Many of Indiana’s historic courthouses have disappeared over the years, so the record setting Boone County Courthouse is a unique site to visit on your next day trip from Indianapolis. The columns at the north and south entrances to the courthouse stand 35 ft. tall, and they’re made entirely from local Indiana limestone. The pillars are said to be the largest single-piece limestone pillars in the world. They weigh in at 30 tons each. If that isn’t enough reason to check out this nearly 100 year old courthouse, the beautiful glass done rotunda is definitely worth seeing. The historic Boone County Courthouse was constructed in 1912, so it’s been trough several decades of Indiana legislation.
The current Boone County Courthouse is actually the 4th one in area history. Before the Columbus architectural firm was contracted tot build the latest courthouse. There was a Gothic style structure used from 1856 to 1909. Before that the courthouse was a small brick building built in 1840, and even earlier was a 2 story log courthouse built in 1830.
Weather damage, neglect and age are often the causes for similar historic courthouse closings, but the Boone County Courthouse has stood through it all. The original clocks inside the courthouse’s dome are still fully functioning, and they report the accurate time. The four sided clock tower houses rare Hahl pneumatic calibrated clocks can be seen at this Indiana attraction. The stained glass rotunda is known to be the second largest in the Hoosier state, taking runner up to the dome at the West Baden Springs Hotel. The dome rotunda stands 84 ft. high and 52 ft. wide. A plaque at the center of the rotunda denotes another record held by the Boone County Courthouse. It’s believed to be the only public building in the world that is bisected by a geographical division, because it sits on the line of Indiana’s second principle meridian.
A beautiful commemorative quilt hangs in the courthouse rotunda for all to see. It was made by the Boone Bicentennial Sampler Committee in honor of the nation’s 200th birthday on July 4, 1976. For a view of many more historic quilts, plan a day trip to the Quilters Hall of Fame in Marion, Indiana.
In 1986, the Boone County Courthouse was inducted to the National Register of Historic Places. It’s located just 30 minutes northwest of Indianapolis, and it makes for a great escape from the Circle City. Courthouse hours are from 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday. Other famous Indiana Courthouses to visit are the Clay County Courthouse in Brazil, Indiana, and the White County Courthouse in Monticello, Indiana.
Boone County Courthouse
212 Courthouse Square
Lebanon, Indiana 46052