For Ian Bowering, being in Jail is not a bad thing.
The long-time Cornwall Community Museum Curator and his team became the official tour guides of the Historic Cornwall Jail when the Tourism Bureau moved their offices out of the building about a month ago.
This is good news. The partnership between the SD&G historical society and United Counties of SDG means the jail, a valuable tourist attraction in the area, will remain open.
Built in 1834 and operational until 2002, the Historic Cornwall Jail has been maintained in the same condition as the day the last inmate was removed from behind its bars. For more than a century, its walls have seen a fair share of inmates, ranging from petty criminals to murderers. “It also has seen a lot of mentally ill people coming through its doors,” says Bowering. “If there was no room in the mental ward of the hospital, patients would be sent here.”
The jail has witnessed 5 hangings, the last of which happened in 1954. After it was closed and re-opened to the public, Escape Artists extraordinaire, such as Steve Santini, have used the facility to test their limits. Masters of the occult have also spent time at the old gaol, scanning the rooms for any paranormal activity. After All, rumours of a prison ghost have been proficient in the area…
If you want to experience some jail time, interactive guided tours are held on Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm through July and August. Arrangements can be made for tours on other days. Contact 613-936-0280.
Did you know: The Jail still has a fully functional kitchen, which is currently being rented to an outside company. “The Jail House Cooks” can cater any event, big or small.