2.8
5 votes

Rotary Jail Museum

225 North Washington St., Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933 USA

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Closed Now
Opens Thu 10a
  • Independent
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“the first rotary jail in the country”

Our Rotary Jail opened in 1882 as the first rotary jail in the country! Its round cell block sits on a turntable that revolves when a hand crank is turned. Just 18 rotary jails were built, and we are the only one that still spins. Come see this remarkable feat of 1880's engineering that still rotates! The Montgomery County Rotary Jail opened in 1882 as a solution to housing prisoners safely, efficiently and humanely. It was the first rotary jail constructed in the United States. It has a round two-story cell-block on a turntable that is rotated by a hand-crank. There were eventually eighteen rotary jails constructed in the U.S. Today, it is the only operational rotary jail in the country. The Rotary Jail operated as the Montgomery County Jail for 91 years, from 1882 - 1973. After it was closed, the Montgomery County Cultural Foundation was created to run the jail and attached sheriff's residence as a museum. The sheriff's residence is a beautiful two-story home of predominantly Eastlake style architecture. The sheriff's family lived in the home and shared responsibility for care of the prisoners. 

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Reviewed by
Familyman365

  • 8 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
May 30, 2020
Rated 3.0

Saw this when I was young so tried to see on our way through with my kiddos, but it is still closed for tours due to COVID-19. Would still recommend, but wish they would update their phone message or website for possible opening plans.

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Reviewed by
David

  • 14 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 22, 2019
Rated 1.0

Although hours are posted as “x - 5”, they’re closed by (when I arrived) 4:45, and the last tour starts at 4:00.
It’s a small facility, with a nice Victorian house as the front; in a commercial/residential area; not a big industrial-looking building. Parking across the side street.

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Reviewed by
kpossible318

  • 18 Reviews
  • 5 Helpful
January 14, 2018
Rated 4.0

This was a neat stop; never heard of these before, so it was very informative. Everything was well kept.

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Reviewed by
Pbro

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
June 04, 2016
Rated 5.0

The first Rotary Jail in the country from 1882, and I had never even heard of one. The staff was courteous enough to accommodate us with an abbreviated tour even though we showed up close to closing time.

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Rotary Jail Museum

225 North Washington St.
Crawfordsville, Indiana
47933 USA

Hours

Closed Now
  • Wed - Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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