Tag Archives: North Georgia Courthouses

Main Street, Gibson

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Filed under --GLASCOCK COUNTY GA--, Gibson GA

Old Lumpkin County Courthouse, 1836, Dahlonega

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This is the oldest public building in North Georgia and the oldest extant courthouse in Georgia in its original form (the old Government House in Augusta is older, though heavily modified). Even before the courthouse was built, Dahlonega’s prominence was validated by the government, which authorized a branch mint here in 1835. (Gold had been “discovered” in the region in 1828 with a rush of prospectors into the Cherokee Nation, in which Dahlonega was located, following in 1829). Ephraim Clayton employed bricks made from Cane Creek, a mile away, in the construction of the courthouse. A branch of the United States Mint was opened just south of the courthouse in 1838. By 1849, many of Dahlonega’s miners were bound for California and other points west lured by the promise of more abundant gold. After serving as the courthouse for over 125 years, the building was given to the state in 1966 and now serves as the Dahlonega Gold Museum.

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National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --LUMPKIN COUNTY GA--, Dahlonega GA

Banks County Courthouse, Circa 1863, Homer

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The date of construction for this iconic courthouse is difficult to track down. In the nomination of the property to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, it was said to have been begun in 1860 and completed in 1875. Brothers John and Samuel Pruitt were noted as the builders. More recent scholarship (I assume) by Elizabeth B. Cooksey in the New Georgia Encylopedia notes: (the) first courthouse was built in 1863, reportedly with $6,600 in Confederate currency. Either date ensures that slave labor was integral to the construction; completion of public architecture during the Civil War seems extraordinary. Confusion aside, it’s one of the most beautiful courthouses in Georgia. Replaced by a modern courthouse on an adjacent lot in 1987, it now serves as a museum, with very limited hours.

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National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --BANKS COUNTY GA--, Homer GA

Talbot County Courthouse, 1892, Talbotton

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Recently restored, this beautiful Queen Anne courthouse was designed by the firm of Bruce & Morgan.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --TALBOT COUNTY GA--, Talbotton GA

Walton County Courthouse, 1884, Monroe

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With a twin in Sparta, the Walton County Courthouse is one of my favorites. Designed by the firm of Bruce & Morgan, it originally featured a more ornate clock tower, which was lost during a storm and replaced in 1910.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --WALTON COUNTY GA--, Monroe GA

Hancock County Courthouse Rededication, Sparta

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I spent many good times in Hancock County when I was a student at Georgia College and still visit at least once a year to explore its wonderful architecture. I was devastated when I learned that their historic courthouse had been consumed by fire on 11 August 2014. But thanks to the untiring determination of Commission Chairman Sistie Hudson, Her Majesty, as the courthouse is often called, rose from the ashes.

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Two years to the day after the fire I made my way to Sparta to attend the rededication ceremony. At a time when many counties are building generic government facilities, Hancock County made sure their “new” courthouse would pay homage to the original. It’s nearly identical. Thanks largely to assistance from the insurance fund of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, the $7 million project was executed wonderfully, and should stand as an example to other counties as to how to deal with such crises in the future.

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The clouds moved in just as we reached Sparta. But it never rained. A large crowd was already gathered and it just kept growing. There was a sense of pride and community that one rarely sees these days.

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Politicians were on hand, along with the public, to christen the new and improved courthouse.

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Former Congressman and Hancock County native Buddy Darden

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Putnam County Commissioner Billy Webster.

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Hancock County Commission Chairman Sistie Hudson.

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After speeches were made and a benediction given, the clouds slowly began to clear.

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The future looks great for Her Majesty and Hancock County.

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The photos that follow are random images of people at the ceremony. One of the things I took away from this day was a great sense of community pride, and that’s reassuring in these divisive times.

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Filed under --HANCOCK COUNTY GA--, Sparta GA

Union County Courthouse, 1899, Blairsville

Union County Courthouse Blairsville GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2015

National Register of Historic Places

Designed by Golucke & Stewart, this Romanesque courthouse served Union County until it was condemned in 1971. Temporary facilities were used until a replacement was built in 1976. Since restoration, it has served as home of the Union County Historical Society.

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Filed under --UNION COUNTY GA--, Blairsville GA