Old St. Johns County Jail
||This article relies entirely upon a single source, the National Register Information System (NRIS) database or one of its mirrors. Articles based solely on the NRIS may contain errors. (November 2013)|
Old Jail, St Augustine
|Location||St. Augustine, Florida|
|Architectural style||Romanesque Revival|
|Governing body||Old Town Trolley Tours|
|NRHP Reference #||87001427|
|Added to NRHP||August 27, 1987|
The Old Jail (also known as Authentic Old Jail) is a historic jail in St. Augustine, Florida. It is located at 167 San Marco Avenue. On August 27, 1987, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The St. Johns County Jail now serves as the Old Jail Museum.
The Old Jail
Built by Henry Flagler in 1891 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987, the Old Jail served as the St Johns County Jail until 1953. Originally built to house up to 72 prisoners, the two storey northern wing of the Jail consists of a general population and maximum security area, a women's section and a lower level kitchen. Maximum Security housed the most dangerous prisoners held at the Jail and includes a Death Row cell, for those condemned to die. A total of 8 men were hung from the Gallows on the Jail compound during its history. Overall conditions at the Jail for those serving varying sentences were quite poor by modern standards and prisoners were typically used as free farm labourers during the day. Baths were infrequent, toilet facilities consisted of one bucket per cell and diet was poor and was typically supplemented by any animals that the prisoners might catch while working on the fields. Segregation by race was steadfastly adhered to at the Jail and disease, violence and death were commonplace. The two story southern wing of the Jail consists of an Office for the Sheriff and living quarters for his family.
Old Jail Museum
The Old Jail Museum consists of a restored jail with sheriff's living quarters. It also contains a display of weaponry and a pictorial history of the hangings carried out at the Old Jail, with emphasis on the time the Sheriff CJ Perry was in residence with his family. The Jail is only accessible by guided tour, with costumed guides "processing" in the new prisoners. The Jail also serves as the grand finale to Old Town Trolley's Ghost and Gravestones tour, allowing visitors to access the building by night as well.
Beginning the Spring of 2013 the Old Jail will once again offer overnight paranormal investigations. Partnering with 2Ghouls, a local ghost tour company, Old Town Trolley will permit up to 20 guests to remain in the Jail from 11:00pm to 2:00am on Friday and Saturday nights, so that the guests can carry out paranormal investigations for themselves.
- St. Johns County listings at National Register of Historic Places
- Florida's Office of Cultural and Historical Programs
Media related to Old St. Johns County Jail at Wikimedia Commons
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