Old Wilcox County Jail at Camden, AL (built 1889, listed on the NRHP)

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This building was Wilcox County ‘s third county jail. It was constructed in 1889 by L. Y. Tarrant for $4800. In 1960, jail operations were moved to a new facility. It is rare to find old jails still standing in Alabama, especially one with the features of this building. It contains superb brickwork and an ornate wooden porch of Victorian Era architectural design. The more attractive two-story front part of the jail probably was where the sheriff and his family lived. When this jail was built, state law required that the sheriff live on the premises in case there was a fire and the prisoners needed to be released plus his presence was added security.

This building is a contributing property to Camden’s Wilcox County Courthouse Historic District that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). It is located at downtown Camden behind the old Wilcox County Courthouse (GPS coordinates 31.991917,-87.288833).

Sources: 1) NRHP “Wilcox County Courthouse Historic District” Registration Form; 2) The Wilcox Progressive Era, June 2, 2010 Issue

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