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York County Lockups

In the modern era, it is quite simple for a police officer in York County to transport a prisoner to Central Booking or to the York County Prison. However, in the early years of law enforcement, traveling from the outlying towns to York with a prisoner was a full day trip by horse, or a long trip by train.

For this reason, many towns had local jails or lockups. Some of these jails were located in municipal buildings, such as the basement of a fire station or town hall. In other cases, a small, simple building was constructed to serve as the lockup.

The Police Heritage Museum is attempting to document these local jail facilities, including both existing lockup facilities and those that have been lost to time.


Brogue

Brogue HotelIn 1758, a John Finley opened a tavern in Chanceford Township at the intersection of roads leading to Delta, York, Muddy Creek Forks and Lucky. This area later became know as "the Brogue" or simply Brogue.

In 1760, a shooting at the Brogue Tavern resulted in the death of one man. The Brogue Tavern or Brogue Hotel would be a community gathering place for nearly 200 years.

It has been noted that the basement of the building has six rooms, including what appears to be a lockup.

SOURCE: A HISTORY OF CHANCEFORD TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, 1747-1997, published by Brogue Community Lions Club


Dallastown

We have received information on several locations for a Dallastown lockup.

One of the locations was in the rear of the former Rescue Fire Company hall on East Main Street, now home of the Dallastown Historical Society. An area on the second floor of the building is also believed to have once served as a lockup.

We continue to investigate this lockup.

SOURCE: The Gazette and Daily, November 25, 1935, Page 5


Delta

Delta JailThis early 1900s photograph shows the jail, the small building just to the right of bottom center, across from the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad's turntable.

The Delta jail was located along the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad's tracks in the borough of Delta in southeastern York County. The Delta Town Council awarded a contract to A. M. Clarke, Esq. with the work to be completed by July 1885. It was built at a cost of $250.

The Delta lockup was constructed of Peach Bottom slate, a durable slate that was mined in the Delta area. The thick stone walls were a suitable deterrent to any prisoner thinking of escaping.

The inside of the lockup consisted of two separate cells, and a small vestibule where a woodstove provided heat in the colder months. A single barred transom window provided the only natural light inside the building, and a small vent at the peak of the roof provided the only ventilation for the cells.

Local lore has it that Mr. Clarke, the builder of the jail, was also its first unwilling occupant, and its first escapee.

The Delta lockup is now privately owned.

SOURCE: THE RIVER AND THE RIDGE, 300 YEARS OF LOCAL HISTORY, published by The Old Line Museum


Dillsburg

Very little is known thus far about the Dillsburg lockup.

An article in the March 29, 1910 York Daily references several prisoners being placed in the lockup, and an attemped escape attempt.

We continue to investigate this lockup.

SOURCE: The York Daily, March 29, 1910, Page 2


Dover

Dover JailThe Dover jail was constructed in 1904 from cut red sandstone, a rock indigenous to the Dover area. A louvered cupola at the peak of the roof would have provided ventilation for the cells. The lockup has three windows, two in the left side wall and one in the rear wall opposite the door.

The lockup was originally located at the intersection of City Hall Drive and Herrold Drive, two small alleys about a block north of the Dover square.

The Dover jail was relocated from its original location to the Dover Community Park on West Canal Road in Dover Township.

The inside of the lockup currently has none of the cells that were once in the building. It is presumed that the cells would have been located on the side of the building opposite the door and windows. The number of cells that were in the building is not currently known.

The Dover lockup is now publicly owned.

SOURCE: A HISTORY OF DOVER TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, published by Dover Township Board of Supervisors


Fawn Grove

Delta JailOne of the first lockups identified by the Police Heritage Museum staff was this wood frame lockup in Fawn Grove

It is not known where the building originally stood, but the building was located on a residential lot and being used as a storage building. The building had suffered damage from a fire.

We hope to acquire additional information on this building.


Glen Rock

Glen Rock JailGlen Rock Borough built this lockup behind the fire hall in 1909, with construction completed in February of 1910. The building was 40 feet wide by 9 feet deep, and consisted of three cells, a tool house and a coal bin.

The borough transferred owndership of the building to the fire company in February of 1961, which used the building for storage.

The building was razed in 1997 during an expansion of the fire company. The identity of the children in this 1972 photograph by James Kroh is unknown.

SOURCE: Glen Rock Sesquicentennial Executive Committee - John Hufnagel, Chairman


Hanover

Very little is known thus far about the Hanover lockups.

An article in the February 17, 1873 York Daily references the first prisoner placed in the new lockup.

We are also aware that a lockup was located at one time to the rear of the Hanover Fire Company No. 1 fire station on East Chestnut Street.

We continue to investigate these lockups.

SOURCE: The York Daily, February 17, 1873, Page 1


Manchester

Very little is known thus far about the Manchester lockup.

An article in the July 16, 1914 York Daily references a borough council meeting where the topic of building a lockup was discussed.

"Owing to the difficuly which the borough authorities have experienced in handling the crowds which throng this vicinity on Saturdays, council at a special meeting held on Tuesday evening decided on the erection of a lockup. The building will be constructed of brick and will be 16 feet square."

We continue to investigate this lockup.

SOURCE: The York Daily, July 16, 1914, Page 6


New Freedom

New Freedom JailThe New Freedom jail was located along the tracks of the Northern Central Railway in southern York County, next to South Front Street behind the J.D. Bailey building, as seen in this postcard image.

The building was constructed of brick, and had one window with iron bars and a solid door. A chimney was located at the rear of the roof, indicating a wood stove was most likely located in the cell.

SOURCE: AROUND NEW FREEDOM, published by Arcadia Publishing


New Salem

Very little is known thus far about the New Salem lockup.

An article in the May 24, 1887 York Daily references a drunk and disorderly prisoner that was placed in the lockup, and later died froma fire he set in his cell in the lockup.

The article states that the lockup is about 60 yards from "the hotel" but the name or location of that hotel is not known.

We continue to investigate this lockup.

SOURCE: The York Daily, May 24, 1887, Page 1


North York

Very little is known thus far about the North York lockup.

An article in the July 17, 1959 Gazette and Daily references an article from 50 years prior that mentions the borough lockup.

"North York borough councilmen appropriated $400 to build a borough lockup. Plans called for a frame structure with two cells equipped with unpickable locks."

We continue to investigate this lockup.

SOURCE: The Gazette and Daily, July 17, 1959, Page 28


Red Lion

Red Lion JailThe following information on the lockup is found in the 1930 Red Lion souvenir history book:

"It took Council from 1881, to October 1886, to decide on the location of a lock-up, and then the building of same was left to Chief Burgess, E. E. Roser."

The building is still in existence, and is privately owned. We are pursuing additional information.

An earler, wood frame lockup at an unknown location is mentioned in a newspaper artcle. In addition, a later lockup was located in the rear basement of the Leo fire engine house on First Avenue.

SOURCE: THE BOROUGH OF RED LION, YORK COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, GOLDEN JUBILEE, 1880-1930, published by Red Lion Souvenir and Historical Committee
SOURCE: The York Daily, March 26, 1906, Page 5
SOURCE: The Gazette and Daily, February 24, 1937, Page 9


Seven Valleys

Seven Valleys JailThe Seven Valleys jail was located near the Northern Central Railroad's tracks in the borough of Seven Valleys along Cherry Street.

The Seven Valleys jail consisted of two cells, and a common area with a wood stove. The building was also used as the borough office into the 1980s.

The building still stands near the current U.S. Post Office in Seven Valleys, and is owned by the borough.


Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury JailAnother of the lockups currently being researched is the Shrewsbury jail.

The Shrewsbury jail was near the intersection of Main Street and Clearview Avenue, near the first public school building.

On Friday, May 20, 1904, a chicken thief was shot by a squad of men, and was placed in the Shrewsbury lockup, from which he made his esxcape overnight.

We are currently seeking additional information about this building.

SOURCE: AROUND SHREWSBURY, published by Arcadia Publishing
SOURCE: The York Daily, May 23, 1904, Page 5


Spring Grove

Spring Grove LockupIn 1908, the Borough of Spring Grove purchased land on the west side of Water Street and erected a lockup. The borough built two frame jails which were promptly burned down.

In 1922, a brick building with two cells, ground floor and a stove was constructed. The lockup was condemned by state officials in 1936.

According to local residents, the brick lockup was torn down years ago.

The illustration at right, painted in 1987, is a representation of how the 1922 Spring Grove lockup was likely to have looked. This illustration is on display in the Sprig Grove Historical Society museum.

SOURCE: THE SPRING GROVE YEARS, 1882-1982, published by Spring Grove Centennial Publications Committee
SOURCE: The Gazette and Daily January 11, 1938, Page 8


West York

Very little is known thus far about the West York lockup.

An article in the August 19, 1916 York Daily references a borough council meeting where the topic of building a lockup was discussed.

"It was definitely decided to erect a lockup in West York borough, at the rear of the Reliance fire engine house, at a special meeting of the town council held last night."

The Reliance fire house mentioned in the article no longer stands. We continue to investigate this lockup.

SOURCE: The York Daily, August 19, 1916, Page 2


Windsor

Windsor JailThe first Windsor lockup was a wood building built in 1905 at a cost of $44.34 for lumber and $17.18 for the labor.

In 1911, the borough purchased a lot at what is now known as West Gay Street and Gable Avenue for $125 and a new brick lockup was constructed. The Spring Garden Brick Company furnished the bricks and brick work was completed at a rate of $2.00 per day. A double cell was purchased from the Van Dorn works $155.00, and labor costs for the building was $86.67. Interior and exterior electric lights were installed in 1919.

In August of 1937, a new lockup was completed inside of the Laurel Fire Company's house on the first floor. A cement block partition was constructed for $105 and plumbing was installed for $59.96. This lockup remained until 1952, when the fire company requested that it be removed to make room for more fire equipment.

The second lockup still stands at its original location adjacent to the ball fields on West Gay Avenue.

SOURCE: WINDSOR BOROUGH, THE FIRST ONE HUNDRED YEARS, 1905-2005, published by Windsor Borough Centennial Committee


Yoe

At the June 4, 1894 meeting of the Yoe Borough Council, a motion was passed for the Ways and Means Committee see to the building of a lockup, and that Council select a site without delay.

At the June 22, 1894 meeting, a resolution was passed to purchase "18 feet of land at a dollar a foot front on Water Street to erect said building on" with the building to be twelve feet long by ten feet wide by eight feet high, "the building to have two windows well protected and have two rooms or departments, have a door in the partition, have a double door outside" with a shingle roof, weatherboarded and painted.

At the August 6, 1894 meeting the Ways and Means Committee reported that lumber for the lockup was purchsed for $55, stone at 50 cents per pound delivered, and that the committee found land at 80 cents per foot front, purchasing 20 foot of land for $2 less than the land previously selected. The location of this land was not noted.

At the October 1, 1894 meeting, the President of the Borough Council reported that he had made one iron door for the lockup as requested, and asked the members to come and inspect the door before constructing the second one.

At the November 5, 1894 meeting, the Council approved the purchase of a stove to heat the lockup. In addition, the Ways and Means Committee reported on the sale of lumber left over from the construction of the lockup, that the lockup is to be painted for $1.25, and the following expenses for the construction of the lockup were recorded: blacksmithing and iron doors, $10.33; carpenter work and hauling lumber, $11.50.

SOURCE: Minutes of the Yoe Borough Council


York

York market shedsFor many years market sheds stood in the middle of Market Street in Continental Square in downtown York. The eastern shed was built in 1842, and the western end in 1844. Within the basement of the western shed was a lockup used by the York Police.

At about 2:00 a.m. on the morning of June 30, 1887, crews were assembled to demolish the market sheds, as they were deemed to be not be in keeping with their modern and handsome surroundings. About twenty men, with seven mules and three horses were assembled to quickly tear down the sheds. At the time there were two prisoners in the lockup in the basement, who were released as the last inmates of the facility before the building was demolished.

Ruins of the market sheds


Anyone with any additional information on these or any other York County lock-ups are encouraged to contact us.

 
 
237 West Market Street
York, Pennsylvania 17401
717-845-COPS