NelsonCoCourthouse Pasted and attached is a Historical Report done by my granddaughter for a sixth grade school project. Since you do not have the historic courthouse on your web site I thought you may want to print this and add to the web site.

Gordon A. Koerner


Nelson County Courthouse


Eden Shumate

6th grade, Nelson Middle School

In 1807, when Amherst County was divided into Amherst and Nelson Counties the courthouse in Amherst county now was in Nelson County. Nelson County used the old courthouse till the new courthouse was built in 1810. The courthouse was thought to be located in Cabellsville and the Arrington area’s. The exact location is unknown.

The Public Lot as it was called in 1809 or Public Square as it was called in 1823 is the location for the Nelson County Courthouse or the alternate name of Lovingston Courthouse. The land is a 100 yards square. The courthouse building began in 1809 at the cost of $3,289.65. The first court convened on February 26, 1810, 3 years after formation of the county from Amherst in 1807. The courthouse address is 84 Court Street, where Court Street intersects with Main Street. Courthouse Square Road is to the North with a parking lot. Parking is also on Court Street and Courthouse Square. The original building faced south and official notices must be posted in that location. With the addition in 1940 the Court Street door now serves as the main entrance. The original main entrance is into the courtroom. The sheriff’s office building is also located on the courthouse property. The north door that leads to the sheriff’s office building is also another entrance to the courthouse. The main courthouse is a 2 story building.

The architect plans were submitted by Shelton Crostwait, one of the justices of the time. George Varnum is listed as the builder. It is believed Thomas Jefferson, teacher and friend of Nelson’s first judge assisted with the plans.

The rock retaining wall along Court Street and Courthouse Square was built in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corp

A monument on the property erected in 1965 is in memory of the heroic Confederate Soldiers of Nelson County who served in the war between the states, between 1861 and 1865. Another monument is in memory of citizens of Nelson County who lost their lives during Hurricane Camille on August 19,20, 1969. On the wall left of the original main door is a plaque with the names of individuals of Nelson County who lost their lives in the First World War of 1917-1918. On the right side is a plaque for the individuals of Nelson County who lost their lives in the Second World War of 1941- 1945.

In addition to the courtroom and judges chambers the building presently houses office of the treasurer, offices of the clerk and recorder of deeds, commissioner of revenue, commonwealths attorney, and county administrator. The building and planning offices have recently moved.

With the act of 1966 the Courthouse is registered as a Virginia Historic Landmark.


Nelson County Library
Nelson County Historical Society, located in the Library
Nelson County Courthouse
Virginia Department of Historical Buildings
United States Department of the Interior, National Parks Service Inventory Nomination Form