Monday, June 11, 2001

Old jail will get new look

Waynesville sees its historic charm

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WAYNESVILLE — The Old Lockup in this historic village soon will welcome guests with museum displays and tourist information, instead of the usual metal bars and cots.

        Waynesville launches the renovation of the 115-year-old brick building on Tuesday.

        Village Manager Kevin Harper said this week it will make an ideal visitors center.

        “It is a building that is unique to small-town history,” added Bill Stubbs, a Waynesville resident and shopkeeper.

"Guests' dried out
               In days past, the lockup was where small-time troublemakers cooled their heels. Mr. Stubbs often could see the “guests” through a window as he walked past it to school.

        “It was mainly used to lock 'em up overnight until they sobered up,” he says.

        The 900-square-foot building also was the town's firehouse, home first to a horse-drawn pumper and later to the village's first motorized fire truck, Old Faithful, said Farran Eide, a Waynesville Elementary fourth-grader.

        Farran, 10, learned about the Old Lockup for a class project. A bell in a cupola was rung to alert firefighters, all volunteers, when they were needed.

Abandoned and forgotten
               The village stopped housing lawbreakers at the Chapman Street building in the 1940s and ended its career as a firehouse in 1952. It was used for storage for a while, Farran said, but has long stood empty, its walls marred by graffiti.

        “Right now, people don't take very good care of it,” she said.

        The village hopes to have the Old Lockup restored in time for the annual Sauerkraut Festival on Oct. 13 and 14. The Ohio Historic Preservation Office and the Department of Transportation kicked in more than half of the project's $151,000 cost, and the village will cover the rest.


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