Roseau County Courthouse History

Until 1913, county affairs had been conducted in a two-story wood building remodeled in 1894 to serve as a courthouse.  It was later used as a hospital, a florist shop, and apartments.

A new, two-story courthouse was built in 1913 of brown brick over poured concrete.  It has a hip roof of standing seam metal.  Built during a period of classic revival, the simple, formal facade is a second Renaissance style, with double windows set between monumental brick pilasters and topped by Ionic capitals.

Bonds valued at $25,000 were sold to build the building after a close vote of 1,131 to 1,042.  The site chosen was located on the west side of Roseau because the school building had already been built on the east.  Duluth's Lignell and Loebeck designed the courthouse and H. Fawcett won the $21,139 bid to build it.

In the 1960s, a proective entry about 10 feet square was added to the front for $3,400.

The current courthouse, pictured above, was built in 1996 after a heated dispute developed between the residents of Roseau and Warroad.  The Marvin family, owner of Marvin Windows, offered to contribute money toward a new courthouse if the courthouse and county seat were moved to Warroad.  After an unsuccessful petition drive, the new courthouse was built on the south edge of Roseau.

Architect Thomas & Vecchi of Duluth incorporated several elements from the old courthouse into the design of the new single-story structure.  Among the features were cast-stone ionic columns that fram the main entrance and that are repeated inside the main lobby under the lighted domed ceiling.

Historical information adapted from "The First 100 Years... The Minnesota State Bar Association."

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