Dear Courthouse Supporters,
The Historic Salem Courthouse Community Center is alive with ideas, activities and people of all ages.After sixteen years of hard work, financial investment, and perserverence, our organization can claim a large measure of success. The support from the community and all of those who attended our events and contributed financially have really made it all possible. We thank you for your continued support. Although the details have yet to be worked out, 2019 will be a year of celebration.
The Salem Courthouse was built in 1869, so the year ahead will be the 150th year of its existence. Back in 1869 the community and its leaders had to fight to persuade the county to have the courthouse built in Salem. Other villages in the county wanted the obvious privilege and prestige of having courtroom issues settled in their communities. Salem provided the best argument for keeping the new courthouse, partly with the promise to provide one-third of the cost ($30,000) of the construction. Foundation work started at the end of April 1869 and the rest of the building was completed by the end of the year. Can you imagine the “army” of workers it would have required to get the entire building completed in so short a time?
So, 2019 will be a year of appreciation of the fact that this great old building is not only still standing but is still serving our community. We have plans in the works for several restoration projects that will add to the list of projects completed in the past sixteen years. This old building is looking better, but we still have a way to go before we can say it’s back to its original condition. In the meantime, we continue to schedule programs and activities that help provide a quality of life in our community that we can enjoy and be proud of.
The people of Salem in 1869 were proud of their building and what they had accomplished to make it happen here. In 2019 we will celebrate their accomplishment and also our own as we continue to enjoy the presence and the pride we have in “The Old Washington County Courthouse” in our very special community of Salem.