The Old Jail stands as a fortress looking down on the rest of Jim Thorpe. It was built in 1871 and was used as a working jail all the way up until the 1970's. The jail is best known as the hanging site of seven Irish coal miners accused of being Molly Maguires, a secret organization that started one of the first labor unions in the country. Back then coal miners worked for pennies since they had to pay for all their own food and equipment, often becoming so severely indebted to the coal companies that they couldn't leave even if they wanted to. They were often treated cruelly, and if one of them was killed as the result of a mining accident (a common occurrence) their body was literally dumped on the porch of their family without incident.
Make sure to check out Cell 17, where a man who was convicted of conspiracy to murder famously left his handprint permanently etched into the wall, where it would remain for all time to proclaim his innocence. The handprint has survived being cleaned, painted over, concreted over, and even having a new wall put over it. Very eerie!
|The creepy dungeon|
|The sad story of the Molly Maguires|
|The Molly Maguires-an old movie starring Sean Connery..many of the scenes were filmed in the Jim Thorpe jail|
|A toilet along the tour route that had to be taped up after a tourist tried to actually use it..gotta love people|
|Female prisoners were housed in the prison at times|
|Me posing under the gallows|