Tag Archives: South Georgia Jails

Old Screven County Jail, Sylvania

Conversations with several people in Screven County have led me to identify this as the old county jail. It was replaced in the 1930s or 1940s by a newer structure and the date of this one is unknown but likely late-19th early-20th century. Dale Reddick writes: The observation about the second story trap door placed in the floor really does suggest this was a jail and also a hanging facility (if necessary), when the open field public hanging space further along W.T. Sharpe Drive couldn’t be used. Rabun Alex Lee, Larry Waters, and I had some ‘fun’ pulling up the history of this building. There’s a very similar structure found less than a quarter-mile distant. Perhaps the same designer/ builder constructed both. These structures most probably were built following Sylvania’s Great Fire of 1897 when many new brick structures were erected.  

It was also used as apartments in the mid-20th century.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under --SCREVEN COUNTY GA--, Sylvania GA

Calaboose, Sylvania

A local gentleman and two others have identified this as the old calaboose. Dale Reddick confirms: It is known as the “Caliboose,” per both Larry Waters and Rabun Alex Lee – who know Sylvania and Screven County better than most.

As discussed on the website before, calabooses were essentially holding cells/drunk tanks. The structure is in poor condition and the roof has collapsed on one side.

1 Comment

Filed under --SCREVEN COUNTY GA--, Sylvania GA

New Webster County Jail, 1910, Preston

Built to replace the old jail, which was located next door (below), this structure was used at least into the 1990s to temporarily house prisoners and as the sheriff’s’ office.

National Register of Historic Places

1 Comment

Filed under --WEBSTER COUNTY GA--, Preston GA

Old Webster County Jail, Circa 1856, Preston

This wooden jail was built soon after Kinchafoonee County became Webster County and served that purpose until 1910. It’s among the only antebellum jails still standing in Georgia. Dr. Fay Stapleton Burnett writes: This is the jail in which Susan Eberhart and Enoch Spann were housed from 1872-1873, when they both were hanged for murdering Spann’s invalid wife. This is a tragic tale of justice, mercy, ignorance, poverty and mental illness. 

It was unheard of for a white woman to be executed in 19th-century Georgia, and many, though aware of Eberhart’s guilt, were opposed to it. The case was a media sensation, prompting former Confederate vice-president Alexander Stephens to opine in his newspaper, the Atlanta Daily Sun: “the most interesting case of crime that ever occurred in Georgia, and which is certainly one of the strangest in history of crimes.”

Dr. Burnett has just published a book about this case and you can contact her here for information on ordering.

National Register of Historic Places

8 Comments

Filed under --WEBSTER COUNTY GA--, Preston GA

Edison City Jail, 1904

The nicely restored jail and fire engine are the centerpiece of a small park on Hartford Street.

 

1 Comment

Filed under --CALHOUN COUNTY GA--, Edison GA

Telfair County Jail, 1902, McRae

Few historic jails of this age are still in use but Telfair County’s is an exception. It’s been renovated in recent years and additions have been made. This was a common style for jails in the early 20th century.

National Register of Historic Places

 

2 Comments

Filed under --TELFAIR COUNTY GA--, McRae GA

Pierce County Jail, 1894, Blackshear

This served as the county jail until 1926, when another facility was constructed near the courthouse. This facility served as the city jail until 1976, as well as police headquarters. It has been empty for many years and will hopefully be restored in the near future.

National Register of Historic Places

5 Comments

Filed under --PIERCE COUNTY GA--, Blackshear GA