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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Courthouse inspired the creation of Chamber logo

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The logo of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce is a sign of pride, business cooperation and community growth.

But few know the origin of the logo, which was commissioned in 1985.

Nadene Rankin, a life-long citizen of Clay County, worked as a secretary for the Chamber in 1985 while in between jobs.

Rankin, who oil paints for a hobby, was asked by the Chamber's board of directors to design a logo to be used in publications and other places to promote the Chamber's work.

While driving into Brazil for work, Rankin noticed the rotunda of the county courthouse ahead of her as she traveled east on State Road 340.

The copper dome with stained glass is a landmark in Clay County, and can be recognized by most residents as a part of the community's history.

Rankin sketched the dome of the courthouse while in her office, and after the final project was approved, the Chamber of Commerce logo was created.

Rankin and her husband, Bill, are avid travelers and enjoy seeing the lighthouses in Michigan.

The Rankin home is filled with Nadene's artwork, including depictions of lighthouses.

But not even Bill knew Nadene's most famous work.

One morning, after noticing the Chamber's logo in The Brazil Times, Nadene asked Bill if he knew the origin of the design.

Bill said he did not, and Nadene told him about her work at the Chamber.

"I enjoyed it while I was there," she said.

Rankin's depiction of the courthouse dome represents the businesses and the people of Clay County and their strength and history.

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