April 17, 2013 —
With a collection of old documents and photos, along with plenty of cake and refreshments, officials and residents alike celebrated the 175th anniversary of Carter County Wednesday at the old courthouse.
“I think the same architect built all of these old courthouses,” said county Judge-Executive Charles Wallace while reviewing historical images of the old courthouse as well as its predecessor, noting he has observed similar courthouse features at county seats statewide.
Wallace said he and many of the 75 to 80 guests who visited the display of old documents and photos in the former county extension office found an old treasury report to be among the most fascinating items in the tabletop exhibit.
“In 1920, revenue to the county was $19,000,” Wallace said, adding vendor’s receipts were typically for amounts such as $2 or $3. “That doesn’t sound like much, but in today’s dollars ...”
A section of the original metal ceiling from the third-floor circuit court room was also of interest to many, Wallace said, explaining the remainder of the old-style ceiling remains intact and may someday again be revealed.
“I would like to take that courtroom back to like it originally was,” the judge executive said, explaining he would like to use the large courtroom for fiscal court meetings although a great deal of work would have to be finished before that can happen.
Photos of attorneys and judges were also scrutinized for details.
“Some of them are still around,” Wallace said, pointing out the youthful appearance of Judge Henry R. Wilhoit Jr. in one photo, and the smiling faces of young attorneys Will and Rupert Wilhoit in the neighboring image.
Wallace said the county’s archives contain many historical photos and documents which may be added to the 175th anniversary exhibit.
“Some of this stuff, you get started reading and you don’t want to stop,” he said, adding the exhibit will remain on the first floor of the old courthouse for a least a while.
“Definitely, we are going to keep a lot of this stuff out and open for people and we’re going to try to get more. If anybody wants to they can call my office and they will be welcome to come see it.”
Tim Preston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2651.