We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

The Old Jail

175 E King St, Chambersburg, PA 17201-1806
+1 717-264-1667
Website
Share
Save
Review Highlights
Include this jail as part of the Underground Railroad.

My husband and I found this gem on our swing from Fla to the Northeast.We spent an hour and a half... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
Michelle D
,
South Lyme, Connecticut
Walk back in history

I love when you can walk into a place a get the feel of the period represented. Great history of... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
kbam6b
,
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
via mobile
Read all 71 reviews
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Overview
More
The Franklin County Historical Society – Kittochtinny is a non-profit organization, founded in 1898 to collect, preserve, and make available to the public materials relating to the historical development of the Cumberland Valley, its people, and, even more specifically, to Franklin County. It offers the use of its library and archives to both the serious researcher and the general public during hours of operation. The Society is responsible for the Old Jail museum, the John Brown House, the Brown’s Mill School, the Chambersburg-Bedford Turnpike Tollhouse and the Carrick Furnace. The jail was built in 1818 and survived the burning of Chambersburg by the Confederate Forces in 1864. This building of Georgian design is one of the oldest in Chambersburg and was placed on the State and National Register of Historical sites in 1970. During more than 150 years of use as a prison, The Old Jail housed numerous local criminals, including “Lewis the Robber,” and Captain John Cook, one of John Brown’s men who was captured after the unsuccessful raid on the Federal Arsenal at Harpers Ferry. The cellar contains five domed dungeons with rings in the walls and floors that were used to shackle recalcitrant prisoners. Tradition suggests that these cells were also used as a way-station on the “Underground” railway to shelter runaway slaves enroute to freedom in the north. The Old Jail complex consists of the original building erected in 1818, an annex built in 1880 and a yard enclosed by a 20-foot high limestone wall. Several rooms of the original jail and part of the newer cell block comprise a museum of historical artifacts from Franklin County. The visitor experiences the story of the jail through interpretation and learns of the history of crime and punishment in the Cumberland Valley. The John Brown House (Ritner Boarding House) was where the famous abolitionist boarded during the summer of 1859 under the alias of Isaac Smith. During this time, weapons were secretly secured and plans furthered to seize the arsenal at in October 1859. The Society was able to purchase the John Brown House from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in 2002 through the generosity of Dr. W. R. McElroy and family. The John Brown House was rededicated and opened on May 2, 2009 as part of the 150th Anniversary of John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry. The John Brown House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. The John Brown has been restored with period furniture. One visitor remarked that if John Brown came to Chambersburg today he feel right at home at the Ritner Boarding House.
  • Excellent76%
  • Very good18%
  • Average5%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
Closed
Hours
Hours Today: Closed
LOCATION
175 E King St, Chambersburg, PA 17201-1806
CONTACT
Website
+1 717-264-1667
Write a ReviewReviews (71)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
All reviews
"underground railroad"
in 11 reviews
"john brown house"
in 10 reviews
"historical society"
in 7 reviews
"tour guide"
in 6 reviews
"civil war"
in 6 reviews
"franklin county"
in 7 reviews
"boarding house"
in 3 reviews
"family history"
in 2 reviews
"history buff"
in 3 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 2 reviews
"harpers ferry"
in 2 reviews
"great tour"
in 2 reviews
"step back in time"
in 2 reviews
"front door"
in 2 reviews
"enjoyable visit"
in 2 reviews
"watch your head"
in 2 reviews
"well worth the stop"
in 2 reviews
Filter

1 - 10 of 71 reviews

Reviewed 4 days ago

My husband and I found this gem on our swing from Fla to the Northeast.We spent an hour and a half in a fully guided tour. The jail was first constructed in 1818 and survived Lees' burning of Chambersburg. The docent had many stories associated...More

Thank Michelle D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

I love when you can walk into a place a get the feel of the period represented. Great history of the area and a real live look at a jail from 1880's. We actually went in several cells and saw great artifacts from the era....More

Thank kbam6b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We were doing the Rt 30 trip and this came up as a place to visit. Very glad we did. Lots of history and old architecture in the area. But this Old Jail is one of the best places to get a good dose of...More

Thank Brian K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 13 April 2018 via mobile

They’ve designed an escape room in the old jail and it is hands down fantastic. Better than escape rooms in both Denver and Pittsburgh. Highly recommended.

Thank Kelly G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2018

We visited Chambersburg for ICEFEST -18 which had ongoing ice carvings and ice sculptures lining businesses and venues along Main St. Each sculpture was unique {and generally) apropos, especially the masked cowboy bank robber outside the bail bond establishment! The Old Jail tour was interesting...More

Thank Martin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2017

I live in the area and have taken the tour of The Old Jail several times. Its a place my wife and I take guests who come to stay with us. Those we have taken have always said it was a great experience. Operated by...More

Thank pastorjohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 December 2017

A very unique look into history of the city and the jail. The jail tour includes pictures of early happenings in the bourough and the area. The jail cells are unique and fun to explore.

Thank wrld_tvler61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 November 2017 via mobile

Drove here over an hour and it’s closed on Tuesday even though own web site and TripAdvisor said open. These folks need to get on the stick.More

Thank PedroSpiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FCHS K, Front Office Manager at The Old Jail, responded to this reviewResponded 28 November 2017

We appreciate your interest in the Old Jail and are sorry you made a special trip only to find we were closed. Our website indicates we are open Thursday - Saturday throughout November until April. If you found an exception to this, please let us...More

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2017

The Old Jail in the Franklin County Historical Society Building is a terrific find. Parking is available for a limited number of cars on the grounds. (Watch the one way streets.) Many unique artifacts and fascinating stories you don't read about in history books. See...More

1  Thank Nancy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2017 via mobile

What a hidden gem In chambersburg!!! I have always wanted to visit but never did because it was local and I never wanted to take the time. This was the weekend! The tour guide was amazing! This is a must see! Chock full of history!!!!

Thank Mfclingan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nearby
Nearby HotelsSee all 16 hotels in Chambersburg
Chambersburg Travelodge
326 reviews
.92 km away
Clarion Inn & Suites- Chambersburg
251 reviews
2.21 km away
Candlewood Suites Chambersburg
206 reviews
2.23 km away
Best Western Chambersburg
334 reviews
2.24 km away
Nearby Restaurants
Bistro 71
138 reviews
.15 km away
Essential Kitchen
112 reviews
.45 km away
Roy Pitz Brewing Company
111 reviews
.25 km away
Molly's Restaurant and Carry Out
51 reviews
.43 km away
Nearby Attractions
Jan Zell Wines
24 reviews
.29 km away
Tuscarora Mountain Winery
27 reviews
.27 km away
Capitol Theatre Center
30 reviews
.52 km away
Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Berryhillmeg
9 July 2016|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from krstbone | Reviewed this property |
Call them and ask: 717-264-1667 website "franklinhistorical"
0
Votes
;