1790 – Contract To Build the Wythe Courthouse

[as recorded in Wythe County, Va., Deed Book 1, pp. 13-14]

A Courthouse is to be built forty feet long and twenty five feet wide, framed with good oak saw’d timber of the size usual for buildings of similar dimensions  except the sills and plates them to be hew’d

The lower story to be fifteen feet pitch and the upper six

The whole house to be raised three feet from the surface of the ground, and underpin’d on a good foundation with stone to be work eighteen inches thick with lime mortar,

The weatherboarding to be of poplar saw’d plank, eight inches broad and to show six inches to the weather, to be nailed on with 10.d nails, the studs, joists, sleepers and rafters to be two feet apart.

The house to be covered with joint chesnut shingles, to be one inch thick at the butt, nail’d on with 4.d or 6.d nails, and to show six inches to the weather.

The lower story is to have six windows to wit, two on each side and two at the end where the Judges seat is fixed.

The windows to contain eighteen lights of glass; each to be put in sufficient sashes and well glazed, two pannel doors of the customary size opposite each other,

The Magistrates seat to be raised three feet above the floor, to be made in a circular form with suitable steps to ascend the same and the whole to be balustered.

The Bar is to be elevated nine inches and a good seat fourteen feet long with convenient paper holes for the reception of papers, it is also to be balustered; and convenient Sheriffs boxes at each end of the Bar, also seats for Jurors beneath the Magistrates seats and Bar.

The floor is to be of pine plank one inch thick when dress’d, and nail’d on with 20.d brads, a Gallary to be raised seven feet and a half from the lower floor and eight feet wide to be balustered in front, with convenient stairs from the floor to the Gallery.

From there to the loft, the upper story to be divided into three rooms, two of which are to be twelve feet square, a pipe stove to be fixed so as to warm both the small rooms, to be four 12 light windows, two in each gable end, the partitions is to be of poplar or pine plank, tongu’d and grov’d.

Back of the Judges’ bench is to be wainscotted as high as the sole of the windows.

The rafters to be bound with double collar beams, washboards round both floors.

The whole house in the inside to be lathed, plastered & white washed. The doors to be hung with sufficient hinges, each door to have a stock lock.

The outside of the house to be painted Spanish brown and the mouldings white.

The inside to be painted blue.

The roof to be painted brown.

Convenient seats in the jury rooms and gallery.

Convenient steps to ascend each door.

The whole to be finished in a workmanlike manner in 18 months.

We Abram Goodpasture, Walter Crockett and Jesse Evans do hereby oblige ourselves, our heirs &c, to build a Courthouse agreeable to the preceding plan, and in the time therein mentioned. For the performance of which we bind ourselves, our heirs &c. jointly &c. in the penal sum of six hundred and thirty four pounds. Witness our hands and seals this 29th day of September 1790.

Abr. Goodpasture (seal)
Walter Crockett (seal)
Jesse Evans (seal)

D. McGavock
Robert Adams
Jno. T. Sayers

At a Court continued and held for the county of Wythe the 29th day of September 1790. The preceding plan and obligation were returned to Court by the Commissioners appointed to let the building of the Courthouse for said County, and it is ordered that the same be recorded.

D. McGavock D.C.