Old Burbank Jail

Location Class:
Year Built: 1910 | Year Abandoned: N/A
Status: AbandonedGutted
Photojournalist: Emily Cowan

A Little History of the Town

Burbank approx. 1920’s

Burbank is a quiet little town that sits on the Osage Indian Reservation. Founded in 1903 by Anthony Carlton, the town was named Burbank after Elbridge Ayer Burbank an artist who was popular for painting Indian tribes. But it was often rumored that the town was named Burbank after the many bur bushes that lined the bank of nearby Salt Creek. The population of the town was around 200, most people working in agriculture. And then quickly skyrocketed to around 3000 during the 1920’s oil boom.



The Jail

Burbank Calaboose

A calaboose is a tiny jail, like this one there are many scattered in the old towns of Oklahoma. Most built in the early 1900s, they were used to hold inmates for minor crimes such as public intoxication and fighting. But also as holding cells for prisoners awaiting transport to county jails. This one is estimated to be constructed around 1910, it is made of concrete using the pour-in-place method that originated in Texas in 1908.  Located on the backside of a playground, you can walk in and photograph the tiny jail.

Article by AOK photojournalist Emily Cowan.

Special thanks to Mayor Minnie Moore of Burbank for providing all historic photos of Burbank. As well as a special thanks to Bill Moore for his information provided on the tiny jail. You can buy his book on Texas tiny jails here.


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1 year ago

[…] coming years right after. With a surge in residents and oil-workers came crime as well, the local Burbank Jail held some of the misdemeanor criminals and is one of the 3 historic buildings that still stand in […]

1 year ago

A job well done, Minnie. Very interesting.

1 year ago

i love this!!!! thank you for the amazing content!!

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