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Dickinson County Courthouse and Jail

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1896–1897, James E. Clancy. 705 S. Stephenson Ave.

In 1896, five years after Dickinson County was established by the state legislature by dividing Menominee County, voters elected to borrow $32,000 to acquire a site and build a courthouse and jail. Until then the county leased space in the Wood Building in the 200 block of E. Ludington Street. The new site occupies a full block on a hillside south of the central business district, where it faces the main thoroughfare and is plainly visible from the trains that ran through the city on both railroads. Here the county built a formal rock-faced red brick Richardsonian Romanesque courthouse trimmed with Portage Entry red sandstone. With an entrance and bell, the clock tower rises eighty-eight feet over the city. The round-arched entrance, with prominent voussoirs, is flanked by granite columns. The building was designed by Clancy, who planned several courthouses in northern Michigan and Wisconsin, including the neighboring Iron County Courthouse ( IR1). E. E. Grip and Company of Ishpeming built the courthouse. The Iron Mountain Range Tribune (January 2, 1897) remarked that the “elegant, commodious and complete” county buildings seemed to mark “the progress of Dickinson County” and to place her “in the Front Rank of Progressiveness.” The medieval-looking castellated sheriff's residence and jail stand to the south of the courthouse.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Kathryn Bishop Eckert

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