Saturday, May 23, 2009

Liberty Historic Jail

Location: 216 North Main, Liberty


Cost: Free

Let's start off this way, if you bill yourself as a "restored Liberty Jail" that's really what I expect to see. Sadly, not so much.

Maybe I'm going to be a little hard on this because I like history, but seriously dude, look where you are at. There is so much authentic history around here that if you go bullshit you are probably going to be called on it.

Here's the story: Joseph Smith (founder of the Mormon Church) was imprisoned here in the 1830's. This jail eventually just about feel down or was pillaged for the limestone. One wall remained when another person bought it and knocked the whole thing down. This guy built a house and lived there for 35 years and finally sold it to the Mormon Church. The Church then came in and bulldozed the house and built this shrine and a REPLICA of the actual jail, not the jail itself. It would appear that nothing is original.

When I asked if anything was restored or original, they said the floor was restored. I'm calling bullshit. It's dirt, that's it.

Everything though looks nicely done and it is an appropriate shrine for that religion but I do not find it authentic as a history buff, at all. The staff was nice but was more intent on going through the lectures and what not than adapting to the situation which was 2 guys with 4 kids. As you can guess, not a good place to take children at all.

If you get a chance to go to this activity, pass it up and instead throw wet toilet paper at the walls.


  1. Give it a little credit, the foundation is original. That's a little better than just dirt. ;) I am a little bias though since my great-great-great-great grandpa Hyrum Smith (Joseph Smith's brother) spent time there as well.

  2. Charlottesville, VA has a really amazing Historic Jail near its downtown area called Court Square. I directed a short documentary piece on the Jail and the area around it which you can watch at if you go under Featured Videos and select "Old Charlottesville Jail". I've lived in Charlottesville for almost ten years and had no idea it was there until a friend told me about it.