Sierra County

US States / A-G / California / Sierra County

Sierra County is named for the Spanish word meaning “mountain range”.


Created:  April 16, 1852

County Seat: 

Downieville  1852 – present


County Courthouse – Downieville  


Location:  100 Courthouse Square / Front Street

Built:  1948 – 1953

Style:  Modern

Architect:  George Sellon of Sacramento

Contractor:  Paul I Jenks of Grass Valley


Description:  The building faces east and is a two story white colored concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of the town. The prominent feature of the building  is the bright blue colored metal roof. The east front has a projecting two story porch with recessed entrance and four pillars on the first story. There are two canon on the porch. The second story is enclosed with a large clock below the hipped roof. On the south front side is a small porch with sloped roof, The second story is a recessed dormer with horizontal windows. On the north front, the building rises to the second story. In 1992, the jail portion was remodeled in three stages. The architect was Barnum Folsom of Sacramento and the contractor for the first work was M P Allan and the contractor for the final work was Casey Brandon Construction.


Note:  The previous and first courthouse was designed by a committee comprised of H B Cossitt, Benjamin Hall, Allanson Smith and D G Webber and constructed by D G Webber in 1854. The building burned in 1947. The bid by Paul I Jenks was $77,114 and additional changes were made during the lengthy construction period.


See:  George C Sellon of Sacramento designed courthouses in Amador County, Lassen County, Nevada County, Plumas County and Tehama County.



N – Plumas County and Lassen County

E – Washoe County, Nevada

S – Nevada County

W – Yuba County 





County Courtho\use






















Photos taken 2013