Friday, October 17, 2008

Not Bad For A Friday

Hello There My Lovelies,

Well, today was certainly an interesting day. I had a field trip for one of my legal classes and we visited the older Superior Court in my neighborhood. It could walk to it in about five minutes. It was right across the street from that courthouse in the park that President McKinley gave his last speech before he was assassinated.

What else did I learn ? That people used to get hanged there as well. Since San Jose was originally supposed to be the location for our state capital in California (and actually was for a couple of years), the older courthouse was built to be the building for the state capital. Then it was turned into a courthouse.

The courthouse was built in 1866 when Lincoln was still in office, and it is designed from the Civil War era. Underneath the building was a very old jail that was shut down before the 1930s. Very crowded spaces. It was interesting to the the layout of an old jail, the bars, and the big metal doors. Nothing like the cells today.

We talked to one of my former teachers, who is also a judge. He talked about being a judge in civil court cases. Then his deputy took us to the old jail under the building. It was very fascinating. I took pics on my cell phone camera. I will try to upload them here. But in one of them I was kneeling down by the bars. It was very crowded and dusty. The ground was not made out of cement, as this was before the days of cement. It was a dirt floor. Apparently you could dig if you wanted to. You could see the original bricks, as bricks were the building materials used in that era.

I was happy to down there today, because it's not open for tours. It's a rare thing to see. So it was a little adventure in my neighborhood.

Oh, and below is the link to all this info:
http://www.sccsuperiorcourt.org/aboutus_court_history.htm



Photographs taken by Court staff in 2002 in the Old Courthouse basement

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