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Squirrel Cage Jail

226 Pearl St, Council Bluffs, Iowa 51503 USA

13 Reviews
Open Now
Fri 11a-4p
  • Independent
  • No Wifi
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“haunted jail built in 1885”

The Jail was built in 1885 and was in continuous use until 1969. It was acquired by the Council Bluffs Park Board in 1971 for preservation, and was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 by the United States Government. The Historical Society led an effort in 1977 to save the jail, and today owns and operates the facility. The design and size of the Historic Pottawattamie County Squirrel Cage Jail make it a one-of-a-kind structure. It was one of 18 revolving (“squirrel cage”, "human rotary", or "lazy Susan") jails built. It is the only three-story one ever built. Built at a cost of about $30,000, our unique jail has three floors of revolving pie-shaped cells inside a cage. The front part of the building had offices for the jailer, kitchen, trustee cells, and quarters for women.

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Photo of Stephanie P.

Reviewed by
Stephanie P.

This was a very interesting site. The jail was the safest jail setup. It did not have an escape the entire time it was in operation. It was a multilevel jail in the heart of downtown Council... Read more

Photo of Stefanie E.

Reviewed by
Stefanie E.

I was very interested in scoping out the history of this type of jail and getting a feel for how the prisoners lived. You can move in and out of the jail cells and read all about the cases that... Read more

Photo of Kathy F.

Reviewed by
Kathy F.

Fun for the family. I think everyone could fine this place interesting. I can't wait to bring friends and family here. The whole experience was great. We went on a weekend. It wasn't very busy.... Read more

Squirrel Cage Jail

226 Pearl St
Council Bluffs, Iowa
51503 USA
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Open now until 4:00 pm
  • Thu: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Fri, Sat: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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