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Jail History & Day Tour Schedules
Day Tour Prices:
Kids 5-11: $3.00
5 & under: Free
Weekend day tours available by appointment only for groups of
8 or more
Beauregard Tourist Commission
Jail Construction 1914
In the heart of DeRidder sits an majestic old building unlike any other in the area. The people of the area affectionately refer to it as The Hanging Jail, though it is also known as The Gothic Jail for the “Collegiate Gothic” style that the building was crafted in. It was a style more popular with colleges and universities when it was built, featuring pointed Tudor arches, dormers, and bay windows. A 1923 article in Popular Mechanics compared the building to a “Grand Mansion” rather than a jailhouse.
The inside of the jail is just as majestic as the outside, featuring a separate bathroom in each cell and skylights in the cells on the top floor of the building. These were amenities that were unheard of for the times. However, the jail still maintained some standard practices of the era. Hard steel bunks accommodated about a dozen inmates in each cell and a long dark tunnel connected the jail to the courthouse so there was no interaction between inmates and the public.
There are three floors in the building. The bottom floor housed the Jailer’s quarters, where he lived with his family, as well as his office and a temporary holding cell for prisoners not destined for a longer stay. The second and third floor of the building each holds four cells, all opening out onto the spiral staircase that sits in the center of the building.