Historic Markers Across Georgia

Elbert County Courthouse

Marker ID:  
Location: in front of the Elbert County Courthouse on S., Oliver Street near Church Street, Elberton, GA.
County: Elbert
Coordinates: N 34° 6.588    W 082° 52.108
  34.1098    -82.86846666
Style: Carved Stone **
Waymark: WM8A13
Elbert County Courthouse Marker  


The Elbert County Courthouse was built in 1894 and opened in a formal ceremony at the beginning of January 1895, as the third county courthouse building and fourth County site in Elbert County. After the private home of Thomas A. Carter, on Beaverdam Creek, northwest of Elberton, was used briefly as the first court venue, the first permanent courthouse was constructed, circa 1791-1792, behind the location of the present courthouse, according to John H. McIntosh and other sources. In 1816, the General Assembly of Georgia authorized the second courthouse, which was constructed in the middle of the public square. Reuben H. Hunt, and Elbert County native, of Hunt & Lamm in Chattanooga, Tennessee, designed this third Elbert County Courthouse in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. The contractor was L.L. Stephenson, of Covington, Georgia. E. Brewer Tate, Chairman of the Elbert County Commissioners, led the effort to fund this new edifice, which was built on the old Globe Hotel lot measuring 217 feet by 250 feet, on the western side of the square. Construction began May 3, 1894, with the laying of the cornerstone on the northeast corner by members of the Grand Masonic Lodge of Georgia. After the grand opening, the Elberton Star claimed that Elbert County could "boast of the best and most complete ´temple of justice´ in the state of Georgia, and one that will stand as a monument to the progress of this generation when it shall have passed off the stage of action." An arcades loggia on the second floor, a central clock tower, and a pair of corner turrets at the rear of the building are characteristic features of the Richardsonian Romanesque style employed here. Exterior materials consisted of pressed red brick walls, local granite trim and details, galvanized iron cornices, a slate roof, and a copper dome. To minimize future maintenance requirements, Hunt limited exterior wooden components to doors and windows. Inside, he designed the first floor as the main office story, with various usage rooms in the basement. An elegant double staircase leads from the entrance vestibule to the second story that features the courtroom and rooms for other functions, while the third story has additional miscellaneous room. In the tower, Hunt placed a large bell and a Seth Thomas town clock. Some special materials used on the interior include Georgia marble for the floors of the vestibule and the first and second story hallways, as well as oiled and polished oak for windows, door facings, mantles, and wainscoting, Modifications to this building include the addition of an elevator at the northern rear of the building and construction of a granite ramp on the southern side of the front entrance, to provide universal access . A mid 20th century fire led to the painting of the brick gray; but, in 2000, the building was repainted red. In 2005-2008, Dennis Young, Elbert County Construction & Maintenance Supervisor, and his team enacted the restoration and renovation plan of architect Bill Howell of Howell & Associates of Columbia, South Carolina, and made special improvements and enhancements throughout to return the courthouse to the monument of splendor designed by Reuben H. Hunt.

Elbert County Courthouse
Elbert County Courthouse