Mariposa County Courthouse

California State Historic Landmark 670

Plaque exists. Site exists. Landmark location.

Plaque Photo:

#670 Mariposa County Courthouse
This mortise and tenon Greek Revival courthouse, erected in 1854, is California's oldest court of law and has served continuously as the seat of government since 1854. During the 19th century landmark mining cases setting legal precedent were tried here, and much United States mining law is based on decisions emanating from this historic courthouse.

#670 Mariposa County Courthouse
California's oldest seat of justice still in use. The front half, the original building, completed in 1854, cost $9,200. The lumber was sash-sawed from nearby forests; framework fastened with mortised joints and wooden pegs. Finishing lumber was hand-planed and nailed with square-cut nails. A fire-proof brick vault to protect records, added in 1861, was later enlarged. The English-made clock with its 267 lb. bell in the cupola, was installed in 1860 and has been faithfully tolling each hour since.
The courtroom, scene of many famous legal battles, civil and criminal, remains the same as in pioneer days, with the original seats, tables, and judge's bench.

Site Photo:



10th and Bullion Sts, Mariposa.

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Donald Laird