Vermont Supreme Court Building Celebrates 100th Anniversary
The Vermont Supreme Court building on State Street in Montpelier celebrated its 100th birthday this month with a gathering of all three branches of state government and Vermont’s 14 counties.
Attorney Heidi Groff attended as President of the Washington County Bar Association. Heidi and Washington County Presiding Judge Mary Miles Teachout were presented with a commemorative plaque containing marble from the original construction of the building. Each county received a plaque for their role in housing the Vermont Supreme Court during its first 140 years. Starting from the Court’s foundation in 1777 until the current building was completed in 1918, the state’s chief justice and associate judges toured the state, hearing cases in all 14 counties. One of the Court’s first “homes” was the famous Catamount Tavern in Bennington.
Chief Justice Paul Reiber, Governor Phil Scott, and House Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Grad led the ceremony with remarks on the front steps at 3:00 pm. The Chief Justice said the building was “more than an assembly of Barre granite, concrete, and furnishings. What makes it important is what happens inside, in the court room, and the room where we meet to decide cases. We are the final destination for all decisions in all of the dockets…The lives, the futures, the hopes of Vermonters rest on our shoulders.”
County court justices each offered a brief history of their county and described landmark cases heard in their courthouses over the centuries. At 4:15 pm, visitors saw a reenactment in the courtroom of one of the Court’s earliest cases, “Dodge Brothers v. Central Vermont Railway Company”. Guided tours of the historic building were also offered.