St. Augustine community celebrates restoration of Old Jail Museum

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A rededication and ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the Old Jail Museum in St. Augustine on Sept. 26 to celebrate the 127-year history of the facility and to commemorate its recent renovations.

Funded by Historic Tours of America, the owner and caretaker of the property, the $1 million restoration efforts took place following damage from Hurricane Irma. 

“The Old Jail Museum is back in order including newly recreated interiors of the sheriff’s office, the jailer’s sleeping quarters, parlor, kitchen and the prisoner’s cell blocks,” says Dave Chatterton, general manager of Old Town Trolley Tours and Attractions of St. Augustine.

During the event, a $5,000 check was presented to St. Augustine Police Chief Barry Fox, who also represented the St. Augustine Police Benevolent Organization, to recognize the longevity of law enforcement in St. Augustine. St. Augustine Police Benevolent Organization is a 501 (c) (4) nonprofit founded more than 50 years ago to aid in the welfare of the public, police employees and their families.

Various public and civic officials attended the event, as well as Historic Tours of America President Ed Swift III, other company leaders and cast members. St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce officials participated in the ribbon cutting. Local group Ball and Chain Gang provided entertainment, and Smokin D’s BBQ served food and beverage. Local actors impersonating Henry Flagler and an 1891 deputy sheriff were also in attendance.

The historic jail, now on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, served the City of St. Augustine from 1891 until 1953. It is open all year except on Christmas Day and is located just north of the downtown district. 

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