By Gretta Becay
Last summer’s hailstorms caused millions of dollars in damages to structures in Dodge County; among them the roof and copper cupola that sits atop the courthouse in Mantorville.
The structure was originally built in 1865 and serves as the oldest continuously operating courthouse in Minnesota.
In recent years, the courthouse has undergone extensive renovations while keeping its 19th century character. One of the building’s charms is its cupola.
Hail dented some of the copper shingles last summer and the county’s Maintenance Director, Duke Harbaugh, explained to the county commissioners at their regular meeting April 14 that the insurance payment for the hail damage would help pay to replace those copper shingles that were damaged.
The work on removing shingles from the rest of the roof will begin soon. The company handling the roof work; Schwickert’s Tecta America out of Mankato, will provide the necessary lift that can reach the cupola to replace the damaged copper shingles during the course of the job.
By autumn, the cupola should once again shine out from the top of the 155-year-old courthouse.
The county is also re-roofing the Annex attached to the courthouse building because of hail damage. Harbaugh explained that county personnel worked with representatives of the Mantorville Restoration Association and the group decided the color of the roof will be changed from its current blue color to a medium bronze color. That color would blend in better in the historical district.The courthouse and annex are located within the historical district of the city of Mantorville. Harbaugh said the work is scheduled to begin in late April.