Items sought for Paris Hill memory chest

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PARIS — Beth Miller, incoming president of the Paris Hill Historical Society, is preparing to preserve a slice of Paris life in a ‘memory chest,’ stowing away citizens’ memories for a quarter century.

“We like the sound of the memory chest better (than time capsule),” she said. “To us it evokes more feelings of history, memory and heritage.”

The society has recently celebrated its 50th year. The time capsule, which was originally the brainchild of outgoing President Nancy Schlanser, is a part of that festivity.

“We didn’t want to make a memory chest to open in 50 years because many of us will no longer be here,” Miller said. “Our intention is to open it at the Paris Hill Historical Society’s 75th anniversary in 2042.

The society has invited residents and friends of Paris Hill to leave a mark for the future.

“There are different ways that people can contribute; they can write a letter to 2042, they can answer questions, there is a list of questions about who we are and what our lives in the village were like, or they could contribute small items, things that are particularly important to their lives in this community, that could be committed to the memory chest,” Miller said.

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The society suggests including information ranging from names, birth dates and spouses to what was it like growing up on Paris Hill and what was the greatest invention of your lifetime.

She notes that contributors do not need to be residents of Paris Hill.

“People don’t necessarily need to be current residents of the village,” she said. “We get regular comments and messages on our Facebook thread and blog posts; I get emails in from people who have been away a long time.”

Miller said the society does not have any contributions for the memory chest, and is reaching out to the friends and residents of Paris Hill, both permanent and seasonal.

The society welcomes new members and has a dedicated building for meetings in May through September. It’s open from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursdays.

Miller has also offered to open the society for interested persons regardless of the season. The building, full of documents and historical artifacts, is not heated.

Miller can be contacted at parishillhistoricalsociety@gmail.com.

Beth Miller, Paris Hill Historical Society president, unlocks the building to showcase the interior. The building, along with other artifacts, contains several portraits of notable figures from the area and antiquated gem cutting tools.  (Adam Brown/Advertiser Democrat)

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