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History of the Rico Courthouse

The first Dolores County Courthouse was an attractive structure of hand hewn logs, their appearance added to by chinking of snow, white lime and sand. Twenty three by forty eight feet in size with one room 23 x23 feet on the second floor accessible only by an outside stairway, the building was hardly large enough to store the records of the county acquired when Dolores county was divided from Ouray county. The structure was dismantled and the logs were used as skids and for scaffolding to start construction on the new stone and brick courthouse that was to take two years to build. This building, located on the corner of Commercial St. and Mantz Ave. still stands today and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The courthouse served as a county courthouse for 53 years until the greater population of Dove Creek was successful in having the county seat moved there in 1946. Dolores county conveyed the courthouse to the Town of Rico on April 2, 1956 and it is now used as the Town Offices, Public hearings, town and community meetings and the Rico branch of the Dolores County Library. The Rico Courthouse in the mining days - note the ore buckets running overhead
©Engel Collection
The Rico Courthouse today
Photograph provided by Eric Heil.
Historical information provided by Laura Towne of the Rico Historical Society and Rico Telephone Company.