Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Copiah County Courthouse -- Dome and All

The Copiah County Courthouse, a Classical Revival structure, was designed by none other than J. Riely Gordon.  The cornerstone was laid in 1902 and the building was completed in 1903.  

The contractor was G.T. Hallas and Company of Hazlehurst, who built many significant structures in the state of Mississippi during that time period, including the Inez Hotel in Brookhaven.  His bid of $44,603 was the winning bid.

(As for the local angle, G.T. Hallas was the grandfather of Rachel Hallas Greil, who grew up in Brookhaven and attended Brookhaven High School in the late 1960s.)

A history book on Copiah County states that the third floor clock and dome were removed in 1934 when it began to leak.  Two wings were constructed in the 1950s, and the jail was torn down in 1981. 

To see how the courthouse appears today, see this link.  

In a personal aside, I think the dome should have been repaired, no expenses spared.  Not only did they lose the aesthetics, but a stained glass window that illuminated the courtroom via the dome has been blocked from view, this according to the history book on the county.  

Postcards are from the Cooper Collection at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

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