The Montgomery County Courthouse in Ohio (1850-1880)

I have a clodhopper tendency to say that any community which features a skyscraper that tops three-hundred feet is big, and I generally use South Bend, Indiana, as my baseline since it has one tower that meets that requirement. So far, I’ve only gone to a few courthouses in cities that qualify as big according to my skyline standards- places like Columbus, Indianapolis, Toledo, and Fort Wayne that represent the country’s 14th, 15th, 83rd, and 84th largest communities. But with five towers that top my 300-foot benchmark, Dayton counts too. I love when I can take a photo of an old courthouse surrounded by skyscrapers!

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The Colleton County Courthouse in South Carolina (1820-)

One of my favorite things about traveling is being exposed to things different from what we have at home. I don’t just mean swapping White Castle for Krystal, either: as a kid, I was fortunate to grow up with parents who stressed the importance of experiencing authentic slices of local culture on our trips, whether they found us in Montreal, Belize, New Orleans, or the ruined Mayan city of Chichén Itzá. The South Carolina Lowcountry is no different- here in the midwest, two-hundred-year-old Greek Revival Courthouses aren’t exactly common!

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The Ripley County, Indiana Courthouse (1863-)

Hoosiers like to celebrate our accomplishments. When we complete civic projects, the festivities often include things like ribbon-cuttings, speeches from dignitaries, balloons, music, and even fireworks. Pretty low on the list of a typical commemorative event is s 2,000-person confederate raid, but that’s what the Ripley County Courthouse in Versailles went through in 1863 just as construction was wrapping up.

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