Doing time: Historic Texas jail to let guests sleep in cells

Panhandle hoosegow to become a B&B

National Weekend Edition /
Nov.November 07, 2021 01:38 PM

This historic jailhouse in Memphis, Texas. (Google)

 

Finally, a chance to sleep in a big house. Make that the Big House.

A historic 106-year old jailhouse in the Texas Panhandle will soon give travelers the chance to hang up their gun belt and get some shut-eye in the hoosegow, the website MyHighPlains.com reports.

The building, just off Main Street in Memphis, Texas — which has a small Downtown in the high plains of the state — was recently sold to a couple that plans on living there and rent out spare rooms to those interested in sleeping in spaces with bars for doors.

That’s because some of the old lock-up’s features still exist — including the jail cells with their original keys, a safe in an upstairs wall that is fastened shut, and even a refurbished sheriff’s a few steps away.

Real Estate broker Camie Holland told the website the building had been used as a Boy Scout hall and a boutique before its most recent sale — and finding a buyer wasn’t that easy.

“With it being a prison and possible people dying in here. I think that was a lot of people’s biggest fear is buying it and living in it and having ghosts in the property,” Holland told the website.

But why would people visit Memphis? The history, of course.

The town became the seat of Hall County, Texas, in 1891 and was booming around the turn of the 20th century when a railroad depot was begrudgingly constructed there. At the time, its residents were upset with the fact the train  came through their town without stopping, so they began smearing lye soap on the tracks to slow the locomotives down. Railroad officials, noticing the problem, then agreed to open a depot in the town.

A local newspaper, the Hall County Herald, which was founded in 1890, is still printed today and has an office around the corner for the jail on Main Street.

[MyHighPlains.com] — Vince DiMiceli





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