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Visit the Old Greene County Gaol

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Old Green County Gaol
Gaol is the British spelling of jail. The downstairs cells are like the European catacomb cells. Prisoners in these cells could be chained to the wall if necessary.

Old Green County Gaol - In 1807, the Superior Court of Greene County recommended that a substantial jail be built. The "rock gaol" is the product of that request. Built of granite from a local quarry, the walls are two feet thick. It is the oldest standing masonry jail in Georgia. The building is patterned after the bastilles of 100 years ago with a European influence.

"Gaol" is the British spelling of jail. The downstairs cells are like the European catacomb cells. Prisoners in these cells could be chained to the wall if necessary. They were given a bed of straw to sleep on, a tin bucket for a toilet, and a candle. There was no other light, no heat, and no ventilation. People arrested for non-violent crimes were sometimes put in the upstairs room where they at least had light.
The legal method of execution in Georgia was handing from 1735 to 1924. The sherriff in the county or judicial circuit where the crime was committed carried out the execution. The gallows and traop door of the Gaol are just as they were in the 1800's. The hangman stood on the steps, pulled the lever, and the trap door fell away.

We have information only on one execution in Greene County. George Copeland, a citizen of Greene County, was hung in 1873 for murder. As the story is told, when the hangman pulled the lever to release the trap door, the rope broke. In those days, if you survived the execution, you were usually set free. Unfortunately, this was not the case for Mr. Copeland. He was hung a second time.

The Gaol was used by the County until 1895 when a new jail was built next door. The new jail combined a detention facility with the Sheriff's residence. Recently renovated, it is now the L.L. Wyatt Museum housing memorabilia from Greene County's law enforcement history.
Hours of Operation
Open 9am to 5pm. Call and pick up key at Chamber.
Amenities, Phone & Address
Phone: 706-453-7592 – Address: S Greene Street, Greensboro, GA 30642

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