Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Romantic Night in Jail

Clint celebrated his 20th Anniversary with the Fire Department on the 26th, and we decided to do something special to mark the occasion. A weekend getaway was in order, but we wanted to do something different. Something memorable.

We hit the road, and indeed, we had ourselves a weekend we'll never forget.


We spent the night in jail.

The Old Jail Inn in Rockville, Indiana, is a former jailhouse turned Bed & Breakfast, and we reserved the Bonnie & Clyde Suite, which was formerly the murderers row. Behind this door is a  narrow walkway, with walls on one side, and bars on the other.

 We were given a cable lock to secure our belongings behind the bars.

While we were provided with a few more items than the average prisoner was allowed between 1878 and the time it closed its doors in 1998, it was, without a doubt, still a jail cell. We were given the luxuries of  a warm bed, fluffy towels, and toilet paper. I'm sure past residents would have killed for any of the three. In fact, maybe some of them did.


Our "suite" was one of two in the entire jail that had its own bathroom, which was mandatory for me before agreeing to incarcerate myself for the weekend. If you're thinking about renting this room that will sleep up to 5, I'd recommend you choose cellmates that you are very comfortable with. Pictured below, you see, is the bathroom "door."

There is a narrow iron table, with a chilly iron bench, built right into the bars and floor. Here I am, writing a letter asking for a cake with a file baked in. You can kind of see the bed behind me.

The two original beds are placed over the guest bed, bunk-bed style. A past guest who apparently cracked his head left this kind warning.

Graffiti is encouraged. A few Sharpies are left in the room and around the entire jailhouse. The fine print on this note in the bathroom cracked me up:

Despite a certain lack of luxury, owners Deborah and Tony treated everyone like royalty. A tour of the entire jail reveals which rooms were interrogation rooms, and fingerprinting rooms, and booking rooms. This is  Deborah, in what used to be the former drunk tank, where the Rowdy Residents of Rockville past were thrown to sober up for the evening. That room is now—Genius!—a wine bar! It is named—what else—The Drunk Tank.

Deborah is fun, and loving and vivacious, and she and Tony both make you feel like you are simply the best guests that have ever entered the place, ever. They are full of information about where to find a good meal or some evening entertainment, but if you want to stick around, you're welcome to hang out with them. She took our picture, showing us how to hold the camera up high so that no one would end up with a double chin. 

 Who are those young thin people?!

Clint and I sampled a few wines,  then settled on a bottle to share. We decided to head out to dinner, recorked what was left, and Deborah wrapped it up all special to take with us:


Earlier in the day, before the wine, I swear, I had been up in the room while Clint ran downstairs. As I moved about, I saw someone in the room, and, thinking Clint had returned, began to speak to him. A figment of my imagination, apparently: No one was there. I had a brief "yeesh, I'm losing my mind" moment before dismissing it.

Later, while were sitting at the Drunk Tank, who should walk over at quittin' time to say hello, but the town undertaker. Yes, the funeral home is directly across the street from the jail. Clint struck up a conversation with him about trucks and weather that I'll admit I was only half listening to until I heard the words "This place is haunted, you know." I was all ears as Clint admitted he'd read a bit about that somewhere, and The Undertaker went on to say that several people had claimed to see a ghost or ghosts in the jail.

So What Was It Like to Sleep in a Haunted Jail, You Ask?

Quiet. There is no television, and we didn't didn't take our laptops. After dinner, we had a drink while we flopped around the room, talking about everything under the sun, including about how we don't quite know what to do with ourselves when we settle down without TV, DVDs, internet. We finally turned the radio on my iPhone, and listened to stand up comedy and talking some more. Talking. How novel.

Chilly. The floors are still concrete, and the walls are brick, and there's a certain nip in the room when you crawl out from under the covers. Bring your slippers!

A little scary. I'll admit that the idea of seeing the ghost again in the middle of the night scared me a teensy bit, so I hatched a master plan: "Don't open my eyes." What I couldn't see wouldn't scare the bejeezus out of me. Ignorance was bliss, at least until I had to pee so bad that I didn't care who I saw, dead or alive.

Thought-provoking. It was interesting to lie in bed, behind bars, and imagine what it must be like not to be able to open that gate and leave on your own accord. Not to have the towels, or the bathroom curtain-door, or a book to read to while away the time, for months, or years.

Fun! Although some of the things I listed above might seem to be out of one's comfort zone, Clint and I had a blast at the Old Jail Inn. Our evening was quiet and eerie, historical and educational, thrilling and hysterical, and exactly what we were after for the weekend: Memorable.

On Sunday morning, breakfast, which was included in the price of the stay, was made-to-order by the owners, at their Old Jail Coffee House right next door. A fresh, hot, egg & cheese croissant with bacon (Clint ordered sausage), a bowl of fruit cocktail, and a bottomless cup of coffee was served up.

Condiments for breakfast could be found at the Piano Bar:

We were on our way by noon to scout out another adventure before the weekend was out...but not, of course, before signing our room. 

 Clint signed the bunk bed over ours:

I drew romantic caricatures on the door:

And one more time for good measure, on a light housing outside of our cell bars:

If you're up for an adventure, a change of pace, a fun place for either a romantic getaway or a fun family weekend, then get yourself to The Old Jail Inn, in Rockville, Indiana. Tell Deborah & Tony that Clint & Lori sent you. 

The Old Jail Inn
127 South Jefferson Street
Rockville, IN 47872

P.S. Here's a frying pan for you. There are 5 of them placed upside down in the floor when the concrete was poured. We don't know why. A Google search didn't shed any light on this mystery for me, but if you know something, let me know!


  1. I LOVED this two surly are "living" a dream come true with all your adventures.

    Soul mates indeed! I love what Clint wrote with all those hearts!

    Blessed, you two are so blessed to have each other. You'll live "happily ever after".

  2. "Out of the frying pan, into the fire?" Someone had jailhouse humor when pouring the concrete...

  3. You know I am always on the lookout for a new and interesting place to spend a night or two. Yay!

  4. Except for the bathroom part, I think that would be fun. (And seriously you didn't know about the chin thing? Why do you think there have been so many pictures of me sitting on the floor? I even make people stand on our stepstool if they want to take a picture of me.) I'm glad you guys had fun!


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