Every week tourists from across the country and around the world stumble into Wendy’s General Store on Grand River Avenue in Paris looking for a piece of “the prettiest town in Canada.”
“People come in from all over the place and they want to take something with them,” said Nancy Fritsche, owner of the Paris convenience store. “People come to Paris because it’s a beautiful town and they kept asking so we have provided it.”
Fritsche has teamed up with Brantford photographer Jim Davis to create a series of ten postcards that showcase some of Paris’ most iconic scenes.
“I tried to capture what Paris is like,” Davis said. “There is more to a town than people see. When you see the variety, you can see that this captures more than Paris as a small town, but Paris as a community.”
Fritsche and Davis worked together to choose which scenes to use, coming up with their perfect mix of rural and urban settings.
Davis took the photographs and Fritsche, using her graphic design background, put the postcards together.
Taken throughout the month of June, the images include town scenes of the River Lily store – the site that received Alexander Graham Bell’s first long distance telephone call, the Paris Dam, and an overlook view of the town at sunset.
Rural scenes include a cattle farm at sunset, a lone tree in a perfectly groomed field, two deer enjoying the grass and a “Gnome Home” located on Highway 2 just west of Paris.
Each card comes with facts and information about Paris.
The postcards are only the beginning. Plans are underway for a Paris calendar, enlarged canvas and framed images, more postcards with images that capture all four seasons and even a piggy bank of the Gnome Home made by local potters.
“This is a convenience store but we like to support local artists,” Fritsche said.
Davis, a part-time Brantford photographer for 25 years, said the experience has given him a step forward.
“It’s a cool project with Paris being a small town and showing all the faces of the city and reflecting the city and all its surrounding agriculture,” Davis said.
For Fritsche, using Davis’ photography skills was an easy choice.
“His work is so special because I think he has a set of eyes in his heart. He is looking through his heart at nature and that’s why his work is so special,” she said.
Postcards cost $1 each and can be purchased at Wendy’s General Store, Home Hardware in Paris, Inksaters and United Discount.