Monthly Archives: August 2014

More calabooses (by Bill Moore – August 8, 2014)

Recently, I wrote a short report on the various calabooses in Burleson County.  I have received several comments and today were two that I found to be particularly interesting and informative.  I had checked the Sanborn maps for Bryan, Texas and did not find a calaboose.  I had heard rumors of a possible one in the downtown area but that is all I had to go on.  One of the informants provided me with a Sanborn map showing a calaboose and a copy of an article in the Bryan Eagle that mentions it.   I will check this out next week.  The other piece of news involves the tiny ghost town of Merle about two miles from Snook, also in Burleson County.  I had been told about a jail there and when I went to see it I focused on a wooden building with bars on the windows.  It did not look like a jail and I later learned that it had been a grocery store and as a place for other functions such as voting.  I was given the name of the landowner and when I called him he said that the small building between his house and the store was the jail.  It is in poor condition and he plans to tear it down and salvage the wood.  He promised not to do this until I can come and document it.

New metal cage in Lockhart, Texas

I was told about an unusual find in Lockhart recently.  A metal cell or cage was dug up on private property.  At first, I wondered how and why such a heavy object would be buried.  Now, I have learned that it may have been put there (below ground) on purpose as a place for punishing slaves.  The strap iron bars were at the top and offenders would have been lowered down into it.  At this time, this is only conjecture but I am investigating the possibility.  All new information and pictures will be under the banner Cages and Cells – Caldwell County.



Cage after being brought up from beneath the ground


Excavation of cage.