The first government services building in our district was built in Donald in 1884 and served a wide area, so large in fact that it wasn’t long before a modern building had to be erected to accommodate the growing needs of the area. The building was finished in 1890.
The courthouse would have stood in the main part of town near the library and I nice houses on Beasley Ave giving it a central location.
In 1899, the railroad made the decision to move divisional headquarters to revel stoke. Much discussion took place about the buildings that would be left behind. It was obvious that most of the buildings couldn’t be moved to rebel stoke because they couldn’t be transported through the snowsheds in Rogers Pass. Many of the buildings were moved to golden in early 1900, and some of them still stand today.
Unlike many of the buildings that were jacked up and pulled to the rails by horse teams of horses, the courthouse was partially dismantled, placed on flatcars to the journey for the journey to Golden period many of the buildings moved from Donald were unloaded off the flatcars and were re-erected as far away from the railway’s 14th St. The courthouse was only moved across the street and took up residence where the old courthouse building stands today. There is a story told about the building being re-erected. Apparently, just as they were putting the part of the trim on the building that told the date that the building was originally erected in Donald (1890), a salesman from the city came along and after taking a look remarked that he knew it took a long time to get things done in a little town but ten years to finish the courthouse? He had no idea the building had been moved.
Once re-erected in Golden the offices were changed bit, housing the courtroom, judge and jury rooms on the upper floor with the offices of the Gold Commissioner on the lower floor.
The grounds were laid out with a profusion of flowers and shrubs cared for by the office staff and boardwalk led to the main street.
Many important trials took place in the old courthouse including several murder trials and the fate of many was decided not only in the courtroom but also in the Gold Commissioner’s Office on the main floor.
Mining commissioner T. C. Lang built up a fine display of miners’ specimens taken from the district that unfortunately were in the courthouse at the time of demolition.
It was decided in 1952 that the courthouse had become too small for our needs and notice was placed to contractors for bids. The tender from the firm Gabriel of Vernon was accepted on April 17th, 1952 with his bid of $59,887.
While the old building was being demolished to make way for the new modern building, the court services were moved into the offices in the upper floor of the Thompson motors building and carried on services from there.
Work on the new building went smoothly and the construction was finished in the early part of 1953.
At that time the building housed the Government Agent, Court Administrator, Sheriff, Conservation Officer, Probation Officer, Human Resources and Drivers Examiner.