Crews Move, Reassemble Historic Lecompton Jail

LECOMPTON, Kan. (WIBW) - A piece of history is more like a puzzle right now for reconstruction crews.

The Lecompton Historical Society is moving a jail dating back to 1892 across an alley to an area just north of Constitution Hall.

Each rock was removed, numbered and placed in the yard. They're now being reassembled. The jail includes its original door, complete with a boulder fitted to go in front of it to ensure prisoners couldn't easily escape.

Paul Bahnmaier, President of the Lecompton Historical Society, says the restored jail will become part of tours of the area. He says continuing to add to and improve the complex of historic buildings is important to economic development by attracting tourists to the area. He says Freedom's Frontier is a National Heritage Area, and Kansas can capitalize by sharing its story as the place "slavery began to die."

The jail project costs $69,000. Bahnmaier says it is being paid through a grant from the Douglas County Heritage Council and additional fundraising by the Lecompton Historical Society.