County Courthouse Challenge

Municipal Mayhem: Celebrating Our Local Courthouses and the Man Who Illustrated Them All

This month, we’re rebranding the moniker used by the NCAA each spring as a county courthouse competition.

Thirty-two county courthouses from around the state are up against each other in an epic, and very niche, showdown for the title of “Members’ Choice.” The courthouses are listed alphabetically, but the voting criteria is completely up to you, the WSBA member. You can choose from among the oldest buildings (see Columbia, Jefferson, Lincoln), or the most unique architecture (see Franklin, Douglas, Garfield, Pacific), or perhaps vote for the courthouse where you won your first case. You can even go with local pride and pick your own county courthouse to go all the way. Unlike actual NCAA tournaments, there are no televised matchups, no sportsbooks, no official rules, no referees—and no prizes. There will, however, be a winner, to be crowned as the Members’ Choice in an upcoming issue of Bar News

A Competition for the Members’ Choice Building

Cast your vote: 

» Download a bracket (at right), fill it out in Adobe Acrobat, and email it to

» Bonus: Send in a photo that you took of your county courthouse for a chance to be included in a later issue of Bar News.

Artist Bio

Richard Hashagen created the stunning pen and ink illustrations that fill these pages (reprinted with this family’s permission). Mr. Hashagen was born and raised in Spokane. His interest in the visual arts began in his formative years and continued throughout his career as a graphic artist. After serving in the Navy, his studies continued at San Diego City College, the University of Illinois, and Butler University. 

Mr. Hashagen maintained a studio in the Spokane Valley in the 1970s where he embarked on a vigorous project of drawing pen and ink illustrations of the counties of Washington. Mr. Hashagen spent over three years, along with his wife, Lula Mae, traveling to each of these counties to sketch a variety of scenes, including every courthouse. These originals were then offered to each of the courthouses. Today, many of his pen and ink originals are displayed in various courthouses around the state.

Mr. Hashagen published his courthouse and other illustrations as a book in 1986 entitled Counties of the State of Washington, which is available from various online book sellers. A limited supply of his courthouse illustrations is also on display in the offices of the Washington State Bar Association. Mr. Hashagen passed away in June 2013.

Learn More: Two excellent sources for more county and courthouse knowledge: History Link (, which also provides information about the indigenous people living in these areas prior to and at the time each county was incorporated, and American Courthouses (, which provides design information, the names of architects and contractors, building costs, and photos of current and past structures.