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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hardeman County Courthouse - Bolivar, TN

Hardeman County Courthouse - Bolivar, TN

There have been three courthouses in Bolivar. The first was a log structure built in 1824, but three years later it was moved and expanded into a house, which still stands today. The second courthouse was built in 1827 of brick and also placed in the town square. During the Civil War, Union General Samuel D. Sturgis ordered the entire town to be razed and the courthouse as well as many homes were destroyed in an 1864 fire.

A new Courthouse was needed, so the third and current courthouse was completed in 1868 in the same location. The two story brick building features a pedimented portico with four Corinthian Columns atop an arched brick entrance-way. Other features include a rusticated stone base and a square clock tower with a bell atop the center of the roof. In 1955, three story brick wings were added on either side.

About 20 years ago, the trees in front of the courthouse were planted, so pictures from a couple of decades ago show architectural details better. Around the Square, Market Street is US64 and Main Street is TN18/125. Warren Street on the East Side had recently undergone a renovation and may be pedestrian only now. In front of the courthouse is a bust of Simon Bolivar, for whom the town was named, which was presented as a gift from Venezuela. Today, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Bolivar Court Square Historic District.

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