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Minutes of Rankin County Historical Society Meeting
January 26, 2012

Anne Vanderleest, president, opened the meeting by welcoming guests, members, and Dr. Mary Collins Landin, guest speaker. This meeting, Munch on History, a first for the Society, was attended by 41 members and guests.

Dr. Landin presented information on the Order of the First Families of Mississippi, those who came to Mississippi from 1699 to 1817. She also gave interesting data on state and territorial censuses, cemeteries, and other records where historical and genealogical information may be found. Dr. Landin invited questions at the conclusion of her presentation.

Ms. Vanderleest reported a bank balance of $8,757.02 as of January 18, 2012.

Unfinished Business
A full report was given by Ms. Vanderleest on the RCHS museum buildings. Two structures, the smokehouse and the Goshen Post Office, were demolished as they could no longer be repaired. The new metal roof on the museum store was made possible by the donation of materials from Reiford Castens, labor from the Mississippi Department of Corrections, and a $5,000 grant from the Rankin County Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Castens has offered material to re-roof the house, but the Board of Supervisors denied us further funds.

New Business
A second Munch on History is scheduled for Thursday, February 23, 12:10 until 12:50 P.M. Guest speaker will be Dr. Reginald T.W. Nichols, president of Piney Woods School.

Questionnaires will be going out to groups and individuals who have an interest in some particular aspect of Rankin County history. They are being asked to have a display or present information on their area of preservation during the Symposium scheduled for March 3, 9:30 A.M. until Noon at the library. It is hoped the Symposium will allow groups to present their aims and purposes to those interested in preserving the history of Rankin County. This will bring attention to many small groups and help them “get their message out”.

Heritage/Open House
Heritage Day and Open House for the Museum is set for April 21, 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Craftsmen are being contacted to ask that they do demonstrations of skills and crafts used by our ancestors.

Ms. Vanderleest also reported on the visit of Cindy Gardner from Mississippi Department of Archives and History to our museum. Ms. Gardner has sent us a report listing steps that the RCHS needs to undertake to make our museum a place of interest. One of her suggestions includes a visit to the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum. Paul said he visited the museum in Starkville recently and talked with the president of the board; she is willing to come to Brandon to make a presentation to RCHS. A road trip to Starkville was discussed; those interested in making the trip were Mary Lou Ayers; Mel Corley; Joan Alliston; Georgia Pope, possibly; Paul Davis; Anne Vanderleest; Ron Thornton; and Joan Singletary.

Ms. Vanderleest also announced that she had attended a seminar this week on grants at the Mississippi Library Commission. Grants are available for use in preserving and developing projects such as our museum. Further research will be done as the deadline is in May.

RCHS has purchased a SLR camera to be used in digitization of records. Mr. Davis has connected it to the society laptop and reports that it was working well; he will find and purchase a tripod that will allow the imagining of large documents such as ledger books.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.

Joan Singletary

Members present: Carolyn Erickson, Bill Duchie, Bea Drake, Joan Singletary, Mel Corley, Joan Alliston, Ron Thornton, Mary Lou Ayers, Paul Davis, Anne Vanderleest, Linda Wolfe, and new members Nancy Scanlon, Beulah Barton, and Johnny Odom.

The Board of Directors will meet Wednesday, February 1, 2012, at 4:30 P.M. at the home of Anne Vanderleest.

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