Union County historic courthouse in Blairsville
Golucke & Stewart
After the previous courthouse was destroyed by fire, the above two-story courthouse with clock tower was built in 1899 in the town square using hand-fired bricks made locally (see early photo
). Apparently, the brick were not fired for an adequete length of time and began to disintegrate gradually. Also, the courthouse was plagued continuously by a leaking roof, falling plaster, and decaying woodwork. By 1956, the courthouse clock tower was leaning noticeably (see photo
), so in 1959 it was removed and the clock placed in storage. In 1971, the courthouse was condemned as unsafe -- but residents were successful in convincing the county's sole commissioner not to tear the historic building down. Thereafter, county court sessions were held in the local civic center, while other county officials continued in the old courthouse or moved to rented office space in several downtown buildings. Subsequently, a site two blocks away was purchased for construction of a new Union County Office Building. Rehabilitation of the old courthouse began in 1976, with the facility becoming headquarters of the Union County Historical Society. In 1985, rededication ceremonies for the old courthouse were held. Later, the courtroom on the second floor of the old courthouse was restored and occasionally is used today for court sessions. Fund raising began in the late 1990s for installation of a new clock tower with electronic clock and sound system for the old courthouse.Construction of the new clock tower was completed in November 2000.