STAUNTON – Augusta County Clerk of Circuit Court R. Steven Landes today announced that the Augusta County Court House application for a Virginia Historical Highway Marker was approved on March 18, by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources.
“We are very excited to announce that the Augusta County Court House has been recognized by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources as deserving to be granted a Virginia Historical Highway Marker,” Landes said. “The current courthouse, built in 1901, is the fifth building to sit on this historic site in downtown Staunton. The county’s first courthouse was a log structure built in 1745.”
The Virginia Historical Highway Marker program documents facts, persons, events, and places prominently identified with the history of the nation, state, or region. The Department of Historic Resource’s purpose in erecting markers is to educate the public about Virginia’s history, not to honor, memorialize, or commemorate persons, events, or places. Because highway markers are not honorific in nature, they do not serve the same purpose as monuments, statues, memorial plaques, or war memorials. There are currently more than 2,500 markers located across the Commonwealth of Virginia. The program is among the oldest in the nation and began in 1927.
The language adopted for the metal highway marker that will be installed later this year reads:
Augusta County Courthouse
“Augusta County, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1738, was formally organized in 1745. Its original western boundary stretched “to the utmost limits of Virginia,” a claim that then extended to the Pacific Ocean. The county court first met in a log courthouse that William Beverley built on his property here. John Madison served as the county’s first clerk of court from 1745 to 1778. Prominent regional architect T.J. Collins designed the current courthouse, the fifth on this site, in the Beaux-Arts and Neo-Classical Revival styles. The building, completed in 1901, was listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register, and the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Landes also noted that the Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office has partnered with the Augusta County Historical Society to raise the approximately $2,000 in funds needed to fund the metal marker and pole. If a member of the public is interested in donating to assist with the funding of the marker, they can send their tax deductible contribution to the Augusta County Historical Society, P.O. Box 686, Staunton, Virginia 24402-0686. Please mark that the contribution is for the Augusta County Court House Highway Marker.
The Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office is in downtown Staunton at the Augusta County Courthouse. The Clerk serves as the recorder of deeds and probate judge, issues marriage licenses and is the official court administrator for all civil and criminal cases. The Clerk creates and maintains all court files and records, prepares court orders and jury lists, contacts jurors and issues summons and court processes. More information about the services of the Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office can be found online at www.co.augusta.va.us/government/circuitcourt-clerk.