The existing courthouse sits on the site of five previous courthouses. The first meeting place was a log cabin built in 1779 to serve the North Carolina settlements of Nolichucky and Watauga. It was on this site that the pioneers, led by General John Sevier, began to form was has become known as "The Lost State of Franklin."
The first larger, more permanent wooden building was completed in the 1780s to house the Court and Jail, replaced in the 1790s by another wooden structure.
In 1820 the first brick courthouse was built on the site, but it burned in 1839.
Although a new jail was built immediately, the court occupied several rented offices until 1846 when a new courthouse was built- a large, three story brick building with Jonesborough's typical stepped gables and a dome-shaped cupola with a clock face. This building was later town down to make room for the existing Courthouse, built in 1913. See vintage postcards of the Old Washington County Courthouse and the existing Courthouse at Vintage Jonesboro.
The monument in front of the Courthouse was dedicated in 1930 (by Donald Sabin, aged seven). Read the July 5, 1930 article from the Johnson City Chronicle.
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