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Washington County

Washington County is named for George Washington, who was the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797.


Surrounding County and Canada Courthouses: 

N – Aroostook County and New Brunswick, Canada

E – New Brunswick, Canada

S – Atlantic Ocean

W – Hancock County and Penobscot County


Created:  June 25, 1789                                                             Map of Maine highlighting Washington County

County Seat: 

Machias  1789 – present


County Courthouse – Machias  


Location:  85 Court Street / Cooper Street

Built:  1853 – 1854

Style:  Italianate

Architect:  Benjamin S Deane and Edwin S Brown of Bangor

Contractor:  Ebeneser Adams and Sons of Bangor.


Description:  The building faces south and is a two story red colored brick and stone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Machias and is rectangular with a horizontal granite belt between the stories. The building has gable ends. The building has a square white colored cupola above the front roof peak. The roof eave extends from the building. The foundations of the building are granite. There are four fireplaces on the first story, three of which are still useable. The remaining one in the Grand Jury room has been closed. The fireplaces are made of oversized reddish-dark brown colored brick carved with a flower design. The two sets of metal stairs leading to the second story frame the main entrance. These curve around to reach the second story landing outside the courtroom. The courtroom takes up most of the second story. Two small rooms on either side of the landing occupy the remaining space. The courtroom has seating on three sides with the judge’s bench at the end opposite the main door. The courtroom was rebuilt after the building was damaged by a storm in 1869. An addition was added on north side. The interior was remodeled in 1886.  The architect was Francis H Fassett of Portland and the contractor was Andrew R Gilson of Machias. The building was renovated in 2014. The architect was North Peak Architecture of Presque Isle and the contractor was Ganneston Construction Corporation of Augusta. An addition was constructed on the east side to connect to an old jail designed by Gridley J F Bryant and constructed in 1858 which now houses the Sheriff’s Office. 


See:  The architect, Benjamin S Deane and Edwin S Brown of Bangor also designed the courthouse in Waldo County.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Washington County Courthouse


History:  The county was created in 1789 and Machias was designated as the county seat. The court first met in 1790 at the Western Falls meetinghouse, which building had been built in Machias in 1774. After 1790, the court sessions were held in privately owned buildings which were rented by the county. The first courthouse was built by private citizens in 1826 in Machais and the county rented space for the county offices and jailer’s residence. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1853 to 1854.


District Courthouse – Calais



Location:  382 South Street / Garfield Street

Built:  996 – 1998

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Hight Partners

Contractor:  Hight Partners


Description:  The building faces northwest and is a one story red colored brick structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds to the south of the center of Calais. The northwest front has a projecting center section with overhang supported by two pillars. On either side, the front is faced with red colored brick. The building is rented by the county.


Note:  The old Calais Courthouse at 10 Church Street was built in 1902. The building was a two story red colored brick Federal style structure. The building faced west and was completed in 1903. The architect was H A Crosby. The building was demolished in 2012.



County Courthouse – Machias























District Courthouse – Calais







Photos taken 2006, 2014 and 2018