Since the mid-eighties, I have been taking
artistic photos of rural courthouses. In 1989, I mounted a
twenty-piece exhibit of 16x20 photos which toured Washington State as my
contribution toward the centennial statehood celebration. I have since added courthouses in
Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona and California. (There is also an
Australian courthouse collection which can be accessed on the navigation bar.) When lawyers and judges
began asking if they could purchase these photos for their offices and
courtrooms, I settled upon a presentation that includes a hand calligraphy
caption, as well as an original signature and limited edition (100)
certification. See Order Photographs for pricing.
You may click on each thumbnail photo to view a larger
version of the image.
||Taken in the mid-80's, this view of the Chelan County
Courthouse in Wenatchee, Washington features a rose garden and the
beginnings of yellow autumn foliage.
||Few courthouses have their own cannon, like the Columbia
County Courthouse in Dayton, Washington. Located in the vast
south-central wheat belt, this courthouse has a charming red neon sign
above the lower right window which declares that "POLICE"
occupy the basement. The lower left corner of the image gives a
glimpse of a wheat field.
||This was my first courthouse image, taken in 1985. The Douglas County Courthouse in Waterville,
Washington was then surrounded by magnificent evergreens, and had a
green picnic table set atop a stump in the front yard. I had the
privilege of appearing there twice as a lawyer. Sadly, the pine
trees and picnic table are now gone..
||This is the same Douglas County Courthouse, except it is a
vertical shot which shows off the tower, flagpole and the high
evergreens. I've included this view because it is the composition used on the covers of the
Prosecutor and the Resources
Directory, which can be seen under Published
||I've always called this picture of the Garfield County Courthouse in Pomeroy, Washington, "Petunias." Like
Columbia County's courthouse, it is in wheat country, and
a wheat field is visible at the right margin of the image. It seems more
like a funky mansion than a courthouse. Lady
Justice stands atop the roof, holding her
||The Glenn County Courthouse in Willows, California lies in
the flat expanse of the northern Sacramento Valley. On this day, cumulus clouds were punching up
the sky. A Hispanic boy of 5 and his younger brother,
neither of whom apparently understood my urgent pleas (in English) that
they move off the steps, seemed to believe I was there to
take their pictures! It wasn't until a court worker came and
gently shooed them away that I was able to take this picture.
||This classic example of Romanesque architecture sits in
the arid farm country of central Washington. The Grant County Courthouse in Ephrata was caught in early morning
surrounding trees black in shadow, and the sky a deep blue.
||Winnemucca is roughly two hours east of Reno, in the
high desert which dominates central Nevada. I was surprised to find several Basque restaurants in
town. This shot of the Humboldt County Courthouse, taken in the morning,
has a delicate trace of shadows thrown by the iron railing leading up the
||The Jackson County Courthouse in Medford, Oregon lies in a
lush agricultural valley about an hour's drive southwest of
Crater Lake. A storm had moved through the previous night, and I
spent half an hour picking up debris -- mostly sticks and leaves -- from
the lawn before I took this shot. It was early morning, and I was
hurrying to finish before the staff arrived to start the day.
||I photographed the Lincoln County Courthouse in
Davenport, Washington in 1988. A few years later, the building was
gutted by fire. It was rebuilt upon the original design, but the
Uncle Sam poster on the front porch and the shrubs and trees near the
building are gone.
||I never expected to find an Art Deco building in one of
California's most famous and historic gold mining towns. Nevada
County Courthouse, in Nevada City, California, had an American flag
whipping proudly from the pole atop the building. It also sported a bright red
banner proclaiming: Juror Appreciation Week. It was
the weekend and no one was around, but I was afraid to remove the banner,
for even a few minutes. I didn't want to be arrested! In
retrospect, I like
||The Pacific County Courthouse in South Bend, Washington
reveals the ambition of the town's early commissioners. It has a
Tiffany stained-glass dome window. The park-like grounds are extensive.
During the last century, the area shipped countless loads of fresh oysters to
San Francisco. But dreams of
becoming a major economic center never materialized: Pacific is now a sleepy
||The Skagit Valley Courthouse sits in the heart of Mount
Vernon, Washington, hemmed in by the business
But on this bright spring day, I was able to find an angle that makes it
look every bit as Olympian as the architect must have imagined in his
||The Spokane County Courthouse is surrounded by
parking meters, cars, lamp posts, mail boxes,
garbage cans and uninspiring shrubbery. But I
realized that the spire, floating above the trees, was a stunner. The sky,
darkened by a polarizing filter,
was equally amazing.
||The Storey County Courthouse is tucked into the same steep
hillside that all of Virginia City, Nevada is laid against. I used a wide
angle lens from across the narrow street, but was still barely able to
capture the entire front. The opulence of this gold-rush-era
apparent in the extensive use of carved stone and marble.
||You sometimes find nice embellishments on courthouse
grounds, like the marble
bench that sits under an old pine in front of the Tehama County Courthouse in Red Bluff, California. It is a reminder that those
who come before the courts sometime need to rest and reflect upon
their circumstances. A short stroll around beautiful grounds, and
a brief respite beneath an ancient evergreen, help to gather one's wits and
prepare for the next round of testimony.
||This looks like Spain, but it is the Pima County Courthouse in Tucson, Arizona. The arch,
the curves and embellishments,
the deep blue sky, and the hall through the heart of the building
revealing another arch of sky, make this composition one of my favorites.
||If you've never driven along the western border of
Idaho, between Boise and Coeur d' Alene, you have missed some of the
most scenic country in the U.S. The Washington County Courthouse
in Weiser stands at the southern gateway to the Hells Canyon National
Recreation Area. The courthouse was rebuilt after fire destroyed
the original in 1938. The deputy recorder took several minutes to
give me a sketch of the county's history, and the clerk's office staff
offered western hospitality in providing me with everything from a cup of
water to as much hard candy as I wanted to scoop from the bowl on the
counter. All courthouse staffs should be so friendly!