PARIS — Beth Miller, incoming president of the Paris Hill Historical Society, is preparing to inter a slice of Paris life in a ‘memory chest,’ stowing away citizens’ memories for a quarter century.
Miller explains, “we like the sound of the memory chest better, [than time capsule] 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 … our intention is to open it at the Paris Hill Historical Societies 75th anniversary in 2042,” Miller explains.
The historical society has invited residents and friends of Paris Hill to leave a mark on their calendar 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,” says Miller. The society suggests including information ranging from basic information such as names, birth dates and spouses to more evocative questions such as “What was it like growing up on Paris Hill?” and “What was the greatest invention of your lifetime?”
She notes that contributing citizens do not need to be residents on the hill.
“People don’t necessarily need to be current residents of the village, 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 says that the society does not have any contributions for the memory chest, and is reaching out to the friends and residents of Paris Hill; permanent and seasonal.
The historical society is also always welcome to new members. The society has a dedicated building for meetings in their regular season, May through Sept where it has open hours on Thursdays from 1 to 4 pm. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.