Palestine, Texas established in 1846 with a court house square, soon became full of life and death. The rather strange triangular shaped lot on which this jail sits was a full block in the mid 1800’s. Over the past 179 years, it has seen death come in many ways. Examples include, men having a classic western shoot-out, hangings and those contained behind steel bars to pay retribution for their crimes.
The earliest known structure here was the log home of Mrs. Ann White, a widow who looked after the children of widowed Dr. E.J. DeBard. Later, it was the home of Jasper Starr, an early Palestine newspaper editor. With the rapid growth of Palestine in the 1870’s, a new jail became necessary. In 1880, the Second Anderson County Jail was constructed.
In 1931, the Third Historic Anderson County Jail remained at 704 Ave A and was built on-top of the previous Jail’s foundation. This three story art deco building stands on a site that housed criminals for 135 years.
This “Texas Jail House” is home to the ghosts of the guilty (And, possibly innocent!).
Come walk around the disorienting “Catwalk”, peer through cell bars of “The Cage”, listen for the echoes of past prisoners in the Visitation Room, take a booking photo in the Jail Office, see the jail cells where trustees would live for years, and for the brave, step past the steel doors into the darkness of an isolation cell. Who knows what you might hear, or feel!
~ Due to Seasonal Event Decorations the Jail Ghost Tours are currently scheduled to start again in January 2016. Please contact us with any questions. ~