Minutes of Meeting

Coppell Historical Society

January 10, 2015

Present:  Pete Wilson, Jackie Parrish, Philip LaBerge, Sue Miller, Chris Long, Cliff Long, Betsy Wilcox, Fran Richardson, Don Carter, Pat Lambert, Jan Lorrain, Annette Moriarty, Shaun Jex, Pat Quinlan, Dave Murph, Alisa, Evan, Annadele & Emily Kozlowski

The meeting in the Kirkland House was called to order at 1:10 p.m. by President Don Carter.

The pre-business program, presented by Dave Murph was an exhibit of items found during the recent archeological dig at North Lake, primarily from the dry bed of the lake. Included were ammonites, square nails, ceramics, parts of a horse harness, a buckle possibly from Civil War times, sunglasses, fishing tackle, musket balls from the mid-1800s, and other early bullets.  These items have been taken to archeological experts to determine their approximate ages.  At least fifty persons attended the archeological dig, and a number of them wish to become more active with the Society, some having placed membership.

The minutes of the last meeting, as emailed to everyone, were approved.  Moved by Jan Lorrain; seconded by Pat Quinlan.

The treasurer’s report, by Jan Lorrain, was approved as presented.  Moved by Jackie Parrish; seconded by Sue Miller.  The report included:

No expenses from the City Grant Fund; current balance, $12,267.36 (which includes $10,000 recently received from the city).

No expenses from the General Fund; current balance, $10,696.40.

Current balance of Certificate of Deposit, $20,326.47.

Total balance of all accounts:  $43,290.23.

Committee Reports:

Docent Troupe.  Betsy Wilcox, coordinator, reported that Sue Miller is acting as docent for the January 17th open house, and others who have volunteered to help Sue are Barbara Lee, Jean Murph, and Jan Lorrain.

The February open house will be handled by Judy Conger and Betsy Wilcox

No one has signed up for the March open house.  Betsy agreed that we will wait until closer to the date to request other volunteers.

Betsy has only one person signed up for the rest of the year, and members need to volunteer to help.  Those who are part of the official docent group have been asked to volunteer only twice in a year.

Archives.  Dave Murph reported good progress on organizing materials that eventually will be housed in filing cabinets in the library.  At least two more working sessions by the committee will be needed.

Heritage Park – Acquisitions.  Pat Quinlan reported that the new wallpaper for the Kirkland House diningroom ceiling has been received and the committee is checking into the best way to get it installed.  Additional paper is being considered and its method of installation is being researched to cover three walls of the kitchen.

Historical Markers.  Pete Wilson reported that the committee has approved the wording of two additional markers: one to be mounted on the new stone columns along S. Coppell Road, and one to be mounted along Moore Road at the site of Bethel School and Church.  He moved that the Society approve the purchase of the two plaques (at an approximate cost of $1250 each) pending the final city approval of the Bethel location.  Seconded by Pat Lambert.  Motion carried.

Historic Preservation.  Pat Lambert reported that she is not sure if any improvements have been made to the Bullock Cemetery, such as a drainage pipe.  It is time for us to go by there to gauge progress.

There is no word yet from the Parks Board regarding the Society’s suggestions for revisions to the tree ordinance.

Cliff Long said, in regard to the Old Coppell Task Force, that the city has set up a new committee to discuss and help implement new activities for the Old Coppell district.  He assured the Society that Heritage Park and the Historical Society will be included in those activities.

Education.  Dave Murph reported for Jean Murph that many of the archeological dig participants are becoming active in other Society events.  In light of continuing interest in the digs, Dave moved that we schedule another dig at North Lake in the spring, pending the approval of the property owners.  Seconded by Pete Wilson.  The motion carried.

Recent special events at Heritage Park have included Christmas decorations such as the door decoration of the Kirkland House, a Christmas party, and opportunities for visitors to make personal Christmas decorations.

Dave suggested a Valentine’s open house on February 14, from 11:00 a.m. to noon, with activities for children.  This event would precede our regular Society meeting at 1:00 p.m.  There was consensus on the idea.

Dave reported that Jack Carpenter has volunteered to work on getting more historical material into the hands of Coppell teachers.  It is not known if Jack has made any progress yet, but the Education Committee will get a report.

There was some discussion about what exhibit should replace the current display at the Senior Center.  Dave suggested that the current display stay up a substantial time longer and that maybe the next display should be an archeological artifacts exhibit.

Old Business:

Pete Wilson reminded everyone that our last grant proposal to the city included an estimate for constructing and mounting a sign in front of the Kirkland House.  He displayed a design submitted by MSigns that is an aluminum sign painted to look like wood, with the wording, “Kirkland House, 1904, at Heritage Park,” with the letters “KH” at the top.  The sign would be the off-white color of the Kirkland House with dark brown lettering on both sides.  It would be 40 inches wide and tall enough to be mounted in the ground, perpendicular to W. Bethel Road.  There was some discussion about how to display the date “1904,” but it was finally decided to leave it as it was presented.

MSigns had not provided a cost estimate at meeting time as promised, but it appears that the cost will be considerably less than the $5,000 we proposed to the city.

It was mentioned that MSigns has had personnel changes lately and at least one customer has had communication problems and had to cancel an order after the company could not deliver as promised.

Pete asked that he be allowed to authorize the construction of the sign, pending final city approval, as long as the cost is no more than $3,000, and provided that MSigns can give definite assurance that the sign will be completed as agreed, in a timely manner.  There was consensus to proceed.

Pete mentioned dues are to be paid.  It was reiterated that dues are officially due on September 1, except that persons who have become members within the last several months will be considered paid through another year.

Don Carter mentioned that we still do not have total access to our new website.  Martin Aldridge has updated it, and Dave Murph said that he is sure it’s just a matter of our getting the proper passwords and such to Don.  Dave will check on the matter.  Don mentioned that Phil LaBerge has volunteered to help with the website.

New Business:

Pete Wilson invited anyone interested to stay after the meeting and listen to an excerpt from one of our oral histories made in 1988 – Jack Kirkland speaking about her memories of early Coppell.  Pete reminded everyone that almost all of the Society’s archives are currently at the Kirkland House being organized, except its historic photo collection and its oral history collection.  Both of these are organized and housed at his office so that he has easy access to them when regular updates are required.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:42 p.m.

Wheelice (Pete) Wilson, Jr.

Secretary, Coppell Historical Society

972-741-3894 (cell)

  In Memoriam


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