Text Size



Despite pleas to the government for funds to build a lock-up, and citing their urgent need, it wasleft to the town's people to fend for themselves.


A newspaper article recounts a tale of just how desperately needed the jail was during theheydays of the logging trade.It seemed that a local constable, hard pressed for a place to house a prisoner overnight, finallyput him in a roothouse.


This roothouse was at the eastern end of one of the railroad's lumberwarehouses. A chute was used to unload potatoes from rail cars and they were stored in theroothouse.Come morning when the constable was bringing breakfast to his prisoner he discovered that hischarge had flown the coop. It seems his friends helped him escape but- -without his shirt ormost of his overalls.We read earlier of the rowdy manner in which the lumberjacks played, well it obviously wasgetting worse because in 1904 the town decided to build a local jail.


Again, it was Mr. J.B.Hammond who donated the land on Lot 1, of Nelson Street to construct the four-cell building.During logging days it was often filled. Originally it was contained by an eight-foot fence with sixinchspikes on top but the fence was removed in 1950.Another amusing anecdote, this time after the jail was built. About a prisoner who was put in jailovernight to be taken to Sudbury in the morning for trial. The axe for chopping firewood was leftinside by the constable, who also left the cell open to allow a little freedom for the prisoner. Theprisoner got all the freedom he could ask for when he used the axe to chop his way out. He wasnever recaptured.Today the building is used for the Nairn Senior Citizens Twilighter's Club.