Hancock County Courthouse in Hawesville a Favorite

Hancock County Courthouse - Hawesville, Ky.
Photo: NRK
The tiny hamlet of Hawesville, Kentucky is located just upriver from Owensboro. It sits on a high bluff across the river from Cannelton, Indiana.

Of all of the courthouses I have visited in small towns, this was my favorite. Completed in 1867, it is the second courthouse on this site. It is on the National Historic Registry, and was restored in 1978. The two-and-one-half story five bay by three bay rectangular courthouse retains so much character. According to the National Register of Historic Places, the courtroom occupies the majority of the second floor.

Although built during the midst of America's tumultuous Civil War, the building has a "singularly tranquil and substantial architectural presence." My favorite part, however, is this quote from the Hancock Clarion newspaper concerning the building specifically, which can generally be applied to the important role that Kentucky's courthouses have played in our towns both small and large:
It was in this building that many of the county residents' grandparents and great-grandparents received their high school diplomas at graduation. It was in this building that lovely ladies and dashing young gentlemen danced at gala balls and receptions generations ago. In the courtroom on the second floor men of state, governors and Congressmen, spoke.
The courthouse was described as one of the "handsomest and least altered from the original condition of any in Kentucky." I have to agree.
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