Tuesday, July 1, 2008

7/1/08 Hannibal Hamlin's birthplace

Hannibal Hamlin, vice-president to Abraham Lincoln in his first term, was born in Paris Hill, Maine. His birthplace is a private residence, so you can't tour it, but it's very well kept and quite an impressive place:

The town of Paris Hill was the original county seat for Oxford County, then everything moved to South Paris to be near the train station. This is the original county jail and it is now the Hamlin Memorial Library with the library on the first floor and a museum on the second floor. If it looks tiny in this photo that's because it's tiny in real life. Maybe 15 feet x 30 feet? Tiny.

We had a nice visit with the head librarian who is now curator of the museum (she was originally hired as the children's librarian). Though they're proud of Mr. Hamlin and will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of his birth next year (2009), their real claim to fame is Harry Lyon, navigator on the Southern Cross plane when it made the first-ever trans-Pacific flight from the US to Australia.

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