Old Courthouse

Also known as: Old Marengo County Courthouse, Veteran's Hall
300 W. Cahaba Ave., Linden, Alabama

The third building to serve as the courthouse for Marengo County, Alabama.

Photos 

Historic American Buildings Survey Alex Bush, Photographer, June 13, 1935 FRONT (NORTH) AND EAST SIDE

Photo taken for the Historic American Buildings Survey

Map 

Street View 

Description 

The Old Marengo County Courthouse, built in 1850, is a Greek Revival courthouse building located in Linden, Alabama, U.S.A.. It was the third building to serve as the courthouse for Marengo County, Alabama, out of a current total of six. The courthouse was the site of a notable event on 9 October 1890 when nationally infamous train-robber and outlaw Reuben Houston "Rube" Burrow was shot and killed in the street in front of the building.

History

After Marengo became a county in 1818, the first building to serve as a courthouse was a simple one-room log cabin. This was too small to meet the needs of the county and on 25 May 1825 the county commissioners met and resolved to have a new two-story structure built on Cahaba Avenue, Linden's business district at that time. This second courthouse was finished in 1827 and was used until it burned in 1848. This saw the construction of the third building in 1850, on the site of the old. The new building would serve as the courthouse continuously, except for a brief period during Federal Reconstruction when the county seat was moved to Demopolis, until 1902.

In 1902, the county commissioners decided that a much larger courthouse was needed. They also decided that a better location was needed, as the business district of Linden had shifted to a location about a mile to the southeast. A new three-story Richardsonian Romanesque style courthouse with a five-story clock tower was then built at the corner of North Main Street and East Coats Avenue, leaving the old courthouse for use as a public school. In 1915 the building was purchased by the Missionary Society of Linden Baptist Church, for use as a church. In 1949 the building was sold to the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization for use as a meeting hall. From the 1960s until the present the building has sat largely empty and unused.

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 18, 1974
Reference number
74000426
Area of significance
Architecture
Level of significance
State
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Building
Historic functions
Courthouse; Religious structure
Current function
Clubhouse
Periods of significance
1875-1899; 1850-1874; 1825-1849
Significant year
ca. 1848

Tags 

19th Century (37,781)
Alabama (1,825)
Brick (42,462)
Built during 1840s (2,993)
Courthouse (2,254)
Have Street View (46,147)
Linden, Alabama (1)
Marengo County, Alabama (49)
Private owner (54,398)
Stucco (7,816)
Tin (2,648)

Update Log 

  • March 4, 2020: New Street View added by Michael Miller
  • May 19, 2012: Imported photos from HABS/HAER
  • May 26, 2011: Updated by WillyT: Added description

Sources