Haddam wants long-closed stone jail converted to museum

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HADDAM — Town officials in Haddam are hoping to convert a long-shuttered county jail into a museum.

The granite stone jail first opened in 1845 and closed in 1969. The Hartford Courant reports the facility housed an average of 40 inmates who enjoyed more freedoms than prisoners might in other institutions. They grew vegetables in a prison farm and played baseball on a field near a river.

First Selectwoman Melissa Schlag and a jail advisory committee are using a $300,000 state grant to start planning for the renovation of the jail for a museum and possibly other uses.

Schlag says the facility is the oldest county jail in the U.S. and is a local and national landmark.

She says the inside still looks much like it was left, with steel bars, metal tables and mattresses.