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Douglas County Courthouse Fire

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Image courtesy of DCL Archives and Local History, Castle Rock, Colorado
Douglas County Courthouse Fire
Douglas County Courthouse

Douglas County once stretched all the way to the Kansas border. When its current borders were drawn in the 1870s, the county seat moved from Franktown to Castle Rock, where a stately courthouse with a clock tower was built with local rhyolite.

The Victorian building was a county icon until March 1978 when a teenager started a gasoline fire in a stairwell, hoping the diversion would help spring her friend from jail. The blaze quickly went out of control. Flames shot 200 feet up. Five crews used every firefighting tool at their disposal. Yet 24 hours later, only a pile of rubble remained where the courthouse once stood.

Soon after, Castle Rock’s character began to shift from rural to urban, a shift echoed in the modernist, minimalist building that replaced Douglas County’s old many-steepled old Courthouse.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.