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Dutch Country & Gettysburg

The Old Jail

The Old Jail

175 E King St, Chambersburg, PA 17201

The Old Jail was built in 1818 and survived the burning of Chambersburg by the Confederate Forces in 1864. This building of Georgian design is one of the oldest in Chambersburg and was placed on the State and National Register of Historical Sites in 1970. During more than 150 years of use as a prison, The Old Jail housed numerous local criminals, including “Lewis the Robber” and Captain John Cook, one of John Brown’s men who was captured after the unsuccessful raid on the Federal Arsenal at Harpers Ferry. The cellar contains five domed dungeons with rings in the walls and floors that were used to shackle recalcitrant prisoners. Tradition suggests these cells were also used as a way-station on the “Underground” railway to shelter runaway slaves enroute to freedom in the north.