Old Allen County Jail, 204 N. Jefferson Ave., Iola

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April 8, 2018 - 11:00 PM

Visitors like to hunt for names on the walls of the 1869 Allen County Jail, Kurtis Russell, director of the Allen County Historical Society, said. Some come looking for the name of a grandfather or other relative who spend time in the jail before it closed in 1959.

Russell has never seen anyone find the name of a relative. It’s not as easy task, as hundreds of names and drawings adorn the nearly 150-year-old walls. Visitors aren’t allowed to touch the walls, for fear they could damage the artistic graffiti.

The jail was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. The designation means the building will be protected as a landmark and museum for years to come, Russell said. Having the building on the national register means it must be kept in near-original condition, as much as possible.

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