Rotary Jail Museum

Rotary Jail Museum

Rotary Jail Museum
225 N. Washington Street, Crawfordsville

The Rotary Jail Museum, which opened in 1882, was the first of eighteen rotary jails constructed in the United States with a revolving cell block. The round cell block is two tiers tall, and sits on a giant turntable. It is enclosed by stationary steel bars. Each tier is constructed like a pie with eight wedge-shaped cells. There is only one opening on each tier. To move a prisoner in or out of a cell, a hand crank was turned until the desired cell was aligned with the opening. This building served as the Montgomery County Jail from 1882-1973.

The Victorian-era Eastlake Style sheriff's residence was home to sheriff's families for 91 years, and today houses exhibits and historical collections.

The Montgomery County Cultural Foundation operates the museum today along with the Tannenbaum Cultural Center. The Tannenbaum Cultural Center is located behind the museum and is home to art classes, summer art camps, special events, and is available for special occasion rentals.

Open March 1 – December 15Rotary Jail Museum interior

Wednesday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Memorial Day – Labor Day
Wednesday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. the rest of the year

Admission charged