May 22, 2019

2012 — A Year in Review ……

It seems impossible to believe that 2012 has already come and gone. The year turned out to be a very productive year, and I felt it appropriate to take a moment to reflect on all the good work we have accomplished to date. To me, it only seems like yesterday that we were discussing the uncertain fate of the Tourtellotte Trust—that was four years ago!

Here’s some of the other major items accomplished by the TMHSAA:
First, the Hilltopper newsletter is our 34th edition since re-establishing the TMHSAA in 2008. With the help of our members, the Hilltopper has enabled us to capture and make available, to our members and friends, hundreds of stories and pictures about those who came before us. With the assistance of Thompson Public Schools, the Hilltopper is available in the E-World for all to see… So keeping those stories and pictures coming!

Memorial Room Art Work loaded on Past Perfect.
We now have all the Memorial Room con-tents loaded on the archival program Past Perfect. Check it out at the Thompson Historical Society website under “Collections.” Thanks to Lis Burton for all the work she did on this project.

Skinners appraisal of the Memorial Room, art-work and artifacts.
Skinners Inc., one of the world’s leading art appraisers, and often featured on PBS’s Antique Roadshow, completed a several week project to help us further catalog, valuate, and more importantly, help us understand, the art work left to us by Dr. and Mrs. Tourtellotte. This is the first professional evaluation of the art work in 21 years! Thanks to Lis Burton for all her work.

The Tourtellotte’s and the Civil War
This book about Dr. Tourtellotte and his brother, Brevet General John E. Tourtellotte, has been published and is now available at the Thompson Historical Society or by ordering it at Amazon. Many of the stories we heard as students about Dr. Tourtellotte and his brother were all true! Left is a color rendition of a black and white photo of John E. Tourtellotte taken circa 1875. The photo was colorized recently by Mads Madsen of Jylland, Denmark for the Tourtellotte Civil War project. The original picture is stored in the TMHSAA archives. For the first time ever, thanks to new technology, we can see General Tourtellotte as he was 137 year’s ago.

Tourtellotte Board of Trustees.
The $2.5M Tourtellotte Trust continues to do well and has earned more than $300.000. These earned funds are used for the “care and maintenance” of the 1909 Tourtellotte building and the Tourtellotte Memorial Room. Since being re-established in 2009, the Trust has financed the cleaning of the building exterior, replacement of the sandstone lintel over the south-side basement window, the rebuilding and replacement of the front steps and railings, the replacement of the roof copper valleys and ridge caps, repair of the decorative fascia along the outside of the building, pointing and repairing the north and south air shaft towers, replacement of the front entrance landing, Skinner’s art evaluation, repair of the Ryscavage Auditorium, restoration of Mrs. Tourtellotte’s music books, along with many other items. Several pieces of art are scheduled to be restored over the next few months.

We held our third banquet in June, 2012. We will now be conducting the banquet every several years as many folks have, with the help of the banquets, reconnected. The TMHSAA Alumni Banquets and TMHSAA staff has also helped individual classes to reconnect and conduct their own class reunions. More and more Tigers are getting reconnected!

Hall of Fame
This year we added ten more athletes into the TMHS Athletic Hall of Fame, bringing the total to 30 inductees. This years class included: Daniel Chubbuck ’27, Ray Bates ’38, Rose Patterson ’41, Walter Modlisnewski ’44, Alan Chandler ’65, Marie Spinelli ’95, Coach Agnes Gahagan, Coach Tom Auclair, 1987 Boys’ Basketball Team. They joined 20 other outstanding TMHS athletes in this distinguished club.

Alex Kershaw—Best Selling Author and Renowned Historian
World famous WWII historian and New York Times Best Selling Author visited TMHS and gave the students a lecture about Andy Mamedoff, a WWII fighter pilot for Great Britain’s Royal Air Force. Andy was a former TMHS student who risked arrest, jail, and the loss of his U.S. citizenship to fight for the British during the war. Andy became the first American to ever become a British Flight leader. Above, a picture of Alex during his lecture at TMHS. The event was sponsored by the TMHSAA.

World War II Honorary TMHS Diplomas
The TMHSAA researched and with the help of the Thompson Board of Education, have awarded six TMHS diplomas to WWII veterans who enlisted or were drafted out of high school and were unable to complete high school and receive their diplomas. Of all our projects this seems to have been one of the most meaningful. We have four more veterans to contact and hopefully we can complete this long-overdue project this year.

Archives and Archive Room
Thanks to Gladys Tucker and Rita Rohr our historical artifacts and files continue to grow. Several projects have been completed in the room this year to include the restoration of Mrs. Tourtellotte’s prized music books. The books were in terrible shape and the leather covers disintegrating.  We also cataloged and reorganized Mrs. Tourtellotte’s extensive post card and calling card collections. One major project that needs completing soon, due to the continued deterioration of the collection, is the digital archiving of Mrs. Tourtellotte’s newspaper clip scrapbooks.