Museum members, friends visit France, find links to Maine history

Posted Oct. 24, 2011, at 7:54 p.m.

THOMASTON, Maine — Members and friends of the General Henry Knox Museum recently returned from France where for eight days they retraced the footsteps of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams along the boulevards of Paris, visited the chateaus of two of the original French members of the Society of the Cincinnati, a fraternity of American and French officers of the American Revolution initiated by Knox, and laid a plaque at the Marquis de Lafayette’s gravesite at the Picpus Cemetery in Paris in commemoration of his friendship with Henry Knox.

Museum board member Patrick Cardon and his wife, Carol, a licensed guide in France, worked with Camden-based group travel expert Lolly Mitchell to make the arrangements for the trip. A portion of the proceeds from the trip were donated to the General Henry Knox Museum.

The Cardons’ and Mitchells’ expertise led the group to out-of-the-way locales, interesting chateaus and sites not normally open to the public, great meals and stays at pleasant hotels with old world charm. The Cardons hosted the group for dinner one evening at their residence in Pontlevoy.

The group visited a private collection of historic wallpaper curated by expert Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz. They viewed original samples of 18th century French wallpaper similar to what Lucy and Henry Knox would have selected when decorating their Thomaston home, Montpelier, in keeping with the height of French fashion popular at the time.

On one evening during the trip, General Henry Knox Museum Executive Director Ellen Dyer gave a joint presentation at the Centre France-Ameriques in Paris with the Marquis de Vergennes, vice president of the French Society of the Cincinnati, about Henry Knox.