Blackshear City Jail

Blackshear - Pierce County
c. 1894

The Story

Known locally as the old “Hanging Jail,” the Blackshear City Jail is thought to be the third in a series of interior-gallows jailhouses in the South. This unique, Gothic style structure was constructed in 1894, yet the jail has never officially recorded a hanging from its gallows-like tower. The jail was described to be “Gothic in design, to illustrate the Goths and Vandals of society who occupy it; with a dash of the Renaissance to point to the ‘new birth unto righteousness.’” The building also featured living quarters for the jailor and his family, including a kitchen.

The Threat

Years of neglect and lack of maintenance have taken its toll on this unique structure. The curved steel interior roof structure is rusting; the cells are deteriorating; and the presence of hazardous materials keeps the building closed to the public. There is interest in the building and demand for potential tours, but the current state of the building does not allow for access.

Images by MotorSportMedia | Halston Pitman & Nick Woolever or courtesy of Bethany Strickland