Thursday, December 02, 2010
We went out for a drive on Thanksgiving Day. It was notable because we haven't been out (and certainly not together like this), in a very, very long time. It wasn't a spectacular drive, as far as the scenery goes: lots of frizzy, dried-up trees bereft of leaves on a gray November day. We made a pit stop in Paris, NY, up on Paris Green. As a person interested in history, I knew that Paris Green was the first settlement in the area. Two very old churches still stand, although one serves as a cafe, and another looks terribly lonely.
From reading The History of the Town of Paris by Henry Rogers (written in.. 1888, I believe), I knew that this area was home to the aged, local celebrity, Isaac Paris. He was not from this area of the Mohawk Valley, but rather lived many miles downstream. However, he saved the people in the Paris Settlement from starvation. Poor crops and a particularly severe winter had depleted the food. The people went in search of a wealthy farmer, willing to sell his grain. After a laborious trip with many disappointments, the people found Isaac Paris. He generously donated a large amount of food to the starving settlers, and refused to take payment.
The people were so grateful that they honored him with the name of their town: Paris. After Isaac Paris died as was buried at his local farm, the Parisians asked his relatives if Isaac could be buried in Paris, where he would be forever remembered as the man whose generosity saved a community. The relatives allowed his body to be exhumed. The History of the Town of Paris ends with descriptions of the elaborate burial ceremony.
Isaac Paris is remembered even today. I found his gravesite on Thanksgiving Day.
We enjoyed our jaunt through the cemetery (call me strange!) but I was so unused to walking for such a long time that I fear I am now a ready candidate for dr. schulze program reviews. At any rate, it was pleasant to get out of the house. And I am so happy that I finally located the final resting place of a local hero!