National Register of Historic Places in Calaveras County
Calaveras County, one of the original 28 California counties, had five county seats in its first 16 years. As the mining population moved, so was the county seat. The town of San Andreas was the last and so remains. The old court house building was erected in 1867 and was in use until 1966, when a new Government Center was erected on the east edge of town.
Bricks were made locally, as was the lime for mortar. Typical of the period and region, the brick building had iron doors and shutters on all exterior openings, affording protection against fire vandalism and burglary. The NRHP nomination does not mention an architectural style, but to my eye, the building appears to be influenced by the Richardsonian Romanesque style.
The old building contained the jail, court room and sheriff's office. Executions were held in the jail yard, the last on August 31st, 1888.
Charles Bolton, the well known Black Bart, stage coach highwayman, was held here during his trial. He was convicted and sent to San Quentin for six years; served 4 years, 2 months, then paroled.
Excerpted from the NRHP nomination.
When we updated this web page in December 2012, the old courthouse building was part of the Calaveras County Museum Complex managed by the Calaveras County Historical Society.