Courthouse Information

Courthouse Hours:

Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. to Noon
12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Closed Saturday and Sunday

Courthouse Holidays Observed:

  • New Year’s Day
  • President’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Memorial Day
  • Fourth of July
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veteran’s Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Friday after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve (or day after)
  • Christmas Day

Iron County Courthouse’s History and Renovation Project

The Iron County Courthouse, built in 1890, is listed on the State and National Register of Historical Places and is located on the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan Heritage Trail. A time capsule in commemoration of the year 2000 was buried and will be opened in 2040, the 150th anniversary of the Courthouse. The Courthouse has undergone a complete restoration/renovation after a successful bonding campaign. The vote was 1890 in favor and 918 against. Note: the 1890 approval vote. A good omen for Iron County’s project.

The Iron County Courthouse $2.9 million restoration/renovation project began in Spring of 2003 and was completed December 2004. The project focused on tuck pointing of the exterior, allowing limited access to the Bell Tower, enhancement of the circuit court room, energy efficient windows and lighting, replacement of the scales of justice, building of an addition on the back of the Annex to meet space and handicap needs, allowed the Trial Court to consolidate its personnel, met Americans with Disability requirements and code updates, and provided improved parking. The project involved the blending of the Courthouse style into the Annex by protecting and enlarging the historic significance of our Complex.

We invite you to stop and tour the Courthouse and visit our new History Room. (The History Room is open during normal working hours.)

Courthouse Painting/History RoomIron County offered for sale an Iron County Courthouse Circa 1890 Print, signed and numbered, by local artist Bertha Kantola Johnson. The original painting has been donated by Johnson for viewing in the main hall of the Iron County Courthouse. The proceeds from the sale of the prints were used toward the furnishing of Iron County’s History Room. The history room is an exciting preservation of Iron County History and is a mini-museum open during normal working hours and is a cooperative effort of the four Iron County’s Museums (Alpha, Amasa, Harbour House, and Iron County) as well as the Courthouse Complex. Pick up a copy of their brochures during your visit and check them out as well. Iron County is proud of its efforts to preserve history and would like to share that history with you.
Courthouse PinsAs an additional fund raiser for continuing our restoration/renovation we have for sale Iron County Courthouse Pins. They sell for $4.00 and can be obtained at the Iron County Clerk’s Office in Crystal Falls, Central Arts and Gifts in Iron River, or the Iron County Chamber of Commerce in Iron River, Michigan.

 

Additional Facts about Iron County’s Courthouse:

The Iron County Courthouse, designed by J.C. Clancy, was built in 1890. Characteristic of the Romanesque revival period, it features a high pitched roof, high windows, deeply arched doorways, and exterior ornamentation. Standing atop Superior Avenue, it commands a scenic view of the city of Crystal Falls and its surroundings.

A bid of $26,470 by Louis A Webber of Menasha was accepted by the county board for construction. The final cost rose to about $40,000. Later in September of that year, after the cornerstone of the new building was laid, $2,700 was paid to C. T. Crandall, an early Prosecuting Attorney, for the land on which the courthouse was being built.

Mr. William Russell, a Crystal Falls Building Contractor as well as a County Commissioner, was the contractor to dig out and build the foundation of the Courthouse.

The Courthouse Annex was added in 1955, designed by Perc Brandt and built by Henri Vantaggi.

Features:

The clock in the tower was added later in 1910 and built by the Howard Company. The bell is hung on 8 by 8 timbers, which were replaced in 1974. The hammer which strikes the bell is said to weigh 50 pounds. Upon completion of the tower, a 17 foot statue of Law, Mercy, and Justice was placed in position.

The diorite columns of the main entrance originally numbered six and were quarried from outcroppings of the local Paint River.

The interior includes fine oak doors with decorative hinges and carved headpieces. The staircase features beautiful oak balustrade with pointed newel posts. An elegant marble drinking fountain with silver trimmings was originally placed in the center of the corridor of the main entrance.

The Circuit Courtroom has an embossed tin octagonal ceiling along with cast decorations supporting the huge chandelier below. Corinthian columns capped with Acanthus leaves can also be seen in the front of the courtroom.

Established in 1974, the Iron County Landmark Survey Committee helped establish the building’s place first of the State Register, and later on the National Register of Historical Places.

Sources:
Bernhardt, Marcia A., The Jewel of Iron County, 1976.
Bernhardt, Marcia A., Iron County Historical Sites and Landmarks, 1985
Hoffman, Bernard