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The Old Jail

The Old Jail was built in 1913, a two story brick structure with a pyramidal roof. Except for the addition of a wing at the East elevation in 1930, the building has retained a remarkable degree of original detailing of the period. Particularly notable are the quoins, which frame the main building and are unusually stylish details for a jail. This is one of the oldest public buildings of Alexander County and one of the oldest jails still standing in North Carolina.

Today the Old Jail houses a small museum concerning the former jailers and their families who lived in the jail supervising the prisoners.

The Old Jail is also home to ACAAI's Genealogical Research Library. The collection includes local census, obituary files, family records as well as books, periodicals, microfilm, photographs and other research media. Here you can network with others who may be researching the same lines you are researching. Our volunteers can point you in the right direction with local history queries and resources.

The Alexander County Ancestry Association was formed in 1983 (originally as the Alexander County Genealogical Society). During 1986-87 this group published the Heritage Of Alexander County.

During the 1990's the group evolved to become ACAAI and received a 25 year lease of the Old Jail in Taylorsville from Alexander County. The Old Jail Preservation Project began with the rebuilding of the porches and the reroofing of the building. Currently the replacement of the old, damaged windows and the painting of the interior of the building are ongoing projects for the building.The contractor is working on this restoration and when completed, the upstairs of the Old Jail will be open to the public. There are 4 of 10 original jail cells still intact and are located upstairs.

The Alexander County Ancestry Association, Inc. invites you to stop by see their exhibits, research your family's history, learn the history of our Old Jail. You can also choose from a selection of books available for purchase, calendars featuring historical stores in Alexander County, and the custom designed, jacquard woven coverlet/afghan of Alexander County, featuring historic landmarks.

Located Downtown Taylorsville
Across from Town Hall
72 Main Ave Drive
Mailing Address:
PO Box 241
Hiddenite, NC 28636

Open to the Public:
9:00 am - 3:00 pm

View Photos

The jail closed in 1970, restoration began in the 1990's.

The jailer and his family lived in the Old Jail building and the jailer's wife cooked the meals for those staying in the jail.

The jail cells were not accessible from the jailer's living quarters, but were brought in through a side doorway.

The jail's walls are triple bricked and the brick were handmade.

ACAAI Meetings

Monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm in the Alexander County Old Jail Research Room.

Publication for Members
KINFOLK, A Quarterly Journal of the Alexander County Ancestry Association, Inc.

Visit Alexander County Online Business Directory

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