Ron Maxfield has done it again. On Monday, Dec. 14, he delivered his newest addition to the miniature historic building collection housed in the atrium of the Navarro County Courthouse.
Maxfield spent a year meticulously planning and constructing his latest creation by hand. He uses plastic and birch wood, taking his time to ensure every detail is correct.
In order to accomplish this, he has been known to find photos of the original buildings and painstakingly count each brick. Every floor has a different style of window. He will create the first one, then send it off for casting and replication.
Once they are returned, they are then assembled individually and no two windows are the exactly same. Some are open a little, some are open a lot. The only store-bought item on this replica is the tiny black wrought iron railing along the roofline.
His attention to detail is incredible; there’s even a miniature spittoon placed on the balcony outside what would have been the judge’s chambers.
The fourth Navarro County Courthouse, this building was originally built in 1881, and was designed by architect Frederick E. Ruffini. It stood for just over 23 years and sadly, it was condemned for an unstable foundation in 1904.
Construction then began on the building that currently stands today. Ruffini designed 10 other courthouses in Texas in Blanco, Concho, and Robertson Counties, to name a few. Some of his other buildings included jails and opry buildings, however Ruffini’s most important work was designing the Old Main Building at the University of Texas. Construction on that began in 1882 but unfortunately it was only partially completed when he died in November 1885 at the age of 35.
Maxfield was provided the Navarro County building plans by the architect’s great-granddaughter, Kay Ruffini. He was then able to locate in the state archives one-fourth scale drawings to help ensure he had every detail correct.
A few antiques from the original building are still in use today and can be found in the office of The Honorable H.M. Davenport, Jr.. The original bell from Ruffini’s courthouse is also still in use in the clock tower of the current building.
The atrium of the Navarro County Courthouse is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at 300 W. 3rd Ave. in Corsicana, Texas.