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Kentwood Committees & Boards
Historical Commission
Minutes for 09/14/2006

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September 14, 2006

Chair Middlewood called the meeting to order at 6:40 p.m.

1. Roll Call:

Members present: Middlewood, Heyboer, VanDyke and Boisvenue.
Thompson and Agostinelli absent with excuse. Pacic absent.
Other present: Robert Kline.

2. Approval of Minutes?Motion by Heyboer, supported by Boisvenue to approve the minutes of May 15, 2006. Motion carried.

3. Project Reports:

a. The Pine Hill Cemetery project: No major updates to report; the Girl Scout troop continues to work on the project.

b. Barn Survey: Nothing to report.

c. Oral history: Middlewood read the report from Thompson. Heyboer indicated that he would talk to Gerald Oosterhouse for an Oral History interview. The two other prospective candidates for oral history interviews are Bob VanderLaan and Judy Wylie.

Middlewood also praised the transcription work of Sandy DeRyke.

d. Heritage Room: No items were received for/added to the Heritage Room. Some concerns were expressed regarding the fact that the Heritage Room door is not locked and that people were actually eating inside the room. The Commission agreed that a letter signed by the members would be written to the City Commission regarding this matter.

4. Public Awareness

a. Brochure for historic points of interest ? The brochure has been published. Copies of the brochure were available at the City center, the Activity Center (Recreation Center) and the library.

b. The Kentwood History Presentation: Boisvenue has received the disc with all the pictures from Kate Prior. He is preparing two presentations: one for elementary school students and one for adults.

c. Family History/Album workshop (Your Page in History): Middlewood presented a report on the workshop. Even though the response was not huge, the workshop was very informative. Agostinelli arranged for refreshments. Also, Middlewood reported that she would be doing a course on family history.
5. Local Authors? Night: The date for the Local Authors? Night is September 30, a Saturday. It would not be a night, it would actually be from 10.00am ? 12.00 noon. The Story of Kentwood book would be on sale along with books from other Kentwood authors.

6. Contact with Henry Koetsier: Henry Koetsier has a great collection of stuff from the Paris Township/ City of Kentwood Fire Department. He has agreed to provide a tour of that collection to the Historic Preservation Commission by appointment. Staff offered to film the entire collection with a narrative from Mr. Koetsier.

7. VanderLaan Barn Preservation: Staff indicated that the owner of the property at 52nd Street and East Paris, where the barn currently stands, wanted to see if there is any interest on the part of the City to move and restore/preserve it. Since then, Dale Heyboer and the City have been looking at ways to pursue this matter. There are several issues involved including whether to move it intact or to disassemble, move and then reassemble; whether the power lines be a problem while moving it; how much the expenses would be; and where it would go. The commission decided to put together a sub-committee to oversee the developments on this matter. The members nominated for the subcommittee included Heyboer, Boisvenue and VanDyke.

Motion was made by VanDyke, supported by Boisvenue to confirm the subcommittee. Motion carried.

The general estimates for the expenses involved were mentioned by staff. Also, Middlewood indicated that there may be an opportunity to organize a fundraiser with the help of Kentwood Foundation. Heyboer mentioned that he has been in touch with an outfit based out of Rockford, MI named Barncats, who have experience in moving barns.

8. Other business/Comments:

Heyboer mentioned that he visited Discovery, the new school that the Commission wanted to be named Smith School, during an open house. He said that the library has two photographs prominently placed of Timothy and Phoebe Smith from the 1860s. The library has been named after them. It also has a brief history of the Smith School. Heyboer noticed some inaccuracies in that account of Smith School and brought them to the notice of the principal, Deborah McNally (Ph: (616) 871 1080). Ms. McNally indicated that she was very interested in history. Heyboer wanted to know whether the library could be renamed to ?Smith School Library? instead, and have some artifacts from the school exhibited there. Heyboer also mentioned that he told Ms McNally that arrangements could be made for the donation of a model of the original Smith School by his cousin and also a desk from that school owned by Jim Weaver (whose name was carved on the desk). However, Heyboer had a concern that when Ms McNally is no longer with Discovery, what would happen to the donations. Middlewood mentioned that if the donations are made to KHPC and then a lease arrangement can be made between KHPC and Discovery to exhibit the materials in the school premises; if and when the school decides to cease displaying those exhibits they get returned to the Heritage Room.

Middlewood indicated that fundraising for the VanderLaan Barn could be a new project. Agostinelli has experience doing fundraising and may be able to take a lead on that.

9. Next Meeting? The next meeting will be October 19, 2006, at 6:30 PM.

There being no further business before the Commission, a motion was made by VanDyke supported by Heyboer to adjourn.

The meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Debargha Sengupta,
Planning Staff.