Located on the banks of the Ohio River in Perry County, Indiana, this building was built in 1818 in the thriving community of Rome, the county seat at that time. Rome was a vibrant center of passage to the frontier and a gateway to the West through the Trace to Vincennes. Rome must have seemed the center of civilization to early pioneers crossing the Ohio.
This is one of only two surviving Indiana public buildings from that era still standing in place.
During the two centuries of its existence, this structure has been in continuous use, first as a courthouse, then as a private academy, a public high school, an elementary school, and now, a community center.
The Rome Community Center, owner of the Courthouse and the Courthouse square, is dedicated to this mission: “Preservation and awareness of the 1818 Rome Courthouse building, collections, and the grounds as an integral part of Indiana’s history and value as a public venue.”
15400 West Rome Road
Rome, Indiana 47574
Rome, first named Washington, then Franklin, was the county seat of Perry County, Indiana.
Rome was briefly incorporated.
New roof added and repairs of second floor and stairways made to Courthouse
Second story of the Courthouse partitioned into two rooms
Ball placed on the Courthouse cupola
Building housed Rome Academy
Building housed St. Albans Academy
Building was a public school
First Perry County Agricultural and Mechanical Society Fair held at the Courthouse
First Rome High School graduation
Last Rome High School graduation; building became an elementary school
Building leased to the Rome community
Building leased to the newly formed Rome Community Center, Inc.
Courthouse entered into National Register of Historic Places
Rome Community Center, Inc. purchased building for $1000
The community of Rome is located in Perry County, Indiana, USA. The satellite coordinates of Rome are latitude 37°55’23″N, and longitude 86°31’24″W.
Quote from an early newspaper:
“The location of Rome was unfortunate, as it stood upon a projection of the county running south into Kentucky, remote from all except a narrow range of country. As a consequence of its location it was a county seat of no prominence or permanence, and readily though sorrowfully saw the county records removed.”
If the County Seat had not been moved, more than likely this building would not be standing today. Often early American courthouses were razed to make way for more modern structures. By the removal of the Perry County Seat to Cannelton the 1818 Rome Courthouse did not experience this fate.
Visit Us: 15400 W Rome Rd
Rome, IN 47574
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