Monday, October 24, 2016

A wooden court house in Texas

[1880 Fayette County Precinct #2 Courthouse, Fayetteville, Texas, as drawn by Earl Thollander in his book Back Roads of Texas, published by Northland Press, 1980]

In Fayetteville's delightful town square I sketched the 1880 Fayette County Precinct #2 Courthouse. It has a two-cell hoosegow upstairs and a working Seth Thomas Clock in its tower.
Earl Thollander describes the wooden Fayetteville court house.

The comments in the post for E. L. Moore's Court House got to talking about how it's tough to find pictures of wooden court houses online. I couldn't find any, but I thought I might find one in a book I had somewhere in the house called The Courthouses of Texas.
[The Courthouses of Texas, by Mavis P. Kelsey, Sr. and Donald H. Dyal, published by Texas A & M University Press in 1993.]

I couldn't find any wooden ones in that book, but I did find a pen and wash drawing of an old one located in Fayetteville, Texas in Back Roads of Texas. It has some features very similar to E. L. Moore's: two-storey, clapboard siding, boxy, tower. There's some differences too: sloped roof instead of barn, no fancy entry columns, walkout and porch on the tower, and what look like some Christmas lights strung from the eaves of the tower's roof. They're roughly similar and suggest that there might have once been a prototype out there somewhere for Mr. Moore's model.
Back Roads of Texas is a favourite. It's a tour book of back roads trips through Texas illustrated on every page with pen and wash drawings. Given the book was published in 1980, I'd hazard a guess the drawings were made in the late 70s. I wonder how much of what Mr. Thollander drew still remains.

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