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Wanette Jail

Wanette Jail

Location Class:
Built: ~1908 | Abandoned: N/A
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Richard McGlathery

The Wanette Jail can be found tucked away in the trees off 3rd street. Hard to catch a glimpse of during the summer but visible enough in the dead of winter. Not much could be found on this pecualurly built calaboose with reddish native stone held together by aged and chipping mortar. Part of the flat concrete roof and opening to the small jail has collapsed on itself, exposed to the elements. The first instance of this jail showed up on a 1908 fire insurance map with the one prior in 1904 showing no jail in this location, putting its construction sometime between 1905-1908.

Most of these jails, especially in smaller towns were hardly ever used except for the occasional drunk held inside to sober up. As a result of not being used very often they also typically weren’t kept up and running for longer than 1920-1930 although this one was probably vacated sometime before that.

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Emily Cowan

Emily is a two-time published author of "Abandoned Oklahoma: Vanishing History of the Sooner State" and "Abandoned Topeka: Psychiatric Capital of the World". With over two hundred published articles on our websites. Exploring since 2018 every aspect of this has become a passion for her. From educating, fighting to preserve, writing, and learning about history there is nothing she would rather do.

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Wayne Pounds
9 months ago

I recently wrote an essay-narrative about Wanette and published it on my blog (below). It will soon be published as part of a book entitled The Whiskey Towns of Oklahoma, 1891-1907. I’d like to add your photo of the old jail. May I? Thank you. Wayne

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