Mineral County administration dedicates new courthouse

Photos by Lyndsie Ferrell- Guests, residents and local officials gathered Monday for the grand opening of the newly renovated Mineral County Courthouse. • Supreme Court Chief of Justice Nathan Coats speaks to the attending crowd Monday during the courthouse dedication in Creede.

CREEDE— Mineral County administrators, commissioners, judges, guests and residents gathered in front of the newly remodeled courthouse in Creede Monday morning for a dedication ceremony. The ceremony was opened by Mineral County Commissioner Chairman Jesse Albright who welcomed those in attendance and gave a short speech on behalf of the governing board.
“We are very fortunate to be here today for this purpose. We were able to achieve this project on the backs of all the boards and administrations that came before us and helped lay out the road, leading us to the time and place we were able to finally make this happen. We wanted to do this in a way that would not be a burden to taxpayers, and we were able to achieve that thanks to the help of administration and this board. Most importantly though this building is for the community and we want to thank everyone for their support,” said Albright.
Albright closed with the introduction of Colorado Chief of Justice of the Supreme Court Nathan B. Coats. Coats was among many judicial representatives that were in attendance during the ceremony and spoke to the attending crowd about the importance of judicial buildings, such as the one recently remodeled in Mineral County.
“We are very blessed to be here today to open this beautiful building for Mineral County. It is very important for judicial districts to have buildings that are clean, safe and efficient. We also need public servants to help do this job and this is a beautiful space. Congratulations on being able to get this accomplished,” said Coats.
Next, Chief Judge for the 12th Judicial District Pattie P. Swift spoke, relating a brief history of courthouses in Creede and reminisced about the many years she has served and worked with the administrations in Creede. “As Chief Judge I am pleased to be here. These expansions make work in these locations safer, easier and more efficient.”
Creede’s original courthouse burned down during a fire that occurred in 1892. Mineral County wasn’t established through legislature until eight days before the fire that burned a majority of the original townsite to the ground. Prior to becoming Mineral County, the town was considered to be lawless and had a reputation for scandalous behavior.
The next courthouse was built in the same location that it sits today and was remodeled in the 1980s. Mineral County Judge Ruth Acheson spoke about the early days, right after the courthouse was remodeled in the 80s. “We had little more than a broom closet to work with until it was finally remodeled. Then we had a room large enough to hold just about 12 jurors, but no more. Us saying that a court date was open to the public meant that they could possibly stand in the doorway,” laughed Acheson.
Now, with the new remodel, the courthouse has plenty of room for those working there and those visiting, for good or bad reasons, to function safely, securely and efficiently. The building has all up to date security features, new expanded working spaces for administration and staff and was funded through grants received from the Department of Local Affairs and the Colorado Underfunded Courthouse Commission.

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