“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Boulder in Jefferson County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)

Jefferson County Courthouse

Jefferson County Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 14, 2021
1. Jefferson County Courthouse Marker
Inscription.  In 1888, Jefferson County voters passed a $40,000 bond issue to build a permanent courthouse. Flourishing gold and silver mines and the advent of the railroad meant the county would see its population quadruple between 1870 and 1890, and there looked to be no end to the boom. Seeking a building that mirrored their confidence in the future, county commissioners hired Montana Territory’s most noted architect, the German-born and trained John Paulsen, to draw up plans. Paulsen reflected the young settlement’s ambitions with this Richardsonian Romanesque style building. Inspired by the enduring structures of the Middle Ages, the style particularly appealed to frontier communities that wanted to assert their staying power. The massive courthouse features a tall square tower capped by an octagonal spire and two turrets. It also boasts the semi-circular arches, rough-cut stone accents, and asymmetrical roofline that typify Richardsonian Romanesque. Gargoyles at the building’s corners, perched just below the eaveline, add a touch of whimsy. Contractor J. S. McKenzie built the two-story monument from locally quarried granite and bricks burned within
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a mile of the construction site. The interior features elaborate woodwork, including decorative door and window trim and an ornately carved staircase. In the courtroom itself, walls rise twenty feet to a ceiling of stained beams and planking. Completed the year Montana achieved statehood, the building ultimately cost the county approximately $50,000 (an estimated $1.1 million in today’s dollars). Built for the ages, it is one of the oldest courthouses in Montana still used for its original purpose.
Erected by Montana Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & PoliticsNotable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Montana National Register Sign Program series list.
Location. 46° 14.163′ N, 112° 7.316′ W. Marker is in Boulder, Montana, in Jefferson County. Marker is on West Centennial Avenue near North Washington Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 West Centennial Avenue, Boulder MT 59632, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Montana State School (approx. half a mile away); The Boulder River Bridge (approx. 2.3 miles away); Boulder Hot Springs (approx. 2.8 miles away); a different
Jefferson County Courthouse and marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 14, 2021
2. Jefferson County Courthouse and marker
The marker is on a stand to the right of the entrance.
marker also named Boulder Hot Springs (approx. 2.8 miles away); Mining Country (approx. 6.6 miles away); Jib Mill (approx. 7˝ miles away); Freighters (approx. 12.9 miles away); Elkhorn Mountain Volcanoes (approx. 12.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Boulder.
Jefferson County Courthouse image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, July 14, 2021
3. Jefferson County Courthouse
Credits. This page was last revised on November 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 19, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 66 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 19, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Feb. 20, 2024