Sunday, March 15, 2015

Caswell County Old Courthouse, Yanceyville, North Carolina

Our warmest day since last year had me in the Miata and on the back roads to Yanceyville, NC about an hour from home.

Yanceyville is the county seat of Caswell County and listed in Wikipedia as the seventh poorest town in all of the United States; not a very happy designation. And yet, they have been able to maintain the old courthouse in impeccable condition even though the county services and courts moved out many years ago.

This building was the fourth courthouse to be built since Caswell County was created in 1777 and the National Register of Historic Places calls the style "Exuberant Victorian."

The Caswell County Historical Association notes:
"The Caswell County Courthouse was completed in 1861 at a cost of slightly more than $28,000. The stone used in its construction was quarried about one-half mile from the site, and brick was made near the quarry. County legend, probably stimulated by the magnificence of the completed structure, holds that the builder went broke before the yard was filled in and the retaining wall constructed, and later committed suicide. Although the building is in good structural condition, its massiveness is unfortunately disguised by its present coat of white paint, and the ornate cast iron fence which originally surrounded it was dismantled for repair in 1941 and said sold for scrap iron during the Second World War."
Since it is Sunday and the building is closed (I see from several websites that it is used during the week as an overflow for the court system), I wasn't able to get in to see the interior. However, I did find a picture on the North Carolina State University Digital Library website a photo of the molded ceiling and chandelier. How magnificent!

1 comment:

  1. How good that they have managed to hang on to this Old Lady, poverty notwithstanding.