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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

Kent County Jail

Kent County Jail

Schuyler C. Baldwin - 1870s

This elaborate Italianate building housed both the jail, at the left, and the sheriff's living quarters at the front. Steps lead to the public door at the base of the tower, and just above the double set of windows you can see "County". If you look carefully you can see the bars on the jail windows. Two men lounge against the railings of the covered porch at the front of the sheriff's quarters. The whole complex is surrounded by a wooden fence. The street in the foreground is Pike, the one running across the front of the building is Campau, and bounding the grounds on the far side is Louis. The Grand River would be on the western side.


Full Details

TitleKent County Jail
CreatorSchuyler C. Baldwin

Title by cataloger.
One of the reasons the sheriff lived "on site" is his wife cooked all the meals for jail inmates. The map in Related Items at the right shows the location of the jail as well as islands that existed before the channels were filled to connect the islands with the mainland.
From a collection of photographs depicting early Grand Rapids, previously owned by Charles E. Belknap, author of "The Yesterdays of Grand Rapids" and longtime resident of the city.

Location In PhotoGrand Rapids
CollectionThomas R. Dilley

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