Built in 1864, the Jamieson Courthouse was the first Courthouse built on the then thriving Upper Goulburn Goldfields and signalled the arrival of law and order to the district.
Designed by H.A. Williams, a draftsman for the Public Works Department, it was built on a sandstone base with a slate roof. The bricks used in the construction are local handmade bricks from Thompsons Brickyard on what is now the Licola Road. The brickyard closed after a short time so only two buildings in the town are built from these bricks - the Courthouse and St. Peters Anglican Church in Grey St.
The Jamieson Courthouse held a County Court, Court of Mines and Court of Petty Sessions. In the early days cases were heard monthly with less frequent hearings occurring in later years. The last two cases to be heard in the court were in 1974. One was an inquiry into the death of a worker on the Thompson Dam, the other into a death which occurred in a car accident on the Woods Point Road.
Part of the building continued to be used as the police station until 1977.
Restoration of the Courthouse
In the mid 1980s the old Jamieson Courthouse was earmarked for sale or demolition by the Justice Department. Seeing the potential for use by the Jamieson community as a site from which to provide some much needed services, a group of concerned local citizens successfully stepped in to save the old building.
Being of historical significance, in 1988 the building was listed with the National Estate. At that time the building belonged to Parks Victoria and was administered by their Historic Buildings Committee. It is now owned by Mansfield Shire, but run and maintained by J&DHS.
In 1989 the department granted the Jamieson community a 20 year lease for the building on the condition it be restored. When the Jamieson & District Historical Society Inc. was formed in 1991, this group of volunteers was appointed as Committee of Management, taking on the responsibility for the restoration and maintenance of the building.
In 1988 the building was a sad sight with drooping verandahs, missing slate tiles, leaky roof, rusted spouting and down pipes, most windows were broken, the floors were rotten and needed re-stumping and the entire building needed painting inside and out. Since then over $60,000 has been spent on the restoration. Of this, almost $50,000 was raised locally, and thousands of voluntary hours were put in on the project.
An extraordinary effort for a town with a permanent population of around 100!
With the restoration complete, the building is being put to good use. Not only is it the museum and headquarters for J&DHS, it also provides the town with a weekly Community Heath Centre and Doctors Clinic. The Doctor is in attendance from 10am every Tuesday and the Health Centre is open 2 pm to 5pm every Thursday.
Since December 2015, Gallery on Nash has operated from one of the rooms and their nursery occupies the pretty courtyard area at the back.
What a brilliant community!!