In 1951-52 the original roof was removed to make it a "modern-looking" building. The roof was also in disrepair, and this was the method chosen to repair it. Several scenes from the movie 'Paper Moon' were filmed in the courthouse in 1974. Then in 2012, the peaked roof was restored minus the cupolas but it closely resembles the original building. The original capstone was located and donated back to the county and it is once again back in its rightful place. The interior has been updated but many of the historical features have been preserved. Since the interior remains basically unchanged, it is one of the oldest Kansas courthouses still in operation today.
The historic Trego County Jail, in the basement of the Courthouse, was built at the same time as the rest of the building. It was used almost 90 years until 1976 when it was condemned. The Jail was pre-made elsewhere and shipped in. The historic jail cells were purchased from Pauly Jail Cells in St. Louis, MO for the complete sum of $2570. The unique jail cells feature flat bars rather than round ones and an usual locking system. Part of the jail remains intact today and is used for storage. Many other offices have come and gone from the Courthouse over the past century.
Trego County Courthouse is found along the Smoky Valley Scenic Byway. Named for their hazy, blue appearance at sunrise and sunset, the Smoky Hills divide the more easterly mixed-grass prairie from the shortgrass prairie of the Western Great Plains. The Smoky Valley Scenic Byway travels through the Smoky Hill River Valley, a showplace of native grasses and wildflowers. Purple and bright-yellow coneflowers species, red-and-yellow Indian blanket flower, sky-blue pitcher sage, and cream-flowered yucca mix with big and little bluestem and grama grasses. Croplands provide additional color washes of emerald-green winter wheat in early spring and russet, ripened milo in autumn. Rock outcroppings hint at the foundation underlying the landscape - chalky limestone left by ancient seas. Take a look at the other sights you can see along the Smoky Valley Scenic Byway here.