established in 1805

  • Geauga County Created

    County of Geauga was created by the Ohio General Assembly and extended to Lake Erie.

  • Original Courts Meeting Area

    Courts met in New Market (located between Fairport and Painesville on the Grand River).

  • County Seat Established

    A wilderness hill within one mile of the geographical center of Geauga was designated the county seat of justice by the Ohio General Assembly.

    The area was named Chardon after landowner Peter Chardon Brooks.

    Since the hill was three miles from any road and trees had to be cleared for a square, the Courts met in Champion (near Painesville) from 1809 to 1812.

  • Road Built from Painesville to Chardon

    The Commissioners appropriated $50.00 to construct a road from Painesville to Chardon.

  • Land purchased from Peter Chardon Brooks

    Samuel Phelps, County Director, purchased 96 lots from Peter Chardon Brooks for $400.00 and the Commissioners appropriated $61.87 to hire men to chop down the trees on the square.

  • Town of Chardon Founded

    Captain Edward Paine Jr. moved into a newly-constructed log cabin on the square, established county government, and helped found the town of Chardon.

  • King Courthouse Built

    The King Courthouse of log and frame construction was built for $600.00 by Samuel King behind the current site of Randall Block near Water Street.

  • Chardon Public Hanging

    Benjamin Wright Jr., was sentenced in Geauga County Common Pleas Court to hang by the neck until dead on the third Thursday in May for the stabbing death of Zophar Warner. Benjamin’s funeral sermon was conducted on the square prior to the hanging.

    Rifle and cavalry companies, along with fife and drum, county officials, and reputedly four thousand or more spectators escorted Benjamin to the gallows constructed south of the square to witness the hanging.

    The Hanging Rock where the event is said to have taken place, is now on private property and has become a Chardon legend.

  • The First Geauga Cattle Fair and Show

    The first Geauga Cattle Fair and Show of the Geauga County Agricultural and Manufacturing society was held in Chardon.

  • New Courthouse Built

    A Courthouse with eight graceful colonial columns, an overhanging roof with balustrade, and in 1845 a cupola was built on the current site of Court Street and Lawyers Title.

  • Great Chardon Fire

    The Great Fire of Chardon swept down Main Street early in the morning destroying buildings from the south comer of Main and Water Streets to the north comer of Main and Center Streets.

    The courthouse was also destroyed although the safe containing many of the county’s oldest records was saved by citizens who ran into the building before it could burn and carried the safe away from the fire.

    According to the newspapers of the day, arson was suspected.

  • Rebuilding of Chardon Square

    The rebuilding of Main Street began. Construction of today’s Geauga County Courthouse also began with a commitment to brick and stone to deter further fiery disasters.

    Leander Jason Randall won the construction bid for an estimated cost of $70,000.00.

    At Randall’s death, the contract was transferred to Carpenter and Mathews of Meadville, Pennsylvania and the costs escalated to $88,862.35.

    On August 23, 1870, Judge Philo B. Conant presided over the first court session in the new courthouse.

    The original courtroom is still in service on the second floor and is presided over by Judge Forrest Burt. In 1870, the courtroom was considered spectacular, boasting a dome into the third story with a balcony for spectators.

    Our Geauga County Courthouse, built in 1869, is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the major focal points for the Chardon Courthouse Square Historic District. This is Geauga County’s sixth courthouse, the fourth on Chardon Square.

    The architectural style is High Victorian Italianate on a conservative post-Civil War plan designed by prominent Cleveland architect Joseph Ireland who also designed the 1876 Daniel Eels home on Euclid Avenue’s Millionaire’s Row. The elegant brick and stone construction with its window arches, cluster trefoils, and paired eaves brackets is echoed in our Main Street buildings, creating a harmony of design in the Chardon Courthouse Square Historic District.

  • Clock added to Courthouse Bell Tower

    An Edward Howard clock was added to the bell tower by public subscription but was damaged in 1940 and worked only sporadically for the next several decades.

    In 1995 local members of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors restored the antique clock to today’s working condition through seed money donated by the Geauga County Commissioners and subsequent fund raising efforts by the Chardon Square Association.

  • Geauga County Flag

    A Geauga County flag was chosen through a countywide contest held during Ohio’s Sesquicentennial. The original flag is framed and exhibited on the first floor of the Courthouse.

    The “Stars and Maple Leaf” was designed by Chardon resident, 15 year old Ray Diedrich. The flag was restored to Geauga County in 1995 by Diedrich’s sister, Jane Diedrich Peterson, and rededicated by the Geauga County Commissioners.

    A reproduction of the flag flies on designated holidays and special occasions on the William Burns Memorial Flagpole on the Courthouse lawn.

  • National Register of Historic Places

    The Courthouse was entered on the National Register of Historic Places within the Chardon Courthouse Square District with Main Street and 7.5 acres of the original 11 acre park.

  • Courthouse Renovated

    The Courthouse was renovated and departments not dealing with the courts were moved to the Courthouse Annex on Main Street and a courtroom constructed on the first floor.