When looking for courthouses I wanted to find some that had intriguing stories, and others that just commanded double takes because of their appearance. The Gasconade County courthouse is definitely of the latter class. High above the Missouri River, it looms regally, demanding everyone’s attention as they enter and leave the German town of Hermann, Missouri. While crossing the bridge over the river into Hermann, it’s hard to look at anything else, it’s almost as if you’re asking permission to enter. My permission was granted.
There are no freaky or super interesting stories I could tie to this beauty, but it hardly needs it. It’s one of the only courthouses in Missouri with a view of the Missouri River, and we all know that the river is the lifeblood of this state. It pumps by at a seemingly slow rate while people’s fates are decided, undeterred by the laws that surround it. I would find it oddly comforting, to be sentenced at such a site. At least I could gaze out the window while my life was being judged and written away. I’d like to think that’s what the builders had in mind when crafting the courthouse in 1896. Truth is there probably wasn’t much thought other than, “that would be a nice view,” and maybe simple thinking like that is all this world needs to be successful.