Founder’s Day in Paris

We recently went to Paris for Founder’s Day. Haven’t heard of Founder’s Day in Paris…Paris, Maine that is.  The village is home to a National Historic District of elegant 18th and 19th century homes. The views over the mountains and lakes are spectacular, now and especially during fall foliage season.

Great Car, Great View

Held in July on the green in historic Paris Hill, Founder’s Day features the extensive private collection of Bob Bahre.  It features over 60 vehicles featuring Packards, Duesenbergs, Stutz Bearcats and more. I think if you are a car enthusiast and in the New England area, this once a year event is a must see. If you aren’t crazy about cars, I have more to show you…besides classic cars, a wonderful collection of dolls, a nearby garden, a wonderful bakery and a previously mentioned buffalo farm.

Hamlin Library and Museum

Founder’s Day benefits the Hamlin Memorial Library and Museum which is dedicated to the preservation of a unique granite building that was the original 1822 Oxford County Jail. It now houses a public library and museum. Paris Hill is known as the birthplace of Hannibal Hamlin, vice president during Abraham Lincoln’s first term.

There were vendors selling  a variety of homemade craft items and food.

Homemade Crafts Vendors
Cars, Toys and Dolls

There was a large collection of antique dolls and toys.

Dolls from Hawaii, Australia, and South Africa

I was excited to see an antique Hawaiian doll with grass skirt that I own…can’t wait to find out more information on the doll.

The cars were just incredible as you can see. It was hard to pick just a few of the many photos taken that day.

Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang
Packard Roadster
1942 Cadillac Convertible

After leaving the event we drove to the McLaughlin Garden.

Restful Garden Spot

It is a century-old farmstead and barn with a collection of trees, woody shrubs, and perennials.

A Field of Pastel

The gardens were started by Bernard McLaughlin in 1936. Mr. McLaughlin had no formal horticultural training but planted and cared for his gardens single-handedly for most of his life.

Lilies to Brighten the Day

The garden has become one of Maine’s most loved gardens.

Poppies Give a Splash of Color

After his death, the 4.5 acres of gardens, the 1850 house and barn came under the care of The McLaughlin Foundation. The foundation runs programs, a gift shop and a seasonal café.

After leaving the Paris area, we drove through Norway…Maine. We made two stops in North Waterford before heading home.

Marta’s Bakery was first on the route. Marta and her family moved from Prague to Boston. She was well known for her fine pastries. She moved to Maine and opened her own bakery where she specializes in wedding cakes, Czech and seasonal specialties. She also has a wide variety of cakes, pies, and pastries.  Our favorites are her incredible pecan sticky buns and cinnamon raisin buns.

Cinnamon Raisin Rolls

A little way down the road was Beech Hill Farm and Bison Ranch where we picked up our buffalo ribeye steak mentioned in a earlier post.

We had a wonderful day and arrived home in time to enjoy a cocktail on the dock.

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

30 thoughts on “Founder’s Day in Paris

  1. Karen, I love New England. A great post! We lived in Boston for five years and toured the New England countryside every chance we got. My favorite was a fourth of July festival in Bar Harbor. I’ve never eaten so much lobster in my life! Happy Adventures!

  2. Wow, if that isn’t the perfect slice of Americana, I don’t know what is. Gorgeous flower photos!

  3. It was a great day! I enjoyed traveling with you and seeing all the cars — wouldn’t have thought I’d be interested but some of them are spectacular.
    Also enjoyed food and flowers!

      1. There are many people that might not think they would enjoy this car show. The cars were like works of art. The lines, the designs, all exceptional.
        The food and flowers just made the day perfect.
  4. We drove past signs for Paris last week. I even commented to the kids, “Hey look, we’re almost to Paris.” It really confused them. And we had no idea there were such hidden treasures there!

    1. Hi Kristy, The signs in the area are great. You can go to a few countries in a matter of minutes. There are so many special places on the back roads.

  5. Hi Karen
    I’m really enjoying reading about your life, your point of view.
    Thanks for finding me….so I could find you.
    I am adding you to my list of favorites so I can keep track of where you wander.
    I cannot imagine living in a house built in 1730. Our house was built in 1904
    which is quite old for the west coast and there are so many odd materials that were used,
    so many little add-ons, every time we remodel or change something we get a new
    feeling for who built it. We knew the floors weren’t level, but we didn’t know how severe
    until my husband got rollerblades for Christmas about 10 years ago!
    Keep blogging and I will join your readership. Take me with you…..

    1. It is really amazing living in our 1730’s house. We had it restored back to museum quality…took 3 years before we could move in. I’ll post some photos later in the year.

  6. What a great day! I wish I lived in the Northeast…so rich in beauty and history. We have an amazing car museum not too far from where we live. Last time my parents visited, we took dad to it–I love it! I absolutely love old cars and could spend hours at this particular museum (you will have to check some of them out on my blog–an older post from May). Loved this post! xxBliss

    1. That is exactly what I said to my husband after spending a day at our car museum. xo

  7. WOW WOW WOW –
    I lived in that area many years ago and have been to the founders day and the gardens – but had forgotten all about those things – thanks so much for the stroll down memory lane!!
    PS at the time I lived there McLaughlin Gardens had something like a dozen varieties of Lilacs (perhaps more!) are they still there?
    (and of course you must know that Bob Bahre is the owner of Loudon Speedway in NH – which explains his deep love of cars!)

    1. Yes, I did know that Bob Bahre is the owner of the Loudon Speedway. His property in Paris is gorgeous. I’ll try to do a post showing the fall color on the the mountains later this year although a camera never does it justice. The lilacs are still at the McLaughlin Gardens and we may go back next spring to enjoy them in bloom. Thank you for all your nice comments.

  8. I was gonna say – that sure as heck didn’t look like Paris, France – definitely not with that weather at least 😀 Just look at those cars! Sure they might be “missing” electric windows and power steering but wow, that was back when they knew how it should be done! The Delahaye is so iconic – never had a chance to see one up close myself!

    1. Hi Charles, I would give up a few of our conveniences to have a car with the great style those had. The Delahaye was really beautiful. You should have seen some of the others. One better looking than the next. I didn’t want to bore my readers…I don’t know how many are car nuts like my husband and myself.

    1. Hi Jim, Thanks for visiting my blog. This is a great time of the year in Maine. That same spot is wonderful when the leaves are changing. Packards are a favorite of mine also…they are more graceful than a lot of other cars in the same category.

  9. Love the Packard and the Delahaye. My husband and I are racing fans and car lovers, and we have a friend who owns a 1926 Hispano-Suiza. Though I’ve never seen a Delahaye, we recently saw a Packard Roadster at an exhibition…what a truly beautiful work of art. Thank you for sharing these gorgeous pictures.

  10. Karen, this is a great post! I’m not really into cars, but how could I not be impressed and notice the beauty in those cars. Pretty photos of the flowers; the poppy was always one of my favorites and of course, no post is complete without food…. and those buns look sticky and yummy!!

  11. Who knew you could travel internationally so close to home? Founder’s Day sounds like so much fun. I’ve never lived anywhere that holds a Founder’s Day.

  12. This looks like a lovely and fun trip! Only been to Maine once, to Acadia of course…wonderful memories of my 9 year old son picking wild blueberries along the paths.

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