A Progression of Courthouses - Navarro County Northbound Safety Rest Area - Richland, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member QuarrellaDeVil
N 31° 54.740 W 096° 23.640
14R E 746422 N 3533681
Quick Description: The Navarro County Safety Rest Area on northbound I-45 has a sign to provide some history of the county's courthouses, including a ghost story about the current one.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 4/15/2021 9:34:19 PM
Waymark Code: WM144XC
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 1

Long Description:
They're called "Safety Rest Areas" because there are storm shelters to be found, a change from the classical rest stops along the Interstates. They're a little more than just facilities with picnic areas and vending machines, in that there are signs and exhibits for notable attractions in the county that sponsored the rest area. This sign is with several others that are at the back of the exhibit area, reached by going through the main entrance and veering off to the left, and it reads:

In 130 years, Navarro County has gone through no less than five courthouses. The first was a windowless log cabin built in 1848 for $100. It was so rustic "you could throw a wolf through cracks in the walls." The second courthouse was wood frame and was burned down by prisoners to destroy their indictment records. The third was used for church services, dances and was rented to single men in town. The fourth was built of brick and stone and was so heavy that it sank into the Corsicana soil and had to be condemned. So far, the fifth courthouse, built in 1905, although it is said to be haunted, has so far resisted the fate of its predecessors. In 1926, a justice of the peace and the sheriff got into a violent argument. The justice hit the sheriff over the head with his notary seal and the sheriff responded by shooting the justice dead. Ever since, county employees and officials working into the night have heard the ghost of the dead man -- who received neither justice nor peace - wandering up and down the darkened halls.

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Inset photos show the current courthouse in 1905, the year it was constructed, and its predecessor, which was begun in 1880 and completed in 1881, hence the caption, "Navarro County Courthouse 1880." Note how the background is a then-and-now interpretation of the 1905 photo.
Group that erected the marker: Navarro County

URL of a web site with more information about the history mentioned on the sign: [Web Link]

Address of where the marker is located. Approximate if necessary:
Navarro County Northbound Safety Rest Area
Milepost 216 (I-45)
Richland, TX USA
76681


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