Grays Harbor County

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Grays Harbor

Grays Harbor County is named for Grays Harbor a large estuarine bay in the southwest corner of the county, which was named after Captain Robert Gray who discovered the bay and entered it on May 7, 1792. Before 1915, the county was named Chehalis County.

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Jefferson County and Mason County

E – Mason County and Thurston County 

S – Lewis County and Pacific County

W – Pacific Ocean

 

Created:  April 14, 1854                         Map of Washington highlighting Grays Harbor County

County Seat: 

Bruceport     1854 – 1860

Montesano   1860 – present

 

County Courthouse – Montesano  

 

Location:  102 West Broadway Avenue / 1st Street North

Built:  1910 – 1912

Style:  Beaux Arts

Architect:  Watson Vernon of Aberdeen

Contractor:  Sylliaasen & Sando of Seattle.

 

Description:  The building  faces south and is a three story dark brown colored stone and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Montesano. The south front of the building has a large high portico in the center supported by four columns rising from the second to third story with a pediment above. The east and west wings project slightly from the main building. On the centre of the roof is a large square dome with clock and domed roof. The interior has a large central rotunda and has brass rails, marble sheathing, varnished walnut and oak panels, terrazzo and ceramic tile floors, and beveled glass windows. The murals along the staircase depict scenes of science, thought art, power, justice, truth, commerce, industry, agriculture, abundance and domesticity. The two large courtrooms are located on the second story.  During the construction of the building, the superintendent was R D Vernon. The building was damaged by an earthquake in 1999.       

  

History:  The county was created in 1854 as Chehalis County and Bruceport which was in Pacific County was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was the residence of Isaiah and Lorinda Scamon. The county seat was moved to Montesano in 1860. The county offices used rented premises and the second courthouse, a two story frame structure was built in 1889 to 1890. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1910 to 1911 at a cost of $193,471.In 1915, the name was changed to Grays Harbor County.

 

County Administration – Montesano  

 

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Location:  100 West Broadway Avenue / North Main Street

Built:  1969 – 1971

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Bennett Johnson Slenes & Smith

Contractor:  Cawdey and Vemo Inc.

 

Description:  The building  faces south and is a three story concrete and glass structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Montesano on the southeast side of the courthouse. The rectangular shaped building has vertical concrete beams with recessed windows. The roof line is flat. 

 

Other Branch Courthouses

 

Aberdeen

 

 

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County Courthouse – Montesano

 

 

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County Administration – Montesano

 

 

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Photos taken 2006 and 2016