Ye Ole Jail Museum - Jamestown, TN
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member ggmorton
N 36° 25.669 W 084° 55.962
16S E 685320 N 4033387
Quick Description: This former county jail in Jamestown, TN is now a museum and houses the Chamber of Commerce.
Location: Tennessee, United States
Date Posted: 6/4/2021 1:57:27 PM
Waymark Code: WM14BB7
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member pmaupin
Views: 0

Long Description:
"Constructed from local sandstone, this was the county's second jail. The building was used as a jail from 1900-1979. Original cells are intact. Displays depict time period jail was in use. Ye Olde Jail now houses the Chamber of Commerce."
Reference: (visit link)

"The Fentress County Chamber of Commerce was established in 1975. Our vision is to involve our entire community to stimulate the business environment of the area and improve the quality of life for the people of Fentress County. The Chamber’s office is located in Jamestown, Tennessee in a historic building that was, many years ago, the Fentress County jail. We share our offices with Ye Ole Jail Museum. During regular business hours, you can stop by, get information about our county’s business and tourism opportunities, and take a step back into Fentress County history."
Reference: (visit link)

"Built in 1898, the Old Fentress County Jail is an austere quarry-faced sandstone building located on the north side of the Public Square in Jamestown, Tennessee. This building served as both the County Jail and sheriff's residence from 1898 to 1979 when the new jail was opened behind the county courthouse. Although the front of the structure, the sheriff's quarters has been altered through time by the use of paneling and other superficial treatments, the rear ell retains the original metal cells, installed by the Pauly Jail Company of St. Louis, Missouri. A small cinderblock addition was attached to the west side of the building to accommodate juvenile offenders in the early 1970s. Despite these changes, the building retains its historical and architectural integrity.

The Old Fentress County Jail is a two-story, L-shaped, quarry-faced ashlar, sandstone building with a corbeled cornice and belt course separating the first and second stories. The low pitched hip roof is covered with standing seam tin and is pierced by two interior chimneys of matching stone. The south facade is three bays wide with a one story, hiproofed frame porch. The porch posts are chamfered at the top and bottom and the deck was replaced with concrete block. The central door has a transom and the windows are two over two light double hung sash type. Fenestration throughout the rest of the building is irregular. The windows along the cell block area originally were the same size as those on the front of the building. Some have been filled in and barred to allow only a small opening into the interior.

The two bay wide ell has a hipped roof structure covered in standing seam tin and pierced by an interior stone chimney.

The Old Fentress County Jail, located in Jamestown, Tennessee (pop. 1899) is being nominated under National Register criteria A and C for its historical significance as the oldest public building in Fentress County and its architectural significance as one of the oldest examples of the use of quarry-faced sandstone as a building material, which was popular in the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee and more particularly in Jamestown, from the late 1890s to the late 1940s.

The Old Fentress County Jail was built in 1898, according to the Minute Books of Fentress County Court Sessions January 1, 1894 through November 6, 1899. Replacing a small !og structure built in 1827, the new jail was to be made of stone and was to house both prisoner and sheriff. The contract for construction of the building was awarded to the firm of Conner and Cusak of Knoxville.

The contract for the interior steel and ironworks was granted to the Pauly Jail Company of St. Louis, Missouri who built several county jails throughout the state from 1886 to 1905, including those for Fayette County (1886), Lawrence County (1893-4), Cumberland County (1898), Blount County (1900) and Williamson County (1905).

The Old Fentress County Jail, a two story, gable roofed, L-shaped building survives as one of the earliest examples of the use of quarry-faced sandstone as a building material in Jamestown, Tennessee. This material was very popular from the late 1890s to the late 1940s and many downtown buildings display it including the Fentress County Courthouse (1901).

The Old Fentress County Jail served the needs of the County Penal system from 1898 to 1979 when the new jail was built adjacent to the rear of County Courthouse building. Renovations to the Old Jail occurred in 1956 and 1982 when the building was rehabilitated to house the Alvin C. York Museum and Fentress County Chamber of Commerce."
Reference: (visit link)
114 Central Ave. W
Jamestown, TN USA

Open to the public: Yes

Every day except federal holidays. 9-4


Web link: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
In order to add a new log to the waymark of this category, simply take another photo of the prison from a different angle than the other posts. Also add to the history of the jail when possible.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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ggmorton visited Ye Ole Jail Museum - Jamestown, TN 9/3/2007 ggmorton visited it