And the Winner Is …

Announcing the winner of the Washington State Bar News County Courthouse Challenge

Garfield County Courthouse. Located in Pomeroy, the Garfield County Courthouse was built in 1901 and fully restored in 2010. Photo by Tom Ledgerwood.

After two months of member voting, the Garfield County Courthouse takes the trophy in the Bar News Courthouse Challenge (bracket published in the March issue). 

The late-Victorian-style courthouse, built in 1901, was designed by architect Charles Burrgraf, who also designed several courthouses in Oregon. The county itself was formed in 1881, with Pataha City as the interim county seat. But after a special election and more than one lawsuit, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives had to step in, approving a measure making Pomeroy the official county seat and reportedly making Garfield the only county in the nation to have its seat declared by an act of Congress. 

From Garfield County Courthouse Supervisor Chris Lueck:

In 1901, after a fire destroyed most of the town, the present courthouse was constructed. It was built by a Spokane contractor named August Isle, at a cost of $19,583. The specs called for the face brick to be cherry red in color and well burned and hard. Someone fudged on the brick, as it was so soft it had to be painted three years after it was built. The Victorian-era Queen Anne has Lady Justice on her cupola looking over us all. She got a total makeover in 2010—top-to-bottom restoration. She’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer. She’s ready for the next 100 years!

Illustrations by Richard Hashagen

Wahkiakum County Courthouse

Photo submitted by Hanigan Law.

The Wahkiakum County Courthouse, in Cathlamet, designed by architect Newton C. Gauntt, was built in 1923.

Franklin County Courthouse

Photo by Mary M. Rathbone. 

The classical revival-style Franklin County Courthouse in Pasco, built in 1912, was designed by C. Lewis Wilson, the same architect who designed the Pacific County Courthouse.

Columbia County Courthouse

Photo by Ric Jacobs.

Built in 1883, the Columbia County Courthouse is the oldest in operation in the state. It is located in Dayton and was designed by architect William H. Burrows.