Built on the site of an earlier courthouse made of wood, the two-story building is made of locally quarried dark blue basalt and lighter trim stone from quarries near Elgin and Baker. Features include a hip roof, a central entrance pavilion, and a domed cupola with clock faces on three sides. The courthouse site is elevated above much of the rest of the city, and this saved the building from severe flood damage in 1903. County officials had moved into the building in March, and in June much of Heppner was destroyed and 247 people killed by a flash flood on Willow Creek, which bisects the city.