Hidden in Plain Sight:
The Material World of Early Springfield


Springfield's First Jail

Rutledge Street between Mason and Reynolds
c. 1825

Photo courtesy of Richard E. Hart

Only a sketch survives of the first jail, but it is enough to indicate that it was a cabin of rounded logs, a window, a half story up above, and a shingled roof. This building was built and owned by the county; they would have wanted something solid but clearly were not interested in investing money into a high degree of finish to house Springfield’s criminals.