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Sierra County

Sierra County is named for the Spanish word meaning “mountain range”.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Plumas County and Lassen County

E – Washoe County, Nevada

S – Nevada County

W – Yuba County 


Created:  April 16, 1852                                                 Location in the state of California

County Seat: 

Downieville  1852 – present


County Courthouse – Downieville  


Location:  100 Courthouse Square / Front Street

Built:  1948 – 1953

Style:  Modern

Architect:  George Sellon of Sacramento

Contractor:  Paul I Jenks of Grass Valley


Description:  The building faces east and is a two story white colored concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Downieville, The prominent feature of the building  is the bright blue colored metal roof. The east front has a projecting two story porch with recessed entrance and four pillars on the first story. There are two canon on the porch. The second story is enclosed with a large clock below the hipped roof. On the south front side is a small porch with sloped roof, The second story is a recessed dormer with horizontal windows. On the north front, the building rises to the second story. In 1992, the jail portion was remodeled in three stages. The architect was Barnum Folsom of Sacramento and the contractor for the first work was M P Allan and the contractor for the final work was Casey Brandon Construction.


See:  George C Sellon of Sacramento designed courthouses in Amador County, Lassen County, Nevada County, Plumas County and Tehama County.


See:  The county is located in the 3rd Appellate District Court of Appeal – Sacramento.


History:  A Yuba County satellite court was established in Downieville before 1852. The county was created in 1852 and Downieville was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was designed by a committee comprised of H B Cossitt, Benjamin Hall, Allanson Smith and D G Webber and constructed by D G Webber in 1854 at a cost of $12,975. The building burned in 1947. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1948 to 1954. The bid by Paul I Jenks was $77,114 and additional changes were made during the lengthy construction period.



County Courtho\use – Downieville





















Commission Minutes



Picture 1854 County Courthouse



Old 1854 County Courthouse Vault







County Sheriff’s Gallows



Photos taken 2013 and 2015