Historic county jail now brings you back in time

Historic county jail now brings you back in time

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Ia (FOX42KPTM) – The Squirrel Cage Jail in Council Bluffs now resembles the past even more.

"We have to preserve the history, and preserve our past," said Jason LeMaster, the vice president of the Pottawattamie County Historical Society.

LeMaster has been working hard to make it more life-like, with sounds, and new visuals.

The goal is to show you how inmates really experienced life inside the historic jail before it stopped being used in 1969.

"As it was for 45 years, it's been setup the same. we've now changed that," said LeMaster, who took FOX42 reporter Steve Saunders around the jail to see what changes have been done.

"The whole building, we're setting the cells up as they were. But every other cell, we're going to setup with newspapers in there. Some clothes strewn about, some boots on the floor. Maybe a half eaten meal, it'd have to be a fake meal," said LeMaster.

Built in 1885, the jail is unique, even said to be haunted.

There are three floors of pie-shaped cells inside a revolving cage.

Now, there are new display cases, and a law enforcement memorial. There are even updates to the rooms above the cells.

"This is going to be setup for the jailer and his wife. They each have their own wardrobe," said LeMaster, as he walked through the door of an upper room.

You'll also see old newspapers, and many things setup the way they once were.

"We have family members who are going to come back and visit. And they always want to know what it was like before, when their uncle stayed here, or their great granpa worked here," said LeMaster.

April 1st is the official grand re-opening to the public.

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