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Courthouse's 100th draws a crowd

Michaela Hamilton of Vernon Secondary School sits as a judge beside Provincial Court Judge M. Takahashi in a mock trial Saturday at the Vernon Courthouse. The stately building was open to the public Saturday to celebrate its 100th birthday. - Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star
Michaela Hamilton of Vernon Secondary School sits as a judge beside Provincial Court Judge M. Takahashi in a mock trial Saturday at the Vernon Courthouse. The stately building was open to the public Saturday to celebrate its 100th birthday.
— image credit: Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star

It stands majestic in its corner location, the east side of 27th Street and north side of 30th Avenue.

Been that way for a century.

Yet on Saturday, close to 1,000 people came to see the inside of the Vernon Courthouse as the stately building celebrated its 100th birthday.

“There were lots of people who have lived in Vernon their entire lives who had never been in the building,” said Rob Culos of the Vernon Bar Association, the group that organized the four-hour open house.

“We were so delighted with the response. We had no idea what to expect. I led some tours, as did some other lawyers, and we had tours of 30 or 40 people bumping into each other in the basement.”

Tours of the three-storey building were included and capacity crowds filled to watch mock trials conducted by Vernon Secondary Law 12 students in the various courtrooms, including the gorgeous Supreme Court 301, the biggest of the courtrooms complete with its original wood gallery seats.

The stain glass window depicting the provincial coat of arms on the building’s main floor was also a hit, as were the jail cells in the basement.

“The people were very impressed with the architecture and trim,” said Culos. “It’s a very pleasant building to be in.”

Opened in 1914, and built for nearly $200,000, the Vernon Courthouse was, at one point, the largest such facility outside of the Lower Mainland.

 

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