PARIS — The Paris Cape Historical Society is expanding and wants the community to utilize the new meeting, archival and research space once it’s complete.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held July 6 for the new addition to the society’s home and museum at 77 High St. Joseph Boudreau, chairman of the Board of Trustees, who also is the head of the Building Committee, spearheaded the effort.

Joe has really worked 24/7, as far as I’m concerned, to gather donations (for the project),” Trustee Susan Konopka said during the society’s meeting held after the ceremony.

The sketches of the addition were drawn by students from School Administrative District 17 for free, Boudreau said. The project includes a 33- by 22-foot addition to the back of the building. The foundation will also be shored up, which is estimated to save thousands of dollars in the future.

We’re going to excavate and have a full cellar,” Boudreau said, adding it is a post-and-beam building. “We’re going to leave some of the original bones of the building.”

Boudreau estimated the project will cost roughly $50,000, but the society budgeted spending up to $60,000 on it.

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We will try to build with that budget,” he said. “Hopefully, contributions will come in to help replenish our operating expenses.”

The historical society was formed in February 1981, according to the book, “Paris, Maine: The Second Hundred Years 1893-1993.”  In 1987, John and Muriel Titus gifted a plot of land next to the Little Androscoggin River on Route 26 for the society’s museum. In December of that year, the society’s artifacts were placed in a prefabricated building there. Space issues arose in 1993, according to the book, and the society moved to its current location in 2004.

The museum features a number of interesting items, including folding chairs from Paris Manufacturing, a John Deere tractor and a number of old photographs, Boudreau said.

“We still want to preserve that stuff,” he added. 

Those wishing to send donations to the nonprofit for the addition should contact President Ben Conant at 743-2462.

[email protected]


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