Large turnout for upcoming courthouse tours expected

Posted Monday, Apr. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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County Judge Mark Riley said he is excited about the positive feedback he has received regarding the upcoming guided courthouse tours slated for this Saturday.

Held in conjunction with Weatherford Blooms, an outdoor home and garden festival put on by the City of Weatherford in the Courthouse parking lots, the Courthouse tours are expected to draw large crowds.

“We are anticipating a great event,” Riley said. “Working with Weatherford Blooms and our downtown businesses, we have created a great partnership that is really going to showcase our fabulous courthouse and downtown shopping district with the excitement of spring in the air.”

Riley said the tours have sparked interest from area groups as well. The Springtown Extension Education Association and area Boy Scout troops have scheduled separate group tours.

“The Courthouse is such a rich part of the history of our county,” Riley said. “It is the people’s building and I love the opportunity to show it off to our residents and visitors. These tours along with Weatherford Blooms will allow people to take a step back in time and experience a part of Parker County culture that goes back to the early days of our community.”

On the day of the tours, the citizens committee appointed by Judge Riley will be on hand at the Courthouse to sell Courthouse prints, commissioned by Fist National Bank. Funds raised from selling the prints will go to purchase Courthouse Christmas decorations.

“We are really excited about [Saturday],” Committee Chairman Donna Tillman said. “We will be there to kick off our fundraising effort to raise money for Christmas decorations. The committee is thrilled that everything is coming into place and we are ready to roll.”

Parker County’s historic courthouse is the county’s fourth actual courthouse, with the first one being located north of the current location consisting of a one story; one-room rough, undressed pine lumber building.

The second and third courthouses were destroyed by fire in 1878 and 1884, making way for the current courthouse.

On June 9, 1884 the contract for today’s courthouse was awarded to James Milliken and Co. for the price of $55,555.55. Architect W.C. Dodson designed the current courthouse with an architectural style known as Second Empire. Its construction was completed in 1886.

Tours will start promptly at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. In addition, special group tours of 10 or more people can be arranged by calling Joel Kertok at the County Judge’s Office, 817-598-6166.

No outside food or drinks are allowed.

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