'Quaint' 141-year-old home comes with unexpected feature

Ash Cant
·2-min read

A home built in the 1800s comes with a very unusual feature thanks to its rather unique history.

The home listed on 43 Courthouse Drive in Guildhall, Vermont could be snatched up for less than $200,000 (US$149,000).

The home has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a detached barn and barred windows on its prison cells, a blatant reminder that the home used to be the Essex County Jail.

The listing explains the main house used to be the jailer’s residence until 1969, the wing also includes the old jailer’s office and it is suggested potential buyers bring their own ideas on what to do with the wing.

The home used to be a jail up until 1969, the cells are still part of the home. Source: realtor.com
The home used to be a jail up until 1969, the cells are still part of the home. Source: realtor.com

Photos listed on realtor.com show the cells come with their own toilet and little privacy.

The jail ceased operation in 1969, when the Corrections Department took control of most of the jails in Vermont, the Burlington Free Press reported.

Jailbreak in home’s unique history

The newspaper also reported on more details of the home’s grim history - in 1964, a convicted rapist and a man awaiting trial for breaking and entering escaped the jail.

It wasn’t until the next morning the deputy sheriff, who was living next door, realised the two had escaped.

The home was built in 1878, though there have been several renovations made over the years, including an upgrade of the kitchen, including the installation of an electric stove disguised as an antique stove.

The cells still have the barred windows and toilets. Source: realtor.com
The cells still have the barred windows and toilets. Source: realtor.com

The home promises to have “much character” and plenty of natural light.

“There is so much character throughout this home from the wainscoting along the walls and the cornices on the ceilings which is featured in the dinning room, main entryway and living room,” the listing says.

“Large windows allow for lots of natural light. To finish off the main level there is a 3/4 bath, office, and unfinished mudroom. On the 2nd floor there are 4 bedrooms, a 3/4 bath, laundry area and attic access.”

The detached barn offers plenty of additional storage and both the home and the barn sit on nearly an acre of land, making for a private backyard, ideal for gardening.

The listing has been live for over 60 days and previously the house was sold for $97,350 ($US75,000) in 2018.

The home has four bedrooms and two bathrooms, in addition to the cells. Source: realtor.com
The home has four bedrooms and two bathrooms, in addition to the cells. Source: realtor.com

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