~ You can also view other items from the
museum collection online: www.mainememory.net ~
The War of Rebellion
The Paris Hill Connection
Harry Lyon & the Flight of the Southern Cross
The Crew of the Southern Cross (left to right) Harry
Lyon, navigator, Charles Kingsford-Smith, pilot, Jim Warner, radio operator,
and Charles Ulme, co-pilot.
Eighty years ago Paris Hill resident and Merchant Marine Captain Harry Lyon helped make aviation
history as the navigator on the first flight across the Pacific from California to Australia. Known for his skill as
a ship's navigator, Lyon was invited by Australian pilots Charles Kingsford-Smith and Charles Ulm to join the crew
of the Southern Cross for this historic flight even though he had never flown
in an aircraft before. Flying day and night over open ocean, through severe
storms, using dead reckoning with the aid of compasses when radio contact was
impossible, and with stops for rest and refueling in Hawaii and Fiji, the Southern
Cross landed in Brisbane, Australia on June 9, 1928.
Photographs and more details of this trip, the crew and the aircraft are on display at Hamlin Memorial Library & Museum along
with many other items and stories of local historic interest.
1848 Paris Hill Friendship quilt
This beautiful quilt was made in 1848 for Mrs. Louisa Griffin Davis, the wife of
the second minister of the Paris Hill Baptist Church, Caleb B.Davis.
Mr. Davis preached on Paris Hill from 1837 until failing health caused him to
resign in 1852. Davis was a proponent of temperance, a stark contrast to the first minister, Elder Hooper, but he had
the support of some of the leading citizens of Paris and through tact and courage was
successful in his ministry. 151 people joined the church during his
pastorate, and he officiated at 69 marriages and 201 funerals.
The quilt consists of 61 complete squares, each approximately 11 1/2"
square, set "on point" surrounded with 20 half-square triangles and
4 quarter-square triangles and measures 101" x 101". It is
particularly interesting because each square was finished individually with
narrow binding and then the finished squares were sewn together. The quilting
is expertly done with tiny stitches.
There are 72 signatures on the quilt. Much information about the quilters can be
found from searching the Town of Paris History. They ranged in age from 14 years old to 68
years old, and their signatures include the mother and two sisters of
Hannibal Hamlin, a Paris son who was Abraham Lincoln's Vice President; and the wife, two daughters,
and the daughter-in-law of Judge Steven Emery. Judge Emery's son is the only
man whose signature is on the quilt. Also included is the signature of Sarah
Jeannie Prentiss who, according to the Paris History, was a "lady of literary tastes and many accomplishments" including that
"During the War of the Rebellion, when nurses were wanted to take charge
of the loyal sick in Southern hospitals (she) volunteered her services...
until the close of the war."
Persis Sibley Andrews, whose diaries tell us about life on Paris Hill
is also represented. Although this quilt is not mentioned specifically,
Persis writes about a quilting party on March 11, 1840.
"This morning (sic) we framed the quilt Miss Sally has so long been patching up, and just as we were speaking of the
tiresomenessof the long job before us two girls came to spend the day-owe
instantly took the hint & tho't it a good time to have a real oldfashioned rustic "quilting
fralick." Accordingly we dispatched "Benny" immediately after dinner with horse, sleigh ...
and invitations to all the girls in the neighborhood,& a request to the brothers & beaux to come to tea and
spend the eveg (sic). Master Benny was delighted with his success
among the fair ones & soon returned with a bountiful load-
- we had as many as co'd sit about the quilt...the song went round merrily, indeed, but nimble fingers did not forget to
ply the needle. We had lights so arranged that we quilted until 8 o'clock eveg--the
gentlemen each one filling some office of my appointment or quilting; for
instance... needle threader, w(hic)h by the way, was
very useful, & certainly very unusual for a
gentleman--brother Wm G was clerk to this latter office, for each young lady agreed
to pay her own bill; & when the quilt was removed --, the paying up! I guess every
gentleman envied this officer then! Apple & fun finished the eveg."