Built by Henry Flagler in 1891 and placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1987, the Jail was operational for more than 60 years and housed 72 prisoners at a time. Take a tour of the maximum security cells and meet Sheriff Joe Perry.
Take a guided tour led by the “jailers” for a compelling look at the cells where imprisoned men and women once lived, the maximum security area reserved for the most nefarious criminals and a collection of weapons.
Visitors can also take a look at the cell blocks, gallows and sheriff’s quarters. See where the sheriff, his wife and children lived, right upstairs from the prisoners, and how they used their own kitchen to prepare meals for the inmates. A tour through this attraction will show visitors what life was like as an inmate and how the Old Jail helped shape St. Augustine’s history.
60 Years of Service
For nearly 60 years – until 1953 – the Old Jail served as the St. Johns County facility for petty thieves and hardened criminals. There were even eight recorded executions, two of which were accused murderers. Sim Jackson, who was hanged in 1908 after murdering his wife with a straight razor, is among the group.
The Well Known Sheriff
Today, visitors learn about the infamous Sheriff Perry, who served from 1889 until 1897 and again from 1901 until 1919. His stature as a “big, bold man” at 6’6” and weighing 300 pounds was intimidating even for the most hardcore of inmates. Though popular in the community, Perry was feared amongst cell inhabitants – both male and female – for his reputation of renting out prisoners to local farmers through a leasing system.
Tours run every 15 minutes.
9:00 am with the last tour departing at 4:30 PM.
Reservation times are on a first come, first serve basis and each tour has limited capacity.
December 24: Last tour is at 3pm.
December 25: Closed.
Hours of operation are extended during holiday periods.
Please call (904) 829-3800 for details.