Are you ready to go to jail? But not just any old jail but a really old jail! The Pickens County Museum of Art and History is housed in the old Pickens County jail. The hand-rolled brick with its turret and copper-colored tin roof is a great example of turn-of-the-century architecture. The 1902 Victorian jail portion of the museum is listed on the National Register of historic Places. Many visitors comment that the original facilities have the look of a brick castle, yet the bars over the windows do lend toward the original intent! It served as a jail until 1975.
The museum has added a 10,000 square-foot expansion to the original structure. This addition houses some of the permanent exhibits of artifacts, information, and antiquities of Pickens County and the Upcountry in general. There are also galleries with changing exhibits of regional artists, plus the museum’s annual “Youth Arts Month”. There are also performance areas and a studio/classroom for special events!
As if the art and history wasn’t enough to capture your attention, there is another fascinating interest in this local attraction. Ghosts! That’s right, many people believe the original jail is haunted. There has been reporting of passersby seeing a figure staring from an upstairs window after closing. Workers in the upstairs gallery of the old jail have complained of papers vanishings and later reappearing in odd places. Footsteps have been heard by employees after all visitors have left. There are two haunted stories specific to this jail – one of a prisoner and one of the resident sheriff’s wife. You can decide for yourself if it is a young man or a woman if you happen to see or hear someone (or something)!