Franklin County 

Historic Jail

Hampton, Iowa

Go  to  Jail

100% of your donation will be used to restore and maintain the Franklin County Historic Jail and Sheriff's House.

If you dare:

spend an hour 

...or a day 

...or a week

in a real jail

About the building


The Franklin County Jail and Sheriff's house in Hampton, Iowa, is listed as a National Historic Landmark. It was built in 1880 in the Italianate architectural style. This was the most popular Victorian era style in the United States between 1860 and 1890. The building and cells were built by J. Pauly and Brothers. The design of the cell block is an excellent historical example of the first lever locking mechanism for closing multiple cells, an innovation that J. Pauly patented in 1874. The Jail was in use for 108 years. Criminals of every kind were incarcerated in the jail until it closed in 1988. 


The Jail is the only place in the World where you can visit and find out firsthand what being in jail would have been like during the years that this facility was in operation. You can be the inmate in a jail role playing experience where you become the star. You will step back into time...fifty or more years ago. You can choose to  experience the jail for an hour or two, or for a few days if you are tough enough. 

The nearest International Airport is Des Moines (DSM). It is a 1:38 drive to Hampton. DSM is serviced by United, American, Delta, Southwest, and Allegiant. Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is a 2:36 drive to Hampton.