Two Dauphin County Courthouses occupied this site at the intersection of Market St. and what was originally known as Raspberry Street, later appropriately renamed Court Street. John Harris, Jr.'s original plan for Harrisburg set aside this land for use by the County, which was created from a portion of Lancaster County in 1785 and named for the Crown Prince of France to recognize French support in the American Revolution. As the new county seat, Harrisburg was actually named Louisburg for several years in honor of the French King, Louis XVI, but gained the name of the Borough of Harrisburg by an Act of the State Legislature in 1791. The first Courthouse, built 1792-99 when the town was a pioneer and trade center, also served as a meeting place for the State Legislature from 1812 when Harrisburg was designated the Capital of Pennsylvania, to 1821 when the first Capitol Building was opened. That Courthouse was demolished to make way for the second Courthouse in 1860, the year Harrisburg was incorporated as a city. The second Courthouse served the County until the present Courthouse, at nearby Front and Market Streets was completed in 1943. Two of the columns from the broad portico of the second Courthouse now stand at the entrance to Harrisburg's Reservoir Park at N. 18th and Walnut Streets.
First Dauphin County Courthouse. Erected 1792-1799
Second Dauphin County Courthouse. Erected 1850. Vacated 1943. Demolished 1948.