A History Tour Of The Chambers County Courthouse

We're back in LaFayette, Alabama, for "Hometown Spirit," and the biggest landmark is one of the oldest buildings in the county. The Chambers County Courthouse is 108-years-old to be exact. It's the most recognizable building as you drive along U.S. Highway 431.

The old cliché goes, "If these walls could talk..." It couldn't be more true for the courthouse.

"The history of Chambers County rests in this building. It's also recorded in this building, and it's still here," said John Crowder, Chambers County probate judge.

This courthouse was built in 1899, but there were two more before it.

"The predecessor to this building survived the (Civil) War, and our records are intact since day one. We're one of several counties in the state that has every record, except a few that have been pilfered," Crowder said.

In addition to complete archives, the stained glass in the dome of the ceiling has been restored.

"Putting it back up, we sandwiched between two pieces of Plexiglas to protect it. It looked like it was shot with BBs from the bottom, but it's been there for a hundred years," said Randy Morgan, Chambers County maintenance.

Most of the wood is original, as is the 108-year-old vaults in the probate judge's office.

This place has also seen its share of famous faces. A statue of LaFayette's own boxing legend Joe Louis will soon go up here. It's rumored that Pat Garrett, the lawman responsible for shooting Billy the Kid, left his will in Chambers County. Many political campaigns have also brought Alabama's most powerful men through these doors.

"Governor (George) Wallace was here before he was shot, but every governor since then has been in this courthouse," said Crowder.

Hometown Spirit continues Thursday as we go back to Lanett. We'll show you how a little girl and a special doll house wound up in the city cemetery more than 70 years ago.