PARIS HILL – The setting is sublime: a postcard-perfect New England village of architectural distinction and historical significance. A Paul Revere bell dated 1821 hangs in the church. The grandest home here was built for Hannibal Hamlin, vice president to Abraham Lincoln. A stone’s throw from the Hamlin house, the 1822 jail constructed of massive granite blocks reminds that this location was once the Oxford County seat.

That status was forfeited in the late 19th century a few decades after the arrival of the railroad in the town below. A fortunate change in status, if it aided in the preservation of this serene village of handsome homes and public buildings decorously arranged on and around the greensward of Courthouse Square. The location has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973, and its 831-foot elevation has ensured stunning, panoramic westerly views out to Mount Washington and other New Hampshire peaks for much longer.

Even in such lofty company, this home stands out. It represents a rare opportunity to own in this enclave, and it sports the District’s only mansard roof. This is among the attributes that prompted author Martin Dibner to write, “As a symbol of high European fashion, the Doe House marked the climax of Paris Hill’s architectural development.”

Built for Benjamin S. Doe c. 1870, the 2,658-square-foot home retains its original character and charm, and very nearly all its vintage features, but has also been updated and expanded to suit modern expectations of comfort, including multiple-zone heating efficiency. At the back of the house, a porch has been enclosed to create a family room with a woodstove. Nearby, through French doors, the first-floor master suite with gas fireplace makes single-level living an option. The bedroom also shares the family room’s enjoyment of gorgeous sunsets.

The dine-in kitchen has a fireplace, as does the great room, which accommodates both living and dining, and has a curved-wall nook besides, with built-in china cabinet. Upstairs, two good-sized bedrooms are served by a well-appointed full bath with tub. The open, walkup top story consists of a beautifully paneled, Maine-pine-aromatic bedroom/studio whose five recessed windows have seats with storage beneath.

The attached, restored barn is versatile (workshop, critters, etc.); the 0.96-acre corner lot, private and nicely landscaped. The village offers an active, artistic community life; the Paris Hill Country Club (est. 1899) has a 9-hole course; among other recreational attractions are hiking, skiing, Pennesseewassee and other lakes, and Norway’s lively downtown.

The home at 34 Hannibal Hamlin Drive, South Paris, is listed at $319,900 by Mary Colangelo of Maine Showroom Realty in Gray. Please contact Mary at 207-890-6916, 207-657-2700, or at [email protected]