Minutes of Meeting

Coppell Historical Society

January 14, 2012

Present:  Kevin Mote, Dave Murph, Nan Botzau, Martha-Allison Blewer, Jackie Parrish, Barbara Webster, Pat Quinlan, Paul Lorrain, Delbert Onstott, Joy Onstott, Pat Lambert, Barbara Lee, Jean Murph, Pete Wilson, Don Carter, Marsha Tunnell

President Barbara Lee called the meeting to order at 10:22 a.m.

The minutes of the last meeting were approved.  Moved by Joy Onstott; seconded by Paul Lorrain.

The treasurer’s report showed income for the last month of $10 (dues).  The balance in the general account is $23,616,54.  The report was approved.  Moved by Pat Lambert; seconded by Pete Wilson.

The remainder of the business meeting was temporarily suspended in order to accommodate our guest speaker, Marsha Tunnell, Coppell City Council member.

Ms. Tunnell reported on the progress of the Main Street project – the development of the infrastructure of old downtown.

The square is due to be completed at the end of 2012.  Construction on the Farmers’ Market pavilion will begin in the fall.  Elements of the project include:  cottage office and restaurants on the north side; the pavilion, lawn, and patio homes on the east side; a mercantile center (store fronts) on the west side; a possible civic center or gathering place on the southwest corner.

Heritage Park (currently containing the Minyard Store, the Kirkland House, and the Thweatt windmill) is scheduled to be completed in February or March of this year.

The old fire station and old city hall have been sold to Amfac, an insurance training company.  The façade of the buildings will be changed to reflect a historic design.  The water tank still belongs to the city and will be developed into an amenity.

Ms. Tunnell answered questions about the project and received some input from members regarding the Society’s proposed historic marker project, the Witness Tree project, cemetery maintenance, and the desire of the Society to be in continuing partnership with the city on any activities that involve historic preservation, including the Main Street project and others.

After Ms. Tunnell’s presentation, the business meeting continued.

Barbara Lee reminded everyone that dues of $10 per person are due this month.

Pete Wilson reported that no additional work has been done on obtaining state designation for our four historic cemeteries.  That project has been put on hold for a while since the state required additional information regarding the Parrish Cemetery which is difficult to obtain.  There was discussion about renewing our request to Peggy Riddell to complete the four applications for us.  Ms. Riddell has said that she and her company can accomplish that at a cost of, perhaps, $300 per cemetery, but apparently communication broke down and her work on the Parrish Cemetery did not include everything that was needed.  At the suggestion of the members, Pete Wilson agreed to contact Ms. Riddell again and discuss the project.  A maximum expenditure of $500 per cemetery was approved in case Ms. Riddell will accept the work.  Moved by Jean Murph; seconded by Martha-Allison Blewer.

Pete Wilson reported that there may be a delay in completing the historic video; the completion of the project was supposed to be the middle of February.  Kevin Mote, who is the technician on the project who will be finishing the production aspect, reported that the problem is with the footage that was accomplished over a year ago. The quality of the sound is not as good as we would desire, and the aspect ratio of the pictures has changed since then.  Therefore, part of the video will look different from the other parts.  Kevin suggested that he go ahead with the production of the video and provide a viewing of it by members at the next meeting.  At that time, the Society can decide if the earlier footage should be remade.  If it is remade, the filming will have to wait until spring.  In anticipation of viewing the video, it was suggested that our next meeting be in a place that will provide a screen and video equipment; the training center at the fire station is not available on that date.  Don Carter agreed to look into reserving a meeting room at the YMCA.

Pete Wilson reported that his committee to look into designs of local historic markers will be meeting shortly to look at suggestions from the foundry which manufactures the official Texas historical markers.

Pete Wilson passed around an example of our oral histories.  He reported that he is ready to transfer three other video-taped interviews that were done by Noble Fortson.  Noble is planning to locate the videotapes and will provide them to Pete soon.

Nan Botzau reported for the education committee that a request was received from Shari Guess, the sponsor of the Junior Historians at Coppell Middle School West, for a guest speaker.  Pete Wilson has agreed to do this.  He suggested that any interested member could learn how to do these appearances and suggested that anyone could accompany him to observe.

Nan Botzau and her education committee suggested that we devote our March meeting to informing members and guests about the Witness Tree Project.  Then, the actual activity could take place in April.  Special guests can be invited to the informational meeting, such as city personnel, and possibly simple printed brochures could be provided.  There are opportunities to publicize the event.  Kevin Mote suggested that even the television stations might be interested.  It was decided that the March 10 meeting will be at 1:00 p.m. and will be devoted to information about the project.  It was suggested that the meeting take place at, possibly, the library, so that interested persons will find it easy to attend.  Nan’s committee will seek city participation and will work on details for the actual Tree Search activity in April.

Pete Wilson reported that Kathye Carpenter has agreed to use our membership in Ancestry.com to find additional information about George Coppell’s family. She will also use library resources in Grapevine.  Pete suggested that in a month or two, we should be able to discontinue our membership in Ancestry.com to avoid additional cost.

Martha-Allison Blewer moved and it was decided that we will undertake a project of recognizing citizens who have contributed specifically to Coppell’s historic preservation, such as Marsha Tunnell. Jean Murph seconded.

Kevin Mote reported that, by June at the latest, we will have to adjust our website and spend some money to purchase the domain title and hosting of the site.  He will research what is needed and report at the next meeting.  He also suggested that the website can be updated at any time if he has content to put on the website.  Pete Wilson volunteered to write up a short item following each monthly meeting to include on the website.

Barbara Lee presented a letter from the developer of the land around the Bullock Cemetery to the city, detailing some of the improvements that the developer is proposing be made to the cemetery (repairing the fence, repairing or reconstructing the columns, laying new sod, etc.).  The city has sought input from the Society regarding these changes.  A committee was appointed to make recommendations at the next meeting:  Kevin Mote, Martha-Allison Blewer, Pat Lambert, and Barbara Lee.

The next meeting will be on February 11, most likely at the Coppell YMCA.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:21 p.m.

Wheelice (Pete) Wilson, Jr.

Recording Secretary

Coppell Historical Society

Cell 972-741-3894

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