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Bishop, CA - Inyo County Courthouse

The Inyo County Courthouse in Independence is the fourth courthouse since the formation of the county on March 22, 1866. The new county operated from rented office space until June 1868, when a contract was awarded to J.J. Mankin to build a courthouse for the sum of $9,832. Completed in 1869, the two story brick building was destroyed by an earthquake March 26, 1872. The second courthouse, a wood frame two story structure, was completed in 1873 by E. Chaquette at an approximate cost of $15,900. On June 30, 1886 a fire broke out in a vacant building in Independence and destroyed thirty-eight buildings. Although the county records and most of the furniture were saved due to the presence of mind of two women, the courthouse was one of the buildings destroyed. Once again the Board of Supervisors was required to call for bids on a new courthouse. A contract was awarded to M.E. Gilmore to build a third courthouse for $10,000. The new building was smaller than the previous building and was completed in 1887. The third courthouse was also a wood frame two-story building and was located immediately southwest of the present courthouse. The county offices occupied this building for thirty-four years before it was determined to be too small and was torn down in 1923 after the completion of the present courthouse. Photo by Carol Highsmith.
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