Rhea County is named for John Rhea, who was a United States Representative in Congress.
Created: November 30, 1807
Washington 1807 – 1890
Dayton 1890 – present
County Courthouse – Dayton
Location: 1475 Market Street / 3rd Avenue
Built: 1890 – 1891
Architect: W Chamberlin & Company of Knoxville
Contractor: William Dowling and J R Taylor of Chattanooga
Description: The building faces southeast and is a three story red colored brick structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of the city. The building is rectangular shaped measuring 70 feet by 120 feet with a limestone base. On the east corner is a high square tower with clock and round cupola with conical roof. The interior has a large wood staircase. The large courtroom is located on the second story. The building was restored in 1978 to 1979. The architect was Franklin Group Architects of Chattanooga and the contractor was Vickers Construction Company of Knoxville.
See: National Register of Historic Places – Rhea County Courthouse
Note: The first courthouse was built in Washington in 1807. The county seat was moved to Dayton in 1890. The courthouse was the venue for the Scopes Trial in 1925 for the teaching of Darwin’s theory of evolution.
County Courthouse Annex – Dayton
Location: 375 Church Street / 3rd Avenue
Description: The building faces south east and is a three story red colored brick, glass and concrete structure. The building is located in the center of the city to the south east of the courthouse. The southeast front has concrete columns and recessed glass walls on the first story. The second and third stories has glass panel walls. The roof line is flat. There is a meeting room on the second story. The building was purchased by the County in 1997 and is named as the Rhea County Courthouse Annex – Phil Swafford Building.
E – Meigs County
S – Hamilton County
W – Bledsoe County
County Courthouse Annex
Photos taken 2012, 2014 and 2018