History of the Courthouse
In December 2013 several members of Tales of Cape Cod began an informal investigation of the history of the Olde Colonial Courthouse. As information was assembled and pieced together, the group began to question some of the long-standing views about the evolution of the building. Over time, the group has grown to include trained preservationists, and the work has been broadened to include on-site investigations. This article is a work-in-progress report produced by the individuals who have participated in this investigation. The hypotheses put forth below will be reviewed as more information becomes available.
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The Olde Colonial Courthouse was the second courthouse constructed in Barnstable County, MA. This building was used exclusively for court sessions. The county’s legal records were maintained in a separate building, the County House, located immediately to the east of the Sturgis Library. Very little information is available to date the construction of the Old Courthouse, its appearance, or the legal proceedings that took place in the building because virtually all of these records were destroyed when the County House burned on October 22, 1827.
Those records that are available indicate that the Olde Courthouse was built between 1763 and 1774. The date 1763 is suggested by an invoice submitted to Edward Bacon, a member of the Committee responsible for building a new courthouse in Barnstable County.
 Sturgis Library Permanent Collection, 1763 Invoice, Barnstable, MA.
 Cape Cod Community College Archives, G. Hinckley Papers and Transcriptions of Dr. Eben Johnson, Barnstable, MA.