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Columbia County

Columbia County is named for Christopher Columbus, who discovered America in 1492.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Adams CountyMarquette County and Green Lake County

E – Dodge County 

S – Dane County

W – Sauk County


Created:  February 3, 1846                    Map of Wisconsin highlighting Columbia County

County Seat: 

Portage  1846 – present


County Courthouse – Portage


Location:  400 De Witt Street / West Pleasant Street

Built:  1961 – 1962

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Foeller, Schober, Berners, Safford & Jann of Green Bay

Contractor:  Orville E. Madsen & Sons of Minneapolis, Minnesota


Description:  The building faces northeast and is a two story buff colored brick and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Portage. The east front has a dark purplish colored panel above the entrance. Purplish panels are above and below the windows on the second and third stories. The first story on the east side has horizontal windows. On the north and south sides are lower wings. The roof line is flat. In the interior, there are four County Circuit Court courtrooms located on the second story. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 5th Judicial District. The building was renovated in 2018. The architect was Potter Lawson, Inc and the contractor was J H Findorff & Son.


See:  The 5th Judicial District includes Dane County, Green CountyLafayette County, Rock County and Sauk County


History: The county was created in 1846 and Portage was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was designed by Alexander Carnegie and built by Carnegie & Prescott in 1865. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1961 to 1962.


County Administration Building – Portage




Location:  112 East Edgewater Street / De Witt Street

Built:  2016 – 2017

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Potter Lawson, Inc.

Contractor:  J H Findorff & Son


Description:  The building faces northeast and is a three story buff and red colored brick and concrete structure. The building faces northeast and was completed in 2017. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Portage. The northeast front has a recessed first story with glass panel entrance. Along the northwest side are concrete dividers on the first and second stories. The third story has small windows and is recessed. The roof line is flat. In the interior is a high entrance lobby. 



County Courthouse – Portage








County Circuit Court courtroom











County Circuit Court courtroom

















Picture 1868 County Courthouse



County Administration Building – Portage











Photos taken 2007, 2008 and 2022