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Texas Forts Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Palo Pinto: Old Jail Museum Complex


The Old Jail Museum Complex in Palo Pinto is especially attractive to heritage travelers who love to linger. The Complex, offers jail and jail yard, pioneer cabins, Fort Black Springs, a carriage house, and plenty of artifacts. The sandstone jail, constructed in 1880 from rock quarried just south of town, contains a remarkable amount of memorabilia from early Palo Pinto County (including photographs of confiscated gambling equipment) alongside extensive exhibits on the county’s ranching history. While touring the jail, be sure to look for the iron stairs leading up to the second floor. At the top of the stairs are a hangman’s noose and trap door, added in 1906. No executions ever took place here but the threat of a hanging probably deterred a lot of potential Palo Pinto criminals. Outside, the jail yard contains additional ranching-related artifacts as well as four pioneer cabins, moved from the surrounding countryside and restored on museum grounds, all featuring a showroom of artifacts. Fort Black Springs, a three story sandstone structure reassembled and restored on the grounds, may represent the oldest structure in Palo Pinto. The Jean Price Welcome Center pulls it all together, providing an overall interpretation of the Complex as well as special displays and archives for genealogical research.


Location

  • Fifth and Elm Streets
  • Palo Pinto, Texas
  • 76484

Contact

Hours & Fees

  • Thursday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

  • Free


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