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

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

Home    Western North Carolina    Asheville    Hendersonville    Other Cities & Towns    Real Estate & Relocation    Outdoor Recreation
Arts & Crafts    Festivals & Events    Attractions    Museums    Day Trips & Itineraries    Kid's Activities    Wineries    Spas   
Golf in the Mountains   

Outdoor Recreation in WNC, from golf to whitewater rafting   Western North Carolina Cities & Towns    Attractions in the Mountains

Asheville NC section of website   Hendersonville NC section of website

Mountain Attractions
By Category
All Attractions
Architectural Masterpieces
Arts & Crafts
Cars, Planes & Trains
Cherokee Indians
Famous Persons
Great For Kids
Markets & Historic Stores
Music, Dance & Theatre
Parks & National Forests
Plants & Animals
Presenting Local History
Rivers, Lakes & Streams
Rocks, Gems & Minerals


Employment Resources
Green Resources
Real Estate & Relocation
Retreat Centers
Senior Resources
Summer Camps

North Carolina

All About Western NC
Day Trips & Itineraries
Festivals & Events

Golf in the Mountains
Outdoor Recreation
WNC Attractions
WNC Cities & Towns
WNC Spas
WNC Wineries




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
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.




All Content Copyright by Lee James Pantas
All Rights Reserved
Contact The Author        Advertising On This Site