The Old Stone Prison in Decatur, Texas was the first stone house in town and was built in 1859 by prison labor. The main house was the residence of the sheriff or deputy. The small three cell jail was in the basement with the meals being delivered by a dumb-waiter located outside the east side of the house.
The Old Stone Prison in Decatur, Texas
Then in 1888, the county sold the property to A. H. Whitehead and was used for city water works until 1938.
It was then sold and used as a private residence until 1967. The Wise County Historical Society purchased the Old Stone Prison to be used as a museum. The museum was furnished as a house might have been like before 1900. At some point the museum moved into the Decatur Baptist College Administration building when it was donated by local business man Coke L. Gage, for a museum.
After that, the house was rented out as a private residence and as the Decatur AA Group. One of the locals said for a while the Old Stone Prison was used as a meeting hall. But for the last 20 years it has sat abandoned. They have talked for years about restoring the place and using it as a museum. But each year it continues to decay.
Currently the building is in rough shape and the doors were wide open. Just walking up to the place, you can smell the rot and decay, with a hint of mold. As you head into the basement, you get that crappy feeling and as you might be taking your final steps to the gates of Hell. The basement has a lot of trash and the cells are gone. You can’t even tell where they might have been…
If you have any in formation about the old Stone Prison or know someone to contact please contact via the contact page or email. He are also looking for more images to share in our gallery including vintage and more modern pictures.
NOTE: This article was originally posted on October 24th, 2014 to my personal website and will not be updated. It was then posted to VanishingTexas.com on November 2nd, 2015. That site is no longer affiliated with us. All content from that site is slowly being migrated and updated to this site. All photos featured in this article were taken in April 2015 unless noted. This article will continue to be updated as new information is added.
About the Images
The images were shot by hand with my Sony Nex-3N and a Sony SEL16F28 16mm f/2.8. I then edited the images in Adobe Lightroom. Next, I post processed with Topaz Clarity to add texture, brighten, and bring out the details in the images. Then I removed the dust spots. Finally, I used Topaz DeNoise to remove the noise from the images.