Don’t Miss the Beaver County Courthouse Museum
There are many historic buildings to visit as you Ramble through Beaver County, but we recommend you start at the Beaver County Courthouse Museum in the heart of Beaver at Center and First East Street.
The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers saved this historic building from demolition in 1974 and have since restored it and curated its contents to the delight of all kinds of history buffs.
Visit this red brick two-story wonder by appointment or during regular afternoon hours from Memorial to Labor Day, and you will find yourself stepping back in time immersed in the late Victorian architecture and history of the expansion of the Western Territory in the late 1800s.
Beaver County was created in 1855 by the Territorial Legislature, and the courthouse was built 1876-1882, both long before Utah was granted statehood (1896). This region was home to the Black Hawk War, and John D. Lee was tried for his association with the Mountain Meadows Massacre just as the courthouse was breaking ground.
Walking the rooms of this museum will transport you and give you a visceral feel for the time period. You can inspect the jail cells and read the prisoners’ scratches, some of which are now over 140 years old. Wander the re-created second-story courtroom and other chambers and the beautiful displays of daily 19th century period artifacts such as clothes, furniture, kitchenware, telephone, and radio. Guests also have the honor to read about (and salute!) the American Flag that was flying on the battleship U.S.S. Utah, which sank on December 4th, 1941 in Pearl Harbor.
The historic contents of this museum are amazing, but be sure to appreciate the spectacular architecture. The tower is equipped with a unique clock with a striking clock facing in all four directions! A national architectural survey conducted in 1967-68 determined that the Beaver County Courthouse “is one of the better preserved and architecturally significant original courthouses in the state…” and went on to describe it as “…an emblem of the pretentious construction in public buildings during the Territorial period.” Any student studying architecture (or fascinated with architectural vocabulary) will appreciate that the “...railings have partially turned balusters and newels with hemispherical bumps on balusters and sides of railing.”
While you Ramble though, be sure to check out the Utah Heritage Tours App for a free audio tour of the museum’s exhibits.