Rockland County


The original courthouse in Rockland County was located in Tappan which was the county seat for all of Orange County (which at the time included Rockland County.) It was a log structure, complete with whipping posts and stocks. In 1774 the courthouse was moved to New City and shortly after the revolutionary war, the two-story frame courthouse was completed. In 1798 Rockland separated from Orange County. After that, New City became the county seat. The courthouse that was completed after the revolutionary war quickly proved to be inadequate to the needs of the growing population. In 1823 the proposition to provide a larger location was approved, but controversy arose over its proposed location. At that time, New City was in the geographical center of the county, but it was not in the center of population. In 1827 a decision was made which stated that the proper and convenient site for the courthouse was where it currently stood. The old wooden courthouse was demolished and a new two-story brick building was built during 1827 and 1828. In 1846, a fire proof building was built south of the courthouse which contained the county clerk and surrogate offices. In 1856, a two-story brick jail was built adjacent to the courthouse. In 1873, due to the unfit and inadequate conditions of the buildings, the building which was erected in 1846 was demolished and a new one was built. No extensive additions were made from this time until the modern courthouse and jail were built in 1929. The courthouse built in 1929 had an underground tunnel that connected it to the jail next door. At the time it was labeled as the "most modern type" because it had a kitchen, laundry room, fingerprint room, prisoner interview room, and several levels of cells.