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

Midland in Midland County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Midland County Courthouse

 
 
Midland County Courthouse Marker, Side One image. Click for full size.
By Kathy Garman, August 8, 2020
1. Midland County Courthouse Marker, Side One
Inscription.  In 1831 the first white settlers in the area built a fur trading post near this site, called “Little Forks” by the Indians. When Midland County was organized in 1850, 65 people lived here. In 1856, Henry C. Ashmun, the county’s first prosecuting attorney, was authorized to locate a courthouse, and he chose this site. The original courthouse served until 1926. In 1919, Mayor Joseph A. Cavanagh proposed that a new courthouse be built at this site. Voters approved a $225,000 bond issue in 1920 and, in gratitude for the war effort of area servicemen, invited the Midland American Legion to make its home here at the courthouse. Herbert H. Dow, founder of The Dow Chemical Company, provided additional funds and materials. Dr. Dow laid the cornerstone on March 29, 1925. This courthouse was occupied on January 1, 1926.

Architect Bloodgood Tuttle of Detroit and Cleveland designed this courthouse in rustic Tudor Revival style. A portion of the exterior is magnesite stucco, a building material developed in 1925 by The Dow Chemical Company from Midland’s vast underground brines. Donald Gibb of Dow worked with noted Detroit artist Paul Honoré

Midland County Courthouse Marker, Side Two image. Click for full size.
By Kathy Garman, August 8, 2020
2. Midland County Courthouse Marker, Side Two
to develop the new “plastic mosaic” material. Ground glass was used instead of sand and silex in the magnesite stucco to give the murals their unusual color and sparkle. Using a palette knife, Honoré created the layered, three-dimensional exterior murals of life-sized Indians, lumbermen, and traders, illustrating the history of Midland County, and the mural in the circuit courtroom depicting an Indian Council. All of the exterior building materials are said to have originated in Midland County.
 
Erected 1989 by Bureau of History, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number L1235A.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureNative AmericansScience & MedicineSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list.
 
Location. 43° 36.843′ N, 84° 14.832′ W. Marker is in Midland, Michigan, in Midland County. Marker is on West Main Street 0.1 miles east of Isabella Street (State Route 20), on the right when traveling east. Located in the newly constructed circular plaza in front of the Courthouse. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 301 W Main St, Midland MI 48640, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies.
Midland County Courthouse and Historical Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kathy Garman, August 8, 2020
3. Midland County Courthouse and Historical Marker
The new circular Plaza is in the foreground.
The Upper Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away); Pine Grove Cemetery (approx. 6.9 miles away); Jerome Township Veterans Memorial (approx. 7.7 miles away); Stump Puller (approx. 8.2 miles away); Lumberman's Bunkhouse (approx. 8.2 miles away); Log Cabin (approx. 8.2 miles away); Felix School (approx. 8.2 miles away); Town Hall (approx. 8.2 miles away).
 
A Closer Look at the Magnesite Stucco siding of the Courthouse. image. Click for full size.
By Kathy Garman, August 8, 2020
4. A Closer Look at the Magnesite Stucco siding of the Courthouse.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 29, 2020, by John Garman of Rochester Hills. This page has been viewed 46 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 29, 2020, by John Garman of Rochester Hills. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 26, 2021