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First courthouse is built (1855); ends in flames

Sealed bids were requested on March 7, 1855, for construction and furnishing of the first Clark County courthouse in the Washington Territory. The two-story wooden building was 45 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 22 feet high. It opened in October 1855 at what is now 9th and Reserve Streets in Vancouver. Three years later, a county jail was built on the northeast corner of the lot.

Lots of repairs were needed to keep the building going until a new courthouse was built in 1883. After the new courthouse was in business, the one at 9th and Reserve Streets was sold for $1,030 to the Sisters of Charity of Providence, who planned to use it as an addition to the grounds of St. Joseph Hospital. But it soon burned down.

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Street address: 1300 Franklin Street, Floor 6, Vancouver, WA 98660
Mailing address: P.O. Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000
Main phone: (360) 397-6012 | FAX: (360) 397-6015
E-mail: pio@clark.wa.gov

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