Historic District Downtown Building Inventory
A Building of the Pomeroy Downtown Historic District (Site ID 13)
In November 1900, the citizens of Garfield County authorized a $20,000 bond for the construction of a new courthouse in Pomeroy to replace the wooden structure that was lost in the 1900 fire. Prominent Albany, Oregon, architect Charles H. Burggraf was hired to design the new courthouse, and bids were open for the project in March 1901. August Use of Spokane was awarded the contract with a bid of $18,783. The specification called for brick and stone construction; the stone was quarried locally from the Valentine Ridge area near the Snake River. The statue of justice that caps the dock tower is only one of twenty statues nationwide where the justice figure is not blindfolded. According to the 2 August 1904 City Council minutes, authorization was given to install a dock in the clock tower.
A Civil War statue, erected by the G.A.R., was placed in front of the courthouse in 1904 at the Fourth of July celebration. Due to deterioration, the statue was removed in the 1950s. In 2000, the VFW Post #2351 and the Garfield County Pioneer Society funded and dedicated a new bronze Civil War statue that now graces the courthouse lawn. The statue rests on top of the original marble base that is engraved with the names of the county's veterans.
Accessory Structure: A two-car garage is located west of the courthouse. The building has a gable roof covered with seamed metal siding and wood siding. A small metal shed is south of the garage. Both accessory buildings were constructed outside the period of significance and are Non-Historic, Non-Contributing structures to the site.
Erected in 1901, the two-and-one-half story Queen Anne style Garfield County Courthouse has a flared hiproof with intersecting hips and gables covered with composition asphalt shingles laid in a fish scale design. The brickbuilding has corbeled brick chimneys, overhanging eaves supported by modillions, decorative brick frieze, one-over-one double-hung wood sash windows with flat arch lintels, a double projecting brick stringcourse separating the stories, and an ashlar stone foundation. A three-story clock tower embellishes the front (south) elevation and has a domed roof topped with a justice statute, a clock recessed in a pointed arch, fanlight window, tripartite window on the second story and an open arch in the basement level. Another polygonal tower with a conical roof is on the west end of the front elevation and has fanlight windows, a frieze with circular recesses, and ornate glass window panes. The east elevation is decorated with a round bay. The south projecting entrance bay is capped with an open porch and rail, and has an arched window above the entrance opening. The main entrance doors are recessed in the bay. A three-story concrete block elevator shaft was added to the rear (north) elevation in June 1999. An expansive terraced lawn area is in front of the courthouse that has a central stairway lined with shrubs leading to the main entrance. Tall coniferous trees are on the west side of the lawn and a bronze Civil War Infantryman statue on the east side. A parking area, excavated in 1949, is on the north side of the courthouse. The Garfield County Courthouse was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
Cultural Data based on
research by Donovan & Associates
Washington's Birthday Message from February 1924, East Washingtonian
Come to the Picnic in Mayview!
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The Committee gratefully acknowledges donations of time, photographs, scans, and other
assistance from the Garfield County Museum and individual citizens of Pomeroy and Garfield County.
The Pomeroy Historic Preservation Committee
66 South 7th Street
Pomeroy WA 99347
Copyright © 2002-2021 John R. Gordon