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Old Jail Exhibit

Baker County Historic Jail

On January 4, 1910, County Commissioners and the contractor, F.M. Dobson and Company signed a contract promising a new jail in Baker County. The new jail would replace the old calaboose which stood a few hundreds yards from this current location and resembled a two-story outhouse.

The calaboose had been built when Macclenny was known as Darbyville. In the calaboose, the office was downstairs and the cell was upstairs. Eventually the one cell was divided into two to protect less dangerous offenders from the violent ones.

The chosen site for the new jail was marsh and swamp land. Using mule and wagon, this site had to be filled in with loads of clay and then sand. With the land now filled in, construction on the jail began, using locally made bricks.

Originally, the first floor of this building housed the sheriff and his family. The second floor consisted of jail cells which housed prisoners. The cellblock on the west side of the building was added in 1937 and was not attached to this building originally. The second floor then became four bedrooms and a bath for the sheriff and his family. Until 1972, sheriffs' families lived here and helped prepare food for inmates.

In December of 1972, the Department of Corrections ordered the jail closed after a spot inspection revealed the facilities were not adequate in meeting required standards.

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The Dining Room

This room was the original dining room for the sheriff's family, deputies, and guests. Food trays for inmates were carried out to the cellblocks where they were passed through a small opening to a trustee who delivered the food to inmates.

The Kitchen

Food was prepared in this room not just for the sheriff, his family, guests, and deputies, but also for the inmates.

The New Hallway / Alleyway

The hallway leading from the file room is an addition constructed in 2007. This space was originally an outside alleyway between the sheriff's building and the cellblocks. Originally the cellblocks had only one entrance which is the large steel door at the porch of the cellblocks. Since the renovation of the Historic Jail, the cellblocks are now accessible through the new hallway allowing tours through the whole facility without leaving the building. This hallway also leads to a new staircase and chairlift allowing tours of the second floor. The second floor is currently the home of the genealogy library.

Schedule a Tour of the Old Jail

Sheriffs of Baker County

James Burnsed
1861
Replaced by military law
1867
William Green
1875
A.A. Allen
1876
Urbin Cooper Herndon
1877
Ben S. Roberts
1879
John C. Williams
1880
Urbin Cooper Herndon
1881
J.W. Van Buskirk
1884
Charles F. Pons
1888
James W. Gurganis
1889
Charlie F. Pons
1893
Job E.W. Driggers
1897
Urbin C. Herndon
1898
J.O. Powers
1901
Lott Dyal
1911
J.H. Brown
1917
J.R. Corbett
1918
Lott Dyal
1918
A.J. Sweat
1919
L.F. Sweat
1920
Duval V. Selph
1921
Arthur Rowe
192?
Joe Jones, Jr.
1922
Shannon R. Green
1937
J.E. Combs
1941
Asa Coleman, Jr.
1942
E. Ed Yarbrough
1956
Carl H. Rochester
1965
Paul Thrift
1966
Joe Newmans
1972
Murray Richardon
1992
Joey B. Dobson
1996-2016
Scotty Rhoden
2017-Present

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Getting involved with the Baker County Historical Society allows you to actively contribute to the preservation and celebration of our local history, making a meaningful impact on our community's heritage.

Get in Touch

42 W Mclver Ave
Macclenny, FL. 32063
(904) 259-0587
[email protected]