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The old Albemarle County Jail is traditionally believed to be the fifth jail constructed by Albemarle County. The first section was built in 1876 . The brick addition, the jailors house and the surrounding wall were all completed by 1886. The jail complex served the county until 1974. Since 1974, the County has used the jail only sporadically for office space, storage and construction offices.

The Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society proposes to restore and rehabilitate the jail complex in order to preserve this important contributing component to the Charlottesville and Albemarle Court House Historic District while providing needed museum space to chronicle the history of the Charlottesville and Albemarle County community. The Old Jail Museum project that will also allow visitors to explore the history of crime and punishment.

Our community is the only one in the Commonwealth without a local history museum that focuses on all aspects of community history. Our efforts will also help to promote Heritage Tourism and enhance the Court Square area as a tourist destination.

The building is currently empty but with your help we to be able to open it regularly. Please give what you can to help us fund this project. You can become a Friend of the Jail by donating $20 or more.

Click the ball and chain below to donate:


To donate by mail:

Make Checks payable to: “ACHS Jail Fund”
c/o Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society
200 Second Street NE, Charlottesville, VA 22902

You can contact us at: info@albemarlehistory.org or give us a call at 434-296-1492.



The page was created for Old Albemarle Jail No. 5 by Amanda Kutch (c) 2014