Rhea County Courthouse


The Rhea County Courthouse (TN) in the Spring of 1978. Heritage Series, Plate IV painted by artist Paul J. Long in 1978.

600 prints were originally issued for this limited edition that were signed and numbered by the artist. The last remaining 55 prints are available for purchase to benefit the NSDA.

Paper size with white border is 19 in x 24 3/4 in and image size is 14 5/8 in x 20 in

Shipping within the United States is included in the cost. Please contact the NSDA for international shipping.



The Rhea County Courthouse was completed in 1890. It is the most monumental building in the county. Both Dayton and the Courthouse were made famous by the Scopes Monkey Trial which occurred in the summer of 1925. Many reporters came to Dayton from all over the country to witness the litigation between William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow over a Tennessee statute which prohibited the teaching of anything other than the Biblical Account of Man’s creation. Scopes was found guilty of violating the statute.

The Courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1976 was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior.

On April 15, 1978, the people of Rhea County Tennessee held a grand celebration on their courthouse lawn. Many people from local and state governments and others joined hundreds of citizens in ceremonies to rededicate the historic Rhea County Courthouse at Dayton, Tennessee. The festive events of the spring day marked the end of an exhaustive building rehabilitation program that had been in progress for over a year.

In the afternoon after most of the people had departed, Artist Paul J. Long photographed the historic building and made preparatory sketches that led him to complete this painting of the Rhea County Courthouse. The painting took over 200 hours to complete and was not finished until December of 1978.