Monday, April 4, 2011
The Athens/Limestone County Courthouse
I couldn't find much on the history of the old courthouse. Athens was one of the first counties in Alabama to get a courthouse and claims to be the oldest county in Alabama. The land for Limestone county was ceded from the Cherokee Nation in 1806 and from the Chickasaw in 1816. For obvious reasons, for many years settlers had to fight off the Natives of the area. Athens was made county seat in 1818 and during the civil war it was the first county in Alabama to be occupied by union forces. Athens and the courthouse were sacked and burned. The Col. responsible for the sacking was court marshaled the behavior in Athens was so terrible.
According to courthouse staff, there used to be a prison on the third floor of the Athens/ Limestone County courthouse. This is where all the haunting activity is usually said to take place. Locals say that one of the prisoners hung himself in his jail cell many years ago. They don't know if he was sorry for what he did or just sorry to be paying the price for it, but he couldn't see the point in living any longer. He hung himself on the third floor of the county courthouse and his ghost has never left. Employees didn't have any specific stories for me. They just knew the story and knew the third floor was haunted.