Michigan is extremely lucky to have such unique and beautiful county courthouses. In other parts of the United States, the original structures are often demolished and replaced with ugly, box-like buildings, but the county seats of Michigan seem to have a reverence for their historic courthouses. Sometimes, the buildings are restored and used not for government purposes, but as museums or tourist centers. In the case of the Muskegon County Courthouse, the building -- an imposing castle-like structure -- has been converted into the base for the local Board of Education.
Whatever their current use may be, Michigan's county courthouses are worth checking out. Most of them have beautiful ornamentation and exterior detail, and some are even adorned with mascarons or other gargoyle-ish figures. A common feature is a cupola or dome, though there are several exceptions throughout the state.
The solidly-built Muskegon County Courthouse in Muskegon.
The recently-restored Eaton County Courthouse in Charlotte. It was built in 1883.
The Lenawee County Courthouse in Adrian.
Built in 1904, the Ingham County Courthouse in Mason was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
The beautiful Chippewa County Courthouse in Sault Ste. Marie was built in 1877 and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Van Buren County Courthouse in Paw Paw, built in 1901. This building has some fantastic ornamentation.
Traverse City's Grand Traverse County Courthouse, built in 1900, is a very plain structure free of almost all exterior ornamentation.
The Hillsdale County Courthouse in Hillsdale -- quite similar to the Van Buren County Courthouse.
Of course, there are many more lovely courthouses in this state, and as I continue to explore Michigan, I'll be sure to visit the county seats and photograph their courthouses.
I'd also like to congratulate the Detroit Tigers for their champagne-soaked series victory over the New York Yankees!