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1879 Log Jail in Nashville, Indiana

Nashville, Indiana: 1879 Log Jail
Nashville, Indiana: 1879 Log Jail
In 1839, Nashville, Indiana wasn’t taking any chances when it came to prisoners and jail-time.

The present structure, the old Brown County jail, is an interesting (and quick) look back in the past.

1839 Built Log Cabin in Nashville, Indiana

My information is gleaned from the wall poster inside. The first log cabin was, shall we say, maybe a little much for this Indiana town?

Two layers of 18″ log walls, with an outer, horizontally-laid layer, and an inner, vertically-laid layer composed the two-roomed, two-story structure. Apparently, in this escape-proof jail, the only way in was through the ceiling!

For the bad guy sentenced to spending a bit of time to cool his heels in this Brown County jail, the way inside was accomplished by a rope. The criminal would sit inside a door in the upper level floor via rope. Officials would pull the rope back up, leaving the bad guy behind.

A few years before the present structure was built, another layer of logs was needed. The walls measured a whopping 54″ thick!

1879 Built Log Cabin in Nashville, Indiana

Nashville, Indiana: 1879 Log Jail
Nashville, Indiana: 1879 Log Jail
But it wasn’t enough, I guess. The old jail was in need of serious repair and for $1500 bucks in 1879, a new jail, the present building, was built. Now this is a unique piece of Indiana history!

This time around? The walls were built extra thick, with two layers–one foot apart from each other, the middle using horizontal logs!

Inside, you’ll notice the Dutch doors. You know, the doors that are split in half, so in  the case of the jail, the top could be opened in order to pass the prisoner more firewood and other essentials. This time, men had the bottom room and women were put in the top level.

Go There

Nashville, Indiana: 1879 Log Jail History
Nashville, Indiana: 1879 Log Jail History
Take a peek inside the old jail and check out the stark decor. They ask for donations to keep it in shape. Please look for the box and do your part.

The stairs may take you up, but we were unable to peek in the upstairs room that once held female prisoners. The door to the Nashville, Indiana jail was closed and locked, unfortunately.

Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus! I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is little Indiana!

Find pictures in Indiana on my Flickr photostream or on the new little Indiana Tumblr blog.

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1879 Log Jail
Nashville, Indiana 47448

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About Jessica Nunemaker

Jessica Nunemaker is the Owner of little More than a website, little Indiana is a PBS segment on the state-wide program "The Weekly Special," a bi-weekly column in a local newspaper, and soon to be a book! Look for "little Indiana: Small Town Destinations" published by Indiana University Press in early 2016--just in time for Indiana's BIG 200th Birthday Celebration! Jessica Nunemaker is happy to speak about small towns, creating community, or Indiana tourism at your next event, large or small.

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