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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Visalia in Tulare County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The Old Tulare County Jail

 
 
The Old Tulare County Jail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dr. Samuel Gregg George Chapter No. 1855 E Clampus Vitus, January 18, 2013
1. The Old Tulare County Jail Marker
Inscription.  In 1854 the supervisors of Tulare County authorized construction of a 16' x 16' oak log structure with a courthouse upstairs and jail downstairs. Before this, the most dangerous prisoners were chained to a large oak log out in the open. In 1858 a brick courthouse was constructed with the jail again on the ground floor. The prisoners were still placed in chains bolted to the oak floor. This served both the county and city of Visalia. In 1870 the county jail was no longer to be used as a city jail. In August of 1870 the Visalia Delta noted "the other day we noticed a prisoner of the city chained to an oak tree in the courthouse yard, we think this an outrage in a civilized community." Three years later a 14' x 24' city jail was constructed. In 1876 a new courthouse was built with the jail on the ground floor. This and earlier jails were not escape proof and were too small as the county grew in size. In 1890 a new updated county jail was built on this site. It was constructed of brick and was two stories high with a basement, and it was considered escape proof. In September of 1891 Grat and William Dalton of the famous Dalton Gang were imprisoned
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here on suspicion of train robbery. Grat was found guilty. The other gang members headed back to Indian territory. Grat boasted this jail would not hold him. After having the other prisoners sing loudly for two days to cover the noise of him sawing his cell bars, Grat escaped during the night of September 27, 1891. The jail originally fronted on Church Street. When rebuilt in 1918, the entry was changed to the Oak Street side as it is to this day.
 
Erected 2006 by Dr. Samuel Gregg George Chapter 1855 of E Clampus Vitus.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
 
Location. 36° 19.933′ N, 119° 17.463′ W. Marker is in Visalia, California, in Tulare County. Marker is at the intersection of North Church Street and East Oak Avenue, on the right when traveling north on North Church Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 204 East Oak Avenue, Visalia CA 93291, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Visalia Saddle (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Butterfield Overland Mail (about 800 feet away); Visalia Chinatown (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Hanging of J.G. McCrory (approx. 0.2 miles away); Camp Babbitt (approx.
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mile away); Visalia Times-Delta (approx. 0.3 miles away); Farmersville (approx. 5.3 miles away); Packwood Station (approx. 6.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Visalia.
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 

More. Search the internet for The Old Tulare County Jail.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 10, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 28, 2019, by Frank Gunshow Sanchez of Hollister, California. This page has been viewed 49 times since then and 4 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on October 28, 2019, by Frank Gunshow Sanchez of Hollister, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
 
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