Annual Membership Meeting 2018

We had a very successful Annual Membership Meeting this evening and we’d like to thank everyone who participated, attended, and made it a nice event.

Our meeting kicked off with our Secretary, Carol Rice, giving the minutes from our 2017 meeting, followed by our Treasurer, Dave Baker, giving the financial and building report.

We spoke about ways for members to become involved and a variety of upcoming events and projects, and then it was time for our Vice President, Nancy Schlanser, to talk about our extensive collection of Peg Doore information and artifacts.

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Next, Trustee Julie DeMont gave a detailed explanation and history of the artifacts we have displayed relative to Gertrude Brinkle’s art and the life and legacy of Emily Bissell, as well as explaining the beautiful quilted piece she herself made and that is also on loan to us for the summer.

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Our primary presentation for the evening was given by Holly Bancroft Brown, who grew up on Paris Hill and lives here still, having raised her own family here.  Holly’s grandmother, Florence Hastings, lived well past her 100th birthday and was an incredibly gifted artist and maker.  Holly brought breathtaking examples of her work, including quilts, hooked and braided rugs, tole painted pieces, and some reverse painted glass work.  Holly’s presentation was filled with poignant remembrances of her grandmother and her work, historical highlights many of us didn’t know, and lots of funny anecdotes that kept everyone laughing.  Holly’s mother, Mary Alice Bancroft, was also with us, making the connection to family and history even better.   It should be mentioned that Holly is very creative herself, a gifted sewer, quilter, and interior designer.

Here are some pictures from Holly’s presentation, with captions.

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Holly begins her talk to a completely engaged audience.
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This Florence Hastings quilt is absolutely breathtaking. It is very large, all hand quilted, and THEN cross-stitched. The number of hours of fine handwork in this quilt is incalculable.
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Two more Florence Hastings quilts. Hand quilted. Tiny stitches.
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Holly Brown and her mother, Mary Alice Bancroft, both of Paris Hill, hold this phenomenal vintage Florence Hastings hooked rug. This rug is hooked on burlap and bound with twill tape. It is in exceptional condition.
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Carol Rice converses with Mary Alice Bancroft about this Florence Hastings rug which is hooked in the center and braided around the wide edge. Holly explained that her grandmother did exacting “butting” on her braided rugs (our braiding audience will know and appreciate what this means) for a completely flat and “seamless” finished rug.
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Holly’s picture of her grandmother, Florence Hastings, at about 99 years of age. Holly said her grandmother limited herself to one cup of coffee and one cookie per say, however the coffee cup was as big as her head and the cookie was as large as a cookie tray. 🙂

Overall, it was a great evening and again, our sincere thanks to everyone who attended.  We also are getting a very good response to our call for membership and donations, and we sold the first of our Peg Doore notecards, a sampling of which is below.  We have twelve designs in all. They are 6 for $12 or 12 for $20.

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We will be open again next Thursday, July 5th, from 1-4 PM if you’d like to purchase a set of your own or just see our summer exhibits.

For our membership application and schedule of events, click HERE.

Thanks for reading and have a great July 4th holiday!

Opening Day (6/14/18) & Calendar of Events, 2018!

Image may contain: tree, sky, grass, outdoor and natureCome see us, Thursday, June 14th from 1 to 4 PM for our opening day of the summer season.  We have just completed putting our display cases together for our summer theme, “Arts, Crafts, and Collections” and our docents are ready to share their knowledge and our new exhibits with you.

Featured in the large curved display case is the graphic art, screen printing, and weaving of former Paris Hill resident, Peg Doore.  These items range from note cards to table accessories to aprons and bags.  Many on the Hill have Peg Doore art in their collection of housewares, and vintage Peg Doore items can be found for sale to collectors on eBay, Etsy, and other vintage and antique venues still. Along with the examples of her work we also have a notebook for your perusal with information about the artist, her life, and pictures of her with her creations and at the loom.   Should you fall in love with any of her botanical or architectural designs, we have a treat for you…

Available at the Historical Society and also at Founders’ Day this year will be sets of reproduction Peg Doore designed note cards, made by special permission.  We have twelve designs total which we have broken in to two six-card collections for you to choose from, or buy both for an even better price.   Come in and see these beautiful cards, perfect for all occasions.   We also have Peg Doore gift wrap, featuring the historic homes and public buildings on Paris Hill, which offers you a unique way to wrap presents this year!  NOTE:  If you are far away and can not purchase note cards in person, please reach out to us at parishillhistoricalsociety@gmail.com for more information on how we can help you. 

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Example of a Peg Doore design, this one on a linen tea towel.

To go with our July 17th talk by Dr. Martha McNamara on Pedro Tovookan Parris, we have on display a photographic print of Pedro’s mural of his journey from Rio de Janeiro to Paris Hill and also a copy of a framed photograph of him.  This will help you put a face with his name and story prior to our program.

Also on display this year is some beautiful art and pithy poetry by Gertrude Brinkle and a display on her contemporary, Emily Bissell, who introduced the Christmas Seals program in the United States and who was a summer resident of Paris Hill.  We also have a gorgeous small quilt by Gertrude Brinkle’s great-niece, our trustee and past president Julie Demont, and a small hooked rug by Beth Miller who lives in the Parris House.

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Emily Bissell and some of her Christmas Seals, photo by the American Lung Association website

Here is our calendar of events for 2018:

 

Every Thursday 1 – 4 PM OPEN at our building on Tremont Street.

June 28th – Annual Membership Meeting,  7 PM, 48 Tremont Street: We will talk about the season, enjoy refreshments, and are also excited to announce that we will have a short presentation by lifelong Paris Hill resident Holly Brown about her own creative work and that of her grandmother, Florence Hastings, whose work has also been featured at the Bethel Historical Society.  We’ll hear about quilting, rug braiding and hooking, and more.

July 17th – Talk by Dr. Martha McNamara of Wellesley College on the life and art of Pedro Tovookan Parris, 7 PM, First Baptist Church:   Dr. McNamara is the foremost expert on the life of former-slave, artist, and public speaker Pedro Tovookan Parris who was brought to Paris Hill to live with the Parris family in the mid 1800s.

July 21st – Founders’ Day, 10-2 on the village green and at our building on Tremont Street:  The Historical Society building at 48 Tremont Street will be open from 10 – 2 and we will also have a spot on Hannibal Hamlin Drive where you will be able to purchase Peg Doore note cards and gift wrap, and other items that we will have for sale.  Stop in to the building or see our docents at the gift table on the green to ask questions about Paris Hill history as well.

August 11th – Paris Hill Music Festival, 10-2, 48 Tremont Street:  We will be open to visitors to the Paris Hill Music Festival on this day, so in addition to enjoying great music at the church, please stop by and see us.

August 25th and 26th, Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 4 each day, Paris Hill Artists and Makers Show, Paris Hill Community Club:  We will be displaying a variety of art and craft work from artists and makers of Paris Hill both past and present.  This is the venue where we will be able to display items too large for our home building on Tremont Street and from a wider variety of Paris Hill artists and makers.  We hope to have some of our living artists on hand to answer questions and present their work.  Continue to follow us on Facebook and our website for more details on this event.

Thank you and let’s enjoy a great summer!

 

 

Letter to Hannibal Hamlin from his Father in Law, Stephen Emery, upon Hamlin’s Election as Vice President

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We can thank Paris Hill resident Tony Kleitz for this wonderful piece of history he discovered at the Maine State Archives in Augusta.  It is a copy of the letter Hannibal Hamlin’s father in law, Stephen Emery, wrote to him upon his election in 1860 as Abraham Lincoln’s first Vice President.  It reads as follows:

“Auburn, Nov. 7, 1860

Dear Son;

Language is almost powerless to express my joy at the result of yesterday’s labor, and I should do violence to my feelings, were I to neglect to express that joy to you, altho’ you will be nearly overwhelmed with congratulatory letters.  My better way perhaps would be to rejoice in silence, but the very “stones” should be permitted “to cry out” in shouts of exultation. O, how glorious the triumph!

“The powers of Hell are captive led, dragged from the portals of the sky.”

My faith in human nature, which years of rascality & barefaced corruption had gradually but steadily impaired, is renewed again and hope our country & the right return with beaming eye and elevated crest.  May the victory now won be used wisely & well, and become as memorable for lasting good, as it is gratifying to the feelings.

Please say to Dear Ellie, I rec’d her letter yesterday.  I thank her very much for it.  May Heaven guide, and keep, and bless you all.

Your affec. father

Stephen Emery

Hope I shall see you before many weeks. Burlingame, who has vindicated the honor of Massachusetts, and promoted her interest, with singular ability & fidelity, is sacrificed by a cold, heartless, corrupt aristocracy.  Shame, shame, on such base ingratitude!”

Would you like to know more about the presidential election of 1860?  If so, come on out to our program, “Hannibal Hamlin, the 1860 Presidential Campaign, and its Impact on Paris, Maine” tomorrow night, August 9th, at 7 PM at the First Baptist Church of Paris here on Paris Hill.  Hope to see you then!

The Birth of Modern Baseball Presentation, July 27th – A Good Time Had by All!

Last Wednesday we had the good fortune to have Paris Hill resident and accomplished sports expert Bob Moorehead give a presentation on the birth of modern baseball and the 1919 World Series scandal.  John Brooks also presented his extensive memorabilia and replica baseball jersey collection, along with a very informative talk.   It was a wonderful time, well attended, and I think we all learned a lot about America’s favorite pastime.

The evening started with a gathering at our host’s, the First Baptist Church of Paris.  Reverend Mary Beth Caffey greeted the attendees and gave a blessing for the food.

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This was followed by a meal of what else?  Hot dogs, peanuts, and Cracker Jack!  Special thanks to Tony Rice for grilling the dogs.

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Following the meal, John Brooks gave a very interesting presentation in the church hall about his collection of baseball jerseys and the history they represent.

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For a slideshow view of the exhibit see below:

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After John’s presentation it was time to go upstairs to the historic sanctuary and hear Bob Moorehead’s talk.  He was introduced by our president, Nancy Schlanser, and thanked by her at the conclusion of the program.  Bob’s in depth explanation of the 1919 World Series scandal demonstrated a rare depth of knowledge and understanding of the sport, its history, and…given the elements at play in the betting and “fixing” scandal…human nature itself.

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We would like to thank everyone involved who made this program such a success, from our presenters to our hosts to everyone who attended.  Special thanks to Carol Rice for leading us in song for “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” not once, but twice!

Did you miss this program but wish you hadn’t?  We will have another history talk on August 9th.  The topic is “Hannibal Hamlin, the Campaign of 1860, and its impact on Paris Hill.”  For more information, please click HERE.  It will also be  held at the First Baptist Church of Paris at 7 PM.  Come out and see us, and follow our Facebook page to keep up to date on everything we’re doing AND to play our on line Paris Hill History Hunt game. As always, we are open at the Paris Hill Historical Society building on Tremont Street every Wednesday this summer from 1 PM to 4 PM with our 2016 exhibit, “The Games People Play.”

Hope to see you soon!

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Our attendees leaving our beautiful venue, last Wednesday evening.

 

 

 

 

 

Annual Membership Meeting Recap & Calendar of Events

On Wednesday, June 29th we had our Annual Membership Meeting for 2016.  The featured presentation was on our summer exhibit, “Games People Play” and was beautifully presented by local historian and member Winifred Mott and society president Nancy Schlanser.  If you missed the meeting and would like to get in on the information that was shared on the exhibit, stop by the Historical Society during our open hours, Wednesday afternoons, 1 – 4 PM all summer.

What games did you play growing up, and where did you play them?  What games do you play today with friends and family?  We posed this question at the membership meeting and got some wonderful responses.   Feel free to comment on this post with yours.

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Wini Mott and Nancy Schlanser present on the Games People Play exhibit.

You can always see what’s going on at the Paris Hill Historical Society by clicking on our Events page or following us on Facebook, however, here is a recap as well for your convenience:

Wednesday, July 27th – The Birth of Modern Baseball & the 1919 World Series Scandal – 6 PM – First Baptist Church

Not to be missed!  The Birth of Modern Baseball & the 1919 White Sox World Series Scandal are the topics of our first program by our own Bob Moorehead. Bob’s talk will be based on the book, “The Betrayal” by Charles Fountain. Bob is well-known as a sports editor and his talk will be a highlight of the summer.

Baseball appropriate food will be served starting at 6PM! Come out for your hot dogs and peanuts and Cracker Jack! Talk begins at 7.

RSVPs are appreciated.

Tuesday, August 9th –  Presentation on Hannibal Hamlin, the 1860 Presidential Campaign, and its Impact on Paris, Maine – 7 PM – First Baptist Church

In this presidential election year, we couldn’t let the summer pass by without highlighting our own, Hannibal Hamlin, the campaign of 1860 and its impact on Paris, Maine. Linda Richardson, Rev. Mary Beth Caffey, and the historical society are working together to make this an interesting presentation.  More info to come!

Wednesdays 1-4 PM All Summer Long – Historical Society Building

Come see our current featured exhibit plus so many other interesting artifacts that reflect our rich and fascinating history.  A friendly docent will be there to greet you and assist in answering your questions, finding historical information you may be looking for, and sharing your interest in Paris Hill history.  We’d love to see you.

And…check back to our web page on Monday for a fun game you can play along with us from anywhere in the world.

Have a great Fourth of July weekend!