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Route 66 News

Grant sought for new roof on Navajo County Historic Courthouse

Navajo County Historic Courthouse

Navajo County will submit a cost-share grant application to help pay for new roof on its historic courthouse in Holbrook, Arizona, according to the The Tribune-News.

The application for $30,000 is through the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. If awarded, Navajo County likely will have to share the cost of the roof 50/50 or supply in-kind labor. The county holds no guarantees of winning the grant, but the program’s 15-year history tends to favor roof replacements and other vital work.

The new roof also must be installed according to Arizona State Historic Preservation Office standards.

The newspaper article lays out the reasons for the grant application:

The roof on the old courthouse has needed replaced for some time, and officials have been searching for a funding solution since a 2012 preservation report identified it as a top priority. The report states, “Water infiltration from the roof is causing damage to the courtroom ceiling and traveling along the walls, probably causing damage to the north wall and ceiling of the area above the jail; also damage to the interior walls below the tower area.” It does note, however, that the roof’s support structure appears to be in good condition.

If the roof is fixed, it would allow the county to begin repairs to the courthouse’s damaged brick walls.

The Navajo County Historic Courthouse houses the Navajo County Historical Society, the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce office and the Old West Museum. It ceased to be a courthouse about 1975, when the county built a new facility in town.

According to Legends of America:

In 1898, the county erected a new courthouse that would become the scene of a number of notorious trials over the years. The basement of the courthouse housed the jail cells, manufactured as complete units in St. Louis, Missouri and shipped to Holbrook on railroad flatcars. The small, dark cells were very effective throughout the years, as no one ever escaped from them.

The courthouse became the site of outlaw George Smiley’s hanging in 1900, and it reportedly has been haunted by his ghost since. Another reputed ghost, called Mary, reportedly appeared after a woman died in one of the courthouse jail cells.

(Image of the Navajo County Historic Courthouse by Jimmy Emerson, DVM, via Flickr)

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