Sheriff's house

Seen here is the old Sheriff’s House, which was attached to the jail, and is now home to the Frederick Rescue Mission.

As fall sets in and Halloween approaches, it seems an appropriate time to highlight a historical site in downtown Frederick that possess a complicated past. Situated on the 400 block of W. South Street stands the former Frederick County jail. The site features a large and impressive brick structure with a deep setback that dwarfs the surrounding domestic 19th century architecture. The property now houses the Rescue Mission, a faith-based organization which provides various programs to aid people who live in poverty and homelessness or suffer from chemical dependency. Today, the building is seen as a beacon of hope that serves those in need. However, it was originally designed as a place of confinement and punishment.

It should be noted that the existing building, which was constructed in 1876, is not the first jail built in the city, nor the first jail on the site. The first jail was constructed in 1753, near the original court house on Council Street. Later, in 1775, a Tory Jail was constructed on East Second Street. The old Hessian Barracks, off of S. Market Street, was also used as a prison.

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There will be a talk next Monday night, 22 October 2018, at the C. Burr Artz Library, Frederick County Public Libraries by Rev. Scott Winnettee entitled "Preserving The Frederick City Jail: A Story of Architecture and Humanity" at 7pm. The history of the executions and punishments that took place at the historic jail shed light not only on the structure, but also on the racist and discriminatory practices of the criminal justice system. Cosponsored by the Frederick Preservation Trust.


intriguing to read about the history of slavery in Frederick County.


The old brick wall play ground. Remembered that section especially.


Hanged, not hung, the laundry is hung out to dry, people are hanged


"the “old system” which was still in full force in much of the country during the last quarter of the 20th century and is often characterized as the crowding of prisoners no matter their crime, age, or gender." Sure you don't mean the last quarter of the 19th century?

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