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Meeting of Board of Directors
Rankin County Historical Society
November 15, 2011

The Board of Directors met Tuesday, November 15, at 4:00 P.M. at the home of Anne Vanderleest.

Present were Anne Vanderleest, John Haliburton, Paul Davis, Mel Corley, Mary Lou Ayers, and Joan Singletary.

Unfinished Business:
1. Anne reported that members of the Mayors Youth Council had worked one afternoon on cleaning the museum. We are unsure if they will return later. Thank you letters will be sent to Tahya Dobbs, coordinator of the council, and the council.

2. Anne reported that a Girl Scout, Allie Otting, has begun cataloging the items in the museum; Allie is working toward the Girl Scout Gold Award.

3. Joan Singletary reported that additional information has been added to the RCHS website (www.rankinhistory.org) with the help of her friend, David Pepper. The site was brought up on a computer and members were shown what has been done. Other material that can be added to the site was discussed. Suggested additions were a list of cemeteries, WWII veterans, list of photographs in our files, Susie Blue’s Scrapbook, and Searchlight articles. We will need to get permission to use the published list of veterans.

 4. Symposium has been set for March 3, 2012, 9:30 A.M.-12:00 noon at the Brandon Library. Save the Date letters have been sent to a number of individuals and organizations telling them of the symposium and asking for their participation. Trey Porter who works in Community Development at the Mississippi State Archives and History will be our speaker.

RSVP will be sent out in December or January asking for the number that will be attending and participating. We will set a respond by date to help in determining refreshments and display tables. Displays will be scheduled in the order the requests are received from those wanting to participate. Weather permitting, the museum will be open before and after the symposium.

5. We have received a commitment from the Rough and Readys Camp 265 of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans that they will be participating in our Open House/Living History Day that is set for Saturday, April 21, 2010, from 10:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. The Rough and Readys members will set up a camp Friday night. They plan to have a cannon to fire blank charges, a wagon to offer rides for the children, and a blacksmith. They anticipate having 8-10 reinactors. Mel Corley will check with the city on getting the permits for firing the cannon; no parties will be scheduled that day in the park. We will also have open house at the museum. If we have rain, activities will be moved to the next day, Sunday.

Several ideas for raising funds for the society during the Open House/Living History day were discussed. Holding a silent auction or selling chances on donated merchandise were discussed briefly. This discussion was tabled and will be explored later.

6. Installation of the metal roof on the Atkins-McRae store at the museum has been completed. Thank you letters for their help will go to the Rankin County Board of Supervisors, to Johnny Jones and his crew and to Reiford Castens for his donation of the roofing materials. It was decided that a set of our Rankin County History and Cemetery books will be presented to Mr. Castens as well as our thanks. The Board of Supervisors will also be invited to visit the museum to see improvements we have made as well as show them what more needs to be done to the buildings.

7. Renovation Plans: Anne Vanderleest reported on her conversations with Johnny Jones, the Rankin County Maintenance Supervisor. The Board of Supervisors gave RCHS $5,000 for repairs to the store building. Lumber purchased was approximately $1300 and the contractors who installed the metal roofing were paid $3,500.

In discussing with Mr. Jones whether to replace the roof on the house or replace the siding on the store, he pointed out the condition of the house is very bad. Mr. Jones pointed out that there is a possibility of the racked-bearing wall filling in; the fireplace is not plumb plus the chimney is leaning six to eight inches. He feels the sheeting on the house is holding it upright. The condition of the store is more sound and the siding on the store can be replaced with cedar or cypress for approximately $2,000.

After discussion it was suggested that we get in writing a second opinion on the condition of the house; this should be a professional assessment of our liability plus issues of public safety as well as cost of repairs.

Anne Vanderleest asked for a vote on making a decision that if any future funds are received, that we give priority to replacing the siding on the museum store over repairs to the house. For assigning priority to the store: Mary Lou Ayers, Anne Vanderleest, Paul Davis, John Haliburton, and Joan Singletary; against, Mel Corley. (Nathan Bradshaw was not present.)

The condition of the “office building” behind the store was brought up. After discussion on possible renovations and what to do with materials and equipment stored there, it was suggested this topic be taken up at a later date.

New Business

Museum Displays: Cindy Gardner, museum curator of collections at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, will visit RCHS museum on Wednesday, November 23, at 1:00 P.M. to review the materials at our museum.

Camera and Stand: Paul Davis was asked to investigate what type SLR camera and stand we need to purchase to enable us to do tethered shooting of documents.

Membership and Dues: John Haliburton was asked to get forms for payment of dues mailed out soon. Joan Singletary will send him a copy of previous letters and forms.

The meeting was adjourned.


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Joan Singletary
Rankin County Historical Society