Michigan Roadside Attractions: 1845 Eaton County Courthouse, Charlotte

Michigan Roadside Attractions: 1845 Eaton County Courthouse, Charlotte

1845 Eaton County Courthouse Side View Charlotte

Michigan Roadside Attractions on Travel the Mitten highlights our attempts to explore the many interesting things that can be found on the highways, byways and back roads of Michigan, ranging from the interesting to the unusual.

Charlotte is the county seat for Eaton County and home to many beautiful and historical buildings. While the bright red courthouse that dates back to the 1880s is hard to miss when driving through town, on a recent visit we found there’s an even older courthouse in town that has been preserved and is available for rental for weddings and other events. The 1845 Eaton County Courthouse is a great look into the past, and if you combine it with a visit to its more modern successor, a testament to how much the area grew in just a few decades. You can find the courthouse in Bennett Park, south of the parking area and next to Battle Creek.

1845 Eaton County Courthouse Charlotte Michigan History

A Michigan historical marker here tells us a bit more: “This building served as Eaton County‚Äôs courthouse from 1846 to 1872. The first courthouse was built in Bellevue in the 1830s. In 1840 Charlotte became the county seat, and in 1844 the county supervisors voted to erect a new courthouse on the public square. The Greek Revival structure was built at a cost of one thousand dollars by S. E. Millett and Lewis Scout. In 1872 the Episcopal church bought the courthouse. After many uses, the building was rehabilitated by Historic Charlotte, Incorporated, to resemble its original form.”

1845 Eaton County Courthouse Information Sign

A sign from the Courthouse Square Association shares more details, including the cost of this courthouse when it was built – $1,000! This courthouse has had quite a life as it served until 1872 in courthouse square, then was used as a garage, blacksmith shop, livery stable, and more. It came to Bennett Park in 1983 and we’re sure glad a group was able to step up and help preserve this piece of history!

1845 Eaton County Courthouse Charlotte Michigan

The street address for the 1845 Eaton County Courthouse is 1305 Cochran Ave. in Charlotte. There is room for a few cars there, while Bennett Park has lots of parking and lots of things for the whole family. There are hiking and nature trails, playgrounds, picnic pavilions, horseshoe pits, and several memorials.