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Connecting past to present
Historic courthouse gets facelift
Courthouse Reno. pic

The state’s oldest working courthouse recently received a much-needed facelift as Dawson County enlisted more than 290 man-hours to preserve the historic building.


Built over 150 years ago, Dawson County’s Historic Courthouse has stood in grandeur as the county’s centerpiece at the intersection of Hwy. 9 and 53, and over the years has served Dawson County well.


Although the historic courthouse is no longer the cornerstone for county government operations, the courthouse is still used daily by the county and is currently housing the office of special projects and Magistrate Court proceedings.


With work beginning in April to refurbish the building, county workers and inmate labor, led by Facilities Manager James Tolbert, replaced ceiling tiles and shutters, reset doors, repainted the exterior of the building, installed iron railings around and on the buildings roof, installed new historic building signs and a new flagpole, repaired the building’s four chimneys, detailed the building’s interior and made landscape improvements.


“What a wonderful way to celebrate our heritage,” said Mike Berg, chairman of the Dawson County Board of Commissioners, at a special ceremony to rededicate the historic courthouse to Dawson County. 


“Even though it’s a small area, you’re standing in a lot of history. We have very few historic places that are noted in our county, so it’s a treasure to have something like this,” Berg said.


Having lived his entire life in the county, Dawson County Manager Kevin Tanner said the historic courthouse holds a very special place in his heart.


“The other night, my youngest daughter, who is 10-months-old, was sitting on my grandmother’s knee, who is 92-years-old, and I was thinking about where past meets present,” Tanner said.


“My point is for us not to forget our heritage and where we came from. I’m thankful that we have been able as a county to continue to preserve this building and what it’s stood for.”


E-mail Michele Hester at