Association Meeting Minutes – Jan. 15, 2010

Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association

minutes of January 15, 2010

Bob McConnell proposed the attached agenda; there were no changes from the floor. The “Special Presentation” item listed is for Alan Maggard of Maggard Sound Studio for his help with the music CD done by Ron Short. Since Mr. M. was unable to attend the meeting to accept it, the presentation will be postponed.


Members present: Bob McConnell, Joe Fuller, Barbara Reed, Benny Reed, Harold Jerrell, John Mulllen, Joy Mullen, Dale Taylor, Kay Addington, Jim Addington, Margaret Crouch, Jean Brown, Wanda McConnell, Megan France, Mary Erwin, David Oaks, Charlie Allen, Dr. Larry Fleenor, Lisa McConnell, Chris Edwards, Pam Eddy, John Stafford


Guests: Ruble Taylor (Dale’s wife), Chris Phillips (Cumberland Gap NHP), Taylor Thorp (new director, Cove Ridge) and Philip and Ruth Cooper


Motion was made by Harold Jerrell and seconded by Charlie Allen to accept the minutes as disseminated; motion approved by the membership.


Joe Fuller gave the treasurer’s report (copy included in the minute book). Wanda McConnell moved and John Stafford seconded that the report be accepted. Benny Reed moved and Joan Short seconded that the expenses during the previous two-month period be approved. Both these motions were approved by the membership. The ending balance in checking was $4,955.60. The detailed report is in the minute book.


Joe Fuller mentioned that annual membership dues are payable now for calendar year 2010, and that he has sent an email notice to that effect.


Committee Reports


Blockhouse site (Chris Edwards) – a new fly has been purchased to use over the cooking demonstration area during Siege weekend. The committee will meet soon to begin plans for the blacksmith shed.


Blockhouse interpretive programs (Jean Brown) – this season’s sign-up sheet will be available at the March meeting. Benny Reed urged members who haven’t done seasonal weekend volunteering at the blockhouse and interpretive center to consider doing so.


Blockhouse furnishings (Barbara Reed) – nothing to report.


[Bob expressed regret that cancellation of the Christmastide at the Blockhouse event due to the snowstorm meant no one saw the beautiful job of decorating done by Joy Nihil, Jean Brown, Joan Short, and others.]


Interpretive Center (Wanda McConnell) – last year’s sales totaled $1420.51; the music CD production costs were paid from the Inter. Ctr. account, which leaves approximately $2200. We hope that rerouting the walking path from the parking lot will increase the number of visitors who go in the Interpretive Center; volunteers should bring their calendars to the March meeting so scheduling can begin.


Events (Mary Erwin for Sally Kelly) – Siege at the Blockhouse will be May 22 and 23 this year; registration and detailed information for re-enactors and vendors are available at the Association’s web site ( Chris Edwards will begin chairing the committee this year. DBWTA and Wilderness Road State Park will share a one-page ad in Muzzleloader Magazine for their spring events. Pam Eddy (Cumberland Gap NHP) will take part in Siege again this year. The next committee meeting is Thursday evening January 21, 6:00 p.m. at Cove Ridge.


Media (Harold Jerrell) – he and Michael Beard plan to meet next week with Jerry Greer to discuss production of a booklet-type publication about the Wilderness Trail. Two examples of the kind of thing they have in mind were shared with the group. Because the DBWTA Kane Gap property (part of the original Trail) borders the Jefferson National Forest, Harold is exploring the possibility of partnering with the U.S. Forest Service on this project.


Music (Joan Short for Ron Short) – the committee which was set up to plan marketing of the Wilderness Road music CD has met twice; their suggested wholesale price for the CD is $9; suggested retail price is $15. Ron will do several musical interludes during the Siege, playing music from the CD The committee recommends Association members consider selling the CDs which are currently in Megan’s office.


Finance (Margaret Crouch) – nothing to report.



Other project updates:


Megan France updated the Association on the workshops to be offered for public school teacher re-certification. Called the “Wilderness Trail Institute,” the program is a partnership between the park, DBWTA, and Mountain Empire Community College. (“Travel Through Time” is the 2-day pilot program offered to teachers in July 2009.) Several local school systems have already agreed that the program would qualify for cross-curricular certification. The course will be offered on Tuesday evenings this winter and Megan is hoping that DBWTA volunteers will demonstrate frontier life at the blockhouse on Tuesday March 23 between 5:30 and 8:00. The teachers will also take field trips to Wilderness Road State Park and Cumberland Gap NHP.


Joan described the cost (over $400 for the 3-credit course) as a potential problem, since the school systems won’t have money available to reimburse teachers who sign up. Pam Eddy suggested local historical societies as potential sources for “scholarships.” On behalf of Marathon Ministries, Philip Cooper volunteered a $100 per teacher contribution.


Joe Fuller described improvements that will be added in the spring to the Clinchfield Heritage Wayside (at Speers Ferry) overlooking the Copper Creek railroad trestle; improvements will include additional paving and landscaping donated/funded by W&L Paving and by BB&T Bank.


Bob added that along the route between Moccasin Gap and Cumberland there are another half dozen places currently identified by historical markers that could also be expanded to include interpretive panels and other enhancements in the VDOT right-of-way.


Chris Phillips and Pam Eddy reported on Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. The December snowstorm caused extensive tree loss, and damage to the maintenance building and to the trails, much of which is still being assessed. The park has a new historian, Martha Wiley. Federal stimulus money will help with several improvements underway at the park. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s “electronic field trips” broadcast on PBS were made available to several hundred school children near Cumberland Gap through a scholarship offered by the Foundation.


Taylor Thorp is the new mgr of Cove Ridge; he introduced himself and said he is looking forward to working with DBWTA and its members.


The nominating committee suggested the following slate of officers: President – Joy Nihil; Vice President – Joan Short; Secretary – Sally Kelly; Treasurer – Joe Fuller; Historian – Dr. Larry Fleenor. For the Board of Directors: Bob McConnell (immediate past president), Charles Allen, Joe Brown, Mary Erwin, Lisa McConnell, John Mullen, Benny Reed, John Stafford, Dale Taylor. The officers and directors will be elected at the Association’s annual meeting March 19, 2010, where nominations can also be made from the floor.


Other announcements:


Harold Jerrell shared the fact that recent measurements have shown that Virginia’s largest tree is one located in Lee County, outside Ewing.


The Canadian group who requested plans for the blockhouse is planning its construction for the bicentennial of 1812.


DBWTA will participate (with CGNHP) in revisions to a “Parks as Classrooms” DVD titled Within the Shadows of Cumberland Gap.


Bob McConnell recommended a book by Larry Hoefling called Chasing the Frontier Scots-Irish in America.


Bob has asked Barbara and Benny Reed to perform a financial audit of the association’s work by the annual meeting (March 2010).


Bob is also recommending changes to the by-laws that will conform to IRS “best practices,” especially regarding participation by the board of directors. These changes will be considered at the March meeting.


Additionally, Bob is proposing the board meet more frequently and that much of the association business be conducted by the board, which would then report to the full association membership. Among other things, this might allow time for a brief program to be presented at the association meetings.



Submitted to the members March 19, 2010.


Margaret Crouch, substituting for Secretary Sally Kelly