Recently there have been changes around the courthouse. There are new brick sidewalks and electric streetlights. The renovations are part of a changing streetscape.
Many people believe that the courthouse has always been at this location. But when our county was first established in 1664, some sessions were actually held in private homes. In 1691, the House of Burgesses created a public port in Stafford County. A town known as Marlborough was created and served as a seat of government and port for the county. A courthouse and other buildings, including a tavern, were constructed. This courthouse was a wooden structure built on two acres. On Court Days, it would have been a busy place. Not all plantation owners were happy to have trade pass through Marlborough. They asked the General Assembly to suspend the act made in 1691, and it was done.
The courthouse burned in 1715 and was never rebuilt. The town of Marlborough was no longer a center of commerce. A new courthouse was built at Stone Landing. (Today that location is south of Stone Point and near the vicinity of Old Creek Side Road.) It remained there until 1783.
As westward movement took place in Stafford County, a more central location was needed. The present courthouse location was bought in 1783. This is a picture of that 1784 structure. Notice the well outside. (The white structure outside of today’s courthouse is over the well that served the courthouse years ago.)
By 1922, it was necessary to tear down that building and construct another. In 1923, the new courthouse, as shown below, was constructed. The main part is and still in use today.
Twenty three years ago, in 1992, the structure was updated and enlarged. For Stafford’s 350th anniversary, archaeology was done on the area around the front of the courthouse preparing the way for the new streetscape.