Page 16 - AreaNewsletters "Jan 2022" issue
P. 16

Did You Know This About the...
Douglas County
by Lora Thomas
Douglas County Commissioner and former State Patrol O cer assigned to Castle Rock in the 1980’s
Courthouse Fire
But first, another “Castle Rock” Trivia Question:
Who is Councilman for Castle Rock’s District 1? (Answer at the end of this article)
LAST MONTH’S COLUMN focused on the history of the empty former apartment building on the west side of Perry Street between 4th and 5th Street that was  rst called the Harris Hotel when it was built in the town of New Memphis. When Castle Rock was named the Douglas County seat, the building was moved to its current location and called the Castle Rock House. Click to read it.
This month we are going to investigate the  re that destroyed the historic Douglas County Courthouse on Saturday, March 11, 1978, that stood at 301 Wilcox Street. When I was a State Trooper here, one of my car-partners (the person who was assigned to the same car but worked the shift opposite of me) was Trooper Garcy Vasquez. He told me about the  re at the courthouse and he claimed that he was the trooper who arrested the drunk driver who is central to this whole story. . .but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let’s start at the beginning. The historic courthouse began with
a 300’ x
300’ square
which was platted in 1874 speci cally for a future courthouse. The actual January 2022 • Castle Rock “AreaNewsletters”
This photo hangs in the county building at 301 Wilcox, the same property where the old courthouse stood.
construction began in March 1889
by J.M. Anderson, a contractor out
of Emporia, Kansas, whose bid was $19,389.50. The  nal overall cost including furnishings, architectural fees, construction and extras was $29,920.04. The building was  rst occupied in 1894. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 8, 1976.

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