Located in the Platte River valley, Courthouse Rock and its smaller companion, Jailhouse Rock, were among the first landmarks seen by pioneers heading west.
Named after the courthouse in Saint Louis, the rocks were often mentioned in contemporary accounts. Artist Alfred J. Miller noted it as a "curious formation of Earth near the Platte River." Famous British explorer Sir Richard Burton wrote that it "resembled anything more than a court house," and that it really looked like an irregular pyramid.
Like Chimney Rock, which is about twelve miles west, Courthouse and Jailhouse Rock have eroded somewhat since the days of the great emigrations along the Oregon Trail.