The Old Brunswick County Jail was built in Southport in 1904 for a low bid of $6,738. It is located at the corner of Nash and Rhett Streets across from the Old Smithville Burying Ground. It is a two story brick building laid in 1:6 bond.
The jail has two cells and a runabout on the second floor. Each cell was designed with four bunks, a commode and a wash basin. The cells are constructed of flat iron bars riveted together. Still visible upstairs is graffiti drawn by prisoners.
The most notorious “criminal” to be booked in the facility was movie actress Sissy Spacek. Some of her scenes were filmed in the Old Jail during the summer of 1986 and may be seen in the movie “Crimes of the Heart”.
Since 1984, the structure has been maintained by the Southport Historical Society and has recently undergone extensive renovations.
To celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Old Jail, a ceremony was held on the afternoon of July 4, 2004. The public was invited to come visit the jail on the 4th and see the results of the renovations.
The society uses the Old Jail as its headquarters and the building is now open to the public as a museum. Usual hours are Wednesday and Saturday afternoons from 12:30 – 3:30 (May – October). The museum may be open for special occasions. E-mail us for more information.
Many volunteer hours of hard work have gone into both the actual renovation and the fund raising activities for the jail. We are very happy to have this project completed and look forward to many years of enjoying the benefits of having this part of our historical past as an important factor in the future of the society.
Our sincerest thanks goes to all who have had a part in making the dream of renovating the Old Jail a reality and to our volunteer docents who make opening the doors a possibility.