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Old Rock Jail and Museum

Caroline Greer, Auburn University
Old Rock Jail
The Old Rock Jail and Museum in Rockford, Coosa County, is a historical county jail and museum. Also known as the Coosa County Jail, it is the oldest stone jail in Alabama and one of the few remaining structures dating from the early period of the county's history.
Coosa County was created in 1832. The county seat was moved from Lexington to Rockford in 1835, the year the town was founded and one year after Lexington was abandoned. In August 1839, the County Commissioners Court authorized the construction of a stone jail. The contract originally went to A. Lyle in 1836, but it was forfeited and in 1841 another contract was made with Miller and Heard, with a budget of $2,745.00. Completed in 1842, the three-story jail was constructed with local stone, with blocks measuring two by three feet. The building measures 20 wide and 40 feet long and has a plastered interior.
The building was in use as the county jail until 1938, when it was repurposed as a storage facility for county records. In 1973, the Coosa County Historical Society opened the building as a museum, and still operates it to the present. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and remains almost completely unchanged from its original construction.
Old Rock Jail is located on Jackson Street at the corner of County Road 22, one block west of State Highway 231. The interior of the jail and museum is only open on special occasions, but the grounds are accessible all year long. Located nearby is a marble memorial dedicated to veterans and the grave marker of Fred, the Rockford town dog and mascot, who died in 2002. Fred gained national recognition after he was profiled for Animal Planet. Fred died in 2002 from an unknown animal bite and was buried next to the old jail. A Montgomery businessman donated his grave marker, and Fred was inducted into the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association Animal Hall of Fame in 2004.
Published:  November 21, 2019   |   Last updated:  November 21, 2019