Visitor's Guide to the Sites and Sounds

Historic Downtown Bolivar


The Little Courthouse

The county seat was established in Bolivar and a courthouse was built in 1824. This two story 20 foot by 30 foot log building contained a courtroom downstairs and a jail room above. Within two years it was evident that more room was needed. When the new courthouse was built in 1827 the log courthouse was moved several blocks down East Market Street. During the Civil War the Union Army burned the 1827 brick county courthouse. Citizens were given time to remove records and artifacts which until the third county courthouse was built in 1868. That building was enlarged and updated in the 1950's and is still in use by the Hardeman County Courts. The 1824 log courthouse became the nucleus of a home for the Levi Joy family. Next, Judge Barry purchased the log building house. In 1849 his widow sold the house to Dr. Thomas E. Moore. He made extensive additions including painted weatherboard siding, shutters and additional rooms. His family resided in the house for over 100 years. The descendants of his granddaughter, Miss Jennie Hardaway, sold the house to the county in 1967.

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