Old Jail, located in the historic district of Warrenton, Virginia (note name has changed since I took this image last year)
According to the museum, the prison originally had no jailer and prisoners were left alone and the sheriff would drop in with a daily meal (they hoped!)
When the second building was added, the 1808 building was converted into housing for the jailer and his family.
Upon arrival in the museum's entrance in the brick building built in 1808, you might never know you were standing in a former jail. The four-room building has been converted into museum rooms. There is also a kitchen, built in 1824, that still remains and is stocked with historical artifacts. However, when you walk out the first building and into the second, it is clear where you are as you enter the second building.
Visitors can tour the exhibits and also get a good look at the structure of both the 1808 and 1824 buildings. While the secondary jail building also houses some museum displays, you definitely get a more of a "feel" of how it was during the days the structure housed prisoners.
|One of the former cells located in the "new" jail, built in 1823.|
Some walls of the old cells added in 1909 contain carvings, etchings and other notations.
|You can see the thickness of the walls between this double barred window|
|Sun streams through one of the cells|
Originally scheduled to be demolished once operations ceased, the plans to flatten the building and turn it into a parking lot were changed. Instead, the Old Jail buildings were preserved and converted into a museum, according to a handout prepared by the Fauquier Historical Society.
The group has done a remarkable job in preserving this historical landmark. I'll be writing more about the museum's other (non-jail) related exhibits in the near future (update June 28 to add link to related post about the exhibits).
The museum is open daily, except Tuesdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at 10 Ashby St. in Warrenton, Va. Admission is free for this self-guided tour, but donations are accepted. Also, which is new since the last time I visited, there are guided tours, see the Fauquier History Museum website for more details.
(Note: The museum is closed on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year's Day)