Sunday, November 30, 2008

Grays Harbor County Courthouse in Montesano

We returned to the Grays Harbor County Courthouse in Montesano on a Monday before Thanksgiving in order to turn in our passport applications. We had tried to apply for passports the year before at the Bellevue Main Post Office, but the line ran out the door. At this courthouse we strode right up to the county clerk's desk (room 203) without any waiting. It was such a pleasure.

The other reason I planned this visit was to take a look inside of the building. My younger son and I had driven by on a weekend visit to Lake Sylvia State Park, when the building was closed. I had read that there were murals inside. Indeed, the interior of the courthouse is very lovely. The major murals are found inside the front entrance: a scene of Captain Gray landing to meet a party of Indians on Grays Harbor and a Governor signing a treaty at Cosmpolis with another group of Indians. The core of the building is taken up by three rising tiers of wide stairwells. The interior is richly decorated in marble, mosaic tile, brass light fixtures, and fine woodwork. From the second and third levels you can view the ceiling frescoes inside the dome with allegorical female figures of justice, prosperity, and others.

I asked the clerk whether tours are ever given of the building, but she didn't know of any. Still, you are free to wander about during public hours. She recommended attending a trial - always open to the public - because the courtrooms are also beautifully decorated.

More about Montensano:

No comments: