administered by the Commissioners of the Tax. Their first duty, however, was to provide
temporary housing for the county offices. This they did as follows: the sheriff used part of
the brick house later the residence of William Reese to keep the prisoners in; the Circuit Court
met on April 3, 1837, in the home of Dr. William Willis, but after this first session their place
of meeting was the Union Church until the courthouse was built; the Orphans' court sat in the
Wampler Home; the Commissioners of the Tax occupied a room in the Wampler Tavern.6
The cost of the new buildings was lightened somewhat because land for the courthouse
was given free by Isaac Shriver, who operated a tavern nearby,7 and for the jail, by the heirs
of David Fisher.8
The jail was built in 1837 by B. F. Forester and Johnzee Selby, at a cost of $4,000. The
architect for the courthouse was James M. Shellman; the contractor was Conrad Moul; and
the masonry for both the courthouse and jail was the work of Ephraim Swope and Thomas
Durbin. The cost of the courthouse was approximately $18,000. The cornerstone was laid
June 13, 1838, and there were suitable military and civil ceremonies for the occasion. The
stone was laid by Andrew Shriver, assisted by Colonel Joshua Gist, then in his ninety-fourth
year. Colonel Gist was a brother of General Mordecai Gist who distinguished himself at the
battles of Long Island and Camden.9
Additions of 1882 and 1935
The courthouse erected in 1838 is still standing and it forms the central unit of the
present structure. It has, however, been so altered and enlarged that it is almost unrecog-
nizable. Early in its history it received several aesthetic additions—the columned portico, the
steps and the cupola. In 1882, the General Assembly authorized an expenditure of $12,000
for the repair and enlargement of the courthouse, and with part of these funds two one-story
wings were added.10 These wings were rebuilt and made larger by adding a half story in 1935.
Part of the funds for this last alteration was provided by the Civil Works Administration.
The architects were Riggen Buckler and G. Corner Fenhagen of Baltimore.11
6 Information about the temporary quarters of Carroll County
offices is from Francis Neal Parke, op. cil., 1, S.
7 Carroll County Land Records, Liber W.W. No. 1 p. 405.
8 Ibid., p. 403. The reader is also referred to Carroll County
Land Records, Liber J.S. No. a, page 6, where a certificate of a
special commission is filed describing certain alterations in the
bounds of the two plots of land. Both original conveyances
were executed June 6, 1837, and recorded October 25, 1837. The
certificate was recorded in 1843.
9 Scharf, History of Western Maryland, Vol. II, pp. 801-02 ;
News Letter, Historical Society of Carroll County, March 1954.
10 Ch. 189, Acts of 1882.
11 Inventory of the Comity and Town Archives of Maryland
No. e, Carroll County, Baltimore, 1940, p. 37.