The Ultimate Guide To Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains
The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & the Western North Carolina Mountains

The Online Version of the Best-selling Regional Guidebook
 

Susanna Pantas, Artist

 Old Wilkes Jail
Museum

Pen & Ink Drawings of Biltmore Estate, by Lee James Pantas

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Old Wilkes Jail Museum, photo by Jimmie Wayne

   Built in 1859, the Old Wilkes Jail was in continuous use as a jail until 1915. The first jail had four cells and included a residence for the jailer and his family. It is now restored as a history museum. One famous inmate, Tom Dula (of the famous ballad “Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley”) was incarcerated here until a change of venue was obtained by his defense attorney, former Governor Zebulon Vance.
    The building was restored to its original state using as much of the original materials as possible. Access to the cells are through the original iron and wood doors. The old Wilkes County jail is one of the best preserved examples of nineteenth century penal architecture in North Carolina.

Website: Old Wilkes Jail Museum
Location:
Wilkesboro NC
Distance: 2 hours from Asheville
Address: 203 North Bridge Street, Wilkesboro, NC 28697
Telephone: 336-667-3712
Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday; weekends by appointment
Fees: None
Allow: 45 minutes
Of Note: One of the best preserved examples of penal architecture in North Carolina
Directions: From Asheville take I-40 East to Hickory. Exit at Hickory and take Hwy. 16 North to downtown Wilkesboro. Turn right at the light and go through town past the courthouse. Take first left onto to Broad Street to behind the courthouse. Turn left onto North Street and then right onto North Bridge Street.

 

 

 

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