While heading North and East back on our way back across the Missouri River and on our way back into Illinois we came across a lot more of the small towns of Iowa. One such town had a Court House building that truly reminded me of the city center in the 1985 movie “Back To The Future” which starred Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.
In fact the picture that I have posted here, is from the county seat courthouse building in this city. Check out the clock on the top of it. Can’t you just picture the De Lorean DMC-12 with its jumper cables being hooked up there and waiting for the lightning to strike the lightning rod?
The building was actually about the coolest thing in the town and we decided to go inside and wander around and find out all about it. Well… until we found out it was actually still a working county seat building (which in some ways) actually made it even more exciting.
According to sources there, the two story, stone faced building with a mansard roof. It has dimensions that are roughly 97 x 87 feet with 16 inch brick walls faced with Bedford Stone. The foundation is 4 foot thick. There were over 42 rooms, all originally with 20 foot ceilings. The bell in the tower was made in Troy, New York by Kimberly Bell Works in 1876, and as of now still works. The Seth Thomas Clock is dated 1876 and works thanks to many folks.
The entrances to the courthouse are on the east and west sides. Like I said before, the original courtroom is still in use today, and has walnut seats and benches throughout it. The original jail, with bars, is now the Assessor office. This must be really comforting to those that have to work there. I could see where it might be able to force folks to work “mandatory over-time” fairly easy though. (Just lock the doors)!
The style of the courthouse is along the lines of the French 2nd Empire Style. The highlight of this style is the mansard roof, named after the 17th century French architect Francois Mansard. The Mansard roof is characteristically double pitched with a steep lower slope cut by dormer windows. Other 2nd empire details on display in the Bloomfield Structure are receding and projecting surfaces, sculptured window hoods, quoins, and a decorative cornice. Crowning the tower is a statue of Blind Justice holding sword and scales and overlooking Bloomfield's town square. This could also be a nice place to start a De Lorean from.
This county seat and courthouse building were actually located in a small but busy little town named Bloomfield City, Iowa. As you can see from the other pictures I have posted, this is also quite a little place. It was just full of history and perhaps very unique to this particular part of Iowa. Far far away from back to the future! Oh if only we could have stuck around until next Saturday night at 10:04 P.M.
Dr. Emmett Brown:(Christopher Lloyd's character) [reads the "Save the Clock Tower" flyer and reacts with hope] "This is it! This is the answer. It says here... that a bolt of lightning is going to strike the clock tower at precisely 10:04pm, next Saturday night! If we can somehow... *harness* this lightning... *channel* it... into the flux capacitor... it just might work. Next Saturday night, we're sending you back to the future!"