Question: Is it true that the Mariposa County Courthouse is the oldest operating courthouse in the West?
-- Raymond Ensher, Fresno
Answer: According to the Mariposa County website, the wood-frame courthouse built in 1854 is the oldest operating courthouse west of the Rocky Mountains.
The two-story Greek Revival-style courthouse was built of sugar pine and ponderosa pine lumber cut from trees growing less than a mile from the courthouse at 5088 Bullion St.
The first court session was held on Feb. 12, 1885. A cupola with a clock was added in 1866.
The history of the courthouse and Mariposa County are on display downstairs. Mariposa County Superior Court upstairs features the original furnishings, including handmade tables, the jury box and judge's bench.
The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.