Then, on the night of December 6, 1871, both the old building and the new courtroom were
burned beyond repair.
Third Courthouse at Hagerstown
The county commissioners took steps immediately to find quarters for the courts and the
other agencies of county government—they could not ask permission of the General Assembly
for that body was not in session. Accommodations for the court were found in the basement
room of the Methodist Church, which was located but a short distance from the courthouse.14
At the next session of the General Assembly, the county commissioners were authorized to
issue bonds in the amount of $75,000 for a new courthouse to be built on the site of the burnt-
out structure and to be completed "on or before July or August first, eighteen hundred and
seventy-three ....... "15 Permission was granted in 1874 for the purchase and improvement of
several parcels of ground contiguous to the courthouse for the use of the County.16
The new courthouse, designed by H. A. and J. F. Sims, Architects, and built by R. C.
Thornsburg, was dedicated in the spring of 1874. A great throng had assembled to witness the
picturesque dedication ceremonies conducted by the Masonic Order and to hear the address of
Judge Richard Henry Alvey. The building was considered beautiful in its day, but its mid-
Victorian gingerbread overlaid with the dust and grime of nearly a hundred years offers little
for the modern critic to admire. Nor was its appearance notably enhanced by the two-story
addition constructed in the rear of this building in 1933-1934. The architect was A. J. Klink-
hart. The work was supervised by Hubert A. Mullen, and the cost may have been as much
14 The rental was $400 per year, payment of which was
authorized by Ch. 392, Acts of 1872. This act also provided the
cost of rental of quarters for the other officers.
15 Ch. 278, Acts of 1872.
16 Ch. 397.
17 Information about the present courthouse and the addition
was kindly furnished by the Honorable G. Merlin Snyder, Clerk
of the Circuit Court.