Houghton County is named for Douglas Houghton, who was a Michigan geologist and Mayor of Detroit from 1842 to 1843.
Created: March 19, 1845
Eagle River ( Keweenaw ) 1853 – 1861
Houghton 1861 – present
County Courthouse – Houghton
Location: 401 East Houghton Avenue / Dodge Street
Built: 1886 – 1887
Style: High Victoria
Architect: John B Sweatt of Marquette
Contractor: John Wahlman and E E Grip of Ishpheming
Description: The building faces north and is a two story Milwaukee cream colored brick and red colored sandstone structure. The building has a polychromatic exterior and sits on a hill overlooking the downtown area. Red colored sandstone forms the trim above the central entrance and above the windows. In the center is a high four story tower with the entrance at the base. The east section extends from the main building and has two high brick chimneys. The mansard roof is copper. The interior of the courthouse was designed by Charles Eastlake of England, using heavy, elaborately decorated plaster and woodwork.In 1986 a five story addition was built on the south side. The architect was UP Engineering and the contractor was Herman Gundlach.
Note: The courthouse was constructed at a cost of $75,568 and contained a jail and sheriff’s quarters. The cornerstone, with a miner’s coat of arms, was laid on July 24, 1886.
See: The architect, John B Sweatt of Marquette, also designed the courthouse in Baraga County and Keweenaw County. The contractors Wahlman and Grip built the courthouse in Gogebic County and E E Grip built courthouses in Dickinson County and Ontonagon County.
See: Michigan’s County Courthouses by John Fedynsky
N – Lake Superior and Keweenaw County
E – Lake Superior and Baraga County
S – Iron County
W – Ontonagan County
Photos taken 2007 and 2010