Monday, November 15, 2010

When in Jail...

Explore the history of the jail. Well, that is, if you're not incarcerated and you have the opportunity to see the sites as I had the odd pleasure to do this recent weekend.

Sure you could trade cigarettes for contraband or make hooch out of fruit cocktail, but when there is such a pleasant little collection of a hundred years of history, might as well learn something. At the Washington County Jail, just to the side of the jail's visiting area and a bit beyond the bail payment window, you walk into a wonderful atrium with a nice historical collection.

The pictures display images of the early history of county's law enforcement past. For example, this picture of the first county jail. The structure still stands on the county fairgrounds.

And of course, no jail collection is complete without an antique set of handcuffs and cell key. The fingerprint pad caught my interest. While technology changes, some practices are still the same.

And of course there are the men of law enforcement. 

While I would never have strolled upon this collection under normal circumstances, any chance to spot local collections makes me happy. And to see history and have a recently released inmate ask to borrow your telephone so he can call his buddy to pick him up from the clink is a unique experience as well. 

I don't spend a lot of time in Washington County. In fact, I avoid the place due to the ominous expanse called Beaverton, but there are some fascinating pieces of history in this land. And if you spend time in the local jail, you get to meet the real people of the county as well.

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