Essex County Seal

Debtor's Prison: In 1769 a Court order showed the area around this present building as “prison bounds" which proves that this almost square story and a half building of old brick was erected and in use before this date. In 1809 another Court order concerned the removing of the prisoners from the criminal to the "debtors jail. "

This building attests its great age by the fact that the sand stone door sill has been worn down and curved from the many, many feet that have crossed it. The exact date of its erection can not be proved from the records, as jails were ordered built and abandoned throughout the years. A plat of 1850 shows the Old Clerk's Office and four jails, all fronting on Prince Street, but the location of the Debtor's Prison in the same corner on which it now stands is further proof for this building. It is still County property and is now the Treasurer's Office where taxpayers still pay debts.


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