Historical Courthouse Information

The Present Courthouse

The present courthouse in Harrisonburg is actually the fifth building on Court Square that has served as the seat of government for Rockingham County and the City of Harrisonburg. Court records indicate that the first courthouse was built in 1780, although it was not the first courthouse in the County.

Below information and all subpages are excerpts from Dale MacAllister’s Courthouse Square in Early Harrisonburg and Activities Connected with Court Days.

The First Building to Function as a Courthouse

The first building to function as a courthouse is thought to have been a log building on the Daniel Smith estate about two miles northeast of Harrisonburg. Daniel Smith was married to a daughter of Robert Harrison, and it is possible that the first courthouse had been built as a building for Harrison. The initial meeting at Smith’s, near where “Smithland” still stands, took place April 27, 1778.