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Greene County Historical Markers

Old Greene County “Gaol”

  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: Old Greene County “Gaol”
  • Location: Greene St. behind the Greene County Courthouse, Greensboro


The old rock jail in the rear of the Court House is patterned after the bastilles where prisoners were housed and punished a hundred or more years ago. Built of granite about two feet thick, it is two stories in height and has a trap door in the floor of the upper story where condemned prisoners were hanged. An iron bar supported the trap door. When the signal was given, the hangman pulled the lever that controlled the bar and the culprit was launched into eternity.

This prison was built about 1807, after the General Presentments of the Greene County Superior Court recommended that a substantial jail be built.

The cells are veritable dungeons without light or ventilation, except for the grated door downstairs and the small, grated windows above. The dungeons in fort Marion are no more horrible. It was used as a jail until about 1895