Carrollton’s 1876 courthouse sits on the town square in the county seat of Carroll County, Mississippi. For 13 years, I have driven past the exit to Carrollton from the Interstate 55 on numerous trips to and through Jackson. Finally, last week I took the exit. It was only 10 miles over to Carrollton, and although this was not my initial destination, it caught my attention and I temporarily paused my mission and pulled to park in one of the many spaces available around the square.
It was a beautiful day and the courthouse doors on all 4 entrances were thrown open, and people stood in the breeze created by the open central cross halls on the first floor, talking in small groups. Architect James Clark Harris designed the building, with the court room occupying the second floor, and T. W. and A. Larmour Parker constructed the stucco-over-brick facility, completing it in 1878 (Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Historic Resources Inventory database). A north wing annex was added circa 1935. I speculated that the annex might have been funded by PWA or WPA, as courthouse improvements were among the many projects constructed with New Deal Administration programs, but I have found no documentation to that effect thus far.
Harris also designed and built Carrollton’s Stanhope, and several other “distinctive, eclectically detailed Houses of the 1870s” (Shoemaker & Halat, 1978), including The Oaks, Colonel Helm House, and Captain Ray House . Next up, a bit more about the history of this building, and perhaps, an update on that annex!