Lancaster County Courthouse (South Carolina)

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Lancaster County Courthouse
Lancaster County Courthouse (Built 1828), Lancaster, South Carolina.jpg
Lancaster County Courthouse, 1969
Lancaster County Courthouse (South Carolina) is located in South Carolina
Lancaster County Courthouse (South Carolina)
Lancaster County Courthouse (South Carolina) is located in the US
Lancaster County Courthouse (South Carolina)
Location 104 N. Main St., Lancaster, South Carolina
Coordinates 34°43′9″N 80°46′27″W / 34.71917°N 80.77417°W / 34.71917; -80.77417Coordinates: 34°43′9″N 80°46′27″W / 34.71917°N 80.77417°W / 34.71917; -80.77417
Built 1828
Architect Robert Mills
Architectural style Classical Revival, Other
NRHP Reference # 71000788
Significant dates
Added to NRHP February 24, 1971[1]
Designated NHL November 7, 1973[2]

Lancaster County Courthouse is a historic courthouse at 104 North Main Street in Lancaster, South Carolina. Built in 1828, it has been in continuous use since then. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973, as a possible work of Robert Mills, an important American architect of the first half of the 19th century.[2][3] It also has the distinction of being the site of the last witch trials to take place in the United States.[4]

Description and history[edit]

The Lancaster County Courthouse is located in the heart of downtown Lancaster, at the southwest corner of Meeting Street (South Carolina Highway 9) and Main Street (United States Route 521). It is a two story masonry structure, built out of locally-made bricks laid in English bond, with Flemish bond around the windows. Its main facade is five bays wide, with the main entrance on the second floor, accessed via stairs on either side of a projecting classical temple front supported by Tuscan columns. Windows are rectangular, set in round-arch openings. The interior of the ground floor has barrel-vaulted ceilings, providing support for the upper floor. The judge's bench in the main courtroom is a particularly fine example of Federal period wood carving.[3]

The courthouse was built in 1828 by Willis Alsobrook, and its design has been attributed, without conclusive evidence, to the noted architect Robert Mills, who is known to have designed the old 1823 county jail, also a National Historic Landmark. The building has been in continuous use as a courthouse since its construction.[3]

In 2008, the courthouse was heavily damaged, but not destroyed, by fire caused by arson; it will be rebuilt.[5] On September 19, 2008, a local 17-year-old, Martavious Carter, was accused for setting the fire while being interviewed for other crimes he had recently committed.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "Lancaster County Courthouse". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  3. ^ a b c Norman McCorkle (August 29, 1970), National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Lancaster County Courthouse (pdf), National Park Service  and Accompanying three photos, exterior and interior, from 1970 and 1973 (32 KB)
  4. ^
  5. ^ Tran, Susan (5 August 2008). "Historic Building To Be Rebuilt After Arson In Lancaster". Lancaster, S.C.: WSOC-TV. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 

External links[edit]