Oxford County Courthouse to be expanded, preserved
by Rick Haverinen, Staff Writer Sun Journal May 22, 2016
SOUTH PARIS — The Oxford County Courthouse on Western Avenue, a stately building which has sat on a Paris hillside for 12 decades, is going to be expanded, while still preserving its original beauty.
The courthouse, built in 1895 by Lewiston architect G.M. Coombs as a showpiece, was designed to combine beauty with function. The county added copious details to attract the eyes of visitors, such as ornate wood carvings, attractive staircases, and even a mural of an early court scene behind the judge's bench, "The Code of Justinian," painted by Monmouth renaissance man Harry Cochrane, the designer and decorator of Cumston Hall in his hometown.
Throughout the years, the Oxford County Courthouse has been the scene of inheritance battles, property disputes, divorces and criminal trials of all kinds.
The building hosted a sensational murder trial in the late 1930s, when two men were sequentially convicted and imprisoned in the double homicide of Dr. James and Lydia Littlefield — a story which made national headlines for weeks.
Patricia Shearman, register of deeds for the county office in South Paris, wants to see the building preserved.
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