The “old” portion of the building dates to 1878. The color of the exterior brick shows where the old and the “new” (added in 1909) meet. The bricks were fired on the property by the Barger Brick Kiln.
In 1928 the WW1 monument was added out front with the concrete work done by John Edsmond Taylor. The Historical Society charter members were instrumental in listing the Courthouse on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Since then, the building has housed the sheriff’s office, the health clinic, and other local offices. The county leased the building to Shepherd College from 1976 until the early 2000s.
The current membership created a Veteran’s Room filled with photos of our local men and women in uniform to honor their service and sacrifice. Photos collected include troops from the Civil War, the Spanish American War, World Wars 1 & 2, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars. The room was dedicated with a ceremony which included many of the faces featured in the room’s photo collection. Videos of the event are available for purchase.
Within the last year, the Historical Society has leased the courthouse from the county with plans to refurbish the structure and create a museum with rotating exhibits that will feature local business, families, daily life, etc. Repointing bricks in the 1878 section, repainting the exterior trim, rebuilding the front columns and replacing broken windows top the task list. Work has been started but it will be a long-term effort. As of August 2018, 20% of the $500,000 goal has been raised, and donations are being collected on an ongoing basis.
The Courthouse is open to the public on Memorial Day, July 4, Heritage weekend and Veterans’ Day. Group tours can be scheduled by appointment.