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Gans Jail

Location Class:
Built: N/A | Abandoned: N/A
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: John Rupp

Information on the Gans calaboose is slim to none, which can probably mean it wasn’t of much use to the city. A single cell concrete structure with a barrel roof was built probably sometime between 1910-1920 which would become the Gans jail. It has a small window offset of the big almost medieval-looking door.

The jail is one of the only buildings left from the original Gans site. In 1957 Gans experienced the worst natural disaster of its history when an F4 tornado came rolling through. The tornado left a path of destruction and destroyed most of the town but the jail remained. This amazing piece of history unfortunately sits hidden from public eyes on private property. The city has tried several times to obtain the jail back from the property owner to fix it up and make it an attraction with no success.

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Emily Cowan

Emily was brought into the Abandoned OK Team in December of 2019. “I’m not gonna lie I fangirled a bit. My first published post I was ecstatic, I felt like I finally had the right audience for my work. The opportunities that came with it made me love the website even more. I remember my first interview with a couple at Waukomis Christian Church. They had bought and restored the 1897 church and insisted on keeping the original sanctuary despite being advised on moving it. We talked with them for at least a good 40 minutes about the church, the abandoned Waukomis Middle School beside it, and the towns other disappearing buildings. They even rang the bell for us that has sat in the bell-tower for the last 120 something years ago. We could tell they were just as passionate about preserving Oklahoma’s dwindling history as we were. When interviewing people and hearing the first-hand stories and recollections of a place and seeing how a person connects to a building, it forms a connection between not only you and that person but yourself and that building.”

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