The Old Jefferson County Jail - Madras, OR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NW_history_buff
N 44° 38.039 W 121° 07.721
10T E 648424 N 4943995
This retired jail resides next to the former Jefferson County Courthouse, now undergoing major renovations.
Waymark Code: WMPHCM
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 09/01/2015
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member ddtfamily
Views: 1

Facing SW 6th Street is a small, brick structure which was the county jail for Jefferson County for many years. There is a historical marker hanging in front of the jail that highlights its history and it reads:

The Old Jefferson County Jail

On April 12, 1915 Jefferson County purchased a jail cell unit from E.T. Barnum Iron Works of Detroit Michigan. It consisted of a steel grating cage with two cells with a front prisoner's corridor. This unit was shipped by rail to the temporary newly built jail in Culver. After Madras became the official county seat it was decided to also relocate the jail to Madras. In 1918 a concrete pad was poured at this location and the cell unit was hauled from Culver and placed on this newly poured pad. This building was then constructed around the cell unit. The concrete wall and roof were mixed on site and carried by bucket up ladders and poured into the forms. Close examination show the horizontal imperfections. These are called cold joints when the workers stopped pouring and then continued the next day. It's estimated that it took 9 days to complete the concrete walls. No estimate on the time it took to pour the roof. In 1937 the Sheriff's department had a solid non see through wood fence installed in the same location as the one you see today to make a private exercise yard for the prisoners. So far no one can recall when the fence disappeared but probably rotted, fell down and hauled away.

The last known prisoners to be housed here was during the infamous trial of Jackson and Freeman in the last part of 1961. When the new jail was completed in the basement of the replacement courthouse this facility was abandoned.


Historic Topic: Modern Age 1900 to date

Group Responsible for placement: Other

Marker Type: City

Region: Central Oregon

County: Jefferson

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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