Old Williamson County Jail

Located at Old Williamson County Jail, 312 S Main Street, Georgetown, this imposing jailhouse was the place to hold criminals. Built in 1888 on the grounds of Williamson County Courthouse, this historical building looks like a fortress with its sturdy limestone walls and crenelated parapets. This intimidating jailhouse is a throwback to when criminals were judged by their crimes and not how they felt. Built in 1888 on top of Williamson County Courthouse, this historical building seems like something out of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice In Wonderland” with its whimsical crenelated parapets that look more suited for royalty than punishment – but don’t let appearances fool you.

For nearly 100 years, the jail has held numerous notorious criminals. With its oppressive and brooding air and chilling history of being haunted, it’s not surprising that this place is known to be notoriously spooky. The old Williamson County jail was located on the east lawn of our historic Courthouse until 1888. In that year, it became too small for all who needed incarceration, and so a new building containing cells went up at 312 Main Street, where we now house criminals awaiting trial or sentencing.

The Old Jail on Main Street was closed in October 1888, and the prisoners moved to a new county facility because of frequent breaks. The Travis County Jail, which opened that same year adjacent to downtown Austin at Commissioners’ Court Session Park (now named after it), became home for those awaiting trial or sentence thanks largely due proceeds from bonds sold throughout 1887-1888.

When the people of Williamson County needed space to house their prisoners, they reached out for help. A group of donations and purchases led them to find land on which a new jail could be built – David Love’s Wagons Yard became its location in January 1889.

The Old Williamson’s County Jail’s exterior is a perfect example of medieval architecture, with solid stone walls and an ancient-looking parapet. It radiates power that could break even the most indomitable willed person; just looking at this place makes you understand how dangerous it must have been when these buildings first became popular back in the day.

When the Old Williamson County Jail became too outdated and dangerous, it was closed down for good. The former Williamson County Jail is one of Georgetown’s oldest landmarks. After being unused for many years and left in poor condition like so many other old jails across America, this building was refurbished into what you see today – office space with beautiful views from all sides.

Williamson Museum
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