Built between 1904 and 1905, Sheridan County's original courthouse was listed on the National Register on November 15 of 1982, making the structure among the first in the city to receive that distinction.
But the structure came late, nearly 17 years after the county was formed in 1888. So, before officials decided to build a permanent courthouse, business in those early days was conducted at five different locations on and around Main Street.
The firm of Link & McAllister was hired to design the building. Their work includes features like a main entrance with pediment and frieze supported by two Ionic columns, and the octagonal dome on top with oval and rectangular windows and balustrade.
Contractors Ferguson & Pearson laid the cornerstone on October 1 of 1904, and the building was completed on August 22,1905, at a cost of just over $55,400. Work continued on the exterior over the next few years, with sidewalks and stone retention wall built in 1907, a lawn irrigation system installed in 1909, and shade trees planted in 1911. Then two years later, in 1913, the county jail and sheriff's residence were added, with Pauly Jail Building Company doing the work for $14,200.
The courthouse served county needs for 70 years, until 1983, when the new addition was built. But the old courthouse remains in use, housing some county offices as well as the county court on its second floor. The golden dome glowing in the sun is a familiar sight to area residents – who may not know the dome was originally silver. It was repainted in 1983, an act that reportedly met with some controversy at the time.