Celebrating 125 Years of the Courthouse

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People Plan Major Event For Jefferson County Courthouse Anniversary

(Shaun Friedrichsen, Publisher)

To recognize the 125th anniversary of the Jefferson County Courthouse’s construction, people are planning a rededication celebration for Sept. 10.

Rose Wiegert and Peggy Galloway, who are organizing the celebration, presented their plan to the Jefferson County Commissioners on Tuesday.

“We have to get permission from you guys, and also from the city,” said Wiegert. “I realize that the renovations won’t be finished yet on the courthouse, but I was hoping they would be finished enough that, you know, people can come in and tour the courthouse and see what’s going on.”

The commissioners agreed that it would be beneficial to have the courthouse open during the celebration. They said they will collaborate with the architect and the construction company to make sure people can access the courthouse. Wiegert suggested that it would be a good idea to have an open house when the courthouse renovations are complete.

Wiegert explained that she would like to see the courthouse decorated with banners above the doors and around the banisters and to have the full avenue of flags on display. Events during the celebration tentatively include having people dressed in clothing from the 1890s, the community band, and horse and buggy rides around the square. Wiegert believes that it would be best to have the event on Sept. 10 because it does not conflict with other events.

“We were trying to pick a date that was workable,” Wiegert said. “It’s too late to do anything sooner than that, I believe; and Labor Day weekend, we hate to compete with that. The week after that is the Steele City Flea Market and Tractor Show. You hate to get too late, because the weather’s going to be cold. So, it was just something that we chose.”

Commissioner Mark Schoenrock asked if Wiegert and Galloway have discussed this event with the Chamber of Commerce or the City Council. Wiegert responded that they will meet with them in the coming weeks. She explained that she has been in contact with the community band, as well as the quilter’s guild, and she received a positive response.

Galloway explained that she hopes this celebration will become an annual heritage festival every fall, similar to Germanfest.

“It would be to get some more people into this town in the fall, instead of just the Fourth of July,” said Galloway. “You know, to try to bring back something that we could do where it’s a community event and to get people involved again. We just don’t have time this year to do something that big.”

The commissioners gave their support for having a celebration and provided some ideas for events. Wiegert and Galloway will begin preparing fliers to be distributed at the annual July Fourth Flea Market. Commissioner Michael Dux asked Wiegert and Galloway to return in a few weeks to update the commissioners on the plan.

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