Courthouse tours begin June 8
- Pamplin Media
- Central Oregonian - News
>The Crook County Historical Society offers tours and lectures of the local courthouse starting this FridayThe Historical Society and Crook County have teamed up to give Courthouse tours this summer.
The tours will be offered beginning Fri., June 8 and on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays throughout the summer. Tours start at 12:15 p.m. at the bottom of the courthouse steps.
The Crook County Courthouse built in 1909 is recognized as one of the most beautiful in the State. It has an interesting, rich and sometimes controversial history.
It might come as a surprise to some readers that the residents of Bend were dead set against the Courthouse being built.
The Bend Bulletin stated on June 15, 1906. "The whole game has been shown in its true light, a game to build an expensive courthouse for Prineville's glory at the expense of the taxpayer." Original drawings called for a miniature copper rendition of the Statue of Liberty to sit on top of the clock tower.
The Courthouse originally had three sets of grand staircases, on the east, west and the current north sides. The basement housed the County jail with 10 jail cells. The Sheriff, Superintendent of Schools and County Library were all part of the original office space. The boiler room sat in the middle of lowest floor.
In 1941 there were some major renovations done. The east and west staircases were removed. The extra stone was used for the walls of the new boiler room located on the back of the building. Many of the offices were moved and reorganized.
The library was moved to the lower floor and expanded. A breakroom was created and all courthouse employees took breaks at the same time - promptly at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m..
These are only a few of the stories participants will hear on the tour. The tour will include a look at all three floors and ascend into the clock tower when possible (the entrance to the clock tower is off limits when a jury trial is in session.)
Locals and visitors alike will enjoy hearing about Crook County's beautiful courthouse. Everyone is invited join Bowman Museum for this free tour. For more information call the Bowman Museum at 447-3715.