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Old Grayson County Courthouse and Clerk's Office

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1834 courthouse, James Toncray, builder; 1810 clerk's office, Martin Dickenson. Greenville Rd. at Justice Rd.
  • Courthouse (Virginia Department of Historic Resources)

In 1799, the recently minted county acquired the land upon which these early civic buildings now stand. The county subdivided the property into half-acre lots and built a log courthouse at the principal intersection of the new village then named Greenville. In 1810, a one-room clerk's office was built of brick laid in Flemish bond. Located across the corner from the courthouse, it has a gable-end centered entrance and a side entrance, both with fanlights, an exterior-end chimney, double-hung sash windows, and a molded brick water table.

In 1834, a brick courthouse replaced the log building. Characteristic of Toncray's courthouses, the two-story building has a symmetrical three-part form, with a three-bay, central block flanked by two-bay wings. Toncray employed this formula in his Wythe (1818; demolished), Scott (1829; SC1), and Montgomery (1833; demolished) county courthouses and it influenced several regional builders who designed courthouses, for example Giles County (GI1), during the antebellum period. Built of brick laid in Flemish bond on foundation walls of sandstone, the courthouse is minimally detailed, with jack arches over doors and windows, multipane double-hung sash windows, interior-end chimneys, and a simple entrance with paneled door, transom, and sidelights. After the county seat was moved to Independence in 1850, this courthouse and the clerk's office were used for various commercial and quasi-public purposes, and in the late 1980s were rehabilitated for residential use.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee

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