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Month: April 2022

Welcome to the new Paris Hill Community Website

Welcome fellow neighbors!

After 12+ years of publishing the On the Hill newsletter, Janet Brogan has decided it is time change things for the better.  We have a mailing list of over 200 residents, and others who love our village, and the newsletter has a been a valuable way to communicate, share stories and events. We believe moving to a dedicated website with more frequent, interactive and dynamic content will help us tell the history and happenings on our village more easily!

A huge thank you to Janet Brogan and all the newsletter contributors who supported the On The Hill newsletter for the last 12+ years!

While the format is changing from the print newsletter to this new website, Janet is staying onboard as an editor and coordinator for news and features going forward.

Should you still want a print copy, we will be sending monthly copies to those who request, as well as posting in the Historical Society display box for viewing each month. The Hamlin Memorial Library is also making available their computers and wifi for access to the site.

Introducing ParisHill.org

As part of the transition to this website we wanted to offer a central place for all Paris Hill organizations, events, notices, news, galleries, links and contacts. These sections make up the menu at the top of the page on mobile devices, or the left sidebar on desktops. When new features and news are posted, emails with links will go to the newsletter and facebook, and the ParisHill.org site will always have the latest information.

Organizations
Each organization has their own page with contact information, history, uses, nonprofits involved, events, news and links. You can view these pages in the Organizations menu, or directly at each link; Hamlin Memorial Library & Museum, Paris Hill Academy, Paris Hill Baptist Church, Paris Hill Country Club and the Paris Hill Historical Society.

Events
In addition to the new organization pages, we wanted a centralized event calendar to capture the many events that happen each summer (and some in winter!) We have over a dozen events this year, including the summer suppers returning, Hannibal Hamlin’s Birthday, the Music Festival, the (43rd annual) Founders Day and more! Details for each are in the events section of this site and updated regularly. We will also continue to promote the same events on our Paris Hill Residents group and the public Paris Hill Historic District facebook page for public events.

There are no events

Notices, Links and Galleries
In addition to events, we have notices – which are brief community notices such as power and water outages, MSAD 17 budget meetings, and other things our community may find of use. There is also a community links section which includes links to local resources like the Town of Paris resources and the Utility District. Also new, a Gallery section containing photo galleries from events and happenings around the hill. Expect to see a lot more galleries soon!

News and Features
We’re most excited to begin to have more frequent and visual News and Features content, starting with stories and spring updates from each organization. We’re also planning more frequent stories contributed by writers who are interested in documenting the history of the Paris Hill community! Some great feature ideas Janet Brogan suggested include the Mt Mica Mine, Cooper Springs, the Cornwall Preserve, the Lost Buildings of Paris Hill, and the Little buildings of Paris Hill. Please volunteer if interested in helping write or contribute to a feature!

We realize there may be some hiccups during this transition, so please stay engaged and feel free to reach out anytime with questions, issues or corrections. We’re planning a support session as part of our June summer dinner, if anyone has any questions or needs help navigating the site. We’re also delivering a printed “Community Invite for Summer 2022” to everyone in the coming week. We’ll also be using that to promote this new website and make sure after such a long winter (or two, or three!) new residents are aware of all the events, historical buildings and organizations that support them in our community.

Most importantly, we hope that you will continue to stay engaged with our community after we come out of a much longer than usual winter hibernation. See you out walking as the temperatures warm and yard work calls, and hopefully at some of the many events planned this summer!

History of the Paris Hill Academy

We know the Paris Hill Academy building as the venue for our summer dinners and seasonal events. However the building has a long history as both a school and an entertainment venue dating back to 1856!

After two unsuccessful attempts to establish a school on Paris Hill, the third try was successful.  Fifty-two citizens agreed to financially support the effort.  The lot was purchased from John R. Merrill in 1856 for $300.00.  His house was located at the front left-hand corner of what is now the front lawn of the Dieterich property.  The Merrill house was removed in 1918.   

The building was completed with the help of local residents and a celebration ball was held in the Spring of 1857.   The bell tower, however, remained empty until Edward L. Parris donated a rotary action bronze bell in 1892.

The opening enrollment was made up of twenty-eight boys and twenty-one girls.  Paris Hill Academy was a private school since public education had not been established at the time.  An academic period was eleven weeks.

An ad promoting the Academy stated that “Paris Hill Academy is situated in the beautiful and healthful village of Paris Hill.  It designs to afford the best of facilities to students preparing for College.  A Normal Class, which under the personal supervision of the Principal, holds weekly sessions, also offers superior advantages to young ladies and gentlemen preparing to teach.  The only requirement for admission is a good moral character”.

Maine law in the 1880’s was passed to require towns to provide free schools.  As time went on, private schools were less attractive and by 1900 enrollment at Paris Hill Academy had significantly declined.  The last class to graduate was in June 1901.

The building was used for the next 40 years as an entertainment venue hosting plays, concerts, dances and community socials.  In 1948 the former school room was renovated through the efforts of local residents, and then in 1957 it was a turned over the newly formed Paris Hill Village Corporation for the sum of $1.00.   That corporation dissolved and since 1966, the building is maintained by Paris Hill Community Club

Since then the iconic structure has been carefully maintained and restored through a series of community events and monthly summer suppers, and the occasional House and Garden Tours. Currently we have six suppers that serve the community:  two seasonal parties held in homes, and four summer suppers held in the building.  Donations from these events fund our operating expenses.  

We receive no public funds and rely on fundraising and donations to keep the building intact and doors open during the summer months. This loosely organized group of neighbors, with an elected  Board of Directors and Trustees, has been responsible since 1966  for all restoration and maintenance.

The building is also available to rent by calling President Chuck Frost at 207 743-8458 or via the contact page

Thanks to MaineMemory.net for the playbill images and Heirlooms Reunited for the 1866 Academy Catalogue.

Paris Hill Commemorative Wooden Eggs

The first commemorative Paris Hill Egg was a huge success as a fundraiser this year. Linda has sold all but a dozen of the “Eggs” out of the 200 eggs she purchased.

If anyone has yet to purchase an egg and would like to, please contact Linda Richardson as soon as possible. The interest was phenomenal and many are awaiting next year’s egg with a different Paris Hill building and  different color to add to your collection. The addition of Jeff’s handmade cherry stand really made a nice presentation for the egg to be displayed.

Linda and everyone involved want to extend a huge Thank You to  everyone that purchased an “Egg” and gave generously to The Friends of First Baptist Church  of Paris Maine for their steeple repair.

(Provided by Linda Richardson)

Paris Hill Historical Society Spring 2022 Updates

The Paris Hill Historical Society began using its present building on 48 Tremont Street in 1993. Edwine Guyer was instrumental in securing the location with the land deeded by the Paris Hill Utility District. It was built by students from the Oxford Hills Vocational Technical School with plans to resemble a one room schoolhouse designed by A.K.(Alex) Alexander. The need for the building was critical since the society’s beginnings in 1967. The group had collected many items of historical interest from the area and needed a repository for them. Prior to that the society met in members’ homes, upstairs in the Country Club, in the Academy (now the Community Club), the Albion K. Parris Law Office as well as in the vestry of the First Baptist Church.


This summer we hope residents will take an interest and stop by to see what we have to offer. Every year we change what is in our display cases. This year we are thinking of putting together an exhibit on The Women of Paris Hill. If you have items (photos, diaries, journals, etc) on an interesting Paris Hill woman we would love to share them in the display. A walking tour of Paris Hill was another idea for this summer. Newer residents may not be aware that we have files on many of the houses, past residents of Paris Hill and interesting artifacts not on display in the other public buildings of the town. One of the projects that visitors to the village comment on is how much they enjoy the historical signs on many of the homes in town. This is just one of the projects that the society sponsored to help in its mission to preserve and promote the rich history of Paris Hill.


We hope to be open on Thursday afternoons throughout the summer and are willing to open the building on request. We have a loyal group of supporters who continued to support us during the last two years. Our dues have been kept at just $30 a year because of their generosity. Presently, the two officers and three trustees try to continue the work of the society to include the maintenance of the building and grounds. Beside our need for more residents who are willing to consider joining us on the board as a trustee, we need a larger venue to host the programs that will keep the history of Paris Hill real, relevant and relational for our community. Please give us a contact us or stop by this summer if you wish to join and are not on our mailing list

(Provided by Nancy Schlanser)

Upcoming Events

There are no events

Country Club Spring 2022 Updates

As spring arrives, we look forward to a great season at the Paris Hill Country Club. The course has survived the winter and Chris Johnson will have it in pristine condition for all to enjoy. Along with golf we will again have live entertainment, food and drinks on the beautiful deck with a gorgeous view of the course.  The Full Pour Bar & Grill will be serving again this year. The club will be hosting various tournaments, special nights for entertainment, and of course the Paris Hill Music Festival.  There is plenty of fun for both golfers and non-golfers alike and we continue to look for more ways to bring everyone together and support the club. We are working to increase membership from the current 180 members to 230 over the next few years. The cost of an individual membership is $425. Check our website for other membership options and updated tournament schedule.

Paris Hill is one of the oldest golf courses in Maine, established in 1899 and the clubhouse purchased in 1912 with the first year of operation at the current location in 1913. The Country Club is a true gem for Paris Hill residents and surrounding communities. Greens fees provide revenue for the club and give golfers an opportunity to play at our picturesque and challenging course. The club is also available for private functions both large and small. Board members are enthusiastic and work hard for the benefit of the club and we continue to look for ways to increase revenue to sustain a high quality golf course and café. Chris keeps the course in great condition. Nancy Cushman has been a tremendous help to the board.

I appreciate the opportunity to serve as president of the board. My fellow board members are a tremendous resource. We have a great group and we are looking forward to a fun season.  My husband, Terry Downes, and I bought our home on Tremont Street nearly seven years ago. While I still teach law part-time, which prevents us from being there as much as we’d like, we realized from the beginning that it is a wonderful place, friendly neighbors and a real sense of community. The incredible bonus is a beautiful golf course we can stroll to. There is so much going on and we enjoy it year round. You’ll see me walking the loop and playing golf often.  Let’s have a fun, safe summer.   

(Provided By Anne Downes)

Upcoming Events

There are no events

Friends of First Baptist Church of Paris Spring 2022 Updates

In August 2020 Friends of First Baptist Church of Paris, Maine took ownership of the First Baptist Church building and the surrounding Common. It was an historic conveyance of property. Our mission is to preserve the beautiful church and green as community spaces protected from sale or development. We have a preservation easement and restrictive covenants that will help us protect and preserve this remarkable property in the heart of Paris Hill.

We invite you to support us in our endeavor. As stewards of these historic spaces, we have been working hard to keep the church, dating from 1838, in fine condition. But, we must raise every dollar for the annual maintenance, operations and upkeep of the building and grounds. In the near future this will include, for example, some challenging work on the steeple, which holds the bell cast in 1821 by Paul Revere’s son, Joseph Warren Revere.

Throughout the year there are wonderful community events that we organize or support, such as Founders Day (organized by the Hamlin Memorial Library) and the Hannibal Hamlin Birthday Celebration (sponsored by us, with significant support from local businesses.) In addition, there may be other events, such as concerts on the Common or at the church. These events help us celebrate the history of Paris Hill and this neighborhood we call home.

(Provided by Karen Kothe)

Upcoming Events

There are no events

Hamlin Memorial Library and Museum Spring 2022 Update

Library
The Hamlin Memorial Library is located in historic Oxford County Jail. The jail was constructed in 1822 (this year is its 200 anniversary!), and has been a library and museum since 1902. We are indeed a historic building and have been able to maintain the building which is in good condition.

The purpose of our organization is to provide free use of library materials to residents of Paris Hill and the rest of the town of Paris, as well as to provide a local history collection in our museum both for local perusal and research as well as attracting visitors from everywhere.

We receive a small annual appropriation from the town of Paris, but the majority of our funds are raised by the organization. The vast majority of fundraising comes from our Founder’s Day event in July. We do not charge dues of any kind to be a member of the library.

(Provided by Jenn Lewis, Librarian)

Book Club
Started in 2017, the Hamlin Library Book Club has grown from just a couple of active members to a group of about 10 regular readers.  We welcome summer readers every year to join us.  We read a book a month, so for the past five years we have read and discussed about 60 books.  For May we are reading Finding Freedom by Erin French, the owner of The Lost Kitchen in Freedom, Maine.  We select our own books as a group and get guidance from Librarian Jenn Lewis who secures copies on interlibrary loan.  Contact the Library for how to join us.  

(Provided by Janet Brogan)

Museum
The Hamlin Museum is prepping up for summer visitors. We have been in the process of restoring our oil paintings and portraits — currently, the 1901 painting by Frederick Dana Marsh, Lady with Peacock, is at the conservatory and expected back in several months. Our current rotating exhibit is an original copy of the March 12, 1770 issue of the Boston Gazette, one of the few newspapers that depicted the events of the Boston Massacre in detail. Midsummer, the exhibit will be changing over to feature the graves of the Hillside Cemetery on Paris Hill. 

(Provided by Brandan Roberts)

Upcoming Events

There are no events