Inyo County Courthouse Celebrates 100 Years

Sage Romero photo: Deb Murphy


The Courthouse’s birthday bash started with a talk and dance from Sage Romero along with Robert Piper, Jr. Romero pointed out that he and Piper’s fathers had worked for Inyo County in Independence and to Native Americans a 100-year old building is still young.

Local historian David Woodruff went through the Courthouse’s past. The first three buildings met sorry fates by earthquake and fire, or just proved to be too small. It took 18 months and $183,000 for te present Courthouse to be completed.

The Courthouse has seen a small share of notoriety. The Watterson brothers were tried for and found guilty of embezzlement in the 1920s. In the late 1960s, Charles Manson was tried for car theft and vandalism prior to the arraignment of the Manson Family members for the Tate/LaBianca murders in Los Angeles.

In the late 1990s, the Courthouse was placed on the National Registry of Historical Places. The
building and grounds have been well cared for over the last 100 years. According to Masters,
the 100-year old locks all still work.

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