Monday, May 23, 2011

Monroe County Courthouse, Union

The Monroe County courthouse, located in Union, was built 1882 in the Romanesque style.  It sits atop the site of two previous courthouses.  In 1774, the first white settlers came to the Monroe area.  James Alexander is credited with being the first settler, and it was he who sat aside land in 1799 for the use of a courthouse and jail.

The structure, completed in 1800, was a simple log structure.  It was replaced in 1820 with a stone Classical Revival style structure.  The current courthouse, built in 1882, originally held the county jail in the basement area until it was replaced with a 2-story wing and adjoining jail in 1975.

Rumors of the building being haunted have long abounded...in the "old jail" area of the basement, voices have been heard, including a man who seems to be mumbling while no live human is in the area.  During the basement's tenure as the county jail, there were several deaths, mostly suicides, recorded.

In the tax office, located in the basement, two witnesses saw a bucket of Halloween candy slide across the length of a counter and fall off the end, again, with no one near the bucket.

The courtroom area also has had some activity.  When getting the room ready for court one day near Daylight Savings Time, a worker went to change the time on the clocks, only to find them already changed, with no one admitting to the deed.  The nearby 911 call center also was monitoring the security cameras in the courtroom, when at least five witnesses saw the shadowy figure of a man standing in a corner, and then fleeing out to the hallway.  When the hall camera was checked, the figure was no where to be seen.  The courtroom camera was rechecked, and again the figure was seen, moving about, almost "peeking" at the camera.

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