Wiscasset Jail and Museum
The Wiscasset Jail and Museum, built in 1811, served as the the town's main penitentiary from 1811 until 1824 when the State Prison was constructed. The jail could hold 40 prisoners in 12 cells. Sometimes as many as 50 prisoners were held there including women. Women, the sick and mentally ill were held on the third floor and attic of the jailer's house, which was attached to the jail. The jail has been a museum since 1954 and provides visitors with a view of what the early criminal justice system was like. A highlight of the museum is the graffiti drawn on the walls by prisoners. One prisoner drew a large sailing ship and another drew a navigational map of the world. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
Backstory and Context