One Of The Oldest Jails In The Nation Is Right Here In Alabama… And It’s Incredible

The Houston Jail, located in Winston County, is the oldest log jail in Alabama and quite possibly the second-oldest log jail in the nation. This historic jail is actually a replacement for the original. The original Houston Jail was destroyed by pro-Union men during the Civil War.

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In 1868, the Houston Jail was built from hand-hewn hardwood logs. The interior logs were covered by boards that measured 2 inches thick by 12-14 inches wide. Once the boards were secured, they were pounded with horseshoe nails. These special nails were placed near each other to prevent prisoners from trying to escape.

The Houston Jail’s interior was divided into two separate rooms, and its sanitary facilities didn’t have much to them. They were simply small holes that were in the back wall. The town of Houston was once Winston County’s county seat. As soon as the county seat changed from Houston to Double Springs, this historic jail was abandoned.

In 1933, the Houston Jail was transformed into a residence for the poor. And in 1975, it was donated to Winston County and added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Houston Jail is located at 4786 County Road 63, Houston, AL 35572. If you’re ever in the area, it’s definitely worth a stop. Until you walk inside the jail, you won’t truly understand how special this historic landmark really is. Also located on the property is a bust of John Anthony Winston (pictured above), a former Alabama governor. Winston County was named after this man.

Have you ever seen this historic jail up close? If so, what are your thoughts?

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