Summer Stay-cation ’11 – The Old Jail Museum

After school is finally out next week our Stay-cation day trips will take us a little farther-a-field. For now we’re sticking close to home since we only have time in the afternoon when David gets home from kindergarten. So Friday we went to the Old Jail Museum in Allegan, MI.

Do you recognize those inmates?

Nothing warms a mother’s heart more than being photographed behind bars with her oldest son.

(Once again I apologize for the poor photos from my cell phone. This time I didn’t just forget the memory card for my camera, I forgot the whole camera.)

From the outside the Old Jail Museum looks like a turn-of-the-twentieth century mansion. It was a home at one time. The sheriff lived there with his family on one side of the building. The other half of the building, which holds three decks of old-school jail cells, housed the Allegan County Jail.

Can you imagine living in the jail with your family?There are thick concrete walls and steel doors separating the living quarters from the jail, but still. And get this. If you were the sheriff’s wife, you had to cook all the meals for the inmates. Her husband was elected and paid. She just got volunteered. Our tour guide told us the sheriff’s wife served as many as 24,000 meals a year!

The Old Jail Museum also houses antique relics from the Allegan area like this judge’s bench from the old courthouse.There were lots of other things to see too. Look at this old hair permanent machine. How would you like to sit with that attached to your head? It looks like some sort of torture device.David was pretty interested in all the antiques on display, but by far his favorite part was the clinker.I hope this is the one and only time I see him behind bars.

We’re Stay-cationing in West Michigan all summer. Come back and see where we go next week! No, I’m not single-handedly trying to boost Michigan’s lousy economy with tourism dollars, but it is a nice place to visit. When it isn’t snowing.

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3 Responses to Summer Stay-cation ’11 – The Old Jail Museum

  1. Ha! This is great! The boys must have really enjoyed this stay-cation. I agree with you…I hope it is the one and only time I see you and your boy behind bars.

    I feel so sorry for that sheriff’s wife and their kids. Wouldn’t you love to hear their stories! If only they could have blogged in them thar days!

  2. This is super cool!! I grew up in Grand Ledge and there is a craft cooperative called Ledge Craft Lane. Inside Ledge Craft Lane is an old jail cell, and we used to love hanging out in there. It was so cozy and fun – I remember thinking that jail seemed like a BLAST. Fortunately, I did not become a criminal.

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