Bridgeport in Mono County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
First Bridgeport Courthouse
With the relocation of the county seat to Bridgeport in 1864, a new courthouse was needed. A survey of the town revealed only one suitable building – the American Hotel (owned by J. C. Kingsley). Subsequently the hotel was purchased by Mono County and converted into a courthouse, which also housed the offices of all county officials until it was replaced by a larger and more modern facility in 1881.
Many a “Badman from Bodie” saw justice in this courthouse during its tenure (1864-1881). One noteworthy trial resulted in the death penalty, when Chow Yew was convicted of murder on December 12, 1878.
Although, today, only remnants can be found of the first Bridgeport Courthouse, it made a lasting contribution to the legal legacy of Mono County.
Dedicated September 10, 2005
Bodie Chapter No. 64
E Clampus Vitus
Erected 2005 by Bodie Chapter No. 64, E Clampus Vitus.
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
Location. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bridgeport CA 93517, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "Bridgeport Inn" (approx. ¼ mile away); Frontier Justice (approx. ¼ mile away); Old County Jail (approx. 0.3 miles away); Bridgeport Chronicle-Union (approx. 0.3 miles away); Mono County Court House (approx. 0.3 miles away); "The Irwin" (approx. 0.3 miles away); Mono County Memorial Hall (approx. 0.3 miles away); Bridgeport Elementary School (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Bridgeport.
Regarding First Bridgeport Courthouse. Mono County was formed by the California legislature in 1861 with Aurora as the county seat. The first Mono County Courthouse was in a brick building located there. In September 1863, however, the “Sage Brush Survey” determined that Aurora was, in fact, just across the border in Nevada. Currently a ghost town, Aurora is located about 20 miles from Bridgeport (over dirt roads), and is the site of current mining operations. Only the foundations of some buildings and the graveyard are left.
Choosing to have a California
The third Mono County Courthouse, an imposing Italianate structure on Main Street in Bridgeport, is the second oldest continuously-used courthouse in California.
Ceramic models of all three courthouses are located in the Mono County Library on School Street.
Also see . . . A Little Historical Information about Bridgeport, California. Collected and hosted by the Peters family, owners of The Bridgeport Inn (established in 1877). (Submitted on June 25, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
Categories. • Notable Buildings •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,831 times since then and 90 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. 3. submitted on , by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Pictures of the three ceramic courthouse models. • Can you help?