Sunday, October 31, 2010

Old Caswell County Courthouse. Yanceyville, NC

Another Saturday, another road trip. This time we were going to go to Prestwould Plantation just outside of Clarksville, Virginia.

Our first stop on the way was to take photos of the Old Caswell County Courthouse in Yanceyville, NC. Once upon a time, Caswell County was one of the richest counties in North Carolina. It was the birthplace of the bright-leaf tobacco curing process prior to the Civil War which led to the building of magnificent homes, commercial buildings and this courthouse which was built in 1858.

The Old Courthouse was also the site of the Kirk-Holden War, a dark period during Reconstruction.

Today, the textile and tobacco industries are long gone from the area and most residents have to commute long distances for work. It has one of the highest levels of unemployment for the region.

Those two dark objects on the weathervane? Crows

 The courthouse was closed, so these next pictures are from the Caswell County Historical Association.

Ceiling Detail

Looks like I need to come back and take interior pictures, doesn't it?


frayedattheedge said...

If only I coud go with you to take photos of the interior. The staircase is stunning!!

Anyes said...

Yes, Karen it would be so nice to go back and to take interior photographs, such a beautiful building so much history...

moreidlethoughts said...

Beautiful; in its heyday probably a graceful building. Doesn't really stack up with today's cement-filled breeze blocks, does it!
Interior shots? Definitely!

Karen said...

Anne: I will make a concerted effort to get in to take pictures. Can you imagine this staircase without any support going all the way up to the attic?

Anyes: I have a feeling I'm going to end up calling the clerk of courts to find out how to get in. This isn't used for any governmental activities anymore and I can't find any contact information for the building.

Di: You should see our county courthouse; built in that wonderful Brute Moderne style. Yuck. Maybe I'll post pictures and a history of that some day.

Caswell County Historical Association said...


Great photographs of the historic Caswell County Courthouse. Would it be possible for us (Caswell County Historical Association) to add them to our Photograph Collection?

The building is still used by county officials and is open during regular business hours Monday-Friday. I believe that, among others, the County Manager and the County Attorney have offices in the Courthouse. See:

For the history of the building to to:

As a young boy growing up in Yanceyville, I often would go into the attic of the Courthouse and climb into the bell tower. The view is great.

When in Yanceyville you should visit the Richmond-Miles History Museum, which is across the Square from the Courthouse. The Old Jail behind the Courthouse also is worth a visit.

Best regards,

Rick Frederick

Archivist and Webmaster
Caswell County Historical Association