The Pershing County Courthouse is believed to be the last round courthouse still in use today. It remains in use despite regular jests about the odds of getting a square deal in a round courthouse.
The building has a colorful past, dating back to Feb. 25, 1919, when a bill was introduced by Assemblyman Crofton Uniacke to incorporate Lovelock as the seat of a new county. At the time, Lovelock and what today is Pershing County were part of Humboldt County. Half a year before, on July 20, 1918, the old Humboldt County Courthouse in nearby Winnemucca burned down. Citizens in Lovelock -- then the larger of the two communities -- balked at the idea of their taxes building a grand new edifice in Winnemucca.
Governor Emmet D. Boyle signed Uniacke's incorporation measure. The Capitol may have wished to take Humboldt County down a peg, it is often suggested, due to rumors that Winnemucca was planning an effort to usurp Carson City as the state capitol.
Humboldt County raised legal objections to Boyle's decision, but the Nevada Supreme Court upheld the measure. Thus, it came to pass that Reno Architect Fredrick DeLongchamps was awarded the contract to design a new Pershing County Courthouse. He got the nod in December of 1919 -- just one month after completing his Humboldt County Courthouse design.
Nevada's most notable historic architect, DeLongchamps also designed courthouses in Carson City (Ormsby County), Clark County, Pershing County, Douglas County, Washoe County, Lyon County, Modoc County (Calif.), and Alpine County (Calif.).
Today, the Courthouse arguably remains Lovelock's most prominent historical landmark. It was placed on the National Register in 1983.
In 1999, a renovation project funded largely by the Nevada Historical Preservation Society turned the "Round Room" below the Court into a spectacular tourist showpiece. Featured exhibits include a transcript of the first case ever heard in the new courthouse -- a murder trial!
Click any image below to launch a slideshow window.