Courthouse History

The Hinsdale County Courthouse is associated with settlement and
development of Lake City during the late 1800s mining era.  It is
significant for its role as seat of county government since its 1877
construction.  A seminal event in the building’s history includes the
September, 1877 appearance of suffragette Susan B. Anthony.  
Anthony came to Lake City as part of a state-wide speaking tour and
spoke to a capacity audience on two successive nights. Anthony was
scheduled to speak in the upstairs courtroom of the courthouse but
was obliged to exit the over-crowded room and instead make her
address from the courthouse’s east entrance facing Henson Street.

The Hinsdale County Courthouse is Colorado’s oldest courthouse
which continues to be utilized for its originally intended purpose and a
rare surviving example of a frame courthouse building. It is also a well-
preserved representative of the local interpretation of the Italianate
style constructed in Lake City during this period, as reflected in its
clapboard exterior, bracketed cornice, cornerboards, friezeboard,
transoms, and narrow windows with crown molding.

The courthouse remains relatively unchanged since Anthony
addressed miners on the importance of extending the vote to
women.  The interior maintains and uses its original furnishings,
present at the time Anthony made her address.  The upstairs
courtroom continues to be used for periodic County and District Court
functions

The courthouse is listed as a contributing element of the Lake City
National Historic District and has been deemed eligible for individual
listing on the National Register.  The structure is historically notable
based on its architectural style and close association with nationally
recognized historic figures such as Susan B. Anthony and Colorado
cannibal Alferd Packer.  In 1984 the Town of Lake City passed an
ordinance protecting structures of historic significance within the Lake
City Historic District.  The Town has also published a Historic District
Guidelines manual to assist owners of historic properties.  

As a county maintained and public building, the courthouse is open
five days a week and used extensively throughout the year.  The
upstairs courtroom is accessed by the original curved wooden
stairway and is not handicap accessible.
311 N. Henson Street   Lake City, Colorado 81235-0277                   970-944-2225     Toll free 1-877-944-7575
Courtroom then and now
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