.

·         Photograph of the original Catholic Church; pamphlet “A Happy Childhood” by Eleanor Clark French: accession. Becky contacted Lin Thompson on Thursday for additional information about Mrs. Clark, and she responded: she lived at the end of the French Road and was married to John French II or 3rd, Rhoda Teagle’s ex. It was the house that Jonathan Clarke tore down to build his house. Originally Hill Top Farm. She was active at the WHS for quite some time.

Here is the schedule for Committee meetings next year:

January 18

May 17

September 20

February 15

June 21

October 18

March 15

July 19

November 15

April 19

August 16

December 20

After the first of the year, Becky will send out a separate email with just the schedule. All of these meetings are on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Some people will be gone at the scheduled times: Carie and Sarah gone in February and March, Becky gone in August, Sarah and Susan gone in September.

Development and Marketing Committee


Calendar 2016 results: 

Annual Fund came in at $20,317 which was over budget generosity of donors, 300 memberships, 80% Woodstock folks

Memberships $14,970 tracking closely with 2015, shows stability

Grants of $83,500

Special Events $6,678 largely from silent auction

Sponsorships at $4,550, exceeded budget

Year-end net revenue approximating $20,000

Build up capital reserves and portion to scholarship endowment

Wassail:  fabulous decorations, entire space looked terrific, manageable crowd of 632 over both days, member labels enjoyed  

2017 Goals

10% growth in Membership, 30 new members sought

Expand annual appeal reach – community, businesses, seasonal guests

continue to assess audiences to reach and corresponding tactics

Include not requesting Town Funding message in spring appeal

Maintain/grow sponsorship support

Formalize Planned Giving effort with Bequest brochure and gift acceptance policies

Education & Scholarship Committee seeks to build Endowed scholarship, annual additions, so by 2018 award is fully funded in perpetuity

Development Committee will partner with asks as necessary

Communication:  building on WHC strength, proven with prior years’ growth in attendance, Memberships, donations, and revenue-  a great     story to tell encouraging giving to a strong, vital organization

Marketing: new website online, Donate options to get worked out; ex: monthly

Flesh out stories: conservations, collections storage, garden, Scholarships, capital improvement

Monitor: Facebook, Instagram, Trip Advisor: what folks are saying?

How are WHC stories/messages resonating with people?

Analyze funding platforms – maximize ease of online donations

Rack card revival

New-member packet

Development & Marketing Committee Meetings

Feb. 7th 4:30pm,   then every other month