Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Old Courthouse

The first Court of Common Law in what is now known as Canada sat in Annapolis Royal on April 20, 1721. During this session, the Governor and Council adjudicated both civil and criminal cases. Until a proper courthouse was built in 1791, sessions were held in rented rooms. Today, the site of the Annapolis Royal Courthouse is commemorated as a National Historic Site.

For those of you familiar with the buildings of Annapolis Royal this image will seem familiar yet strangely different. This is a photograph of a charcoal drawing of the Annapolis Royal Courthouse which was built in 1791. This courthouse was destroyed by fire on April 9, 1836 and was replaced the next year by the current building. Like its replacement, this building sat on the corner of St. George Street and what is now known as Prince Albert Road. The buildings share certain architectural elements which is why it will seem familiar. As an example, both structures are topped with a hipped roof and a cupola. There is little doubt that the 1837 building, with its elements of Palladian style, is the more ambitious building. Yet, the simple Georgian style courthouse shown in this image is a very charming structure.

If anyone would like to see the original version of this drawing, it is hung in the back parlour of the O'Dell House Museum.

All for now,
RGS

1 comment:

  1. Wallace FullertonJune 1, 2009 at 11:59 PM

    I was directed to your blog just today by a long-time friend in your area who is active in local history and I want to say that I find your subject selection and commentary very interesting. Several generations of my family lived in AR and its vicinity and I've had the good fortune to visit a number of times. You have a great place to live and I sincerely hope you are able to maintain its attractions, historical and otherwise, for many years to come. Keep up the blog!

    Wallace Fullerton
    Kensington, MD

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