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Anderson County Jail – c. 1930

See the article printed by the Palestine Herald-Express concerning Jeremy Janz & this wonderful county jail.

Well, I love to claim every set of photographs posted here have a story.  And this set surely does.  We have friends that live southeast of Palestine, near Elkhart.  Driving into town recently, Mary noted that the clearing off to our left had once been a Poor Farm and that there is an old jail there. That intrigued me a lot, and I told here of my interest in old jails, she mentioned the old jail in Palestine had been bought was being remodeled to be opened as something.  This turn out to be only partially true, but it did cause me to put these two jails down on my to do list for our visit.

The next day we went into town to take photos of the 1930’s art deco building that had once been the Anderson County Jail.  While we were photographing the exterior, a guy walked up and asked if we wanted to go inside and see what it looked like from that vantage point.  We readily agreed.  Once we go inside, there was a whole lot of activity having to do with Christmas.

The gentleman is Jeremy Janz – and he had recently purchased the building in an auction.  When asked why he bought it, he stated that he liked the building, that he had been looking for an old structure, and that this building was so well built that is could stand for many years to come.  In fact, he said that many people think that the fallout shelter designation posted on the building was for its basement, but really, the whole building was considered a shelter because of its strength of structure.   Thick Walls, etc.

Jeremy took us on a tour of this fantastic building, and it is truly a time piece.  It still has working jail pieces – such as the point to open and close sections, and open and close cell doors.  Take a look at the photo album and you’ll readily see what I mean.  In fact, this jail reminded me a lot of the jail in Carrizo Springs – which is also an art deco jail, that is currently occupied by the Chamber of Commerce.  We visited there and were taken upstairs – and much like this jail – it’s fully intact and functional.  Considering all of the parts that still work – I’d say the Anderson County Jail is even more impressive.  In fact – it’s been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1998.

I did find an article on Jeremy on the jail from the Palestine newspaper.  Click here to see that article.  It seems that the jail was used for a Halloween event, and as I stated earlier, they were getting ready inside the jail to open up to the public for an event they called ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.’  We were also informed that some researchers or a group of people (from San Antonio)who investigate the paranormal were coming up soon to stay and investigate the jail for that sort of thing.

Thanks Jeremy for a great visit!

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