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   Home      Investigations 2012      Marion County Jail

                   Marion County Jail

                                                                           Palmyra, Missouri    


     In northeast Missouri, you will find the town of Palmyra, Missouri. This rural community, situated near the Mississippi River, this area is rich in history regarding the Civil War. Several prominent battles between the Union and the Confederate forces were fought near this section of Missouri. And one of the buildings sporting a lot of history during this era is the Marion County Jail.
     Originally constructed in 1858, this building served as a county jail until the construction of the new facility in 1992. During the Civil War, this county jail became a Federal Prison, housing many Civil War prisoners during the years 1861-1865. The most noted of these were the 10 men involved in what became known as the Palmyra Massacre. The Union forces were demanding the return of one of their informants, and stated that if he was not released by a certain date, 10 Confederate prisoners would be executed. Little did anyone realize that the informant, Andrew Allsman, would never be seen or heard from again. And on the appointed morning, the ten men were loaded in a wagon, sitting on their own caskets, taken to the fairgrounds, and standing in a line, were all shot, with many falling onto their own caskets.
    The building is now under the care of Landmarks of Northeast Missouri. Efforts have been made, and are continuing to restore this building into the splendor of earlier times. Walls used to section the rooms have been removed. Rooms are being set as they were in previous times. The cells are still present, bunks are still in the cells, and many of the doors still close. Inside the entrance to the building, you can see photos from previous years, and read on the history of the building and the renovation efforts. 
    With construction and renovation, paranormal activity tends to increase, and it was no different with this historic building. Footsteps in the hallways, the sound of the cell doors closing when no one was near them, and that sensation of someone standing behind you when you are alone. Does this building hold the residual energies of past prisoners, possible the condemned men of the Palmyra Massacre? Do some of the Civil War dead still roam the area, looking for their regiment? Or could the spirits which seem to still roam the building be those of other inmates, or previous families which called this building home? These were some of the questions we were hoping to answer when we set our investigation for April of this year. But did we ever imagine some of the things we would hear and see during reveal? Well, you will just have to see, and hear, to believe. So please join us now as we present our evidence from this investigation.
This historical building, as many others, is in need of assistance to preserve a part of our heritage. Anyone willing to donate time, resources, or financial assistance, your help would be greatly appreciated. Nick is the caretaker of this building, and is very knowledgeable of the history of the Jail as well as the surrounding town of Palmyra. Please contact him for a tour of the building, and talk to him about how you might be able to help.  
You can contact the Heritage Seekers at the Gardner Museum for more information on helping with the restoration: 573-769-3076

The restored parlor

View of the bunks in the cell
Nick, who is a walking history book of Palmyra and the area





Historical sign
The way it used to be
                              Stairs that leads to the cell area  



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