Friday, August 28, 2009
1811 Augusta City Jail- Bracken County, Kentucky
Unlocking the past
Michael Moore paints the exterior of the historic Augusta jail Wednesday. -- Terry Prather/Staff
1811 jail's restoration nearing completion
By WENDY MITCHELL, Staff Writer
Friday, August 28, 2009 1:18 AM EDT
AUGUSTA -- A step into the lower portion of the 1811 Jail in Augusta takes a visitor back in time when getting into trouble meant meager accommodations and a cold cot.
Thanks to community support, the work of historians and the Augusta SHARE group, visitors can see what life behind bars meant for more than 150 years in Augusta.
Thick stone walls, complete with iron barred port-hole size windows and austere accommodations greeted wrong doers in the past. Within the walls is another log room, rebuilt representing a holding pen, which contains a chair, lamp and area for prisoners to be shackled.
Near the door hangs a shotgun, now locked in place, with Augusta City Jail carved in the stock.
Opposite the holding cell is another room with barred cells and metal cots.
Names, assumed to be created by former prisoners adorn the cell walls, which date from 1840 to the 1970s.
In a common area there is an ornate carving apparently done by a prisoner who was there from Dec. 17, 1974 - Feb. 25, 1975; and there is no visible heat source in the prisoner areas of the building.
A man known as "John Ike" was apparently jailed for a short time in the 1970s for streaking, and another time for 120 days according to the jail cell graffiti.
Comment: I was City Attorney for Augusta in the 1970's and remember this old stone jail very well!