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Brooke County Courthouse

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1849. Southeast corner of Main and Seventh sts. (southwest corner of Town Square)
  • Brooke County Courthouse (Library of Congress)

Built on the site of its 1799 predecessor, which was described by Fortescue Cuming in his travel account of 1807 as “a convenient little court house of stone, with a small, light cupola spire,” this much-altered brick building is one of the state's oldest courthouses in continuous use. It was originally a simple, two-story, brick building on a sandstone foundation, covered with a gable roof. Rudimentary brick pilasters divide side walls into bays, and several rows of corbeled brick help support the cornice. A later, ungainly Doric portico now stretches across the facade, its ceiling brutally cutting across the original second-story windows. A small octagonal cupola set back from the front gable provides an unintentional ecclesiastical aura with its trefoil pattern of wooden tracery. The cupola houses a bell inscribed “G. Hedderly, Philadelphia, 1807, Fecit.”

Seventh Street between Main and Charles streets is a brick-paved pedestrian way known as Wellsburg Town Square. Installed in 1985, it provides a modest civic center, with the courthouse and the city hall, a handsome Georgian Revival structure built in 1940, on its south side.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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