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Constructed in 1909 to serve as a branch to the County jail, the Old Jail of Bisbee would consistently overflow on the weekends with rowdy drunks that visited the saloons of the city. The peak of this overflowing jail was in and just after 1915. Not long after these days, a detention center was constructed nearby in the county, thus emptying the jail. It is rumored that legendary Hollywood star, John Wayne, was part owner of the building at one time. It now serves as an Inn.


  • The Old Jail has it appears today
  • This kitchenette was where the "drunk tank" was located. Courtesy of TripAdvisor.
  • The jail's iron doors are still within and lead to eating areas, first floor and bathroom.

Bisbee in the early 20th century was still a very busy and large city, thanks to all the mining, particularly copper. With a growing, bustling city, comes lawlessness and rowdy weekenders. To help enforce laws and lock up both criminals and the drunks, Bisbee had this two-story brick structure made in 1909. The jail became an official branch of the Cochise County jail system. However by 1915, residents and jailers realized that the jail was just too small, especially on the weekends. During these weekends, both residents and travelers would crowd Bisbee's saloons and quickly become rowdy, disruptive. When jailed, many were sent to the "drunk tank." However, the small size made the tank into a crowded sweat box, while jail cells became full. When cells and tanks filled, others sent to jail stayed in whatever room was available. 

A few years later the county constructed a detention center in the county, near Bisbee. This new center emptied the Old Jail, to the point that the city stopped using the building. For a number of decades the jail sat empty. In 1988 it was converted to an Inn. Where there is a kitchenette was the "drunk tank." The jail bars still decorate the windows, casting shadows into these new living quarters. The cell serving the Solitary Confinement section of the jail is now a bathroom. It is said that like most of Bisbee's historic structures, the Old Jail is supposedly haunted.