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Chase County courthouse
is turning 150

Staff writer

If the walls of the Chase County courthouse in Cottonwood Falls could talk, they would have 150 years’ worth of joys and sorrow to share.

The courthouse is the place to get a marriage license, finalize adoption of a child, stand trial for an offense, pay property taxes, get a vehicle license, and many other life events, routine or not.

It is the oldest courthouse in continuous operation in the state. Construction was completed in October, 1878.

Its architecture earned the courthouse a spot on Kansas Sampler Foundation’s Eight Wonders of Kansas list.

A celebration of the courthouse’s 150 years with a variety of casual and formal events will be Oct. 6 and 7.

Revelry will begin Oct. 6 with a homecoming and sesquicentennial parade through Cottonwood Falls.

A tailgate dinner at Ireland Field will precede a 7 p.m., match between the Chase County Bulldogs and Lyndon Tigers.

If that doesn’t appeal, an 1873 Victorian Ball will be at the Chase County Old Elementary School from 7 to 10 p.m. the same evening.

Music lovers who want to listen but not dance also can enjoy an Emma Chase free music jam at 7:30 p.m. at Prairie PastTimes.

A full day is planned for Oct. 7, starting at 8 a.m. with cars and coffee at Cottonwood Falls’s old elementary school.

A 5K fun run through downtown Cottonwood Falls will begin at 9 a.m.

Courthouse tours and a model train display at Strong City depot will both run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Food, vendors, and displays will be available downtown from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

From noon to 4 p.m., kids can have fun at the courthouse with bouncy houses, face painting, and a caricaturist.

A beer garden will be from 1 to 10 p.m.

Live music will play downtown from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Musicians will be Jess Dean Band, Kim Costell, Tallgrass Express, and Weda Skirts.

A time capsule ceremony will be at 6:30 p.m., and a courthouse tribute will be at 6:40 p.m.

Michael Martin Murphey will perform at 7 p.m.

A fireworks show will serve as the finale.

Last modified Sept. 14, 2023

 

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