LACEY HISTORICAL COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
May 7, 2012 - 6:00 p.m.
Lacey City Hall - Council Chambers
Commission: Matthew Connor, Roger Easton, Shirley Binkley, Rosalie Raps Melnick, Kimberley Bauman, and Erik Solveson
Excused: Ken Dean
Staff: Lori Flemm, Amber Raney
Historical Society: Mike O’Keefe
The meeting was called to order at 6:01 p.m. by Matthew Connor.
a) Appoint interim chair of meeting: Shirley moved that Matthew be appointed interim chair.
Motion: Appoint Matthew Connor Interim Chair
The motion was seconded by Roger and unanimously approved.
b) Matthew established that a quorum was present.
No additions or deletions to the agenda.
The April 2, 2012 minutes were approved and placed on record.
a) Lacey Historical Society: Mike reported that the Historical Society is busy preparing for Thurston County Through the Decades and for their annual meeting in September. The theme of this year’s meeting will continue to support the Depot Project and will hopefully gather additional support and interest. Lori commented on the new format of the Lacey Historical Society newsletter saying that she “loved the new format, especially the Memories section.” Mike hopes that everyone in the community will send in memories to publish in future newsletters.
Lori reported that she received word from a performer approached regarding the Washington Center for the Performing Arts date. He is unable to perform a benefit concert for the depot.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
July 2 Scheduled Meeting Date Change: After some discussion, the decision was made to keep the July meeting date the same. Amber will not be available for the July 2 meeting.
a) $5,000 grant awarded for Himes Diary Digitization and Transcription Phase 2 (Progress Update): Amber reported that Evan finished years 1868-1870. She returned the hard drive to him and he is continuing on with digitization. Amber presented Roger with several discs so that he may begin the transcription. She noted that the project is progressing much more smoothly in this second phase.
b) Himes/Fleetwood Historical Marker (Progress Update): Amber reported that, after contacting Winsor Fireform and discussing the timeline, it was not possible to have the marker completed in time for the Fleetwood Family’s visit in June. She will still create the marker, but instead of having it finished and mounted, she will ask the family to provide feedback on what the proposed marker will look like. Amber spoke with Mari Fleetwood about this and was told that this was an acceptable alternative. The family will be recognized by Olympia High School on June 4. The marker dedication has not been scheduled. Amber will let the commissioners know when this will take place.
c) Design Workshop Input for the Lacey Museum at the Depot: Amber reported that the pre-design phase went very well, and thanked the commissioners who participated in the public workshops. She announced that there will be one more meeting with the steering committee members to wrap-up the details and review final revisions. After that, the design will be presented to the Lacey City Council for their review/approval.
d) Location of Chambers Prairie School Confirmed: Local historian, Ed Echtle, sent Roger a contemporary map overlaid by a 1916 map from the WSU Special Collections, indicating the location at that time of the Chambers Prairie School. The location of the school appears to be very near where the cabin stood. Shirley is still not convinced that this represents the cabin. Amber circulated copies of a report that she and Lanny Weaver wrote on the history of the Chambers Prairie School. Discussion followed. There appear to be no clear answers yet. Research will continue.
a) General and Youth Commissioner Recruitment: Lori reported that the city has received no applications yet, but that a press release went out. Matt and Erik said that they would check to make sure the announcement on the positions were available at their schools.
b) Election of Chair and Vice Chair of Historic Commission: The decision was made to wait until the vacant position is filled before electing a new Chair and Vice Chair. In the meantime, an interim Chair will be elected at each meeting as necessary.
c) Nominations for Lacey Historian of the Year: One nomination was discussed and unanimously agreed upon.
d) June is Lacey History Month: The commission selected to celebrate the Thurston County Through the Decades event at the presentation. Amber will create a presentation.
e) Jacob Smith House Plan Review: Lori reported on the Saint Martin’s senior engineering class project to improve the grounds around the Jacob Smith House. The commissioners looked at the model that the students created for their presentation, highlighting the various changes to the grounds. Plans were given to the Commissioners.
a) Depot: No Report
b) Depot Art: No report
c) 2012 Depot Fundraiser Performance: See Correspondence.
d) Thurston County through the Decades: Matt reported that the Planning Committee met on April 23, and that the meeting was well-attended. Seventeen tents are planned, with the Dixie Kats performing later in the day. A hot dog vendor will provide food and there will be cake and coffee in the evening. The event will also celebrate Thurston County’s 160th birthday, and awards will be presented. The tents will all be set-up along the walkways for accessibility. Shirley and Rosalie both said they would be available that day to help with set-up and staffing of booths.
STAFF / MUSEUM REPORT
1. Amber reported that on Monday, May 2 she removed the Thurston County Through the Decades display from the Lacey Library and installed it at city hall.
2. Lacey Museum at the Depot Project: April saw much activity surrounding this project. The initial site walk was held on Thursday, April 5, followed by a brainstorming session by the Steering Committee. The public workshops were held on April 14, 28, and May 5. Amber expressed gratitude for all of the commissioners who were able to come and join in the discussion at the sessions on those days. The design process is going very well and each session was well-attended.
3. On Thursday, April 19, Amber, with much help from Diane and Ken Dean, Lanny Weaver, and Steve Kirkman, displayed several boards and artifacts on Lacey history at the Nisqually Youth and Community Center. The program ran from 2:00-7:00 p.m. and was a great opportunity to connect with tribal members and other local heritage organizations.
4. Amber also reported that on Friday, April 20, she hosted a group of first graders from Faith Lutheran.
5. On Friday, April 27, Amber and Steve met with Evan in Portland to return the hard drive and discuss his direction from this point. He has completed years 1868-1870. In addition, they toured the Formations building. Formations is the exhibit design team, based in Portland, who have been selected to design and fabricate the exhibits for the new museum.
6. In planning for exhibits in the new museum, the idea was brought forth to use the Chambers Prairie Log Cabin as an interpretive exhibit inside the new facility. Upon inspection of the logs at the well site, the discovery was made that the wood is in varying stages of decay and decomposition. An off-site warehouse in Tumwater has been secured to store the logs while the new museum is being constructed to preserve them from the elements. Amber is meeting with Gene Grulich of BLRB Architects on May 8 to determine what can/should be done to save what is left of the Chambers Prairie Log Cabin. Lanny has been researching the history of the Chambers Prairie School, and a brief outline of its history is included for the commissioners.
7. Leah Stecher, intern from Saint Martin’s University, drafted a Walking Tour of Lacey brochure as her project. Amber presented the commissioners with a copy. While it needs a little more historical context and clarification, it is a great starting point and was an excellent first project for the partnership with the university.
Roger reported that the project he had been working on for the Washington State Archives—digitizing the First Book of Thurston County—was finished and the book is now available on-line. It is searchable from the Digital Archives, which can be accessed from the Secretary of State/Archives website. He is now working on the First Book of Lewis County, which dates back to 1847, and is the oldest public document in the state. There is a lot of Lacey and Olympia history included because Lewis County originally stretched from the Columbia River to Alaska and from the Cascades to the Pacific. Thurston County was established in 1852. He reported that there were 44 people listed in that entire area in the 1847 census.
Meeting adjourned at 7:25 p.m.