Keep our Courts downtown!

Paul Matson, a longtime civic leader, city council member and former mayor of Nevada City, phoned this morning, and in his ebullient manner, asked if he could put this sign in our yard (see below). We happily agreed because it was for a great cause: Keeping the Nevada County Superior Court downtown.

The courthouse has been a longtime fixture in downtown Nevada City. It provides economic benefit (for our restaurants and stores), close proximity to the DA’s office, as well as “sense of place.”

The first courthouse on this site was built around 1856. Having been a juror a few times, it’s more pleasant to explore a cute little town such as Nevada City on foot on lunch breaks (Three Forks, Heartwood, Classic Cafe, The Place on South Pine, Treats and so on) rather than being forced to get in the car and drive to a fast-food joint. I’ve experienced that at the Placer County courthouse in Roseville (think Mickey D’s) and the Marin County courthouse in San Rafael (A&W fast food for “hometown goodness”).

This spring, officials are expected to revisit the Nevada County Superior courthouse’s future. Most residents, including our family, would like to see the historic building updated — but also remain at its current location.

Courthouses have long been a centerpiece of California towns, from Sonora (in “courthouse square”) to Mariposa (the state’s oldest courthouse) to Santa Barbara (one of the state’s original counties). All of them help make their downtowns vibrant and relevant — not just “tourist towns.” In addition, their architecture often is noteworthy and historic.

You’re bound to see other signs such as the one below popping up around town in coming weeks. Thanks to Paul Matson and others for their civic pride and volunteerism (or “many thanks” as Paul likes to put it).

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

One thought on “Keep our Courts downtown!”

  1. I am on board with keeping our historic town in tact, as long as the folks who work there are happy. Just give us a sensible parking lot.

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