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Amador County Court House, Jackson, California

This is a drawing of the first courthouse built in Jackson, which housed the county jail. The building was constructed in late 1854 or early 1855, and then was burned down in the August 1862 fire.

This building was completed in early 1855

Amador County Courthouse

Amador County Courthouse

After the first wooden courthouse was destroyed in the 1862 fire, this two-story brick structure designed by S.D. Mandell and constructed by J.W. Epley, Hatt Canavan, and William Maloney was built to replace it. It is still standing today, although it is now covered with an art-deco facade.

The court house well once stood at the entrance of the old county Hall of Records and served as a war memorial to the Amador soldiers who died in World War I. The well was dug in 1855.

Oldtimers instinctively know the spot is where the old court house well stood years ago, recall its capping, also years ago, and go about their business. But the visitor will stop and read the plaque atop the tablet which in part, reads:
"Under This Tablet is the Courthouse Well Dug in 1851,52 feet in depth. For generations it was a main source of domestic water for the community.

"Gone is the Ancient Equipment But Still The Living Waters Flow."

Amador County Courthouse Well

The well was sealed and the tablet-plaque dedicated by Ursula parlor number one, native daughters of the golden west, and the Amador board of supervisors on June 29, 1940. Although the tablet-plaque says that the well was dug in 1851, records do show that the well was actually dug around 1857. The Amador Ledger reported on April 18, 1857: "The County Well - The work of sinking the well on the Court House premises progresses daily. It has reached a depth of forty-two feet, and very hard rock is encountered. The county boarders, whose domicil (sic) is the basement of the Court House, perform the labor."

Amador County Courthouse

In 1892, the Amador County Board of Supervisors ordered the construction of a new hall of records to be built adjacent to the courthouse. T.J Welch of San Francisco completed plans for the building, and the contractor was D.J. Brennan. The hall was completed in 1893. Most of the bricks were made on the nearby Muldoon Ranch by Frank Massoni. The open area between the buildings was enclosed around 1920 to provide additional office space.

Return to our Jackson Tour or click on Miner to end the Tour

Information, photographs courtesy of the Amador County Archives, The Historical Marker Database, The Chronicling America Database, and Larry Cenotto, Amador County's Historian