Tag Archives: North Georgia Jails

Oglethorpe County Jail, 1878, Lexington

This jail was in use until 2002 and is now owned by Historic Oglethorpe.

Lexington Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --OGLETHORPE COUNTY GA--, Lexington GA

Old Heard County Jail, 1912, Franklin

Franklin GA Old Heard County Jail Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Pauly Jail Company of Alabama built this jail in 1912, for $7,500, using plans by Manley Jail Works of Dalton, Georgia. This jail replaced an 1880 jail that became unfit. The new jail housed up to 16 prisoners upstairs. The County Sheriff (eight sheriffs from 1912-1964) and his family lived downstairs. In the 1930s, two prisoners cut window bars and escaped. Death row prisoners were held here, but the jail’s gallows were never used. In 1964 a new County jail opened on the Franklin Square, and this jail closed. The 1912 jail was National Register listed in 1981. In 1987, Heard County Historical Society rehabilitated this jail, with help from the Callaway Foundation and other donors.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --HEARD COUNTY GA--, Franklin GA

Old Meriwether County Jail, 1896, Greenville

Old Meriwether County Jail Greenville GA Historic Landmark Related to Murder in Coweta County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

This historic jail plays a significant role in Murder in Coweta County, the bestselling book by the late Margaret Ann Barnes, which was later made into a movie starring Johnny Cash and Andy Griffith. Based on the 1948 murder of Wilson Turner, who was jailed here by a corrupt sheriff, then let go to be killed just over the county line near Moreland (Coweta County) by John Wallace, a bootlegger who controlled the sheriff and most of Meriwether County at the time. Wallace was eventually convicted. The case was significant in that it was the first time a white man had been convicted of murder on the testimony of African-Americans in Georgia. They had been witnesses to the original crime. As a teenager, I was lucky to have met Ms. Barnes, who recalled the impression this jail and its dark history had on her ongoing quest for “Southern justice” through her writing. The jail is now a private residence.

National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --MERIWETHER COUNTY GA--, Greenville GA

Old Hancock County Jail, 1905, Sparta

Old Hancock County Jail Sparta GA Landmark Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

This sturdy old granite structure was recently restored.

Sparta Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

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Filed under --HANCOCK COUNTY GA--, Sparta GA