Calaveras County

US States / A-G / California / Calaveras County

Calaveras County is named for the Calaveras River which is derived from the Spanish word meaning “skulls” as Spanish explorers may have found skulls of Native Americans along the river bank.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Amador County

E – Alpine County

S – Tuolumne County and Stanislaus County

W – San Joaquin County 


Created:  February 18, 1850                                          Location in the state of California

County Seat: 

Double Springs   1850

Jackson              1850 – 1852

Mokelumne Hill   1852 – 1866

San Andreas       1866 – present


Old County Courthouse – San Andreas 


Location:  50 North Main Street / Court Street

Built:  1867 – 1868

Style:  Classical Revival

Architect:  William  Maloney

Contractor:  William  Maloney


Description:  The building faces west and is a two story brick, stone and wood structure. The building is located in the center of San Andreas. The county’s Hall of Records was built in front of the courthouse in 1893. The two buildings nearly touch and are considered part of the same complex.  The west front has a central entrance with large white colored stone arch with recessed door. The foundation is stone and a horizontal stone band runs between the first and second stories. Along the roof line is an ornamented band above the second story windows. The architect for the Hall of Records was William Mooser of San Francisco.


Note:  The building’s jail held outlaw Black Bartt, a notorious Northern California highwayman, during his 1883 trial. Until 1888, executions were also conducted in the building. The building is now the Calaveras County Museum.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Calaveras County Courthouse.


County Courthouse – San Andreas




Location:  891 Mountain Ranch Road / Government Center Drive

Built:  1965 – 1966

Style:  Modern

Architect:   Albert W Kahl

Contractor:  Roek Construction


Description:  The building faces west and is a one story light brown colored concrete and glass structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of San Andreas. The south front has seven vertical pillars supporting a sloped roof with glass panels behind. There are two central entrances with glass doors. In front of the building is a plaza which descended on the west and south sides. Above the doors are murals. To the south is a two story building extending west with offices and another wing extends south.


New County Courthouse – San Andreas


Location:  Government Center Drive / Mountain Ranch Road

Built:  2012 – 2014

Style:  Modern

Architect:   McArthy

Contractor:  Roek Construction


Description:  The building faces south and is being constructed of steel, concrete and glass.


Old County Courthouse –  Mokelumne Hill




Location:  SE – Main Street / Lafayette Street

Built:  1852 – 1853

Style:  Federal

Architect:   Unknown

Contractor:  Unknown


Description:  The building faces west and is a two story wood frame structure. The north  portion of this building served as the Calaveras County Courthouse from 1852 to 1866. There is a wood porch with balcony on the second story. George W. Leger then acquired the court building and made it a part of his adjoining hotel, which has been in operation since early gold mining days and was known as the Grand Hotel in 1874 when fire damaged it and destroyed its dance hall. Restored in 1879, it has since been known as the Leger Hotel.


History:  The first court met in a long tent in Double Springs in 1850. The first courthouse was erected in 1849 from camphor wood imported from China. The building is now located at the Calaveras County Museum in San Andreas. In 1850 the county seat was moved to Jackson until 1852 and then to Mokelumne where the north section of a 1n 1852 building served as the second courthouse. The county seat moved to San Andreas in 1863 and the third courthouse was built in 1867 to 1868 and is still standing. The fourth courthouse was constructed in 1966. The fifth and present courthouse was constructed in 2011 to 2013.




Old County Courthouse – San Andreas

























Photos taken 2013