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Washburn County

Washburn County is named for Cadwallader Washburn, who was Governor of Wisconsin from 1872 to 1874.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Douglas County

E – Sawyer County

S – Barron County

W – Burnett County


Created:  March 27, 1883                       Map of Wisconsin highlighting Washburn County

County Seat: 

Shell Lake  1883 – present


County Courthouse – Shell Lake


Location:  10 4th Avenue / 1st Street

Built:  1988 – 1989

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Bray Associates Architects Inc

Contractor:  Vonasak & Schieffer Inc.


Description:  The building faces north and is a two story buff colored brick, stone and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center iof Shell Lake. The north front has pillars on the first story and the center of the second story protrudes over the entrance forming a portico and faced with a yellow colored stone which forms a pattern. The windows are narrow in a horizontal line on the second story. The roof line is flat. At the south rear of the building is a connecting hallway with the Law Enforcement Building on the southwest side. In the interior the two story lobby with open staircase is located at the center on the south side of the building. The large County Circuit Court courtroom is located along the north side of the second story. The courtroom has a high wooden ceiling and horizontal windows. At the southeast corner of the second story is the small courtroom. The building houses the County Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial District. 


See:  The 10th Judicial District includes Ashland CountyBarron County, Bayfield County, Burnett CountyChippewa County, Douglas CountyDunn County, Eau Claire CountyPolk County, Rusk County, Saint Croix County and Sawyer County.


History:  The county was created in 1883 and Shell Lake was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was designed by S H Leicester and constructed by N B Rundle in 1889. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1988 to 1989.



County Courthouse – Shell Lake



















County Circuit Court courtroom











Small courtroom





Photos taken 2007, 2008 and 2022