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Hamilton County Courthouse celebrates 100th anniversary

At one time, anyone visiting or taking a photo in front of the Fireman’s Memorial Fountain on Georgia Avenue had to be careful where they put their fingers and toes.

That’s because the fountain was home to live alligators that were fenced into an enclosure at the base of the fountain, said Hamilton County Public Relations Manager Gina Hatler. These stories and more are currently on display at the County Courthouse as part of its centennial celebration.

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Contributed photo

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger kicks off the Hamilton County Courthouse Centennial Celebration earlier this year. The celebration runs from November 2012 until November 2013.

“The whole intention of the event is to get people to reclaim ownership of the courthouse,” she said. “For all of the municipalities in the county, we have a shared identity and this is it. It’s about celebrating the county as a whole.”

From now until next November, historical documents, photos and information about the courthouse will be on display in the rotunda on its second floor. Doors are open to the public from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for visitors to view the exhibit.

“I think anyone that visits will learn something and I think they will enjoy both the display we have set up and the events we are planning that recognize this historic building and our common bonds as citizens of Hamilton County,” said Hatler.

The courthouse recently hosted several Christmas events and is gearing up to celebrate some of this year’s other holidays including Independence Day. On the Fourth of July, Hatler said a free family-friendly concert and ice cream social has been planned for the courthouse’s grounds.

In addition to the information and photos she has already collected, Hatler said she would like to find more pictures and information about the County Courthouse or the county as a whole. She said she is particularly interested in finding a picture of the Dallas Courthouse, a courthouse that is no longer in existence and was once located in the northeastern part of the county that is now covered by the lake.

“One of the primary goals with this is to get more people with pictures and stories to share,” she said. “These pictures and images that show the way the county has changed over the last 100 years are really, really interesting.”

For more information about the centennial celebration, visit www.hamiltontn.gov or call 209-6100. Hamilton County also has a Facebook page and Twitter account.

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