No Destination: Bedford's Jail

Old Trimble County Jail
Nate says that, "Trimble County is an interesting place." It is pretty, and I hear that Milton is a neat river community. I hope to come back to visit it. Trimble County's terrain is neat - the water levels were high on our mid-March visit. At times, it almost felt as if you were on a bridge in Louisiana's low country.

Trimble County's seat of government, Bedford, isn't too interesting. (Yes, I know. I said negative things about Somerset, too - which started a storm of controversy. Well, on this blog a sprinkle turns out to be a storm.) As was the case with Somerset, I'm sure that there is a "finer side" to Bedford. I hope so - and I hope to see it.

The one really cool thing was the old jail. The jail pictured above was built in 1850, the same year that Bedford was incorporated. The second floor was added in 1899. As you can see from the picture, the jail (even with a second story) was incredibly small. But apparently, larger facilities were not needed.  From John Strother's History of Trimble County, as read before the Filson Club on February 2, 1920:

This condition results in a steady, intelligent, law-abiding citizenship, unexcelled anywhere in Kentucky.  It is no unusual thing for the doors of the County Jail to stand wide open for a year or eighteen months at a time without a single prisoner.

Certainly, though prisoners would have become more frequent through the 1920s, the 1920s, the 1940s, the 1950s, the 1960s and the 1970s. In fact, this small jail - gothic, imposing and frankly quite frightening - served Trimble County until 1983.