Welcome to the Greater Mankato on the Move Mobile History Tour featuring the Historic Blue Earth County Courthouse’s Lady Justice.
The statue atop the Blue Earth County Courthouse is known as Lady Justice. She has stood over Blue Earth County government since 1886. The copper goddess stands thirty-four feet tall and weighs 11,000 pounds.
The statue atop the courthouse depicts a Westernized version of Themis, the Greek mythological goddess of justice. Blue Earth County’s Lady Justice, like Themis, is holding scales of justice and sword. The scales of justice relate to fairness in the judicial process. They indicate that each side of a case will be considered in a court case. Additionally, the scales underscore that decisions will be made by weighing the evidence in a fair manner. The sword symbolizes Lady Justice's authority to make decisions. However, Lady Justice differs from Themis in one way – Themis is typically seen with a blindfold, not only does Lady Justice not wear a blindfold, in fact, her eyes are open.
In 1898, Lady Justice lost her scales for the first time when high winds blew them off the statue. The scales were replaced several years later, only to fall down again in 1909. The cause this time was much more unclear. The scales were never found, and it was 64 years before new scales were put up in 1975.
On a calm spring morning day in 2013 Lady Justice dropped her sword. No, an injustice had not just been committed at the courthouse (in fact, by this point, the court system had moved to the new Justice Center). It was believed that a wind gust at some point has caused Lady Justice to pivot and thus there was no support under the tip of the sword. No one was injured. The original 5’ sword with a crunched end was donated to the Blue Earth County Historical Society and a new copper sword was installed.
The only time Lady Justice has been on the ground was in 1990 when she was cleaned, repaired and the tower was renovated to include the installation of a clock. Original architecture drawings of the courthouse show a clock was always intended, but it took over 100 years to get it installed.
Visit BlueEarthCountyHistory.com to learn more.