Second Arenac County Courthouse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Second Arenac County Courthouse
Second Arenac County Courthouse - Omer Michigan.jpg
Second Arenac County Courthouse is located in Michigan
Second Arenac County Courthouse
Second Arenac County Courthouse is located in the US
Second Arenac County Courthouse
Location Central Ave., Omer, Michigan
Coordinates 44°2′50″N 83°51′14″W / 44.04722°N 83.85389°W / 44.04722; -83.85389Coordinates: 44°2′50″N 83°51′14″W / 44.04722°N 83.85389°W / 44.04722; -83.85389
Area 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built 1889 (1889)
Built by Angus McDonnell
NRHP Reference # 82002823[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 15, 1982
Designated MSHS March 2, 1976[2]

The Second Arenac County Courthouse, also known as Ye Olde Courthouse Masonic Hall and the Omer Masonic Hall, is a historic building located on Central Avenue in Omer, Michigan. The building is an outstanding example of a highly detailed vernacular frame building.[2] It was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1976[2] and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[1]


Arenac County was organized in 1883 from sections that had been part Bay County.[2] Omer was selected as the county seat and a courthouse was built. In 1889, the courthouse burned down, and the county hired local contractor and sawmill owner Angus McDonnell to construct this building on the same site.[2] The building was finished in 1890 at a cost of $2970.75.[3] In 1891, a county-wide vote selected Standish as the county seat, and the county government was moved. In 1893,[2] the vacated court building was sold to the Omer Lodge of the Free and Acceptable Order of Masons for $500.[3] At various times, the Masonic Lodge allowed the village to use the structure as a village hall, fire station, and jail.[2]

Facing heavy repair costs, the Masons moved out of the building for smaller quarters in 1997.[3][4] The structure was purchased by Carol and Robert Britt, who completed some repairs and restoration work with the intention of converting the structure into a museum. In 2004, the Britts then sold the building to the Arenac County Historical Society.[3] The building currently serves as the Society's Historical Courthouse Museum, known as "Ye Olde Courthouse Masonic Hall".[3]


The Second Arenac County Courthouse is a rectangular symmetric two-story frame structure covered with clapboard with a hip roof.[2] The entrance is through a porch supported with slender columns with a slightly projecting bay. An elaborate fanlight window sits above the entrance, and gable above features fishscale shingles and sunburst carving. A graceful cupola tops the structure.[2]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Second Arenac County Courthouse". Michigan State Housing Development Authority: Historic Sites Online. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Ye Olde Courthouse Masonic Hall". Northeast Michigan Council of Governments. Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ John Fedynsky (2010), Michigan's County Courthouses, University of Michigan Press, p. 14, ISBN 9780472117284