The historic Columbia County Jail is a brick, 2-story structure, on the corner of Calhoun & Jefferson Streets, just one block from the Columbia County Courthouse. The jail was designed by Charles L. Thompson and Thomas Harding Jr. around 1920 using elements of the Renaissance Revival Style to mirror the design of the courthouse. The old jail was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 as part of the Charles Thompson thematic nomination.


  • Old Columbia County Jail was built around 1920.
    Old Columbia County Jail was built around 1920.

The building is faced in cream-colored brick with a terracotta hipped roof, and also features multiple arches & porticoes, with elaborate details like gargoyle heads on the portico, a stone string course with shell detailing above each window and decorative medallions above the string course.

This historic building was used as a jail for 70 years but is now privately owned. The new owner is in the process of redeveloping the old jail into a boutique hotel that will serve residents and visitors to Magnolia’s historic downtown district.

National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service