February 8, 2013 § 1 Comment

The Webster County Courthouse in the Village of Walthall, pop. 170, burned during the night of January 17, 2013. You can see some photos taken in res gestae at the Mississippi Preservation web site.

The courthouse, located in the geographic center of the county, is four miles north of the nearest town, Eupora. The village has a handful of homes, an Exxon station/convenience store, an appliance repair shop with 50-60 washers and dryers out front, a beauty salon, and a sizeable Baptist church. I stopped en route and took these pictures of the ruins.

This is the front of the courthouse, with the main entrance, facing east …

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Sunlight where the courtroom was …

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South entrance …

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Rear, facing west …

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The old jail, immediately behind the courthouse, was not damaged …

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North entrance …

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Reserved parking …

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I read somewhere that the building was constructed in 1915. It was two years short of a century old when it burned.

It’s sobering to ponder what all is lost when a courthouse burns. There are the records, the furnishings, the courtrooms, the equipment, the workplaces. But there also is all of the lore and local history. Buildings can be replaced, but not their souls.


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