Second Wasco County Courthouse
The Second Wasco County Courthouse was built in 1883. It is a striking example of Italianate architecture.
Backstory and Context
The old courthouse is far larger than the original one, which reflects the growth and prosperity The Dalles had achieved by the early 1880s. A Methodist mission was founded here in 1838 and then the U.S. Army established Camp Drum and then Fort Dalles in the early 1850s. The city was then established in 1857. In the coming years the city grew and became an important economic hub along the Columbia River.
By the early 1880s it was clear that the first courthouse was too small to handle the needs of the city. The second courthouse was built as a result. The jail and county offices were on the first floor and the courtroom was on the second floor. Courthouse functions moved to the third and current courthouse building in 1914. Two fraternal organizations and a funeral parlor then occupied the second courthouse. The first organization was the Knights of Pythias, which bought the building in 1914. The second was the Wasco Masonic Lodge, which acquired it in 1929. The funeral home opened in the old building sometime before the masons moved in. The masons and funeral home continued to occupy the building at least through the late 1990s. It is a contributing property of the The Dalles Commercial Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Dodds, Linda et al. "The Dalles Commercial Historic District." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. November 4, 1986. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/86002953_text.
"Second Wasco County Courthouse." The Historical Marker Database. Accessed August 20, 2020. https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=112072.
The Historical Marker Database