Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Columbi County Courthouse, Dayton, Washington

Columbia County Courthouse
The Columbia County Courthouse in Dayton, Washington, is a stately structure as befits its grandee dame status among the state’s courthouses. County officials claim it is the oldest working courthouse in the state, having been completed while Washington was still a territory.

The county seat, Dayton, was founded in 1871, but it wasn’t until 15 years later that construction of the courthouse began. Until then, trials and county business were conducted in rented hotel rooms.  Construction costs came in at $38,069, under the budget of $40,000/ Construction began in 1886, with the county using it for the first time in 1887. Washington became a state in 1889.

An ornate cupola tops the building. The building is accented by bronze statues of a Blind Justice and eagles. Two Civil War cannons stand in the front yard. The Blind Justice statues were melted for scrap metal during World War II.

The courthouse, located at 341 East Main Street, has seen some remodeling over the years. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.