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Sibley County Courthouse History

Sibley County's first courthouse, built in the then county seat of Henderson, burned in 1863 along with all of the early county records.  After the fire, a room was rented for county business at a cost of $12 per month.

In 1879, a two-story, vernacular, Italianate brick courthouse was completed at a cost of $5,000.  Currently, the 48 by 80 foot building, minus its wooden cupola and chimneys, is on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as the Henderson Community Building.

When the railroad came through in 1882, a new settlement was platted at Gaylord.  However, it was not until 1915 that Gaylord became the county seat.  Two years later, the Sibley County Courthouse, shown above, was completed.  James A. Burner and William H. Macomber designed the $128,786 courthouse.

Six two-story columns support a classic pediment and entablature above a high basement of horizontally-coursed stone.  Large glass windows on two levels open the wall behind the columns.  The buidling also has bronze entry doors and a stained glass skylight in the dome above the three-story octagonal rotunda. 

Inside, the main office floor is marble-faced with four principal offices designated by bronze name plates on opposite angles of the octagon.  The ceiling is coffered and enameled in soft gold and green designs, which blend with the colored marble decoration bordering the top of the walls.  Two marble stairways rise to the second level and a narrow strip of ebony sets off light wood doors.

In January 1976, Rieke-Carroll-Muller Associates designed and Loeffel-Engstrand of Hopkins built an annex at a cost of $637,00. 

Historical information adapted from "The First 100 Years... The Minnesota State Bar Association."

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