Hello, everyone.  Welcome to 2018.  Did you have a good Christmas and
New Year?  I hope everyone is surviving our cold winter without too
much difficulty but I know some of us are not escaping the colds and
flu.  I know of one member who has been in the hospital with
pneumonia. Are there others?  "Get Well Quick" to everyone who is
suffering.  Let's look forward to spring, better weather, and better
health!

The Christmas Show was a success again this year and we added some
much needed money to the society's bank account.  The mansion looked
beautiful, the Red Barn Kitchen served great food and drinks, and the
Hand Made Treasures Store in the Ruyle Building served customers
again.  Parking was no problem thanks to the dry weather.

The first item on today's agenda is to promote our annual meeting.
The meeting will be held on Monday, March 19, at the Gillespie Civic
Center.  The doors will open at 6 PM and the meal will be at 6:30 PM.
Following the meal we'll have a short business meeting, then a
presentation by historian Tom Emery on Illinois history.  2018 is the
200th anniversary of Illinois' statehood.  Mr. Emery will also have
his recent book "The History of Illinois" available for sale.  This is
a 220 page, soft cover, fully documented and illustrated book.  We are
lucky to have Betty Vannucci catering our event again this year.  The
menu will include tortellini, turkey, roast beef, mashed potatoes,
gravy, green beans, corn, salad, jello, and cake.  The cost is $10.00
per person.  Please make reservations with Dan Hauter by March 7 so we
can give Betty a head count early enough that she can plan how much
food to prepare.  Payment can be made in advance or at the door. Dan's
phone number is 217-710-8056, e-mail is dhauter45@gmail.com, and
address is 4 Crestwood Drive in Carlinville.  The annual meeting is
open to the public so please invite friends, neighbors, and family.

Pat Sims has resigned from the Board and Jim Indelicato has expressed
his desire to be replaced on the Board.  So we have vacancies to fill.
If you'd like to serve please contact President Bill Egelhoff.

The dates for the Spring Festival are May 26 & 27.  The Macoupin
Agricultural Antique Association will be featuring Allis Chalmers and
Simplicity lawn and garden equipment and a toy show in the Hays
Building.

The dates for the Fall Festival are September 15 & 16.  The MAAA will
feature full size Allis Chalmers tractors and equipment.  As always,
all sizes and brands of tractors and implements are welcome at both
shows.  The tractor parade will be at 2 PM on Saturday and Sunday
during both shows.

Nancy Mihalek has taken over the vendor information and reservation
job.  Please spread the word to contact Nancy at 217-556-4853, e-mail
nancymihalek@yahoo.com, or at 804 East Main Street in Carlinville.

The Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association will host a Hammer In on
November 3 from 9 AM to 4 PM.  This is an opportunity to hang out with
the blacksmiths, watch a demonstration, participate in an auction, and
have some food and drink.  Feel free to bring your children to watch
and learn about blacksmithing.  Forges are available to rent if you'd
like to try your hand at blacksmithing.  Safety is the priority.

The Christmas Show will be December 7, 8, and 9.  It's not too early
to plan to decorate a room in the mansion.  We'll also need help
decorating the outside.

The Board is looking for someone to take charge of the Monday night
meetings that are held the first Monday of each month starting in
April and ending with November.  These meetings are held at 7 PM,
typically in the Ruyle Building and are open to the public.  We have
had meetings in the Moffett's wonderful museum in rural Modesto and
Pleasant Hill Village in Girard.  Meetings at other places in the
county would be a good idea.  This is a county wide organization.  The
job includes choosing topics, finding speakers, and providing
refreshments.  If interested please contact any board member.

The Board created a Finance Committee consisting of Treasurer Dave
Hockett, Jeff Link, Ralph Scheldt, and Dan Hauter.  The committee has
been meeting on Wednesday mornings in the Ruyle Building with the goal
of getting a better handle on the historical society's finances.
We're reviewing bills, trying to anticipate upcoming expenditures and
income, and budgeting the society's money.  We do plan to be miserly
with the society's money.

Bill Egelhoff, Wally Pocklington, and Dave Hockett are working on
putting a new ceiling in the office in the mansion.  As you know, the
mansion requires continuous maintenance to preserve it.  Soon the
grass will start to grow again and Charlie Fritz, Jim Foster, and Dave
Maberry will be busy picking up limbs, preparing the mowers, and
mowing the acres of grass.  Since we've had very little snow and ice
the "regulars" have continued to come out on Wednesdays to work on
various projects.  Barb McCormick, Fannie Pocklington, Janelle Ramey,
and Deb Wiles have been working on taking down and putting away all
the decorations inside the mansion.  And cleaning!  Can't forget the
hours they spend cleaning and organizing records.  The blacksmith crew
is present every Wednesday and there's usually coffee and donuts in
the meeting room in the shop.  The sawmill crew has been able to work
on some projects.  Paul Mihalek has built a sample of replacement trim
to use to replace some of the rotten trim on the mansion.  Libby
Klocke, Carolyn Bettis, and Mary Schmedeke have been keeping the
geneology library going.  Jeff Link, Ralph Scheldt, and Dave McKee
have been minding the Red Barn Kitchen.  Pat Sims resigned from the
Board so Ralph Scheldt and Dan Hauter will be handling publicity.  Bob
Huyear is already seeking donations of seed corn, fertilizer, and
herbicide for the 2018 crop.  Jerel and Marilyn Loveless continue to
collect items for the Treasures Market and are working on utilizing
the west end of the old barn behind the rent house for storage.  This
includes cleaning up, sorting, and getting rid of the decades of junk
stored in the old barn and doing some carpentry.  Anyone interested in
helping with any of the above projects is invited to come on out on
Wednesdays.  We can always use some extra help!  We have indoor jobs,
outdoor jobs, and jobs that can be done from home.

Please remember to refer anyone interested in scheduling a wedding or
house tour to Barb McCormick.  Anyone interested in scheduling an
event in the Ruyle Building should be referred to Libby Klocke.  Dave
Jokisch is in charge of the society's website.  The website's address
is www.mchssociety.org.  The society also has a Facebook page.  Beanie
Schmidt is the editor of our newsletter.  Our e-mail address is
mchsgenealogy@yahoo.com.  And our phone number is 217-854-2850.

I hope to see as many people as possible at the annual meeting.
Remember that this is your organization.  Let's work to keep it going!

Dan Hauter, Past President.