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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Oakland in Garrett County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Garrett County Courthouse

 
 
Garrett County Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 9, 2006
1. Garrett County Courthouse Marker
Inscription. The domed building on the hill to your right is the Garrett County Courthouse. Built in 1907 in a classical Greek style and designed by Architect J. Riley Gordon, this is the second building in Oakland to be called the Garrett County Courthouse. The first was built in 1877 one block away at the corner of Fourth and Green Streets. For the first five years after Garrett became a county in 1872, a court was held at the Glades Hotel.

The Garrett County Commissioners purchased the present site after the first courthouse became overcrowded. The purchase also included land for the Sheriff’s office and jail directly behind this building on Fourth Street.

A long series of steps used to lead from Third Street to the front entrance of the courthouse. At the bottom of those steps was a semi-circular plaza where certain Oakland and Garrett County outdoor activities were held. During the 1920’s a large cannon was placed on the lawn north of the steps but was removed during the “scrap
Marker with Mountain Fresh Pavilion in the Background image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 9, 2006
2. Marker with Mountain Fresh Pavilion in the Background
drive” of World War II.

Later on the spot where the cannon sat, a large papier-mâché “birthday cake” was constructed to celebrate Oakland’s 100th anniversary in August 1949.

Architect Gordon included in his plans a rotunda for the center of the courthouse. Three stories high, the rotunda has been the site of many small, indoor patriotic programs throughout the years. A large eagle with outstretched wings sits on top of the dome that covers the rotunda.

During the years between 1977 and 1979, the courthouse was enlarged to accommodate a new jail and Sheriff’s office building in an attached building facing Third Street. A new County office building was attached to the rear of the courthouse, extending into the area of Fourth Street where the jail and Sheriff’s office once stood. The stone columns and arches of the 1907 courthouse remain in the center section of the enlarged building.
 
Location. 39° 24.505′ N, 79° 24.62′ 
View of the Courthouse from the Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 9, 2006
3. View of the Courthouse from the Marker
The brick building blocking the view is across the street (South 3rd Street) from the courthouse. The spire behind the courthouse dome belongs to St Peter's Catholic Church on 4th Street.
W. Marker is in Oakland, Maryland, in Garrett County. Marker is at the intersection of South 1st Street and Alley 3 at the Town Parking Lot on South 1st Street. Touch for map. It is to the left of the Mountain Fresh pavilion at the footbridge over the creek. Marker is in this post office area: Oakland MD 21550, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Oakland Hotel (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); MaryLandscapes (about 300 feet away); A Bit of History - The Fireside (about 600 feet away); Railroad Street (about 600 feet away); Rasche Blacksmith Shop (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oakland.
 
More about this marker. The marker is three blocks from the courthouse.
 
Regarding Garrett County Courthouse. The reason the marker is three blocks from the courthouse is probably due to the fact that the courthouse and its architecture can no longer be appreciated from
Courthouse View from Freedom Park image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 9, 2006
4. Courthouse View from Freedom Park
Freedom Park is at the corner of 3rd and Oak. The side facing the alley is on the right. On the left is the now unused Main Entrance that once faced 3rd Street. The inaccessible 1977 plaza is behind the low wall behind the cars parked off the alley.
the streets surrounding it. The 1977 additions walled the courthouse off from the surrounding streets. The impressive vista up from Third street is gone, and can only be appreciated in old photographs, such as the one reproduced on the marker. J. Riley Gordon, the courthouse’s architect, is surely spinning in his grave.

The 1977 additions replaced the plaza at the foot of the entrance steps with a plaza on the roof of the Sheriff’s office. The view of the original main entrance may be good from there, but there is no way to tell. The new plaza is off limits to tourists. Today you enter the courthouse from the side, through the basement.

 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Alder Street Facade image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 9, 2006
5. Alder Street Facade
The red-brick monolith on the left is the County Office Building, which abuts the back of the courthouse. The low windowless building on the right is the Sheriff's office that replaced the original plaza.
Best View from Third Street image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 9, 2006
6. Best View from Third Street
Red sign on chain reads "Plaza Closed". There is a similar set of steps on the north side of the Sheriff's Station, which faces Third Street.
The Courthouse Lawn Faces Alder Street image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 9, 2006
7. The Courthouse Lawn Faces Alder Street
The Working Women's Memorial in on the lawn. It reads In this Bicentenial Year, this memorial is dedicated to all working women of all times. By the Garrett County Business and Professional Women's Club. August 25, 1976.
View Northwest from Freedom Park image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 9, 2006
8. View Northwest from Freedom Park
The Fountain at Freedom Park image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 9, 2006
9. The Fountain at Freedom Park
Remember the Price of Freedom. Plaque at foot of fountain reads In memory of all who fought for our Country. Dedicated to Alvin Chapin Brock, 175th Inf. 2nd Division, World War II, who died defending our freedom November 17, 1944.
Service Monument image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 9, 2006
10. Service Monument
The fountain is guarded by miniature flagbearers representing all of the armed services. The tablet on this monument reads In grateful tribute to the men and women who served in the service of our country.
Garrett County Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 24, 2013
11. Garrett County Courthouse
Close-up of photo on marker
Garrett County Courthouse <br>under construction image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 24, 2013
12. Garrett County Courthouse
under construction
Close-up of photo on marker
Garrett County Courthouse image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, September 22, 2013
13. Garrett County Courthouse
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 17, 2006, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,610 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on August 17, 2006, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   11, 12, 13. submitted on September 25, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
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