Thursday, March 22, 2018

HPC: Preserve courthouse

The Columbus/Stillwater County Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) supports the preservation and restoration of the Stillwater County Courthouse, Stillwater County’s landmark public structure.
Since the doors first opened in April 1921, the courthouse has served as the center of Stillwater County’s government. It is now time to rededicate our courthouse for future generations. A revitalized and functional building will ensure that our history held within the courthouse walls is preserved while we bring the building into the twenty-first century and into the future.
The HPC, like many Stillwater County residents, stand willing to assist the county commissioners going forward toward the preservation of the Stillwater County courthouse. Alternative 2 calls for the preservation and rehabilitation of the Stillwater County courthouse with a new Law and Justice Center located on the north side of the courthouse.
We recommend this alternative but with reservations, since we still lack any specifics on the courthouse rehabilitation or any new construction that will preserve those qualities that make the Stillwater County courthouse significant and eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
HPC was created in February 2012 by resolutions of the City of Columbus and the Stillwater County Commissioners. The commission consists of five volunteer members: two from Columbus, one from Park City and one each from the northern and southern portion of the county. An historic preservation officer funded position serves the entire county.
The HPC advocates for historic preservation and promotes the preservation and protection of Stillwater County’s historic heritage. We also serve in an advisory capacity to the Stillwater County Commissioners to assist in their decision-making process in any matters pertaining to historic preservation.
We support the identification, evaluation and protection of historic and prehistoric resources within our county as well as providing general information and education about these resources.
We have participated in the efforts pertaining to the Second Crow Agency south of Absarokee and a recent inventory of the Columbus cemetery historic sandstone gravestones.
The decision pertaining to the courthouse affects all of us in Stillwater County. We, as the county’s historic preservation commission, strongly support the preservation and rehabilitation of the Stillwater County courthouse.

Columbus/Stillwater County Historic Preservation
Joan Brownell, Steve Keating, Mina Morse, Maurie Petterson and Jay Story