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  • Writer's pictureLucian@going2paris.net

The (Four) Five Paris' In Maine



Brunswick/Freeport, Maine

April 14, 2022


Paris, Maine was the second Paris I visited -- after Paris, Virginia. It was August/September 2018 and I came up here to visit Acadia National Park. It was a trial run to find out if I could handle roughing it by camping out for 10 days. Turned out I enjoyed it, and I determined that I could probably survive a trip to all of the Paris'. I did not expect I would be on the road this long or that I would experience all that I have.


Now that I am here again,.I realize how much I have grown in the past almost four years. While I am the same person in many ways, I have, in my opinion, become a much better person. I care much more deeply. I am much more curious and am much more relaxed. I am making progress on living in the present -- at least now I recognize and am conscious when I am not. I don't use the words should, could and would. And most of the time, I think I am a pretty good person who is a good friend and dad. I'm done with beating myself up -- I thought that is what motivated me and now I realize it is what held me back.


Enough reflecting -- there will be time to do that when I am in Paris, France.


Speaking of being curious, one example of that is that when I was here in 2018, I did not realize that there was more than one Paris here. There is a town called West Paris that used to be part of the town of Paris. And there is a North Paris which is part of West Paris. South Paris and Paris Hill are part of Paris, but locals seem to use the name South Paris for the town of Paris. And the best I can tell, there is not and never was an East Paris.


Paris


Paris is a town in and the county seat of Oxford County, Maine. The population was 5,179 at the 2020 census. The census-designated place of South Paris is located within the town. Because the U.S. Post Office refers to the entire town as South Paris, the town as a whole is commonly referred to as South Paris. The main exception is the area known as Paris Hill, which is a scenic historic district popular with tourists. On May 30, 2019, the town declared itself to be a second amendment sanctuary.

History The area now known as Paris was granted by Massachusetts on June 11, 1771, to Captain Joshua Fuller of Watertown, Massachusetts and 59 others (or their heirs) for service during the French and Indian Wars. It was the second attempt to repay the soldiers, because their first grant in New Hampshire, made on November 24, 1736, and called Township Number Four, was deemed invalid because of a prior claim by the heirs of John Mason. The land in Maine would retain the name Township Number Four. On November 4, 1773 when the Proprietors were lotting out the township, they held a meeting at Coolidge Tavern in Watertown Massachusetts and they voted that there be reserved for the use of the proprietors their heirs and assigns forever two rods in width on the eastward side of every range line through the length of the township for the convenience of ways if it should be needed, establishing range ways to prevent landlocking and segregation in the township of Paris and West Paris.

It was first settled near the center of the town in 1779 by Lemuel Jackson, John Willis and their families. Organized as Number Four Plantation, it was incorporated as Paris on June 20, 1793. At the establishment of Oxford County in 1805, Paris was designated its county seat and developed into a thriving community. It was noted for scenic beauty and excellent pasturage, including some of the state's best livestock and dairy farms. It also had many large apple orchards. The village of Paris Hill was established at an elevation of 820 feet above sea level, with views of Mount Chocorua and Mount Washington in the White Mountains. The Paris Hill Historic District, added to the National Register of Historic Placesin 1973, has fine examples of Federal and Greek Revival architecture. The old Oxford County Jail, built of granite in 1822, was given in 1902 to the Paris Hill Library Association, and is now the Hamlin Memorial Library and Museum.

The Little Androscoggin River provided water power for mills at South Paris, to which the town center shifted after the arrival of the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad on June 8, 1850. Industries included a gristmill, sawmill, shingle mill, planing mill, iron foundry and machine shop. In the 1890s, the county seat moved here from Paris Hill to be near the train station. Manufacturing would fade with the Great Depression, but South Paris remains the commercial part of the town. West Paris, which includes North Paris, was set off and incorporated in 1957.

The town's name is believed to be borrowed from the city in France.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 40.97 square miles (106.11 km2), of which, 40.77 square miles (105.59 km2) of it is land and 0.20 square miles (0.52 km2) is water.[1] Paris is drained by the Little Androscoggin River. The town is located on a bed of pegmatite in which many semi-precious gemsand rare stones can be found, including beryl, garnet, tourmaline, amethyst and smoky quartz. Paris is crossed by 26, 117, 118 and 119.

Demographics

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 5,183 people, 2,187 households, and 1,332 families living in the town. The population density was 127.1 inhabitants per square mile (49.1/km2). There were 2,419 housing units at an average density of 59.3 per square mile (22.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.9% White, 0.5% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.

There were 2,187 households, of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.3% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.1% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.80.

The median age in the town was 44.3 years. 20.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23% were from 25 to 44; 29.2% were from 45 to 64; and 19.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 48.6% male and 51.4% female.

2000 census

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 4,793 people, 1,975 households, and 1,238 families living in the town. The population density was 117.6 people per square mile (45.4/km2). There were 2,142 housing units at an average density of 52.5 per square mile (20.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.89% White, 0.31% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.92% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.35% of the population. 31.2% were of English, 15.0% American, 9.9% French, 9.7% Irish and 7.1% Finnish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 1,975 households, out of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.8% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.3% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 21.7% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 19.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males. The median income for a household in the town was $33,625, and the median income for a family was $43,166. Males had a median income of $28,235 versus $20,764 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,441. About 4.9% of families and 10.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.7% of those under age 18 and 10.8% of those age 65 or over.

Sites of interest and National Historic Places

  • Celebration Barn Theater

  • Hamlin Memorial Library & Museum

  • Paris Cape Historical Society

  • Deering Memorial United Methodist Church

  • The Fox School has been an anchor of community life in Paris for over 130 years. Originally built in 1883 as the Oxford Normal Institute and expanded significantly in 1940 as the Brick School, the school was renamed in 1967 to honor longtime principal Mildred M. Fox. The last public school students attended Fox School in 2008, though the building was used by a Christian academy for approximately eight years after that. This historic building has been restored to its place as a community landmark and re-purposed as a critical affordable housing resource for seniors in the area.

Notable people

  • Charles Andrews, US congressman

  • John Andrews, Maine state representative

  • Timothy J. Carter, US congressman

  • Mary S. Caswell, educator and writer

  • Charles Deering, businessman, philanthropist

  • James Deering, industrialist, builder of Villa Vizcaya

  • William Deering, businessman, philanthropist

  • Rufus K. Goodenow, US congressman

  • Hannibal Hamlin, US congressman, senator, 26th Governor of Maine, 15th US vice president

  • Levi Hubbard, US congressman

  • William Wirt Kimball, admiral

  • Horatio King, US postmaster general

  • Enoch Lincoln, US congressman, 6th Governor of Maine

  • Tony Montanaro, mime, director, instructor

  • Harvey D. Parker, hotelier

  • Albion K. Parris, US senator, 5th governor

  • Virgil D. Parris, US congressman

  • Joe Perham, storyteller, public speaker, humorist

  • Reta Shaw, actress from South Paris

  • Daniel Bartlett Stevens, Wisconsin assemblyman

South Paris


South Paris is a census-designated place (CDP) located within the town of Paris in Oxford County, Maine. The population was 2,237 at the 2000 census. While the CDP refers only to the densely settled area in the southern part of the town of Paris, the entire town, outside of Paris Hill, is located within the South Paris ZIP code, resulting in many residents referring to the entire town as South Paris. History

During the 19th-century, the Little Androscoggin River provided water power to operate mills in South Paris, and the village grew up around them. The opening of the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad on June 8, 1850 further spurred development of the small mill town. In the 1890s, the Oxford County Courthouse moved from Paris Hill to be near the Grand Trunk Railway station. Much of the manufacturing and industry faded with the Great Depression, but South Paris remains the commercial section of Paris, and retains much of its Victorian era architecture. Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, the regional high school, was founded in South Paris in 1961. Actress Reta Shaw was born in South Paris in 1912.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 4.0 square miles, of which, 3.9 square miles of it is land and 0.1 square miles of it (2.03%) is water. South Paris is drained by the Little Androscoggin River.

The town is crossed by Maine State Route 26, 117, 118 and 119. The town has a small park, Moore Park, with a new, fenced in playground for children to play in. Moore Park no longer has a water fountain, but there is a monument in the center with a gazebo to one side for public events.

Demographics

As of the census of 2008, there were 2,237 people, 972 households, and 536 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 577.1 people per square mile. There were 1,052 housing units at an average density of 271.4/sq mi. The racial makeup of the CDP was 97.32% White, 0.36% African American, 0.18% Native American, 1.34% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.04% from other races, and 0.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.49% of the population.

There were 972 households, out of which 25.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.8% were non-families. 36.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the CDP, the population was spread out, with 20.4% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 21.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.3 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $27,569, and the median income for a family was $42,105. Males had a median income of $28,906 versus $19,960 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $15,486. About 4.4% of families and 11.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.7% of those under age 18 and 15.2% of those age 65 or over. Sites of interest

  • Celebration Barn Theater

  • Paris Cape Historical Society


Paris Hill


The Paris Hill Historic District encompasses the historic 19th century village of Paris Hill in Paris, Maine. This village was the primary civic seat in the town, which is also the county seat of Oxford County, and was where county facilities were located until they were moved to South Paris in 1895. The district includes a collection of well-preserved residential, civic, and religious structures dating roughly from 1800 to 1860, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Description

The village of Paris Hill occupies the top of Paris Hill, which at 831 feet above sea level provides commanding views of the White Mountains to the west. The main road through the district is Paris Hill Road, and its central point is the former county common, which is roughly circumscribed by Hannibal Hamlin Drive. The village extends for a short way along Lincoln and Tremont Streets; the total area of the district is about 250 acres.

Most of the houses built in the district were built between 1800 and 1860, with almost none coming after the relocation of the county facilities in 1895. The oldest house, the Lemuel Jackson, Jr. House, was built in 1789. Most of the buildings are either Federal or Greek Revival in their styling, although there are a fair number of Italianate houses, as well as one mansard-roofed Second Empire house. Only one commercial building has survived on the hill: it was built c. 1808 by Simeon Cummings, and converted to a residence by his son.

The buildings formerly associated with county functions have been well preserved. Arrayed around the common on Hannibal Hamlin Drive, these include a courthouse, brick office building, and stone jail, the latter now repurposed to house a library. Also on the common is the Baptist Church, a Greek Revival structure built in 1838.

History

Paris Hill was originally known as "Jackson Hill", after the owner of the land at its top. The Paris area was settled beginning about 1780, and the town was incorporated in 1793. Oxford County was established in 1805, and Paris was chosen as its county seat. As Paris Hill was then the civic center of the town, the county infrastructure was built there, as were the Baptist Church and the Paris Hill Academy (the latter in 1856).

Because the village was not near any source of waterpower, needed for industrial activity, economic influence began to shift toward South Paris in the first half of the 19th century, and became more significant on the second half with the arrival of the railroad at South Paris in 1847. Although a number of smaller business flourished in Paris Hill, most of them eventually relocated to South Paris, and the county facilities were relocated there in 1895. The village is now maintained by the efforts of both year-round and summer residents.

A number of politicians notable in Maine history are known to have lived in Paris Hill. The most famous is Hannibal Hamlin (1809-1891), who served as United States Vice President during Abraham Lincoln's first term; he was born in Paris Hill. Hamlin, along with Paris Hill residents Enoch Lincoln, Sidney Perham, and Albion Keith Parris, also served as Governor of Maine.


West Paris


West Paris is a town in Oxford County, Maine. The population was 1,766 at the 2020 census. History

It began as part of Paris, granted by the Massachusetts General Court in 1771 to Captain Joshua Fuller and his company of 64 soldiers as payment for their service to the colony. First settled in 1779, the land was considered superior for pasturage and hay crops, and orchards were large and productive. Mills were built along the Little Androscoggin River. The Paris Manufacturing Company, which was started modestly by Henry Franklin Morton in 1861 at West Sumner, grew into an important manufacturer. Near the Grand Trunk Railway depot in West Paris, it built a factory to make products including sleds, skis, wagons, step ladders, wheelbarrows, ironing boards, children's rolltop desks and other furniture.

On November 4, 1773 when the Proprietors were lotting out the township, they held a meeting at Coolidge Tavern in Watertown, Massachusetts and they voted that there be reserved for the use of the proprietors their heirs and assigns forever two rods in width on the eastward side of every range line through the length of the township for the convenience of ways if it should be needed, establishing rangeways to prevent landlocking and segregation in the township of Paris and West Paris.


West Paris in the nineteenth century was a center of Finnish immigrant settlement and many residents are descendants of those immigrants. Before that time, the area was largely settled by Finnish immigrants, and it grew with agriculture – mostly orchards and pasturage – and industry, supported by the coming of railroad lines. West Paris was home to famed Maine humorist Joe Perham.

In September 1957, West Paris was set off and incorporated as a town.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 24.40 square miles (63.20 km2), of which, 24.24 square miles (62.78 km2) of it is land and 0.16 square miles (0.41 km2) is water. West Paris is drained by the Little Androscoggin River.

The town is crossed by state routes 26 and 219.

Climate

This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, West Paris has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.

Demographics

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,812 people, 700 households, and 478 families living in the town. The population density was 74.8 inhabitants per square mile. There were 812 housing units at an average density of 33.5 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 97.4% White, 0.2% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.

There were 700 households, of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.7% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.84.

The median age in the town was 41.6 years. 23.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.5% were from 25 to 44; 26.7% were from 45 to 64; and 18.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 49.4% male and 50.6% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,722 people, 646 households, and 461 families living in the town. The population density was 71.0 people per square mile. There were 720 housing units at an average density of 29.7 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 98.78% White, 0.12% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.00% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. 0.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 34.2% were of English, 13.7% American, 12.3% Irish, 6.5% Finnish, 6.0% French and 5.3% German ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 646 households, out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.4% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.6% were non-families. 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 24.2% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $30,000, and the median income for a family was $35,714. Males had a median income of $28,958 versus $21,250 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,093. 16.4% of the population and 13.4% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 21.6% of those under the age of 18 and 15.0% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.



North Paris


I can't find any written information about North Paris, but clearly it exists as shown on the following two maps:







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