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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Athens in Limestone County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Courthouse and South Side of Square

 
 
Courthouse and South Side of Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, August 2, 2020
1. Courthouse and South Side of Square Marker
Inscription.  Top row, left to right:
• The first Limestone County Courthouse was a log structure completed in the early 1820s. The second courthouse, constructed ca. 1825 of brick, was used only until 1831, when the walls began to crack and collapse. It was sold for $505, dismantled, and moved away. The third courthouse, built in 1836, was burned in 1864 by Union soldiers. Only the outside walls remained. In 1866 Hiram H. Higgins drew plans for a new courthouse to be built within the standing walls of the burned-out courthouse.
• This courthouse, completed in 1869, was constructed within the walls of the 1836 building. It was torn down in 1916 to make way for the present structure. The water tower, located on the southwest corner of the square, was erected in 1897. The Presbyterian Church moved to its present location in 1894. This photo appears to have been taken on Farmer's Day.
• A closer view of the 1869 courthouse shows the canopy covering the public well on the lawn. Many people gathered here to conduct their business and to meet their friends and neighbors.
• The current courthouse was occupied ca. 1919. Ater the original
Courthouse and South Side of Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, August 2, 2020
2. Courthouse and South Side of Square Marker
contractor had money problems, wood replaced some of the steel joists and a cheaper floor covering was selected, but the changes did not mar the beauty of the building's Palladian style.
• A remodeled courthouse shows cosmetic alterations. The building received minor changes for the second time in 1974.

Bottom row, left to right:
• In 1897 W. T. McDonald sold this livery stable to J. W. Tilman. Shown above is McDonald and his son, John. Rob and Bob Hardy are standing with a matched pair of horses named Vandy and Dandy.
• A view of Washington Street in 1973.
• A street scene on the south side of the square after 1919.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureIndustry & Commerce.
 
Location. 34° 48.139′ N, 86° 58.301′ W. Marker is in Athens, Alabama, in Limestone County. Marker is on West Washington Street east of North Jefferson Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 211 W Washington St, Athens AL 35611, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Athens, Alabama (within shouting distance of this marker); Athens Sacked and Plundered (within shouting distance of this marker); Courthouse and Poor Farm Fence (within shouting distance of this marker); Limestone County Iraq — Afghanistan Memorial
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(within shouting distance of this marker); Limestone County Beirut Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle Surrender Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Athens First Presbyterian Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Limestone County Vietnam War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Athens.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 7, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 3, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 58 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 3, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 28, 2021