Old Clifton Jail
The old Clifton Jail, a rock bastille blasted out of the side of the mountain was built in 1878. Many of the West's real badmen were incarcerated in it at one time or another. It is one of the State's most famous jails. The old stone jail was the only one in Clifton for several years. Over time, it housed many criminals, including Augustine Chacon, who was captured in 1895 after a gunfight in nearby Morenci. The jail was closed eleven years later in 1906, when a large flood nearly submerged the building. The water was so deep that the prisoners had to be pulled out by ropes through a small window high up in the roof. After the flood the jail was filled with mud and debris, and so it was abandoned. The building went unused until 1929, when Mayor Peter Riley of Clifton started the process of having it restored. Now it serves as another interesting reminder of law enforcement on the American frontier.
Backstory and Context