Much Good News
The Jessee Historical Foundation's ("JHF") first project has been completed. The Jessee's Mill historical marker hit the dirt in November. The marker was finalized in June. The Virginia Department of Historic Resources ("DHR") approved a "private" historical marker. As you know, a state marker was not possible as the mill was deemed to be of "local significance" and not of "state or national significance".
We all should personally thank some Jessees who worked with me on this project, Directors Tip, Robert, Jim, Cecil, Carolyn, Carl, and Vice-President Laura Thomas, Dorothy and Eleanor Jones, Membership Secretary Mary Akers, Treasurer Norma McHone, Secretary Helen Reedy, Counsel Hank Davis and Bristol Sign. Also thank the ones who contributed over $1,000 at the 2000 picnic. The final cost was $2,200.
The JHF's second project was to make Jessee's Mill a state and national historic site. My application is to be approved December 1st by Virginia and in March by the U.S. Department of Interior. Yes! Our appreciation goes to the landowner, Mr. Sherman Wallace, for helping in every way possible. These formal historic site designations will make it much easier to raise money from governments, foundations and individuals for the restoration of the mill. It is almost certain that a legal entiety will have to be formed with 'non-profit' or 'charitable' status to hold the mill and to raise money and restore the mill. It could/should be an adjunct legal entiety of the JHF and we would still have 'control'. A rough estimate of the cost could be more than $500,000.
Update: From the Lebanon News, December 15, 2004: Jessee's Mill Named To Virginia Landmarks Register See article below for details.
Elections for the JHF will be at the June reunion. Paid membership is required to be able to vote or seek election. Officer terms are currently four years. Paper ballots will be used. Consecutive terms for officers and directors are allowed. An observation: we might want to put into the by-laws two year terms, instead of four year terms, which would allow movement among the offices, keep the organization more viable and fresh, prevent wearing-out those serving, and enable more members to give of their talents. Officers to be elected are: President, Vice-President, Membership-Secretary, Secretary, Treasurer, Counsel and up to 19 Directors. JHF by-laws state that the Board of Directors is limited to 25 persons which includes the officers.
The Jessee Cookbook is sold-out! Many thanks to Mary Akers for initiating and managing this project and to Director Karen Hall for putting the recipes into publishable form.
I think the JHF treasury now holds over $10,000 thanks largely to our membership dues and to the paintings donated by Life Member and Director Irene Jessee Perry of Richmond. Irene has given so much of her time and gifts.
The JHF History Day will be at the Russell County library in Lebanon. The JHF Picnic will be at the Coomes Center in east Abingdon. Both the third weekend in June.These events will be about the same, so come and help out a bit, especially with the membership renewals and keeping track of everyone.
This has been an overview of the JHF. There is much opportunity for members to work on whatever project they want to, so talk to others about it. We have no paid staff and we are a volunteer orgaization. I hope that all of you are doing well and hope to see you before too long.
Joseph Jessee Charter President 2001-2005Jessee Historical Foundation