B. F. Smith Fireproof Construction Company, builders;
Marion, McDowell County
Courthouse Square, Marion, NC
No longer standing
The contract for the McDowell County Courthouse was let to the B. F. Smith Company in 1902, according to the Asheville Weekly Citizen, January 24, 1902, with a completion deadline of July 15. The Statesville Record of January 24, 1902, reported that the project was to enlarge an existing courthouse. According to the McDowell Democrat of June 17, 1909, initially the "rebuilding" of the courthouse, completed in June 1902, appeared to be "a first class and workmanlike job, as called for in the contract." But before long, rain began to come through the roof, "little grains of sand" began to fall from the walls and ceilings, the "concrete" floor and columns proved defective, and other problems emerged. In 1903 the county brought suit against Smith, and a long legal battle ensued that was finally settled in superior court in 1909, with a finding against Smith that fixed the damages at $1,800.