Life

Creemore jail celebrates 125 years

In 1861, John McCausland began enforcing the laws and is mentioned in the county records as being the first jailer in Creemore. Above is the Creemore Jail.

In 1861, John McCausland began enforcing the laws and is mentioned in the county records as being the first jailer in Creemore. Above is the Creemore Jail.

The little lock-up in Creemore, reputedly the “Smallest Jail in North America” is the centre for a 125th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, October 7 at “High Noon.” The celebration will feature area musicians Bob Presner and Fran Webster, stories of the jail, greetings from local dignitaries, a special cake, and a few surprises.

The small, three-cell, stone jail, located on Library Street near the centre of the village, was built in 1892. Under the protection of the village Constable, for fifty years it served as a short-term jail as well as an occasional temporary shelter for itinerant persons. Changes in provincial policing in the 1940s brought the closing of Creemore’s jail along with many other local jails throughout the province.

In 1972, thanks to the efforts of local businessmen led by the editor of the village’s newspaper, The Creemore Star, the jail was re-furbished and opened as a tourist attraction, with the claim that it is “The Smallest Jail in North America.” Although this claim has been disputed, no careful study of small jails has yet to be made.

Saturday’s 12:00 celebration is a major feature of a day of activities in Creemore, that include an Apple Pie Contest at the Farmer’s Market and Horse, Hound and Harvest Parade by the Toronto & North York Hunt Club, and the Oktoberfest at the Creemore Springs Brewery.

 



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