The Nevada legislature created Eureka County in 1873. Officials renovated a former ice rink donated by Judge John O'Darrow to serve as the first county courthouse. A fortified jail and fireproof vault were added to the 40-by-100-foot wooden building located on Main and Bateman Streets. The jail remained in use through the 1980s.
After fire destroyed hundreds of buildings in the town of Eureka in 1879, officials became concerned about their wooden courthouse, and accepted plans from George C. Costerisan for a more formidable structure. The county hired R. Ryland to construct the courthouse. He withdrew from the project shortly after the completion of the exterior, at which point Costerisan finished the interior. J.S. Whitton supervised the construction, and McNally and Hawkins of San Francisco provided the heating and plumbing.
Finished in 1880, construction of the courthouse cost $38,000. It was designed in a modest Italianate style, but additional expenses for a vault and other fixtures brought the price to $50,000. The brick two-story structure measures 50-by-80-feet and stands fifty-one feet high. A second-floor balcony supported by brackets rests over the main entrance. Exterior accents include brick pilasters that rise to a metal-bracketed cornice, and a parapet wall with detailed brickwork.
Interior details consist of a Spanish cedar balustrade and gilded accents throughout. A second-floor courtroom is recognized as the best preserved in Nevada. It measures forty-five square feet with a nineteen-foot high ceiling of pressed metal. A suspended gallery at the rear provides seating for one hundred. The semi-circular witness box placed in front of the judge's bench is distinctive because of its shape and its unusual location. The building is one of two nineteenth-century Nevada courthouses still in use today; the other is located in Virginia City.
None at this time.