April 15, 2014

National Register of Historic Places ~ Catahoula Parish Courthouse

Catahoula Parish Courthouse in Harrisonburg, Louisiana

The original structure of this Catahoula Parish Courthouse was built between 1930 and 1931.  This was the third courthouse constructed in Catahoula Parish.  In his book, 'The History of Concordia Parish', author Robert Dabney Calhoun writes about past Catahoula Parish courthouses:
The first courthouse was built [circa 1807] at the foot or base of the hill overlooking the town, and was constructed of pine and cypress logs and covered with cypress boards.  It served its purpose for about thirty five years, when in 1842 the Police Jury awarded a contract for the construction of a brick two story building.  This building was completed in 1843 and served the community well until the present building was completed in 1931.
On August 7, 1972, the Police Jury selected a committee to look into the possibilities of constructing a new courthouse.

Police Jury members at the time were H. C. Peck, Jr., Maizie Franklin, Grover Elliott, Roscoe White and Al Boughton.  Committee members included R. Roger Reeves, Jr., A. D. Taylor, G. D. Babin, H. C. Peck, Jr. and William H. Martin.

The committee recommended renovation to the original building as well as building a new addition.  This recommendation was based on the fact that the original building was structurally sound and along with the new addition would meet the parish's needs in the most economical way.

Following the passage of a $1,350,000 bond issue by parish voters, construction work began on October 13, 1973.

On May 14, 1977, dedication ceremonies were held in Harrisonburg with Governor Edwin Edwards delivering the final speech of the day.

Rev. J. O. McNair gave the invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Clarence A. Richard, Secretary of the Police Jury.

Welcome addresses were given by Mayor Charles Myers of Harrisonburg, Mayor Lonnie Franks of Sicily Island, and Mayor G. D. Babin of Jonesville.

Other speakers included H. C. Peck, Jr., Senator Jim Brown, Congressman Jerry Huckaby, Representative Dan Richey, Judge R. P. Boyd, Sheriff Thomas L. Jackson, Clerk of Court W. A. Book and Assessor G. O. McGuffee.  The benediction was given by Rev. Oviel Kiper.

The Catahoula Parish Courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

Historic Significance:Architecture/Engineering
Architect, builder, or engineer:Tudor & Ratcliffe Construction Co., Smith, J.W., & Associates
Architectural Style:Classical Revival
Area of Significance:Architecture
Period of Significance:1925-1949
Historic Function:Government
Historic Sub-function:Courthouse
Current Function:Government
Current Sub-function:Courthouse


  1. I remember in 1975.. they had the nice trial festival. They had a parade in H.burg and a street dance at the island.but they let all the people sign a register and put a note and a small article in a vault box and buried it in a ceremony that day. I put a penny in there for the year I was born.I was barley a teenager..but I remember it like it was yesterday..Ive been gone sine I was 18. .and hardly go back.but.from 1 st grade to 1 st love.was there..great memories.and the stories I could share..good job..keep up the blog..luv it.

  2. The architect for the renovation was Baron Heinburg and Brocato of Alexandria. They also designed my fathers office which is across the street. The architect or the builder of the original court house also built for my grandparents, Judge Reeves, a house on highway 8.