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Old St. Augustine Jail

  • 167 San Marco Avenue Saint Augustine, FL 32084

Old St. Augustine jail, built in 1891 by the same people who built Alcatraz. Directly behind the jail were the gallows. Prisoners who’d been condemned to death were kept in a cell whose window looked out on the device that would end their lives. The general run of prisoners lived four to a cell. They had a bucket for a toilet. If someone didn’t come around to empty it, they just tossed the contents out the window, which was open to the outside all year round. Black and white prisoners were kept separate. The prisoners did all the cooking on an iron stove. There were some interesting displays inside the jail, including a collection of guns seized by sheriff’s deputies back in the day. From what was in the display case it was apparent that the “Saturday night special,” was nothing new. St. Augustine. On the way, stop at the site of a gigantic cross near the water. It marks the spot where the first Roman Catholic mass was said on the American continent. This was in 1573, when a group of Spanish sailors came ashore. With them came a Franciscan monk.