Retired attorney Ron Sipherd took these photos of Idaho courthouses on two trips with his wife in 2007 and 2011. Sipherd, an active amateur photographer, has photographed 24 out of the 44 county courthouses in Idaho.
Sipherd started out casually, without a plan, but became interested in photographing courthouses systematically while visiting Burns, Oregon over the Fourth of July weekend in 2008.
“We tended to travel around on the Fourth of July weekend, and the courthouses were always decorated with bunting and things like that,” Sipherd said. “I began to realize they are a source of civic pride in small towns.”
Sipherd has also photographed courthouses in all the counties in Oregon and Washington and several in Montana and northern California, and displays them on his web page. He said one of the things he enjoys about touring around taking courthouse photos is talking to locals, who always show pride in the structures.
“People would come out of their houses to tell us where to stand and get a good view, or to tell us the history of the courthouse,” he said. “People are really pleased to see that some visitor is interested.” See the IBR story on efforts to preserve the state’s historic courthouses.