PARIS – Eight squares stitched, 32 to go.

The Oxford County Bicentennial 2005 planning committee has commitments from 40 towns in Oxford County to contribute quilt squares depicting some aspect of their community.

All of the squares will be sewn together into a special Oxford County Bicentennial Quilt, commemorating 200 years since the county was created by county charter.

Paris resident Barbara Swan Frost will take on the task of patching the squares together, bound together with a sash and a border. She said Wednesday she is amazed at the variety and creativity used in making the squares she’s received so far.

For the Buckfield square, for example, creators have machine appliqued buckets of apples. In Brownfield, flames rise from the bottom to signify the fire that devastated that town and others earlier in the century.

Other squares have arrived so far from Otisfield, Brownfield, Canton, Magalloway Plantation, Albany Township and Sweden. Oxford County has 34 towns, two plantations and 19 townships, but some of those townships have close to a zero population.

Local historical societies have been a big supporter of the bicentennial, finding and enlisting volunteers to make the quilt squares and work on some of the many other projects the committee is planning.

Larry Glatz, planning committee chairman, said it’s hard to get people excited about a county bicentennial, as opposed to a town’s bicentennial.

Of the quilt project, he said, “This kind of project is perfect, because people can do it in their own home town.”

Another ambitious project the committee is working on involves having a person hand-deliver the county charter from Boston to Paris Hill. Glatz said it may be tricky to get the horseman through the busy streets of Boston, but he’s sure he can work out the logistics.

Swan Frost hopes the quilt patch-makers can send their square “as soon as possible.” A scrapbook will be created to describe the images in each square and their makers.

“They are all pretty enthusiastic in their way. And all of them are pretty proud to be a part of this.” The quilt project will be discussed at the quarterly meeting of the League of Oxford County Historical Societies at 2 p.m. at the Hiram Historical Society. For more information, call Glatz at 583-4549.


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