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Mecosta County

Mecosta County is named for Chief Mecosta, who was a Potawatami Indian Chief whose name means “big bear”.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

 Osceola County

E – Isabella County

S – Montcalm County

 Newaygo County


Created:  April 1, 1840                            Map of Michigan highlighting Mecosta County

County Seat:

Big Rapids  1859 – present


County Courthouse – Big Rapids 


Location:  400 East Elm Street / Ives Avenue

Built:  1969 – 1970

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Stephen T Gerganoff of Ypsilanti

Contractor:  Gust Construction Company of Cedar Springs


Description:  The building faces north and is a three story buff colored brick, glass and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Big Rapids. The building is an “L” shape with a north wing and an east wing. The main entrance at the northeast corner has a recessed first story entrance with glass paneling on the north and east sides.The center of the north side has a section of glass paneling. The windows are narrow and vertical and the roof line is flat. In the interior is an open lobby with stairs ascending to the third story. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 49th Judicial District, County District Court and County Probate Court. .


Note:  The cost of construction of the present courthouse was $1,233,857.


See: The architect,  Stephen T Gerganoff, designed courthouses in Cheboygan County and Ogemaw County, and with Ralph S Gerganoff of Ypsilanti in Huron County.


See: The contractor, Gust Construction Company of Cedar Springs, constructed courthouses in Benzie County and Ogemaw County.


See:  The 49th Judicial District includes Osceola County.


History:  The county was created in 1840 as Leonard County and the county was renamed in 1843 as Mecosta County. Big Rapids was selected as the county seat in 1859 when the county was organized. The county was attached to Newaygo County for judicial purposes. The county rented a building at 117 South Michigan Street and Elm Street as the first courthouse.  The second courthouse was  designed by N J Gibbs and built on a hill by Crocker & Hudnutt of Big Rapids in 1885 to 1886 at a cost of $30,000 and was similar to the courthouse in Houghton Countyhaving a color scheme of the stone exterior being yellow, orange and green. The courthouse was torn down when the third and present courthouse was constructed in 1969 to 1970 at a cost of $1,233,837.


See:  Michigan’s County Courthouses by John Fedynsky



County Courthouse – Big Rapids

















Picture 1886 County Courthouse

Photos taken 2008 and 2015