Historic gem discovered during Hancock Co courthouse renovation - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Historic gem discovered during courthouse renovation

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FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Renovations are underway at the Hancock County courthouse, and beneath the debris, construction crews have found a hidden treasure.

A project to renovate Courtroom One on the third floor began in April, but work was recently stalled when crews found the original courtroom ceiling.

The ceiling was constructed in 1888 when the courthouse was built. Local historians say over the years, and with the advent of air conditioning, the ceiling was replaced with a more modern drop ceiling.

Now, officials want to make sure the piece of history is celebrated and never hidden again.

"We think it's important to return at least this portion of the courthouse to its original position," said Judge Reginald Routson. "As you can see, this is quite a courtroom. There are very few like it in the entire state – this large, this ornate, with the stained glass, so we thought it would just add to the beauty of the original courtroom."

The renovation work is being funded by court fees. Restoring the original ceiling is expected to cost an additional $94,000, so county commissioners are turning to the public for help.

An open house is planned for this Saturday to give the public a preview of the project. It will be held from 10 a.m. until noon, and donations will be accepted.

The construction is expected to wrap up around Thanksgiving.

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