Covington History: The Newton County Courthouse

The Newton County Courthouse began construction in 1884The Newton County Courthouse is one of the most beautiful architectural structures standing in the county. The tall brick building features a black dome at the top that demands attention all throughout the city of Covington. The Empire-style courthouse was built in 1884 and was designed by a Southern architectural firm Bruce and Morgan.

Curious as to why the Newton County Courthouse is located in Covington? At the time Georgia state law required that courthouses were geographically at the center of the county – and that happened to be in Covington. However, the Newton County courthouse found its home before it was named Covington; it was named Newtonsboro.

Covington’s name was not changed to Covington until December of 1822. Newtonsboro changed its name to Covington a short 8 months after being entitled Newtonsboro. The change was made in honor of a war hero from the War of 1812; this war hero was General Leonard Covington.

Settlers did not move farther west until the Newton County Courthouse was to be placed in the center of the county. After Georgia citizens moved closer to the center of Newton County and the city was renamed Covington, the Newton County Courthouse was finished in September of 1885 after 12 months of construction. The total cost of the Newton County Courthouse was $29,400. Although $29,400 was an extreme amount in the 1880’s, the unique architecture has remained standing and is still in use to this day.

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