Friday, June 24, 2016

Spent A Day in Jail

Burnt Cabins, Pennsylvania
Ye Old Campground

I really needed to pick up a few groceries, so we drove over to Chambersburg this morning.  I don't know what it is about the Lincoln Highway, but I always enjoy it, no matter what state you drive on it.  

The Old Franklin County Jail was built in 1818.  Can you picture a jail that was in continuous use for over 150 years?

As soon as we stepped through the door we knew this was going to be a great tour.  

They still use the original door and lock. The lock was crafted by an English sailor who decided to stay in the U.S. after the War of 1812. As you can see, it could be a little drafty in the winter.
I wouldn't want to carry the keys to this jail around with me.

Jeff greeted us at the door and told us he was a volunteer who would give us the tour.  I was surprised at how knowledgeable he was.  It's so nice to have a docent all to yourself.  
He showed us into this room which was where the Sheriff's  would have lived.  
This room would have been the infirmary for the jail.  

There were four cells in this section.  

Jeff is showing us how there are two doors, with about two feet in between the doors.  The doors were very short.

It was interesting to read some of the original writing on the wall.  

This room housed the women prisoner's.

These gallows are original and were transported on the local trains to other towns around for hangings. The walls surrounding the prison are three feet thick and 20 feet high.

The town of Chambersburg was burned by the Confederates in 1864 but the building survived mainly due to the three foot stone and brick walls.  The jail was known to be the strongest in the state.  

This is how a cell looked in 1970 when they ceased operation.  It was the longest continuous period of service of any jail in Pennsylvania. 

In 1880 the jail was enlarged and modernized to have 30 cells.  There are three floors of cells and cells on the backside of these.  

There were many artifacts about the Underground Railroad.  It is believed, but not proven, that the jail was used as a station for the underground railroad.  

I was surprised that when we went down into the dungeon, they had a kitchen where all the meals were cooked.

These cells had to use leg irons because there wasn't any way to get the prisoners food into the cell without opening the sturdy doors.  

It's hard to believe we were on the tour for almost two hours but there was so much to see.  It was more like a history and a jail tour combined.  

I wish we had more time to explore this history rich town.

The Lincoln Highway compares with the Historic Route 66.  You never know what you'll see on it.
Here's what Roadside America had to say about this 1921 Seldon Apple Truck.  
Franklin County Career & Technology Center in Chambersburg, PA created this 1921 Selden Apple Truck for Roadside Giants of the Lincoln Highway. It is 10.5-ft. high, weighing nearly 1 1/2 tons.
Roadside fruit stands were bountiful in the early Lincoln Highway days, and Franklin County still has a strong connection to agriculture. While it was easy to choose a vintage apple truck to replicate, it is the most complex of all of the roadside giant designs. Shatzer's Fruit Market on Route 30 in Chambersburg graciously allowed the Giant to be installed on their property.
- See more at:

Here's one of the original toll booths along the highway.

Jeff had told us that they had a re enactment last weekend at Fort Loudon, when we mentioned that we were stopping at the Fort. 
On our way back to Burnt Cabins, we stopped at Fort Loudoun.  Did you notice the date of the fort was 1756?  Well that's about the best part of the fort.

No one was around and no signs as to when it is open.

The weeds were pretty high.  This is a Pennsylvania state historic site.

Bill read two signs giving details of the fort and we turned around and left.

Again, Jeff had told us that they had a re enactment last weekend at Fort Loudon. Sorry we missed it. 

Turtle Safely.......

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