The History of Weld County's Courthouses
Since 1883, the Weld County Courthouse has existed on the corner of 9th street and 9th avenue in the heart of downtown Greeley. However, from log cabins on the back portion of local farms to a small lot called Block 36 in Evans, the official Weld County Courthouse has had a total of six different structures, in five different locations across the county.
- Andrew Lumry’s Homestead (1861-1869)
The very first location to house the official courthouse was a small one-room log cabin located on Andrew Lumry’s farm on the South Platte River between the St. Vrain and Platteville. Lumry offered this cabin as a meeting place for local officials as well as for court proceedings—Lumry was very active in local government and would later go on to become a county clerk.
This cabin was later reconstructed and can be seen today at the Centennial Village Museum in Greeley.
- Fort Latham (1869-1870)
Used interchangeably with Lumry’s cabin for a time, the second official home of the Weld County Courthouse was located at Fort Latham, also called the Overland Trail Station of Latham or the Cherokee City Station. The structure was built in 1862 where the South Platte and Cache la Poudre Rivers met. This, at one point, was the busiest location on the Overland Trail and was the official county seat from 1860-1864.
- Block 36 (1870-1877)
When Evans became the official county seat in 1870, a building in a section of town referred to as “Block 36” was dedicated as the official site for county government and court proceedings. Although this building was in use for official purposes for about seven years, no images of the structure exist.
- 7th Street, Greeley (1877-1883)
After the county seat moved to Greeley, a one-story frame building was constructed at the corner of 7th Street and 9th Avenue, where the Chase Bank building now sits. This structure acted as the official county courthouse, as well as the Town Hall for the City of Greeley, until it became too small for the growing county.
- The Brick Courthouse (1883-1914)
In 1883, the a courthouse was built in the location that now houses the current courthouse (at the corner of 9th Street and 9th Avenue). This structure was the first building that would be exclusively for court activities, and was drastically bigger and more elaborate than its predecessors.
- The Courthouse of Today
Despite its beauty and size, the brick courthouse soon became too small for the growing county and too bland to accurately represent the increasing prosperity of the area. So, in 1914 it was razed to make way for the massive marble structure that still exists today. This new courthouse was designed to be a “jewel on the plains,” and was designed to be in use for much longer than the courthouses that came before—a goal that can be considered achieved as we celebrate its centennial birthday!