Sanilac County is named for Sanilac, who was a Wyandotte Indian chieftain or has the meaning “shanty by the lake”.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – Huron County
E – Ontario, Canada
S – St. Clair County
Created: September 10, 1822
Lexington 1849 – 1877
Sandusky 1877 – present
County Courthouse – Sandusky
Location: 60 West Sanilac Street / South Sandusky Road
Built: 1915 – 1916
Style: Classical Revival
Architect: Joseph Eldred Mills and Son of Detroit
Contractor: Covey Construction Company
Description: The building faces south and is a three story red colored brick, stone and concrete structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Sandusky. The building has a projecting center section with a stone framed entrance on the first story and two high columns rising from the second story to the third story. Above is a wide header with ornamentation. The first story is faced with stone. In the interior, the County Circuit Court courtroom and Commissioner’s Meeting Room are located on the third story. The courtroom has blue colored carpet, white colored walls and wooden furnishings. The jury box has an unusual three row configuration.The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 24th Judicial District, County District Court and County Probate Court. On the north side is a large addition.
History: The county was created in 1822 and Lexington was selected as the county seat in 1848 when the county was organized. The county used rented premises. The first courthouse was designed by George S Lester and built in 1857 at a cost of $2,750. In 1877, the county seat was moved to Sandusky. The second courthouse was a two story Victorian structure designed by Julius Hess built in 1879. The county seat was finally moved to Sandusky in 1880 when the courthouse was completed. The courthouse was destroyed by fire on January 17, 1915. The State Bank Building was used as a temporary courthouse. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1915 to 1916 at a cost of $80,000.
See: Michigan’s County Courthouses by John Fedynsky
County Courthouse - Sandusky
Commissioner’s Meeting Room
County Circuit Court courtroom
Photos taken 2008 and 2018