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Author: jon


Dear Friends, Neighbors and the Paris Hill Community: 

As we all come together in the Christmas spirit and celebrate another beautiful year on  Paris Hill, we all have wonderful memories for which to be thankful. However, this has  been and will continue to be a difficult year and winter for so many families in our area.  There will be so many families wondering how to put food on their tables, buy warm clothes for their children and heat their homes. So in the true meaning of Christmas,  perhaps we can all dig a little deeper and offer comfort to those families who ask for so  little but need the very basics of a hot meal, warm clothing, and oil for their furnace.  

I’ve been busy creating the “2023 Hunger Trees” from a newly found source of  cardboard cones. All proceeds from the sale of the “2023 Hunger Trees” will benefit the  food pantry sponsored by and located at Stephen’s Memorial Hospital in conjunction  with Maine Health and the Good Shepherd Food Pantry. The director of the Stephen’s  Food Pantry, Carl Costanzi, assured me that the donations will go directly to purchasing  needed items for residents of our local communities. Mr. Costanzi was very grateful for this donation effort on behalf of the Paris Hill community.  

The Hunger Trees will be available at Becky and Peter Roy’s Christmas Tree farm or by  emailing Linda Richardson at There is only one size tree this  year and they are $20.00. Supplies are limited. If you would like to make a donation and  not receive a tree that is also possible. My goal is a $500.00 donation to the Stephen’s  Memorial Food Pantry. Make checks payable to: Stephen’s Memorial Hospital and write  Food Pantry on the note line. Together a few can feed many.  

My heart breaks when I think of ‘what could’ be or ‘should be’ and ‘what is’ for so many  families trying to provide for their children. Let’s make the true meaning of Christmas  shine in our community.  

My Christmas Blessings to all: 

Linda Richardson

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are a community of neighbors, friends, families,   children, volunteers, business men and women, entrepreneurs, artists, writers and retirees…did I leave anyone out. However,  for as long as I can remember, Paris Hill has always had a unique way of bringing people together. Whether old or new to the area, in my case very old having grown up on the Hill and my ancestral history, everyone seems to find their niche and settles into the Hill’s peaceful lifestyle.

Other than Native Americans, Paris Hill was founded by outsiders who came from a Massachusetts colony. Throughout the years, decades and centuries ‘settlers’ have traveled here and made Paris Hill their home. Many of the original buildings remain although some have been repurposed from county municipal buildings into generational family homes. Some have been lost to fire or decay and others have sprung up out of the ashes. Families and names have come and gone but a true community spirit remains. A handful of original buildings and homes have  survived to remind us of those who came before and insure that generations to come will enjoy the peace and tranquility of this exceptional historic village. 

This past winter we lost our 200 year old pasture pine that graced our back field. I’ve seen photographs of it when it was slightly more than a sapling. I would gaze upon it from my kitchen window and envision the memories of the past two hundred years held in its branches. It survived two house fires on the corner lot of Lincoln and Paris Hill roads as well as many severe blizzards,  summer droughts, the occasional tornado and the scourge of the white pine weevil infestation. A testament to the survival of this centuries old beautiful village we all call home. Many of us have left the confines of this village looking to embark on our life’s journey only to return ‘home’ to live out our days enjoying the cherished peacefulness of Paris Hill. 

We go out of our way to welcome newcomers, rekindle old friendships, mend differences, embrace challenges and support our community. We take care of one another, running errands for  an elderly neighbor, being quick to lend a helping hand, shovel snow, mow a lawn, walk a dog or just watch a neighbors house while they are away. But most of all we are dedicated to preserving this village we call home. 

We come together for community dinners, holiday breakfasts, fairs, entertainment and celebrations of all kinds. We lower the flag on the Common when a neighbor passes away and welcome the births of the next generation. Everyone shares their hidden talents and their hopes for a bright future we can all appreciate. 

Some of us are walkers, runners, bikers and some of us are just porch sitters. We wave, chat, engage, share a story, offer an invitation and sometimes just try to figure out who walked past our house. Seems many ‘outsiders’ like to partake of our serene environment. People feel safe walking around the Hill and enjoy the beauty at every turn: the old houses, gardens, mountains, sunsets and occasional rainbows. 

Late at night I fall asleep to the solemn ring of the church bell and train whistle in the distance. It’s a lullaby I’ve experienced most of my life and has washed over this community for centuries. 

So as you go about your day and prepare for the holidays take time to enjoy the peacefulness that surrounds you and be mindful of the treasures God has bestowed on our small community. As fall transitions into winter yet again, we accept the falling leaves, the inevitable snowstorms, piercing cold, bare landscape and brisk moonlit nights. We huddle in our homes by the fire and relive summer’s memories. Some neighbors have closed up their summer homes and  left for warmer temperatures. The rest of us hunker down and count our blessings by the hearth with family and friends. 

‘HAPPY THANKSGIVING’ to all my friends and neighbors who help make this community so very special. And a very special thank you to all of you who support my fundraising projects throughout the year.

Linda Richardson

2024 Commemorative Paris Hill Egg!

Since the ‘Annual Commemorative Paris Hill Egg’ fundraiser has become so popular the ‘2024’ egg, third in the series, has been hatched early and is now available for purchase. They will  make great stocking stuffers, hostess gifts or a holiday gift for those difficult to buy for on your  list. The eggs are now being shipped to collectors coast to coast and internationally.  

The ‘2024’ egg features the Old Oxford County Jail which now serves as the Hamlin Memorial  Library and Museum on Paris Hill. The image depicts the jail as it appeared in 1822. The Old Oxford County Jail has survived many architectural transformations over the years but still retains the original granite blocks quarried in Oxford and dragged up Paris Hill over frozen ground in the winter. The iron bars, doors and strappings are original to the jail. The second  floor is dedicated to a collection of Paris Hill historical artifacts and the first floor serves as a  public library.  

One hundred percent of the money raised by the sale of this year’s eggs and handmade cherry  stands will support yet another major historical restoration project slated for the Paris Hill  Academy. Last year’s Egg helped finance the new Academy roof. Now that the roof of the  building is secure restoration can begin on the inside of the building. The leaking roof caused  damage to the second floor ceiling, walls and stage requiring ceiling repair, new drywall and paint. These repairs, while necessary, will also showcase the privately funded restoration of the  circa 1892 Grand Drape adorning the stage, a truly historical masterpiece.  

Wells Wood Turning & Finishing, located in Buckfield, manufacturer of the White House Easter  Eggs is the same company that makes the Paris Hill eggs for this fundraiser. It’s an added  bonus to purchase the eggs locally and support a local business.  

For a donation of $10.00 to the non-profit organization, ‘Paris Hill Community Club’, you will  be presented with the 2024 “Paris Hill Egg”, the third egg in the collectible series. Handmade wooden egg stands are available for $2.00 to showcase your commemorative egg. Eggs and stands can be purchased at Speedway Inc in Oxford.

Place your orders early so the eggs can be delivered before  Christmas.  

There are still 59 2023 eggs left – and when sold will benefit the Paris Cape Historical Society as they continue to protect the many Paris Hill artifacts in their possession. Please visit the Paris Cape Historical Society at 77 High Street in South Paris. You will be amazed at their collections and displays. 

I want to thank everyone who has purchased eggs in the past. I also encourage those of you who haven’t purchased eggs to consider this small donation as the sale of each egg/stand combined makes a huge financial impact on the restoration of our beautiful village. If all 250 eggs and stands are sold the donation reaches a total of $3000.00

Last years eggs and ‘All Things Paris Hill T-Shirts’ combined provided a community donation of $3865.00 for the Academy roof project. I personally cover the $900.00 purchase of the eggs as my donation to the fundraiser. 

I look forward to personally delivering your eggs locally and mailing any out of state eggs in time for Christmas.  ‘All Things Paris Hill’ t-shirts are always available for purchase at $15.00 each. Medium/Large/Extra-large always available in Coral/Yellow/ Light Gray. 

To purchase a 2023 egg or T-Shirt, please reach out to Linda at – and stay tuned for the 2024 egg launch next week!

And the Paris Hill Community would like to express our thanks to Linda for her gracious efforts and her egg-cellent ideas to raise funds for the historic buildings on Paris Hill!

Silver Paris, Maine Bicentennial Commemorative Coins Available!

An anonymous donor entrusted me with 24 all silver commemorative coins struck in celebration of the 200th Paris, Maine bicentennial in 1993.

Each coin depicts the original First Baptist Church/Meetinghouse of Paris engraved on one side and the Billings Mill on the other side. They are in mint condition and presented in a blue velvet case. Each coin is individually numbered and encased in a protective covering. These are the last of the coins available to the public.

The coins are $25.00 each and one hundred percent of the funds raised will benefit the ‘Paris Hill Historical Society’ and the ‘Paris Cape Historical Society’ to help maintain the historical artifacts of our area.

If you are interested in purchasing a commemorative coin please contact Linda Richardson at The coins are available until October 1st when they will be returned to the donor. We continue to entertain unique ways to raise funds for our non-profits and give our community a reminder of their support.

The 1892 Grand Drape Stage Curtain Rises

On Thursday and Friday (June 8 and 9) Conservationists from Curtains without Borders in Vermont arrived to repair and protect our Gand Drape painted by CA Henry an itinerant painter in 1892.  Our drape is perhaps one of Henry’s oldest in the Northeast.

This project was first investigated many years ago by Erny Swanson who contacted Christine Hadsel, Director.  Linda Richardson picked up the project when we needed to take the curtain down to repair the upstairs walls.  

In just two days the curtain was cleaned, repaired and rehung on the new structure built by MIke Brogan and his crew. (Peter Roy, Jeff Richardson,Chris Losso, John Jermyn, Mike Black). Volunteers Janet Brogan and Rosemary Losso assisted in the cleaning, and repair.  Other volunteers who helped were:  Jan Thomson who hosted the visitors in her home, Cheryl Jermyn and Linda Richardson.

The process was fascinating and tedious as new material was carefully added to the perimeter of the 130 year old canvas. Visible holes in the painting were carefully repaired from the back. The Conservator painted the edges that would show.  It took a crew of six to smooth out the creases and roll up the drape as it was painted. Note that the painting itself was not repainted.   Conservation never covers up original artwork.  

Hanging this 18 footlong rolled drape was a bit of a challenge on a stage that was neither level nor plumb.   But under Christine’s guidance, we succeeded in getting it done.  It will remain down for the summer to let the paint cure, and the creases relax.  When funding is secured, stage and ceiling work will begin and the curtain will be taken down and stored again.

The stage “ears” which were planned to be repainted are in very rough shape. Christine determined they could not be done at this time.  She suggested that local painters do the chore.  

This has long been a hoped for project.  Linda Richardson and MIke Brogan were integral in getting it done.  Thanks to everyone who participated. 

Join us on July 1st at the Community BBQ for the official unveiling of the curtain!

Statewide Election coming up – June 13

We hope to get Paris Hill residents to vote in the upcoming statewide Elections scheduled for June 13. Paris has two openings for Select Board positions on that ballot. Residents can begin voting absentee starting May 15.   

Residents should attend the Candidate Night on May 18 and voice any concerns they have about town business.   Also voters should plan to attend the Town Meeting on June 20.

Meet the Candidates – May 18 6:30PM

Coming up on Thursday May 18th at 6:30PM is a meet the candidates event for the election next month. Residents are encouraged to come and voice any concerns they have about town business. Also voters should plan to attend the Town Meeting on June 20.

Hamlin Library Book Club

Founded in 2016, by a group of village readers, this group has read nearly 70 books.  Librarian Jenn Lewis has been instrumental in guiding our choices and then getting interlibrary loans for the members.   She keeps track of what we read, and who is hosting each month.  Recently we asked her if she had a record of books that we have read, and within days we all had a list detailing our choices since 2016.  She is going to create a poster for the library to show our selections.  It’s a comprehensive and impressive list. 

We began meeting in the library but quickly outgrew the small accommodations.   We now meet in member homes, but miss the charm of meeting amidst rows of books with Jenn quietly participating from her desk. 

We love all kinds of writers and all kinds of topics:  from science fiction, romance, classics and literary prize winners to fantasy, social commentary and even a bit of politics now and then.     Perhaps our favorite book club meeting (to date) has to be Frances Mayes’ Under the Tuscan Sun.  We met at Janet Brogan’s for a pot luck lunch where everyone made a recipe from the book.   We drank wine and ate delicious Italian fare for a wonderful couple of hours discussing marriage, family, food and travel.   And Jenn was the guest of honor.  

We meet on the first Thursday of each month, and new members are welcome.  Our core group of 6-8 year round residents grows in the summer as residents and old friends return to Paris Hill.   Sign up with Jenn if you are interested.

Remaining books for 2023

May 4:  Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

June 6:  The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

July 6:  The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

Aug 3:  This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

Sept 7:  Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Oct 5:  The Second Mrs Astor: A Heartbreaking Novel of the Titanic by Shana Abe

Nov 2:  The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Dec 7:  If I Live Til Morning by Jean Muenchrat

Community Club Academy Spring 2023 cleanup

Neighbors showed up bright and early on Saturday, May 6 to tidy up The Academy in preparation for summer events and to assess any problems that may be addressed this summer.

Neighbors participating were:  MIke and Janet Brogan,  Jon Thompson, and Jan Thompson, Jeff and Linda Richardson, Peter Roy, John Thurston and new neighbor (in the Old House)  Mark Eckels.  Rosemary Losso and Adrienne Cote came late and spent some time looking at curtain needs for the stage.

Mike and Linda scraped and painted the lower walls upstairs, Janet, Peter and Jeff cleaned up the stage and removed items that were not needed.  Jon and Jan cleaned the kitchen, the bathrooms and washed the downstairs windows.  Jeff, Peter and Jon removed the old stove.  Jeff, Peter, Jon and Mike took the stage Grand Drape downstairs via the back stairs in preparation for the restoration scheduled for June 8.    John Thurston and Mark Eckels were busy doing yard cleanup.  Peter and Jeff made a dump run at the end of the morning.  We were all done by 10 am.    Well done everyone.

In addition, on Tuesday, May  2, MIke Brogan, Jeff Richardson and Peter Roy rebuilt the support for the Grand Drape.    This was no easy task in an old building – but they managed to craft a system that will secure the drape in place.